Ohio State Football: Meyer, Like Tressel, Knows How to Win in November

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Ohio State Football: Meyer, Like Tressel, Knows How to Win in November
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

"September is for pretenders, November is for contenders."

That's what former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel used to tell his players (per MorningJournal.com) about the final month of the college football season. 

David Purdy/Getty Images
Given how his Ohio State teams were consistently mentioned in the National Championship conversation, it's safe to say his players received the message. 

During Tressel's tenure in Columbus, the Buckeyes played 33 games in the month of November. Ohio State claimed 29 victories, winning 88 percent of its November contests.

New head coach Urban Meyer has a similar resume.

While at Utah and Florida from 2003-2010, Meyer's teams were a combined 27-3, winning an incredible 90 percent of their November matchups during an eight-year span. 

That kind of success at the end of the season goes beyond favorable schedules or blind luck. It's a direct result of the maturation of those teams over a given year. When a team is playing its best football at the end of the year, it's a sign of a group of players coming together via good coaching.

Can Meyer continue that dominance with the Buckeyes? Will he dominate the month of November like he has in years past?

The Buckeyes open the month this Saturday at home when they host Illinois. The Fighting Illini have struggled this year, going just 2-6 while losing all four of their Big Ten games by an average of 26 points.

Even though Illinois is technically a rivalry game for the Buckeyes, it will be very surprising if Ohio State doesn't cruise.

A much-needed bye week proceeds the Illinois game, something the banged-up Buckeyes need desperately before their last two games.

The Buckeyes' final road game of the year will take place in Madison, where Wisconsin will get a chance to redeem its last-minute loss to the Buckeyes last year in Columbus.

Ohio State hosts rival Michigan to close out the season. 

Recreating that November dominance will require Meyer to beat two pretty good teams in Wisconsin and Michigan. And while this month can't establish Ohio State as a "contender" because of its postseason ban, it could certainly give the Buckeyes momentum toward a title run in 2013.

Do you think Urban Meyer will continue his November dominance at Ohio State? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or continue the conversation with me on Twitter @davidreg412.

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