Ohio State Football: Can't-Miss Games with Major BCS Implications

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIISeptember 1, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 02:  John Simon #54 of Ohio State Buckeyes is seen on the field during the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on January 2, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is safe and sound in the NFL, while Urban Meyer and the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes are paying for his sins as a result of the infamous tattoo scandal. 

The NCAA sanctions will prevent the Buckeyes from playing in a bowl game in 2012, but that doesn't mean the team cannot show flashes of future dominance by effecting the BCS standings with a few big wins. 

The passing game suffered a year ago, but Meyer is capable of establishing a dangerous aerial offense, which means there should be some improvement in that department in 2012. 

Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith will lead the way for what should be a prominent ground game, while the five-star prospects Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence will improve an already solid defense. 

There will clearly be some talent with this 2012 group, but what games will provide them with the best opportunity to make a splash?



Nebraska is currently ranked No. 20 in the BCS standings, but they could easily shoot up the charts if they record a convincing victory over Wisconsin on September 29.

The Cornhuskers are hoping for a bowl appearance at the end of the season, but an inspiring performance by Ohio State could put a damper on those hopes.

Ohio State will face Nebraska on October 6, and it will be the first real test for each team.

If the Buckeyes can hand Nebraska a humiliating loss, the Cornhuskers will surely struggle to regain focus two weeks later against Michigan, which could result in an implosion.



Ohio State's season finale against Michigan on November 24 is clearly their best opportunity to shake up the BCS rankings and crush a rival. 

Michigan is No. 8 in the rankings and they are teasing themselves with National Championship pipe dreams, but the Buckeyes will have the final opportunity to put the dagger through their hearts if those dreams begin to come to fruition. 

If Michigan is leading the way in the rankings upon entering the season finale, the Buckeyes will use their home-field advantage and attempt to knock them down a peg. 

If the Buckeyes want to make a statement, this is their best opportunity.