- Ohio State’s National Championship odds improved from from +1400 to +1000 after Week 1
- The Buckeyes beat FAU 45-21, opening a 28-0 lead in less than 10 minutes
- Ohio State’s most recent National Championship came in 2014-15
The Ohio State Buckeyes began the Ryan Day era with an impressive salvo, pummelling Florida Atlantic 45-21, a final score that flatters the Owls. OSU also took a step forward in pursuit of the National Championship.
Across the leading online sportsbooks, Ohio State’s average CFP National Championship odds improved from +1400 to +1000. Though one leading sportsbook still has them at +1450.
2019 CFP National Championship Odds
Odds taken on 09/04/19.
Ohio State Drought
On the one hand, Ohio State recently won a College Football Playoff National Championship. That title came in 2014-15.
On the other hand, the only other appearance the Buckeyes made in the CFP was a 31-0 drubbing by Clemson in the 2016-17 semifinal. It’s been so long since Ohio State played in back-to-back title games in 2006-07, it was still known as the Bowl Championship Series.
They’ve ranked in the top six in the final NCAA polls in each of the past four seasons, won the past two Big Ten titles, and five of their last six bowl/playoff games.
For the vast majority of schools, that resume would leave an athletic director beaming. But at The Ohio State University, a school with five national titles, they strive for so much more.
Will Ohio State Win The Big Ten?
Before they can focus on pursuing a national title, the Buckeyes must first secure a Big Ten crown. This year, the oddsmakers don’t see their path to the championship being a smooth one. In fact, about half of sportsbooks don’t favor Ohio State to even reach the Big Ten title game.
According to many oddsmakers, Michigan is the chalk to win the Big Ten East Division. One of these years, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh has to beat the Buckeyes (right?) and this year, he’s got them at home.
Yet, the Wolverines graduated a significant number of players from the nation’s second-best defense a year ago, and Michigan went 2-3 against top-25 teams with that stonewall defense.
A New Day Dawns
Day is just the seventh head coach of the Buckeyes since 1951. While so many of his predecessors became legendary, not all broke from the gate running.
Urban Meyer went 12-0 in 2012 but with an asterisk. The Buckeyes were under NCAA probation and ineligible for bowl games. Luke Fickell (2011) was 6-7. Jim Tressel opened 7-5 in 2002. John Cooper was a dismal 4-6-1 in 1988. Even the iconic Woody Hayes began a mediocre 4-3-2 in 1951.
The man Day seeks to emulate is Earle Bruce. When Bruce replaced Hayes in 1979, he took Ohio State to an 11-1 mark and the Big Ten title. But the Buckeyes finished fourth in the final National Championship polls.
Are Buckeyes Legit National Championship Contenders?
Since 2014, Alabama is 64-5 with two national championships. Over the same span, Clemson is 64-5 with two national championships. Ohio State is 62-7 with one national championship.
On paper, the Buckeyes look to be right there with the big dogs of NCAA football. But the reality is, it’s been three years since they even reached the CFP.
Ohio State should be right there again on the CFP bubble. But with a first-year coach and an inexperienced quarterback in Justin Fields, it’s hard to make a case that the Buckeyes will have the answers to overcome what Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney bring to the table.
This isn’t the year to go with a longshot in the National Championship futures. Fade the Buckeyes at +1000.
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