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Breaking Down Ohio State Football's 2018 Schedule

A closeup of Urban Meyer during an Ohio State football game.

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sidelines during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ohio State's 2018 schedule will be difficult to navigate.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will once again be one of the national title favorites in 2018, but this time around, they won't have the services of long-time starter J.T. Barrett behind center. One of three quarterbacks - Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell or Joe Burrow - will lead the Buckeyes into the new season.

This year's slate features 12 games, per usual. The team's three non-conference games? Oregon State at home to open the season, against TCU in Arlington two weeks later, and at home against Tulane in late September.

We figured we'd bracket Ohio State's 12 contests into three groups, based on difficult: First, here's Ohio State's entire 2018 schedule:

9/1: Oregon State at Ohio State

9/8: Rutgers at Ohio State

9/15: Ohio State at TCU

9/22: Tulane at Ohio State

9/29: Ohio State at Penn State

10/6: Indiana at Ohio State

10/13: Minnesota at Ohio State

10/20: Ohio State at Purdue

10/27: Bye

11/3: Nebraska at Ohio State

11/10: Ohio State at Michigan State

11/17: Ohio State at Maryland

11/24: Michigan at Ohio State

So, which games are the hardest on Ohio State's 2018 schedule?

Tier 1, which we'll call the easiest group, consists of Oregon State, Rutgers, Tulane and Purdue. Ohio State should win those games with little fanfare.

Tier 2, which we'll put in the middle, consists of Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Maryland. The Buckeyes will be favored in all of those contests by over a touchdown.

Tier 3, which features the hardest opponents, consists of TCU, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan. The Buckeyes will be away from home against the Horned Frogs, Nittany Lions and Spartans. Those are tough games.

Ohio State, to compete for a College Football Playoff spot, will likely be afforded only one loss on the season. Buckeyes fans - which game scares you most?