The long wait is over for Big Ten college football fans. The stadiums will fill back up and the world will seem a little more normal, even if its only for three and a half hours. Ohio State is coming off of a National Championship game appearance, while the Golden Gophers of Minnesota are coming off a season in which Covid altered their season dramatically. These two teams have not met since 2018, a game that the Buckeyes won 30-14.
This game has a couple of elements that will make it more interesting than one may think. For starters, Ohio State will begin the season with a conference game on the road. While its rarely easy to win on the road within the conference, Ohio State has been damn near unbeatable in Big Ten play the last decade. Minnesota gets a rare home opener that is a conference game, but this matchup is not favorable for them.
That brings us to another element of this game which is experience. Minnesota will have a huge advantage when it comes to experience, but what Ohio State lacks in experience they make up for with pure talent. Ryan Day has proven that he can build a program that doesn’t rebuild and does what a top program has to do, which is reload. The Buckeyes are loaded at every position and its hard to see what, if any positional advantages the Gophers will have.
The line at the time of this being written is Ohio State -14. I think that Minnesota may be getting too much credit for returning so many players and hosting the Buckeyes. Ohio State will have the advantage in every aspect of the game except experience and more than likely will settle in nicely.
Prediction: Ohio State-44 Minnesota-24