There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Ohio State entering the 2022 season.

Coming off of an 11-2 season and Rose Bowl victory, the Buckeyes are the No. 2 in many preseason rankings, including the Coaches Poll, AP Top 25 and ESPN’s Power Rankings.

Sports Betting in Big Ten Country

With the launch coming on January 1, 2023, Ohio sports betting apps are almost here. Pre-registration is now available at FanDuel Ohio for an extra $100 bonus. Learn more. Check out some of the best promotions available for bettors in Ohio.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

ESPN’s Power Rankings include each team’s X factor, defined as “player the season depends on.” Ohio State’s X factor is the obvious pick:

Quarterback C.J. Stroud. Ohio State is built to win with its big-play passing attack, which Stroud executed to perfection down the stretch last season. He’s a popular pick to become Ohio State’s first Heisman Trophy winner — and the Big Ten’s first — since Troy Smith in 2006. Stroud will throw to arguably the nation’s best group of receivers and embraces the championship-or-bust expectation in his junior season, which should be his final one with the Buckeyes.

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 and the Buckeyes open the 2022 season at home against No. 5 Notre Dame on Sept. 3 (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).