Chiggity check yourself before you wreck yourself - the Big Ten Preview is back! With just one week until the conference schedule kicks off, we've sent our preview into overdrive. Next up, the hated Ohio State Buckeyes. We really love this picture of Brutus kickin' it in the parking lot by himself. Almost as much as we love the timeline of Brutus' appearance (how much cooler was he without arms? Big mistake by tOSU...).

2006-07 Record: 35-4
Projected Finish: 3rd
Returning Starters: 1
Head Coach: Thad Matta
Best Player: Jamar Butler (13.5 PPG)

3 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Apparently 7-footers just grow on trees for Thad Matta. As soon as behemoth Greg Oden headed to the NBA, the Bucks brought in Kosta Koufos (Matt's also got another 7-foot stud in B.J. Mullens on the way). If you haven't seem him play, this guy is extremely raw. He struggled a lot early, but after an inspired performance against Florida (17 PTS, 10 REB), Koufos could be turning the corner.

2) Jamar Butler saved a spot on his arm for the Buckeyes' third Big Ten Championship - sadly, this is not a joke. Butler doesn't want to look like a damn fool for the rest of his life. Oops, too late.

3) Following in Jim Tressel's footsteps, Matta signed a 4-year extension with the Devil in late October. Seriously, how do these guys do it? The Buckeyes have a decent shot at making the tournament after two of their players went in the top 4 of the NBA Draft. And they already have two of the best recruits locked up for next year (Mullens, William Buford) and it's still December!

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) The losses to North Carolina and Texas A&M were disasters. The Bucks then got blown out by Matta's old school, Butler, by 19, and scored just 47 points against Coppin State the following game. Oh yeah, and this team lost to Division II Findlay in exhibition. Findlay!

2) Koufos was benched against against Coppin State for "lack of aggresiveness." You mean being a cooter? We've taken to calling him "Koufos the Doofus." The guy was flat-out embarassed by Texas A&M and North Carolina, combining to go 5-26 against the two. This guy's no Greg Oden. Right now, he's not even Nikoloz Tskitishvhili...

3) You think Koufos is a bust? Jon Diebler, the leading high school scorer in Ohio history (he averaged 40 points per game last year), has hit the pine after shooting 29% from the field. Why are people surprised when guys looking like this turn into busts?

Ohio State doesn't rebuild, they reload. We don't want to count the Bucks out because it was supposed to be a down year for the football team and they're playing for the national championship. The Florida game aside, this looks like an NIT team that will flirt with the NCAA bubble.

But they do have wins over the Gators and Syracuse on their resume and should be in the upper echelon of the Big Ten. And the Bucks have something only Michigan State can match - experienced point guard play. Expect Butler to carry this team on his back and be counted on in the clutch.

How crazy is it that the Big Ten could only be a two-bid conference this year? Yikes.

Obviously the Buckeyes don't want Koufos to suck, but his early struggles might force him to return to school which would make the Buckeyes loaded next year with David Lighty returning as well.

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