Buckeye Nation still feels the sting of Michigan's first win over Ohio State in seven years. The hatred and animosity OSU fans have toward the northern team has been completely revived and rejuvenated, and we can't wait to redeem this year's loss next year.
With their most recent victory, Michigan fans may feel like it's their turn to dominate this rivalry, but here are five compelling reasons why the Buckeyes will avenge their loss next year.
Next year, Ohio State's defensive line could be the best in the nation, flat out. The defensive front is returning every starter from this year's D-Line, including All-American John Simon and defensive tackle stand out Jonathan Hankins.
On top of all these returning defensive lineman, Meyer is bringing in a recruiting class that includes a five-star defensive tackle, two five-star defensive ends and another four-star defensive end. In other words, OSU's defensive front is going to be absolutely dominating and scary deep!
It's no secret that Michigan's offense relies heavily on its run game in order to succeed. Denard Robinson is an extremely effective runner but can struggle in the passing game. This defensive line next year is talented enough to stunt the Wolverine's running game and read option attack, which will force Robinson to throw more than he'd prefer. If the Buckeyes are able to force Robinson to beat them with his arm, Michigan doesn't stand a chance.
Braxton Miller has yet to shy away from the big moments, and this past season's game against OSU's arch-rival was no different. The freshman threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns while running for 100 yards and another touchdown. His performance was simply breathtaking, and the young QB has proven time and time again that he will rise to the occasion in the biggest games.
Miller dominated this game as a freshman and will only get better with experience. The freshman QB has the ability to take over a game and could easily defeat Michigan single-handedly.
At Ohio State, nothing else matters as a head coach without a solid record against Michigan. You can go to all the BCS bowl games possible and win countless Big Ten titles but if you can't get the best of the Wolverines, you won't be living in Columbus much longer.
Urban Meyer understands the magnitude of this great rivalry. He knows that his record against the Buckeye's arch rival will greatly define his legacy at OSU and how serious this game really is. There is nothing Meyer would love to do more than to defeat Hoke's Wolverines in his first year and set the tone for his career at OSU. The new head coach will have his team ready to dominate.
At Florida, Meyer was 17-2 against the Gators traditional rivals. He is one of the best coaches in the country and clearly has a knack for preparing his teams for rivalry games. Expect Meyer's team to be well prepared, pumped and out for blood, and don't be surprised if Meyer holds a few tricks up his sleeve for that team up north either.
While next year's bowl ban is everything Ohio State fans didn't want for the 2012 season, it does have one upside. With no chance at a Big Ten Championship, BCS bowl or national championship, the Buckeyes have one goal next year—to beat Michigan.
Even more than normal, the Michigan game really is their entire season. There is nothing else to achieve next year. There are not other distractions or goals. There is only one mission.
Ohio State does have a bowl game next year, it will just be played a month early. Nov. 24 is the Buckeye's national championship and with OSU solely focused on this game, the Wolverines better look out.
This past season was the first time any player had lost to Michigan. It was the first time the current Buckeyes felt the pain and disgust that comes with a loss to their arch rivals and they did not enjoy it.
Several players like Bradley Roby and Zach Boren vowed to redeem this year's lost and expressed their disgust. Roby tweeted that he would "never lose to those scrubs again."
Many players had a big problem with the way Michigan reacted after its win. Denard Robinson threw the ball up in the air like a grenade. When the ball hit the ground, the Wolverines all fell down in unison. Boren tweeted that he "lost so much respect for Michigan" after seeing them celebrate like that after such a traditional and prestigious rivalry. Tight end Jeff Heuerman tweeted "Karma is going to be a (expletive) for that little 'celebration' at the end/"
Clearly, the Buckeyes were insulted by Michigan's antics at the end of the game. Look for these players to be fired up for redemption and vengeance that will only heighten their physicality and determination.
Also, don't underestimate Meyer's ability to motivate his players through redemption and bulletin board material. While at Florida, a year after Georgia rushed it's entire team onto the field to celebrate a touchdown in an eventual victory, the Gators destroyed UGA 42-7 and played more inspired and fired up than usual.
With redemption on the Buckeye's mind, karma certainly could be a (expletive) next year for the Wolverines.