Ohio State Spring Game: Dawn of a New Era for the Buckeyes

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 20, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 28:  Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a program that has a ton of history. They've won seven national titles, seven Heisman trophies, won over 800 games and have won 34 conference titles. They're by far one of the most prestigious programs in all of college football and should be one of the first teams you think about when the sport is the topic.

And with all that said, the spring game that will kick off this weekend will begin a new era for the Buckeyes.

With the recent hire of head coach Urban Meyer, things are about to change drastically for this program. Sure, they've had great head coaches before in the past, such as John Wilce, Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce and Jim Tressel, but Meyer has the opportunity to take this program to new heights they've never seen before.

As soon as Meyer stepped on campus, he destroyed the competition as far as recruiting goes. He's already of to a fast start for the 2013 class, despite Signing Day still be several months away. These young recruits know what's about to happen in Columbus.

The Buckeyes have held spring practices for the last couple of weeks, and recently over 3,000 people watched the Buckeyes practice. I'm not sure you understand that. More people showed up to watch the Buckeyes practice than people showed up to view the Alabama Crimson Tide's national championship trophy. According to Fox Sports writer Zac Jackson, he wouldn't be surprised if the crowd for the spring game approaches 100,000 people.

Some may call it excitement over the new season and head coach. I tend to believe fans just want to be a part of the new era that's about to take place.

Head coach Urban Meyer is one of the top coaches in the country, who has won everywhere he's gone, including Bowling Green State and Utah. He's produced Heisman trophy winners, he's won 81 percent of his games, only lost one bowl game of eight and won two national championships. The man knows how to coach football, and he'll continue to show that in the Big Ten.

Meyer is an offensive genius that always gets the most out of his players, and his teams usually score oodles of points. That 24.5 points per game average last season, say goodbye to it. In fact, Meyer plans to install his offense much like the Oregon Ducks do.

"All you've got to do is look at Oregon," Meyer said via ESPN. "We're committed to it. We're still going to pop a huddle once in a while, but we're committed to it."

So, not only are the Buckeyes going to win games, they're going to be exciting in doing it. Not to mention the Buckeyes have been one of the better defensive teams in the Big Ten and sure to remain that under Meyer. So, unlike other teams who score a lot, Ohio State will be a balanced football team that's capable of getting stops as well.

Meyer was actually surprised that the Buckeyes are the only team in the Big Ten to win a national championship in the BCS format that started in 1998. In fact, Ohio State is the only team from the conference to even reach the BCS National Championship.

It's better than people give it credit for. Meyer said about the Big Ten via ESPN. Next year, we have road games at Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin. That's major league football. The SEC is a little bit above everyone else right now, but I think the Big Ten is going to start heading in that direction.

The Big Ten has improved over the years, but not too many teams are going to be able to top the Buckeyes and what Meyer is building in Ohio State.

This program has seen it all since they've started their first season back in 1890. But they may not have seen anything like what they may see in the next few years. It's a new era in Ohio State, and it starts with the spring game this weekend.