Ohio State Football: Lackluster Start Is Perfect for Urban Meyer's Rebuild

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 8:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes sings 'Carmen Ohio' with his players after defeating the Central Florida Knights 36-10 for his second straight win with Ohio State on September 8, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

When you look at Ohio State's 4-0 record, you could think that Urban Meyer and his staff are doing a spectacular job of getting this program back to prominence after the fiasco that was Jim Tressel's exit. 

Smart fans know that something is still not right with the Buckeyes. Their record doesn't tell the whole story, as they have struggled in their last three games against the likes of Central Florida, California and UAB. 

For a team that is supposed to be the 14th best in the country, at least based on the AP rankings, you can't look like a mediocre team against inferior competition. 

However, for all the talk about what is wrong with the Buckeyes, Meyer has to look at their struggles as an opportunity. 

We know from the old expression, or the LeBron James press conference after his first game with the Miami Heat, that Rome wasn't built in a day. 

The hype surrounding Meyer coming to Ohio State was always going to be unrealistic right out of the gate. 

Jon Spencer of the Mansfield News Journal picked apart all the problems the Buckeyes have had so far this season. He ponders which is the "real" Ohio State team:

Is it the team that led Cal 20-7 at halftime after scoring on three straight series or the one that had 11 penalties, gave up 512 yards and needed a late interception by Christian Bryant to seal the victory?

The Buckeyes managed to set the baffling bar even higher Saturday by failing to score in two of the four quarters against the nation's worst scoring defense, yet marched right down the field in both halves when it absolutely, positively needed a touchdown.

With no clear answers for anyone right now, it must be asked, what's the rush to judgment? Meyer has had one offseason to work with this team. He has not built a roster that he is 100 percent comfortable with. 

Plus, with the Buckeyes ineligible for a bowl game this season, does it really matter how they win games?

In Columbus, of course it does. But this was always going to be an experimental season, both for the team and coaching staff. 

Struggling in these first four games is a good thing for the Buckeyes. It tells Meyer exactly where the team is right now, where it's headed when the schedule gets tougher and, most importantly, what it needs to build on to get back into the BCS and National Championship Game conversation for next season. 

Sure, it would be much better if everything was sunshine and roses, but that's not where this program is right now. The dark days that plagued this program are still hanging overhead, but you can see the dawn on the horizon. 

The defense is going to get better. Braxton Miller and the offense will grow together and continue to get better. Ohio State will get better. Slowly but surely.