Urban Meyer is without a doubt one of the top coaches in college football. His two BCS National Championships by age 46 and his career .835 winning percentage bear witness to that fact.
In his first season at Ohio State Meyer led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season, but was unable to win the Big Ten conference or coach in a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions. The fact that Ohio State will not be under NCAA sanctions in 2013 is reason for excitement for Buckeyes fans.
Add to that, the return of a Heisman candidate at QB Braxton Miller, who returns along with most of the Big Ten's highest-scoring offense. Throw in a group of young and talented defenders led by Ryan Shazier, and the Buckeyes could be primed to take the crystal ball away from the state of Alabama and the SEC altogether.
Coach Meyer's track record in his second season at a school has proven to be his best.
Year Two Successes
Meyer's improvement between year one and year two isn't that remarkable, mainly because he's 39-8 (.829) as a first-year coach.
However, there is a jump to 34-4 (.895) in his second seasons—three of those four loses were at Bowling Green. Meaning in his second seasons at Utah and Florida, Meyer's teams were a combined 25-1.
At Bowling Green Meyer won one more game in his second season than in his first, at Utah he had a two-game boost and at Florida the Gators won four more games in year two.
Urban Meyer and his QBs
Urban Meyer has been blessed with the chance to coach special QBs at every one of his stops as a head coach. In his second season at Bowling Green Meyer's offense featured Josh Harris, who compiled over 3,000 yards and 40 TDs.
Unfortunately for Bowling Green fans, Meyer only had Harris as his starter for one season.
When Meyer's teams feature his returning starter at QB his teams are a combined 51-3.
Meyer's first experience with a returning starter at QB came in 2004 with Alex Smith. Together Smith and Meyer took the Utes to the Fiesta Bowl and became the first non-automatic qualifier to win a BCS Bowl game.
Chris Leak was a returning starter when Meyer took over at Florida in 2005, much like Braxton Miller was for Ohio State in 2012. But it took Leak and Meyer one year together to fully figure out what the offense needed to look like. When they did the result was a BCS National Championship.
However, Meyer's most famous multi-year starter was Tim Tebow.
Although Tebow won his Heisman Trophy in his first season as the Gators starting QB, the team celebrated more success in Tebow's second and third seasons at the helm of Meyer's offense.The Gators went 13-1 in both 2008 and 2009, capturing Meyer's second national title in 2008.
So, here's a quick review. When Meyer has returned his starting QB, he is 51-3, 4-0 in BCS Bowls, 2-0 in BCS National Championships and won three conference titles.
Buckeye Titles in 2013
With all the previously mentioned talent returning around Meyer and his QB it would come as no surprise if Ohio State wins the Big Ten in 2013.
What titles will the Buckeyes win in 2013?
Also, with the Buckeye's schedule it wouldn't be a shock if the Buckeyes were able to go 13-0, win the Big Ten and punch their ticket to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game in the Rose Bowl.
Judging by Meyer's track record, it would be an upset if that doesn't happen.
But don't stop there, even if the Buckeyes meet Alabama in Pasadena, because Meyer knows a little something about knocking off favorites in title games.
A fact Buckeye fans know all too well.