There’s a lot of hype surrounding the 2022 Ohio State Buckeyes. The preseason No. 2 team in the AP Top 25 is getting picked as a national champion. But what if Ryan Day’s squad fails to meet the high expectations for OSU this fall?

247Sports analyst Josh Pate says a disappointing season would stand out in terms of wasted talent.

“This is not some shoo-in 12-0 team,” Pate said of the Buckeyes in his 2022 “Late Kick” Big Ten preview. “If they do fail to meet expectations this year, it will be one of the biggest wastes of premier offensive talent over a two-year span that you will have seen. You don’t want to put yourself in position where you know you had that wideout talent, you that quarterback talent, and by your standards, you don’t have a thing to show for it. That’s the kind of competitive pressure facing Ohio State this season.”

C.J. Stroud leads that offensive talent. Stroud threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions last season, becoming the first player in Big Ten history to be named its offensive player, quarterback and freshman of the year. Stroud was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021, and he might win the award in 2022 with a super sophomore season.

Stroud will get help from Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Rose Bowl standout Marvin Harrison Jr. and more to make sure 2022 doesn’t disappoint Buckeye nation.

Pate called 12-0 the best-case scenario, with 9-3 the worst-case scenario. He predicted an 11-1 showing for the Buckeyes in the regular season.

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