College Football Playoff: Why Ohio State Is a Big Winner in New Playoff System

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2012

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators walks off with the National Championship trophy after their 24-14 win against the Oklahoma Sooners during the FedEx BCS National Championship game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

It took almost a century, but big-time college football has a playoff system at last.

No, this isn't a dream. It's the real thing, and there's reason for everyone to get excited about it.

We won't have this new playoff come into play until 2014, but for Ohio State, it couldn't have come at a better time.

In 2014, Urban Meyer will have his system firmly rooted and his first two recruiting classes—which already look impressive on paper and on YouTube highlights—will have one to two years of experience.

On top of that, Braxton Miller will be a senior if he decides to stay after 2013.

In other words, Ohio State is going to be locked and loaded in 2014, maybe more so than in 2013.

Winning the Big Ten in 2014 will be pretty tough, though, with Michigan becoming Michigan once again and Penn State working its way back among the best in the Big Ten one small step at a time.

The biggest question about Meyer's tenure is not about if he will win a national championship at Ohio State, but when.

The campaign does hurt a little bit by the fact that each of the national semifinals will be at neutral sites instead of at home sites. So, now Ohio State fans can only dream of playing Texas or Florida or Alabama on a cold December night in the Horseshoe.

But this could be the next best thing for Ohio State, because if anyone can stop the SEC winless streak, which extended after OSU vacated the 2011 Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas, Meyer can.

He knows how to win national championships, and he's done it in the toughest conference in all of college football.

He has to figure out how to win his own conference first, though, which seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

But there is a reason he is among the best coaches in all of college football.

He will get Ohio State to be Ohio State again, the intimidating force it was before, ironically enough, he showed the flaws that brought the "SEC Speed" argument into mainstream college football.

It almost seems poetic that he has a chance to make the Buckeyes champions again.

The 2013 season is the chance to do just that in the final year of the BCS. But it would be the ultimate statement of not only his return, but also Ohio State's return among the best of the game, to win a national championship in the first year of a playoff.

And with a current roster loaded with underclassmen that in two years will be the upperclassmen, combined with a consensus top-five class in 2012, it's very possible.

That's how you make a statement, and Meyer's teams are great at making statements.

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