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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State not scheduling lightly in nonconference play

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Ohio State is taking risks in its nonconference scheduling. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State not scheduling lightly in nonconference play

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Ohio State not scheduling lightly in nonconference play

Ohio State isn’t afraid to take risks in nonconference play. The best example of that will show when the Buckeyes travel to Eugene, Oregon, next season for a matchup between potential top-10 opponents out in the Pacific Northwest.

There isn’t a better time to look forward to that matchup between the Buckeyes and the Ducks than now. That’s why our own Austin Ward broke down why that game — and other nonconference games like that — are good for the sport and good for the Buckeyes.

Here’s part of the story:

Going undefeated in the brutal East Division isn’t easy, and it’s one reason why there is such strong support here that the Big Ten champion should always get the SEC-style benefit of the doubt on Selection Sunday even with a loss or two thanks to the strength of the league compared to the rest of the country. Maybe that line of thinking will eventually catch on, but it probably won’t happen without the powerhouses like Ohio State taking on challenges outside of the league. For their own good as much as the conference as a whole, it’s in the best interest of the Buckeyes to take on the best competition possible.

Along those same lines, college football is simply a more compelling product with matchups like Ohio State taking on Oregon and Michigan heading to Washington instead of both crushing MAC schools and just treating the non-conference slate like a tuneup.

Check out the full story here.

Buckeyes can test transfer portal for defensive backs

Ohio State has gone through the transfer portal to get starters in the last season — Justin Fields and Jonah Jackson — and it could potentially do the same in the next few months.

But there aren’t too many options in the transfer portal for the Buckeyes to pursue. Who could they go after from the transfer portal? Lettermen Row recruiting expert Birm weighed in:

Regardless, the Buckeyes are certainly going to be looking for help in the secondary, and the transfer portal is the best available option right now. One player who would have certainly been recruited hard by the Buckeyes had he gone into the transfer portal was Darnay Holmes, who ended up declaring for the NFL Draft rather than transferring, rendering any potential interest moot.

Who else is out there that could be a program fit and actually compete for playing time? Digging through a handful of the names currently in the portal, what Ohio State would find in most cases are questions, not answers. There aren’t slam-dunk options like Justin Fields and Jonah Jackson waiting in the wings right now.

Birm takes a look at some of the names that could be considered here.

Buckeyes basketball hosts Maryland on Sunday

After winning five of six, Ohio State (17-9, 7-8 Big Ten) hit a snag Thursday night.

The Buckeyes went to Iowa on a hot streak and a new ranking in the AP Poll, but returned with a nine-point loss and a quick turnaround. Now, they’ll host No. 7 Maryland (22-4, 12-3 Big Ten), one of the hottest teams in the country, on Sunday inside the Schottenstein Center.

The Terrapins have won nine straight and have only lost three conference games all year, but all three of those defeats came on the road. The Buckeyes are going to need to play better to pull off an upset, which isn’t impossible. It would go a long way in the Big Ten standings and the NCAA Tournament outlook if Ohio State can take down the Big Ten-leading Terps.

Ohio State and Maryland will tip off at 4 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

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Buck68
Buck68

“Ohio State isn’t afraid…?” A case of ‘selective reading’ and/pr De Nile. ;-{)}

Agree we should schedule 1 excellent pre-conf team plus a good one plus a strategically placed easy one….

Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A recent graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his first year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.

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