Ohio State Football: 5 Reasons 2013 Will Be Beginning of a Buckeye Dynasty
Now that the Ohio State Buckeyes are no longer under a postseason ban, they can get back to being a national championship contender for the first time in three years and try to launch a dynasty of their own.
Following Notre Dame's loss to Alabama, OSU was the only undefeated team in college football in 2012, yet could not qualify for any postseason play.
The Buckeyes are only going to get better starting in 2013, and that's bad news for not just the Big Ten, but the rest of college football.
Alabama may be the "it" team in college football right now, but OSU has a chance to knock the Crimson Tide off its perch beginning next season.
Here are five reasons why.
The sophomore quarterback enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, setting the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback and could break his own record at least once before his career ends.
He does still need to work on his passing mechanics, but the leaps and bounds by which he grew from his freshman season to this year were remarkable.
He's only going to get better once he gets more offensive talent around him, and that alone should scare teams throughout the Big Ten.
Lack of Conference Challengers
It's been a common school of thought in college football that the Big Ten is a very weak conference. And after going just 2-5 in the bowl season, that trend has continued.
For the short-term future, OSU has a chance to benefit from this, especially this year where its second-toughest road game is at Northwestern. The Buckeyes do have a tough road test at Michigan as always, but Northwestern won't be a cakewalk by any stretch.
The rest of the schedule is not very difficult, as the Buckeyes host Wisconsin and Penn State and won't have to see Nebraska or Michigan State until the Big Ten Championship Game should they get there.
The Perfect Season
Ohio State went 12-0 this past season, yet had its fair share of unimpressive moments, including looking flat against UAB and needing to come from behind to beat Purdue in overtime.
The scariest thing about the perfect season OSU had was that 2012 may be Meyer's least-talented team for a long time.
When he gets a few classes of his recruits into Columbus—especially when the scholarship reductions are eliminated for the recruiting class of 2015—the talent is only going to get better.
The Big Ten may get better as time goes on, but those teams may not improve at the rate the Buckeyes will improve in the next few years.
New, Hungrier Blood on Defense
Meyer kept Luke Fickell as defensive coordinator when he came to Ohio State, and the Silver Bullets still have work to do to return to where they have been in recent years.
2013 could be a major construction project because just one starter from the front seven is coming back—junior LB Ryan Shazier. The defense returns starting cornerback Bradley Roby and two seniors at safety to bring some stability to the secondary.
This year will be when Meyer's first recruiting class has to start living up to expectations because several of those players, namely Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington, will have a year in the system and be expected to take on starting roles.
Incoming freshmen Mike Mitchell, Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows all bring tremendous potential and will help make the Silver Bullets a feared defense once again.
It may not happen right away, but this group is only going to get better.
Meyer's charisma and football knowledge have already had a huge impact, as he used quite a bit of that savvy to guide the Buckeyes to their 12-0 record.
He has already brought in one highly-touted class and another great one is on the way. Now he will have to prove that he can coach a non-SEC team to a national championship and end a streak that, ironically enough, he started in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against the Buckeyes.
Time will tell how he does on the big stage with Ohio State, but if any coach can start a new dynasty, Urban Meyer will be the one to do it.
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