Projected 2013 Preseason AP Ranking: 6
Final 2012 AP Ranking: 3
Final 2012 B/R Ranking: 2
When the final gun of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game sounded, there was just one undefeated team in the nation left standing. Oddly, it was neither team playing in that game, or even a team playing in any bowl game.
The 12-0 Ohio State Buckeyes were sitting at home thanks to Jim Tressel and his cover-up of the comparatively minor “tattoogate” scandal, proving the old adage “it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.”
But Ohio State now has the pesky postseason ban in the rear-view mirror, and it's full-speed ahead in 2013 with Urban Meyer at the helm.
While the Buckeyes finished 2012 in the No. 3 spot in the AP Poll and the No. 2 spot in the Bleacher Report Poll, we're projecting them at just ninth to start 2013. As good as Ohio State was in 2012, the Buckeyes were pretty one-dimensional. There's no real passing game to speak of, and the success or failure rests solely on the ball-carrying abilities of Braxton Miller.
What happens if he has a bad game? Or worse, what happens to Ohio State if he gets hurt? The Buckeyes needed every single play to get past teams like Michigan State and Purdue last season. As the rest of the conference tries to take a step up, the Buckeyes could get left behind if the passing game doesn't improve dramatically. And soon.
Still, the hype surrounding a team coming off an undefeated season led by Urban Meyer followed up with one of the top recruiting classes in the nation should be enough to earn a top six spot for the Buckeyes.