Fall Forecast (May Edition): It's Buckeyes' Year to Win Big Ten Leaders Title

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Fall Forecast (May Edition): It's Buckeyes' Year to Win Big Ten Leaders Title
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has reason to smile because he's inherited a great Buckeye team.

Urban Meyer and the 2012 edition of the Ohio State Buckeyes are primed to prove that a first-year Big Ten head football coach can win the Coach of the Year award two years in a row.

Last year, first-year coach Brady Hoke took the Michigan Wolverines within one game of winning the Legends Division title. (The difference was a loss to division champion Michigan State.)

This year, Meyer steps in to lead a Buckeyes team that returns 16 starters. They have 25 letter winners returning on offense and 20 on defense.

Only Purdue with 18 players (nine on offense and nine on defense) has more starters returning for the 2012 Big Ten season. The Boilermakers are in a position to push last year's Leaders Division champion, the Wisconsin Badgers, down to third place in the division.

You cannot disregard Illinois under the leadership of new head coach Tim Beckman and the 15 returning starters they'll have this year.

Penn State graduated so many seniors that it may end up battling Indiana for the cellar in the Leaders Division.

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