Great expectations for OU, Ohio State this season

JAKE TROTTER Modified: August 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm •  Published: August 16, 2009
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Oklahoma and Ohio State combined may have lost five of the last six national championships, but this season, both schools have the potential to get back to the title game and end the streak:

Ohio State

The Buckeyes are winless in their last five games against Top 5 opponents.

But they'll have an awesome opportunity to break out of that rut while jumping into the national-title picture. No. 4 USC comes to Columbus on Sept. 12.

Last year, the Trojans destroyed Ohio State, 35-3. But get past that game, and suddenly the Buckeyes are a player in the national race.

Games at No. 8 Penn State and home against No. 21 Iowa also loom large. But no other Top 25 opponent is on Ohio State's relatively manageable schedule.

Oklahoma

The Sooners made the title game last year, and return the core of their team, led by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.

The key game, as usual, is No. 2 Texas at The Cotton Bowl.

Otherwise, OU should be favored in every one of its remaining contests — though plenty of potential landmines are on the slate, including road games at Miami, Kansas, No. 22 Nebraska and Texas Tech, a neutral matchup against No. 24 Brigham Young, and a home bout with No. 11 Oklahoma State.

BY JAKE TROTTER

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