College Sports

What impact will Urban Meyer’s suspension have on Ohio State this season?

College football is right around the corner and the Star-Telegramis bringing you its Top 25 teams going into the season.

Today we look at No. 5 – Ohio State.

Top 25 to date

LSU (25); Texas (24); Central Florida (23); Oregon (22); Florida State (21); Boise State (20); USC (19); Mississippi State (18); Michigan (17); Virginia Tech (16); TCU (15); Notre Dame (14); West Virginia (13); Stanford (12); Michigan State (11); Miami (10); Auburn (9); Penn State (8); Oklahoma (7); Washington (6).

Nuts and bolts

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Coach: Urban Meyer (73-8, six seasons at Ohio State; 177-31 overall at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State)

2017: 12-2, 8-1 in Big Ten (defeated USC 24-7 in Cotton Bowl)

Last league title: 2017

Three things to know

1. Meyer suspension. Ohio State will be without Meyer on the sidelines for the first three games for how he mishandled domestic abuse allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.

Not many are feeling bad for Meyer, but it’s a blow on the field. This is a coach who is regarded as one of the best in the country, a three-time national champion. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day has been tabbed as the interim coach in Meyer’s absence.

Ohio State faces Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU to start the season.

2. Dominant D. Defensive end Nick Bosa -- the brother of LA Chargers’ standout DE Joey -- is the star of the Buckeyes. He is projected by some to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft, and is coming off a season in which he had 8.5 sacks despite limited snaps.

The D-line is stacked beyond Bosa, too, with Chase Young and Dre’Mont Jones. In the secondary, keep an eye on cornerback Kendall Sheffield, who could be a first-round talent in the NFL Draft.

3. Plenty of playmakers. Dwayne Haskins won the starting quarterback job for the Buckeyes and enters a favorable situation.

J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber form one of the best running back tandems in the country, and receiver Parris Campbell is back after a junior season in which he had 584 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Three games to watch

1. Sept. 15 vs. TCU (AT&T Stadium). This is the last game of Meyer’s suspension. What sort of impact will it have?

2. Sept. 29 at Penn State. The Buckeyes won a thrilling 39-38 game a year ago, and this should be another top-10 showdown.

3. Nov. 24 vs. Michigan. Ohio State has won six straight in this classic rivalry matchup.

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