Ohio State Football: Why Urban Meyer's First Year in Columbus Is Critical

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 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

Urban Meyer has been tasked with bringing The Ohio State University back to the forefront of college football after the fall of Jim Tressel and the sanctions levied against the program that will keep the team out of a bowl game this year. 

Even without the opportunity to play in a bowl game in 2012, Ohio State and Urban Meyer need to have instant success together. 

Meyer's time at Florida looked great on the surface. He led the Gators to two national championships, three BCS victories and sent many players, including Percy Harvin, Carlos Dunlap and Tim Tebow, who also won a Heisman, to the NFL. 

But dig deeper and you can see the cracks in the foundation. While at Florida, Meyer had at least 30 players who were arrested (via USA Today) in five seasons. Both Meyer and Ohio State are going to, or at least they should, be held under the microscope because of what has happened. 

In his introductory press conference at Ohio State, Meyer told reporters (via Orlando Sentinel) that he thought the problems with his players at Florida were overblown. 

Did they make stupid mistakes?  Yeah, I’ve made a few stupid mistakes.  We’re going to correct them.  We’re going to go really hard and try to recruit really good people to represent Ohio State.  That does not mean we’re going to give up on kids.  So that’s kind of the belief we have here.

While the people in Columbus may not want to hear this, Ohio State needs to focus more on establishing character and finding its swagger on the football field instead of just winning games. Since the football program is banned from a bowl game, the number of games it wins this year doesn't really matter. 

We know Ohio State will be good, but it doesn't matter if the Buckeyes are seven-win good or 10-win good. As long as Meyer sets the tone for the program in his first year and is able to recruit athletes who will represent themselves and Ohio State to the best of their ability, everything will be fine.