Looking at The Ohio State University football 2012 schedule, the Urban Meyer-coached Buckeyes should be 4-0 when they kick off Big Ten play at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Sept. 29.
It doesn't take the intelligence of a Terry Bradshaw or Howie Long to deduce this, either.
OSU's opening quartet of non-conference opponents - Miami (Oh.) (4-8), RedHawks, UCF (5-7) Knights, California (7-6) Golden Bears, and UAB (3-9) Blazers - were a combined 19-30 last season.
Only California posted a winning record.
All four of these games will also be played at the friendly confines of the Horseshoe in Columbus. Fact is, Ohio State will be playing eight home games this upcoming fall and no back-to-back road contests.
Well, it should, because back in 2010, OSU had a similar slate, and went 12-1.
Of course, as always in sports competition, no game is a sure win. The Buckeyes (6-7) themselves are coming off a rare losing campaign. Even so...a 4-0 start looks very promising.
The schedule gets tougher, though - a lot, lot tougher.
Ohio State's remaining eight foes were a combined 66-39 in 2011. Seven of those schools (Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, Penn State, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan) had winning seasons.
Only the Indiana Hoosiers, a basketball school for the most part, came up short with a 1-11 record.
Fortunately, OSU has that "team up north" (as Woody often said) at home on Nov. 24 in its regular-season finale.
Backing up a little bit, Ohio State's scheduled Sept. 1 lid-lifter is against visiting Miami (Oh.).
Needless to say, the Buckeyes have pretty much dominated in-state football competition. I'd still like to see them schedule NCAA Division III perennial powerhouse Mount Union.
I'm certain Ohio State would win the game, but I'm also pretty sure that the Larry Kehres-coached Purple Raiders would be just as competitive as Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Youngstown, Ohio U. - and Miami.
The poor RedHawks, they play seven road games this season. But at least four of them will be in-state against OSU, Akron, Cincinnati, and Bowling Green.
It remains to be seen if Miami can bounce back from last season's mark. But what the RedHawks might lack in brawn on the gridiron, they apparently make up for it in brains in the classroom.
I recently received an email from someone at Miami, and according to this person, the RedHawks football squad apparently improved its team GPA (2.80) from fall of 2011 to the spring of this year.
Fact is, overall, of Miami's 518 student/athletes, 299 of them had a school-record best cumulative 3.17 GPA during the recently completed spring semester. Twenty-three of them had a perfect 4.0.
That's not too shabby, and my hat's off to all of those student/athletes.
Of course, all of those smarts probably aren't going to help the RedHawks football team when it plays the Buckeyes.
Interestingly, Ohio State was originally slated to play Cincinnati in its second game on Sept. 8, but it was cancelled, and the University of Central Florida became a replacement.
Originally, UCF was supposed to play the Pittsburgh Panthers on that same day, but that contest was also cancelled (as per the Panthers' request).
The Knights may have gotten more than they bargained for, picking up the Buckeyes.
Overall, making predictions on Ohio State's football season is based for the most part on educated guess work - and hope. The only Saturday this fall that is certain is Nov. 10.
The Buckeyes won't win or lose on that day, because...because it's an open date on their schedule.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441, or at firstname.lastname@example.org