Urban Meyer won't win a national title or the Big Ten this year, but there are plenty of ways that the team can achieve attainable goals.
The squad must stay focused and certain players need to make key contributions. Here are the ways that OSU can enjoy the 2012 season.
Braxton Miller Must Lead the Offense
The foundation to Meyer's success at each of his previous collegiate stops was the play of his quarterbacks. Alex Smith and Tim Tebow took to the spread option with gusto and the results were staggering.
Miller finds himself in the same position as his predecessors. The offense was built with his specific skills in mind, and there is a high likelihood that he attains the same level of success.
Building confidence with the first-team unit will be key. If he finds a rhythm with his receivers early, the Buckeyes will be extremely difficult to stop considering Meyer has already declared Miller "the most dynamic player I've ever coached." (h/t Cleveland.com)
Meyer Must Manage Outside Expectations
As soon as the savior stepped onto the Columbus campus, national title trophy cases started to be constructed. To say there is pressure on this team to win ballgames is akin to saying that the Cleveland Browns are lousy.
It's just known.
One of the easiest ways to divide a locker room is to have the media and fans insert a wedge based on their own expectations. The sooner the head coach makes them understand that they won't be going undefeated this season, the better.
The Team Must Buy In Despite the Lack of Obvious Payoff
While this key may seem obvious enough, it is one of the most important. Players signed on to attend the Ohio State University because they want to win titles.
The players understand that it isn't possible this year and that can be dangerous. There will need to be more than that to keep the players invested.
Every day needs to become a challenge to get the job done or outwork your fellow teammate. These things are simple enough in theory, yet difficult to implement.
Meyer Must Redefine Success
As just stated, the goals of the program have to become somewhat intangible, but not completely. There will still be games with final scores to prove who the better team was that day.
He can still sell the team on the high of victories. The goal of being great needs to be its own reward as opposed to being validated by outside institutions.
Anyone born withing roughly 6,000 miles of Columbus knows the importance of the last game of the season. The Buckeyes had built quite a streak until things started to fall apart.
Out of all the keys, this one is by far the most necessary. Beat Michigan, and the season will be a smashing success.