Ohio State Football: 5 Reasons to Be Optimistic for 2012

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Ohio State Football: 5 Reasons to Be Optimistic for 2012
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It wasn't how most planned for Ohio State's football program to finish in the 2011-12 campaign, but the Buckeyes offseason turmoil and in-season problems resulted in their first seven-loss season in well over a century (1897).

OSU had many growing pains with its young squad throughout the year with a true freshman quarterback, numerous freshman receivers and an incredibly inexperienced defensive unit.

The Buckeyes concluded with a 6-7 (3-5 Big Ten) overall record, placing fourth in the Big Ten's Leaders Division. They ended the season with a four-game losing streak, including a pitiful 24-17 loss in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl to the Florida Gators, where special teams miscues were yet again their downfall.

Still, despite a one-year bowl ban handed down by the NCAA, there is much to look forward to in 2012.

Ohio State's losses combined for a total of 50 points. That's just 7.1 points per loss, meaning virtually just one touchdown per game separated the Bucks from being a 10- or 11-win team.

And with Urban Meyer bringing his old offensive system from his tenure in Gainesville (35.0 points per game)—including the Tim Tebow era—to Columbus, that's a statistic that can easily be achieved.

Here are five reasons to be optimistic for next season.

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