The major college-football season kicks off on Thursday night, and Taylor Decker is curious, like most of the rest of the country, about how one team in particular is going to look. Michigan. Or as Decker and his Ohio State teammates refer to it, "that team up north."

The major college-football season kicks off on Thursday night, and Taylor Decker is curious, like most of the rest of the country, about how one team in particular is going to look.

Michigan. Or as Decker and his Ohio State teammates refer to it, "that team up north."

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"I just like watching college football, and that's going to kind of be relevant to us because we're going to end up playing them," the senior left tackle said of the Buckeyes' archrival. "I think tons of people are eager to see what they've got, with the new coach."

Oh, yes, there's that. Jim Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback under Bo Schembechler who went on to play in the NFL before becoming a coach, first at the University of San Diego, then at Stanford and then with the San Francisco 49ers, will make his debut on the Wolverines' sideline.

"I mean, they've always had talented players, but he has a winning record" at his previous coaching stops, Decker said. "People know that Coach Harbaugh is a winner, so I think it will be fun to watch … to see what they've got."

Favorite not right word

Although Urban Meyer said earlier in the week he had a feeling about who was going to take the first snap at quarterback for the Buckeyes on Monday night at Virginia Tech, he clarified on Wednesday that the comment should not be translated as that player being the favorite. The duel has gone on in the preseason between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, the two starters of record from the 2014 national-title team.

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"I made this comment - and I met with both quarterbacks (and told them) - is when you have a good player, what do you do with them? You play 'em," Meyer said. "So we're going to play both quarterbacks at some point.

"How much, and what series? We haven't had that conversation. But I have already made that decision: If you have a good player, you play good players."

The next Spencer?

Of all the players who made contributions to the 2014 title run, Meyer singled out do-everything receiver Evan Spencer as the MVP. In the national semifinal victory over Alabama alone, Spencer threw a touchdown pass and made the key block that sprang Ezekiel Elliott on an 85-yard touchdown run.

With Spencer drafted by the Washington Redskins, Meyer said redshirt-freshman receiver Parris Campbell has the potential to be OSU's next such player.

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"Parris Campbell is really coming along as far as being a guy who can really set the point out there," Meyer said. "And it's absolutely essential to our offense because we play a lot of horizontal football, and those guys (on the edge) are responsible for the big hits most of the time."

Campbell was a running back in high school.

"He's big, he's strong and he's tough, and he's showing that," Meyer said. "I love him. I think he's going to have a really fine career here."

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports