Shaun Wade opts back in, increases Ohio State football’s title odds

Shaun Wade, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Shaun Wade, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Shaun Wade opts back in, amplifying Ohio State football’s title aspirations.

With Shaun Wade opting back in, Ohio State football may get to the national title bout after all.

Big Ten football, and seemingly the rest of the FBS, are planning on playing this fall, kicking off right around Halloween. While Wade initially opted out of the 2020 college season, his return should have Buckeye Nation ecstatic. Wade will be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but him opting back in ensures the Ohio State Buckeyes will be a factor in the playoff conversation.

Shaun Wade, Wyatt Davis opting back in should help Ohio State get to Miami.

“First, I want to thank the Buckeye Nation and all the Buckeye fans,” said Wade on SportsCenter. “I want to thank President [Kristina M.] Johnson, the A.D. [Gene Smith] Coach [Ryan] Day and Coach [Kerry] Coombs for everything.”

“But really, it’s been a long day. It was a long day yesterday being with family and friends, taking that time to talk to them and really making the right decision for myself. So I’m really going to come back and be a Buckeye and really go strive for this national championship like I was back in January when I came back and didn’t enter the [2020 NFL] Draft.”

Though they are not the biggest reasons Ohio State should win the Big Ten, a Rose Bowl and play for a national title at Hard Rock Stadium in Coral Gables, Florida, getting key contributors on both sides of the ball back in Wade and offensive lineman Wyatt Davis has to make the Buckeyes the overwhelming favorite to come out of the Big Ten. They can contend with Southeastern powers.

With a top-five head coach in the sport in Ryan Day and a Heisman Trophy runner-up in Justin Fields, Ohio State has the firepower to navigate a tough Big Ten-only regular-season schedule, win in Indianapolis and reach the College Football Playoff. Of course, they must beat division rival Penn State Nittany Lions first to ensure they are the ones going to Indianapolis in December.

Overall, you can’t blame top prospects like Davis and Wade for initially opting out when they believed they weren’t going to play a football season this fall. Why would you want to practice and not play when you can train for the upcoming NFL Draft? But with the Big Ten, and hopefully the rest of the FBS, playing games this year, why would you walk away from a shot at a national title?

That’s not to say Ohio State is the favorite to win it all, as the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide will have something to say about that, but the Buckeyes are in prime position to contend for their first title since 2014. Though the Selection Committee could be extremely petty against Big Ten teams for the mess they caused initially, Ohio State is too good to leave out.

With Wade and Davis opting back in, Ohio State is the most formidable challenger to Clemson.

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