Ohio State enters 2018 as the Big Ten favorite and a College Football Playoff contender. The Buckeyes achieved that first goal last season but fell short of the second.
In order for OSU to win the Big Ten and reach the playoff, they most likely have to go 11-1 in the regular season before winning the conference title game. That's not an easy task with a schedule that includes Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State in league play and TCU in a non-conference game.
While Ohio State has several challenging matchups to deal with, 247 Sports' Sam Hellman says the one against Penn State is the "most dangerous" one.
Hellman picked the most dangerous game for all 14 Big Ten teams.
Here's why he chose PSU for the Buckeyes.
Of course the Wolverines and Spartans are always competition, but anyone that remembers the last time OSU visited Happy Valley knows that one will be a war. Ohio State’s deep defensive front seven will be a challenge for Penn State. Penn State, however, recruited very well for its next wave of stars. Many of them were in attendance when PSU brought the electricity in a 24-21 win over No. 2 Ohio State. This game changed everything about the Big Ten landscape in 2016, and could do so again with both teams likely undefeated when they clash.
No question about it, the OSU-PSU winner jumps out to the early lead in the Big Ten East. The game will absolutely shape the conference title chase.
As for potential trap games for the Buckeyes, road trips to Purdue and Maryland stand out. Ohio State will have more talent than the Boilermakers and Terrapins, but that was true when they played at Iowa last season.
Ohio State opens up its 2018 season against Oregon State on Sept. 1.