We’ve heard the buzz and the talk about Notre Dame coming to Columbus to take on Ohio State, but now we have real, live rankings to confirm that the matchup will be a big game atmosphere.
In case you missed it, the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll was released on Monday and the Buckeyes checked in about where expected, at No. 2. Beyond that though, the Fighting Irish also have a high rating next to their name at No. 5, meaning the showdown in prime time will be a top-five affair at least according to one of the two major polls.
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And there are storylines abounding.
First and foremost, it’s a huge, titanic clash in week one when we alone think we know about the two teams. It could go a long way towards one of the two historical college football behemoths getting some momentum towards the College Football Playoff., or it could just be a footnote to the season.
Aside from that though, new Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman, as well as one of his assistants, former Buckeye linebacker great, James Laurinaitis, will be leading the Golden Domers into the stadium they used to hone their craft in. It will no doubt be a weird and surreal feeling walking into the ‘Shoe with a different team, looking to send fans of their alma mater home in a depressed and dejected state.
— Fighting Irish Wire (@IrishWireND) August 8, 2022
Even more, Freeman has said some controversial things about Ohio State during the offseason, so you can expect his welcome in front of Buckeye Nation to be less than pleasant. You can probably also queue up mean and hateful signs that will make an appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay set before the game. Yes, Herbie and crew will be on hand for the matchup as well.
But hey, Ohio State taking matching up against a top-five opponent doesn’t happen very often. In fact, the last time was in 1986 when the No. 9 Buckeyes lost to No. 5 Alabama, 16-10.
“I don’t have to hype it up too much,” OSU receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba said at a media forum. “The hype is going to be there.”
So yeah, it’s a big one, but it’s now even bigger based on both teams’ preseason ranking. At least for now.
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