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5 Predictions for the Buckeyes

¦ Ohio State will put a perfect record on the line in back-to-back weeks against Michigan, with the first encore in rivalry history coming Dec. 7 in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

OSU: what others are saying

“Here’s the scary part for the rest of the Big Ten: The Buckeyes might be more talented and face a much easier schedule in 2013 than they did last season.” — ESPN

¦

“Ohio State will run the table and win the Big Ten title game. How can you keep a team with back-to-back perfect seasons out of the national title game?” — Phil Steele

¦

“Of course there are holes. Braxton Miller has to improve as a leader and a thrower. The defense will miss John Simon. But this is the Big Ten, where there isn’t a serious challenger to the Buckeyes.” — CBSSports.com

¦ The Buckeyes will win both games to set up an Urban Meyer-Nick Saban showdown for the national championship that will make the Internet explode. Alabama will win its third straight title, though OSU will cover the spread.

¦ Quarterback Braxton Miller will break his school record of 3,310 yards of total offense, but finish second in the Heisman race as rebellious voters award the trophy to electrifying South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Though his passing will improve, Miller will receive a third-round draft projection and return for his senior year.

¦ Cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Ryan Shazier, meanwhile, will be first-team All-Americans and leave early for the NFL Draft. Another draft prophecy: Senior left tackle and St. John’s Jesuit graduate Jack Mewhort will repeat as an All-Big Ten line anchor and hear his name called on the second day.

¦ One of several freshmen primed to make an early impact, Mike Mitchell will push junior Curtis Grant for the starting middle linebacker job. Look out, too, for Dontre Wilson in a hybrid run-catch role, running back Ezekiel Elliott, defensive end Joey Bosa, and safety Vonn Bell.

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