COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sports Illustrated has made their prediction of the last four teams standing at the end of this college football season. And the Buckeyes have made the cut.
In the latest monthly issue covered by Ohio State's star quarterback Braxton Miller (again), SI predicted the Buckeyes to finish the season ranked No. 4 in the country behind Florida State, Alabama and Oklahoma thus qualifying them for the first ever college football playoff.
It's no surprise Alabama and Florida State are predicted to return to the top, together they have won the last three National Championships. Alabama's feared head coach Nick Saban did not take the Texas head coaching vacancy as rumored and with Johnny Manziel now in the NFL and out of Saban's hair, will anyone be able to deny the Crimson Tide? They may be in the middle of replacing veteran quarterback A.J. McCarron, but they still have Saban.
Meanwhile, Florida State's Heisman trophy winning quarterback 'Famous' Jameis Winston is back under center looking to repeat last season's historic mark.
Oklahoma under head coach Bob Stoops are looking to dominate the Big 12 and return to title contention. With Texas under the new command of Charlie Strong, Texas Tech's quarterback woes and a strength of schedule ranked No. 93 (35th easiest schedule), it is hard to argue against Oklahoma possibly running the table in the Big 12. Unless Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears have something to say about it.
Ohio State enters the season as the heavy favorite to win the Big Ten and erase what was the devastating end to the season one year ago. Entering the Big Ten championship game riding a 24-game winning streak and high hopes to compete in the National Title, the Buckeyes and a banged up Braxton Miller collapsed against Michigan State falling 34-24. They fell again in their next game against Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl 40-35.
However, with the season opener a little over two weeks away, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said his team has made dramatic improvements and senior quarterback Braxton Miller's shoulder is healing faster than expected.
When asked about the collapse last season, Meyer simply stated, "Who cares?" and he has continued to preach that message to his angry Buckeyes team.
The Buckeyes kick off their 2014 campaign on Aug. 30 at noon in Baltimore, Md. against the Naval Academy Midshipmen.