Tue 19/08/2014 - 18:28 EDT

Ohio State Title Hopes Skyrocket With Braxton Miller Injury

Ohio State Title Hopes Skyrocket With Braxton Miller Injury

The national championship hopes of the Ohio State Buckeyes look like a pipedream with the news that two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Braxton Miller, one of the leading Heisman candidates this season, will miss the entire season with an injury to his surgically repaired right shoulder. It's easily is one of the most significant preseason injuries in college football in many years.

Shoulder Problem Again

Miller originally injured his right shoulder during last season's Orange Bowl loss to Clemson. He underwent surgery in February, missed spring ball and had just declared himself 100 percent. The Buckeyes were still keeping Miller out of contact and he was hurt in a 7-on-7 non-contact drill on Monday. He was the third-favorite behind Florida State's Jameis Winston and Oregon's  Marcus Mariota on Heisman odds.

Here's how much the injury changed things, according to a Bovada release:

"Ohio State was a major contender at 10-1 to win the national championship and considering Braxton Miller was a frontrunner for the Heisman at 15-2, this injury has impacted their odds drastically going from 10-1 to 18-1 amidst the rumors of the injury and now are confirmed at 40-1. Michigan State and Wisconsin will now surpass them as favorites for the Big Ten and only time will tell if we are over-adjusting on the Buckeyes, even though they still have a fairly easy schedule."

OSU Still Will Be Formidable

Miller was backed up by experienced Kenny Guiton the past two years but he's now playing in the Arena League. The injury now means redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett will start when the Buckeyes open the season against Navy on Aug.30 in Baltimore. Barrett recently moved ahead of sophomore Cardale Jones on the depth chart. The Buckeyes still are likely to be favored in their first eight games before visiting Michigan State on Nov. 8. The Spartans are now the Big Ten favorites and their path to the College Football Playoff got much easier.

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