Ohio State Football: Why Buckeyes Will Win at Least Ten Games in 2012
Ohio State's 2011 season was a disaster in almost every conceivable fashion, as they suffered their first seven-loss season in over a century.
2012 is almost assuredly going to be different from that, namely because of the strong presence Urban Meyer brings as a head coach.
Meyer has already turned the attitude of the program around, and his players seem more motivated and focused than they were a year ago. He brings the strong leadership this team needs in order to win big at the collegiate level.
His leadership will be tested this season, since Ohio State won't be in the postseason because of NCAA sanctions. But the fact that Meyer is coming in instead of being an incumbent coach is a huge advantage because he will make sure that if guys don't perform with full intensity, they won't play.
With that said, there is no reason that Ohio State won't win at least ten games this season. They won't go undefeated this year, but they will likely go at least 10-2.
The biggest reason is the growth of Braxton Miller, who showed some pretty significant improvement throwing the football in the Spring Game last April. Meyer's offense is almost a perfect fit for Miller because of how similar it is to the offense Miller ran in high school.
Miller will be able to use his running ability to the fullest extent in this new offense while he continues to improve his passing.
He has the first four weeks of the season to get more acclimated to the offense and become more adept at passing the football with efficiency before OSU's first major road test at Michigan State, which dominated OSU last season on defense.
Michigan State and Wisconsin—both road games—are arguably the toughest games on the Buckeyes' schedule this year, while OSU hosts Nebraska and Michigan, where they lost by one possession in games that went down to the final quarter.
Penn State will be another tough road test, as Bill O'Brien has helped to inject new life into the Nittany Lions in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
If Ohio State can go at least 3-2 against those five teams—the other seven games are ones in which OSU should be heavily favored, with exception of Cal and, possibly, UCF—there's no reason to think 10-2 isn't realistic.
The Buckeyes do have a great amount of talent, but moving to a new offensive system that is more aggressive and better suited to their talent can only be a major benefit.
More times than not, the defense in the past has kept the Buckeyes in games until the offense scored just enough. With a more potent offense in tow, those days may be a thing of the past.
All that considered, Ohio State is in a great position to finish the 2012 season 10-2 and line themselves up for a shot at a national championship run, much like what USC did a year ago.
12-0 still remains a remote possibility, but "remote" is a good way to describe that.
But given how much good energy is around the program, with positive momentum and blooming young players all over the field, there should be an expectation of 10 wins in 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.
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