Ohio State has championship dreams in 2016. Bowling Green might be able to make its season by dashing those dreams in its season opener in Ohio Stadium. But don't count on that happening.
The Buckeyes are, as has become de rigueur under Urban Meyer, loaded. J.T. Barrett is now the obvious starter at quarterback, and he has a host of playmakers to throw to, even if Ohio State will need to replace star Ezekiel Elliott at running back. And Ohio State's defense is rife with playmakers who helped it finish No. 8 in Defensive S&P+ in 2015.
Bowling Green is probably a year late to make an honest effort at upsetting the Buckeyes. Record-breaking quarterback Matt Johnson is gone to pro football, and former head coach Dino Babers is off to Syracuse to resuscitate the Orange. It wouldn't be a total shock for the Falcons to hang around, something that Ohio State has permitted in early-season games against Northern Illinois and Navy in recent years, but it would be stunning to see them upend the Buckeyes.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
Online streaming: BTN2Go
Spread: The Buckeyes started the week as 28-point favorites.
Three big things to know
1. Ohio State's quarterback controversies are behind it. The Buckeyes' attempt to repeat as national champions in 2015 were dashed in part by offensive inconsistency that seemed tied to an inability to choose between 2014 Big Ten Most Outstanding Freshman College Football Playoff sensation Cardale Jones at quarterback. Now, is in the NFL, on the Buffalo Bills' roster, and Barrett once more looks like the Buckeyes' unquestioned best QB.and
2. This is a first for Urban Meyer. Meyer has coached four FBS programs over the last 15 years, and this will be his first game against a former team. The closest he's come? Ohio State played Florida in its last game prior to Meyer taking over from interim head coach Luke Fickell in 2012, and Florida played Bowling Green in 2012 in a game that may have been contracted prior to Meyer leaving Gainesville.
3. Ohio State's in-state streak is on the line. The Buckeyes hold one of the longest, oddest streaks in college football: a 95-year stint without losing to another school in Ohio. The streak dates to a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in 1921 — fun facts: Oberlin gave John Heisman his first head coaching job, and is now a Division III program — and Ohio State is 46-0-1 against in-state teams since it began.