Ohio State Football: Undefeated Buckeyes Must Be 2013 Title Favorites
With their undefeated season officially in the bag (the first since 2002), the Ohio State Buckeyes have to be considered BCS favorites for 2013.
If you consider that only two teams are undefeated this season (No. 1 Notre Dame and Ohio State) it's obvious they would have been a shoe in for this year's BCS Championship Game.
The only reason they aren't playing this year is because of a one-year bowl ban due to Jim Tressel's indifference to NCAA standards.
Now Urban Meyer is at the helm, and we all know how good he can be. This guy doesn't run programs, he runs dynasties.
If Ohio State didn't have enough talent in the bag before this season, it does now.
Meyer was considered to have one of the best recruiting classes heading into the season, and without a bowl game to worry about, he can get to work on his next batch of signees.
Not to mention, the Buckeyes already had a wealth of building blocks.
Quarterback Braxton Miller has been a stud this season, and should qualify as a Heisman finalist. The sophomore is averaging 170 yards passing and 106 yards rushing per game, with 28 touchdowns.
While he's not yet quite as prolific as Tim Tebow was by this time in college, the stats and game play are very similar. Meyer brought two BCS Championships to Florida with his dual-threat quarterback, and is on the same track with Ohio State.
One argument against the Buckeyes' record is the level of competition. The Big 10 was a bit of a disappointment this season, with only three teams currently ranked (No. 12 Nebraska is the highest).
But the division still has tough teams, including several defensive juggernauts.
Ohio State handled them all, outscoring opponents 446-283 on the season. That includes beating the projected Big 10 champ Cornhuskers 63-38.
The Buckeyes won their games in just about every way. When they needed high-powered offense they had it, evidenced by their four games with 50 or more points.
When they needed shutdown defense they had that, edging Michigan State (fourth-ranked defense) 17-16, as well as Wisconsin (11th-ranked defense) 21-14.
With just 22 seniors this season, the results of 2012 should accurately reflect expectations for 2013.
The majority of their offensive standouts have at least another year of eligibility, including Miller (SO), running back Carlos Hyde (JR) and top receivers Philly Brown (JR) and Devin Smith (SO).
Experience is only going to make the defense better, with standouts Bradley Roby (62 tackles) and Ryan Shazier (five sacks) both sophomores.
To recap, Ohio State has one of the best coaches in college football, a deep recruiting class, a dual-threat quarterback, a ton of youth and the confidence of a perfect season to build off.
How can you argue they aren't contenders next season?
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