Ohio State Football: Why Buckeyes Must Be Feared Despite NCAA Sanctions
Ohio State’s 2012 season is no doubt among the most intriguing seasons in program history, despite the fact that the Buckeyes are banned from postseason play.
The Buckeyes’ season is limited to just the 12 regular season games regardless of the team’s record at season’s end.
But that doesn’t mean that the team will be a pushover.
Most people forget that this roster is still among the more talented teams in college football and should translate much better to Urban Meyer’s new offensive system.
The roster is mostly inexperienced, but does feature a host of very experienced players, especially on the defense, with stars like John Simon leading the way.
Youngsters Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby are among the best young back seven players in the country and each showed flashes of brilliance.
Meyer’s arrival into Columbus this season comes at a pretty good time, as he will make sure that his teammates don’t slack and take this season for granted even though there isn’t much in a tangible sense to play for.
His idea is if you don’t compete now, you won’t get a chance to compete in 2013 when OSU could be in position to play for a national championship.
In other words, this season is very much a weeding-out process where Meyer can determine who he can rely on when the games matter in terms of the conference championship and national title pictures.
The goal is to find the players that are willing to lay it all on the line for him now with little more than pride at stake so that he knows they don’t need to be motivated by having a chance to play for something bigger.
If he can find dozens of players who will play like that, this team becomes very dangerous.
Braxton Miller can very well be one of those guys.
He proved last year that not only can he run well against some of the best defenses in the conference, but that late-game situations aren’t too big for him.
He seems to have taken significant steps in his progression working with Meyer and new QB coach/offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who each have an excellent track record of developing quarterbacks.
Miller’s development in an offense that’s better suited to his skills and dual-threat ability will make Ohio State a much tougher team to deal with.
Between the expected improvement everywhere on offense and the building blocks on defense, 2012 can certainly help the Buckeyes get back on track after the horrific speed bump that was 2011.
Ohio State has never been a team that any team in the Big Ten, let alone the country, can afford to take lightly.
This year should and will likely be no exception.
Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.
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