7 Reasons Braxton Miller Will Win the Heisman in 2013
Braxton Miller showed in his first two seasons at Ohio State that he is one of the best athletes in the country.
That, along with the fact he plays QB at a national power like Ohio State, will put him near the top of the preseason Heisman favorites for the 2013 season.
But there are some reasons that it could be Miller and not Manziel walking away with the most prestigious award in college football in December.
Improved Reads and Mechanics
There is no denying that Braxton Miller possesses all the physical ability to be the best player in college football.
He has great speed, strength and agility to thrive in the running game, but he also has a strong arm as well.
The problem for Miller in his first two seasons was that he struggled with his mechanics and his reads.
An offseason to focus on the basics and not on learning a new playbook could pay huge dividends in 2013. Remember, Miller had to learn a new offense in both his freshman and sophomore season.
Once Miller proves he is capable of hitting open receivers and making the correct reads in the option game, defenses won't have any idea what to do.
Not Just Batman and Robin
Speaking of defenses not knowing what to do.
Toward the end of the 2012 season, defenses had caught up with what Ohio State was doing, because it wasn't hard to figure out.
Ohio State was using their 240-pound running back Carlos Hyde as a battering ram on the interior of the defense and Miller as the outside runner.
In 2013, the Buckeyes will be more diverse.
But it's not just the returning players. Urban Meyer is bringing in a handful of playmakers in the freshman class. Freshmen like Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliott and Marcus Baugh could be prepared to make an immediate impact on the Buckeyes offense.
4 Returning Seniors on the Offensive Line
As mentioned in the last slide, Ohio State's offense became predictable at the end of the season.
However, they were still able to beat Penn State and Wisconsin on the road and Michigan at home in the final month of the season.
That is a testament to the dominance of the offensive line in front of Braxton Miller.
The 2013 offensive line will only have to replace right tackle Reid Fragel; his replacement will likely be Taylor Decker.
All of the returning starters will be seniors in 2013, and three of the four will be in their fifth season at Ohio State—center Corey Linsley, guard Marcus Hall and tackle Jack Mewhort.
Left guard Andrew Norwell rounds out the veteran quartet in front of Miller.
Ohio State Will Be in Contention for the National Championship
Since the BCS started in 1998, only twice has the BCS National Championship Game not featured at least one of the top five finishers in the Heisman voting.
After finishing 12-0 in 2012, Ohio State will likely have a high ranking in the preseason and will be in the national spotlight for the entire season.
This will put Braxton Miller under the bright lights of the media, but this is a good thing for him as it pertains to the Heisman trophy race.
Miller and the Buckeyes will just have to avoid a performance like 2012 Heisman finalist Collin Klein and Kansas State had against Baylor.
Urban Meyer's QBs have a tendency of having great seasons in year two of being coached by Meyer.
In Alex Smith's second season under Meyer at Utah, he led the Utes to an undefeated season and were the first team to bust the BCS by beating Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith also went on to become the No.1 pick in the NFL draft.
In Chris Leak's senior season, his second with Meyer, the Florida Gators won the BCS National Championship.
Tim Tebow's sophomore season was, perhaps, the most impressive statistical season by any college football player ever.
Now Buckeye fans await what Braxton Miller and Urban Meyer have prepared for them as an encore to their 12-0 record and a fifth-place finish in the Heisman voting.
Also of note, Meyer is the type of coach to go to bat for his players, and perhaps, call Miller's number near the goal line to help his chances of scoring more often.
Young Defense Will Force Offense to Keep Scoring
Ryan Shazier was the leading tackler for Ohio State in 2012.
In 2013, Shazier will be the only member of the Buckeyes' front seven that returns.
The Buckeyes will have plenty of talent, thanks to strong recruiting classes. However, the early-season games could look like last year's game when the Ohio State defense allowed Cal to run wild and Indiana to score 49 points.
How does this help Braxton Miller?
Well, it means that Ohio State won't be able to get the lead and then put the offense on cruise control. The Buckeyes will likely have to keep scoring and keep Miller on the field, allowing him to pile up more impressive statistics.
Strength (Should I Say Weakness) of Schedule
Ohio State will likely be the favorite in every game on their schedule in 2013.
They do have to travel to Cal for their third game as well as tough trips to Northwestern and Michigan later in the season. But nonetheless, the Buckeyes will have more talent every time they take the field.
What this means for Braxton Miller is that he won't see many defenses that have the talent and depth to contain him for four quarters.
It also means the Buckeyes could remain undefeated under Urban Meyer, and therefore, keeping them in the hunt for the 2013 BCS National Championship.
Whatever 2013 holds for Ohio State and Miller, one thing is very clear: When Braxton Miller is involved, it's going to be exciting.