The college football regular season may have come to an end, but that only means that the college basketball season is just starting to heat up. In case you haven’t checked in on them just yet, the Ohio State Buckeyes are once again surprising many people. Projected by many to finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten, it seems as though media members must not have taken Chris Holtmann and his team’s surprising success last season seriously and considered it as more of a fluke. Fast forward to this year, and the Buckeyes are once again turning plenty of heads, proving that they are much better than their preseason projections may have indicated. The scarlet and gray found themselves ranked at No. 15 in this week’s AP Poll, their best ranking so far this season and four spots ahead of where they were last week.
Following their first loss of the season at the hands of Syracuse two weeks ago, which caused them to fall in the AP Top 25, Ohio State bounced back last week, taking down Illinois to improve 8-1, 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Early on, the Buckeyes have gotten plenty of contributions from a number of players on their roster. While they may not have a true go-to player on a nightly basis, Ohio State has already proven that with all of their talent combined into one, they are one of the best teams in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are one of six teams in the conference that are ranked. No. 5 Michigan, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 16 Wisconsin, No. 22 Iowa, and No. 25 Indiana join the scarlet and gray in this week’s Top 25. Both Nebraska and Maryland find themselves just outside the rankings, with the 26th- and 27th-most points in the poll.
With previously-ranked No. 7 Tennessee tanking down top-ranked Gonzaga this past Sunday, Kansas is the new No. 1 team in the country. The top 5 consists of the Jayhawks, Duke, Volunteers, Gonzaga, and Michigan.
Due to it already being mid-December, the college basketball season will begin to heat up. With the Big Ten featured as one of college basketball’s best conferences, it will surely be a fight on a nightly basis, no matter who the opponent may be. The Buckeyes will have their hands full throughout the Big Ten season, but one thing is clear: Holtmann will continue to get the best out of his 15th-ranked team in the country.