Ohio State Football: Why Buckeyes Are on the Verge of Big Ten Domination

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst INovember 15, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and his wife, Shelly Meyer sing 'Carmen Ohio' after Ohio State defeated the Illinois Illini 52-22 on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a road win in Wisconsin and a win over arch rival Michigan away from their first perfect regular season in six years.

Even though the Buckeyes won't be able to win a Big Ten championship this season, it's pretty clear the difference Urban Meyer has made on the team in only his first season.

He's taken a team that won just six games a year ago while looking inept at times and turned it into a 10-0 team that, even though it has not always looked pretty, has gotten the job done every week.

The even more frightening part, not just for the country but for the Big Ten in particular, is that the Buckeyes don't have the type of players to best run Meyer's offense, or tremendous talent in some areas of the defense.

In other words, this is a team that is flawed in some ways, yet is unbeaten in the Big Ten and has looked pretty good at times doing it, especially in its 63-38 against Nebraska in Week 6.

So what does that mean for the rest of the Big Ten?

That means OSU's message has gone out: Step up or be left behind in the dust.

It has been the mantra for the past few years under Jim Tressel, and the Rich Rodriguez era at Michigan certainly helped matters.

The obvious fact of the college football season is that the Big Ten has been a major disappointment. The fact that its best team is ineligible for any postseason play will only make the conference look worse in the short term.

But the reality is that Ohio State is poised to run the ship once again, with Michigan and Nebraska—and sometimes Wisconsin—being the only ones to throw the Buckeyes overboard.

That has to change.

Something has to change.

Unfortunately, it hasn't for the most part since 2003, based largely on the fact that most of the schools don't have high enough profiles to land the kids that SEC schools are pulling in by the dozens.

Meyer can do that easily, and has been off to a pretty good start considering the scholarship limitations that will hinder the 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes. Brady Hoke and Bo Pelini can do that to a certain extent, and Bill O'Brien's work will go noticed more when Penn State gets off its crippling four-year bowl ban.

If Ohio State can go undefeated in the Big Ten this year with a large majority of players returning from the team that mustered just six wins a year ago, that gap is only going to widen more and more.

The Buckeyes already have an outstanding recruiting class in tow for 2013 with quite a few spots to fill, and just two starters on an offense averaging 39.9 points per game, No. 11 in the country.

Braxton Miller will likely play two more seasons in Columbus, and it shouldn't take more than another recruiting class or two for Meyer to fix the leaky holes in the defense.

OSU is clearly trending upward and has the ability to go on yet another dynasty in the Big Ten, at least if things go according to Meyer's plan.

The resurgence of Michigan and the improvements of Michigan State, Nebraska and Wisconsin can certainly throw a wrench into that plan.

But right now, and for the foreseeable future, the Big Ten in the next few seasons should be Ohio State's to lose.


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