COLUMBUS, Ohio – For nine months Ohio State's coaches made plans to fill the holes left by graduation and attrition from last year's 12-0 team.
Now, with the opener at home against Buffalo just over a week away, they must come up with replacements for three star players suspended for at least the first game.
Leading scorer Carlos Hyde will miss the first three games after an alleged assault against a woman, standout cornerback Bradley Roby will sit out at least the opener after a skirmish at a bar and Rod Smith, expected to take Hyde's spot, is benched for the first game after a violation of team rules last winter.
There are worthy candidates in the wings. But it's still not the ideal way to go into a season.