Installed as 34.5-point favorites by the folks at Vegas Insider, there isn’t much intrigue to be had heading into the Ohio State Buckeyes’ season-opening clash against Buffalo.
For both sides, the contest should amount to little else than your average early-season romp. The second-ranked Buckeyes are the only team in the nation other than top-ranked Alabama to receive multiple first-place votes from the Associated Press and USA Today coaches poll.
They currently hold the longest win streak in the nation at 12 games and were the only undefeated team in college football in 2012. With Heisman candidate Braxton Miller under center and a bevy of returning starters on offense, Ohio State is an overwhelming favorite to win the Big Ten championship.
The Bulls? Well, they get a $1 million check for their troubles. Buffalo is making its death march following a 4-8 campaign, its fourth straight losing campaign. After reaching pseudo-surprise status during the Turner Gill era, the Bulls have taken a steep nosedive out of the national consciousness since Gill left for Kansas. Head coach Jeff Quinn is just 9-27 in three years at the helm.
To put it another way: This is going to be a bloodbath. Sure, there will be the usual pageantry of a Week 1 contest at Ohio Stadium. The crowd will tailgate the entire morning, and the bright red will be out in full force by the noon kickoff.
But don’t be surprised if that crowd gets awfully sparse before the clock strikes zero. This is a warm-up game for the Buckeyes, one that they’ll need to use before hosting an upset-minded San Diego State squad on Sept. 7.
With that in mind, here are a few things to keep an eye on for the Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon.