When Ohio State hired Urban Meyer to be the head football coach following the 2011 season, a big part of it had to be due to his success not only in the SEC but also his ability to recruit in that area of the country.
The major criticism levied at the Buckeyes program over the last five years is the way it has performed in big-game situations, particularly against those SEC teams.
Dating back to the 2007 BCS Championship Game, when Meyer was coaching at Florida against Ohio State, the Buckeyes have gone 1-2 against SEC teams in the BCS.
The lone win came in 2011 against Arkansas, in the controversial game where the Ohio State players who were suspended five games for receiving improper benefits, but the punishment didn't start until next regular season.
In the two games the Buckeyes lost—to Florida in 2007 and LSU in 2008—they were blown out of the water. They were outscored 79-38 in those two games, although given the talent on the field, those games weren't even that close.
Now, Meyer has had one year to build an identity with this Ohio State team and use it to lure recruits to Columbus for 2013.
So far, things are working out well. Meyer led Ohio State to an undefeated regular season, but because of NCAA sanctions, the team wasn't eligible for postseason play.
Which team is the early favorite to win the Big Ten in 2013?
Recruiting continues to be a spot where Meyer excels. According to 247Sports.com, Ohio State boasts the No. 2 recruiting class for the 2013 season. The only team the Buckeyes trail are the two-time defending champions in Alabama.
It is not just that Ohio State is getting high-profile recruits—everyone expected that—but it is the kinds of players that Meyer is bringing in that will make all the difference for this program in 2013.
Commits like cornerbacks Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows give the Buckeyes a dynamic, shutdown tandem that can keep up with bigger, faster, physical receivers they would potentially play in the SEC.
A player like defensive end Joey Bosa, who is already 270 pounds with room to fill out, can be a dominant pass-rusher with the proper development.
Jalin Marshall is one of the best pure athletes in this year's class, and he will likely end up at receiver in college. He needs to work on playing more physical, but he has spectacular top speed and reaches it in no time. He can be a great big-play threat on the outside.
You put a weapon like Marshall on the outside with quarterback Braxton Miller, who made great strides forward in 2012 but still needs to develop as a pocket passer, and you could have one of the best offenses in all of college football.
Ohio State is not going to have the kind of athletes that Alabama does, because no one in the country has the kind of athletes Alabama does. But as long as Meyer and his staff can recruit on a level similar to what LSU and Georgia do, which they appear to be doing right now, this program has big things coming.
Full list of Ohio State recruits can be found at 247Sports.com.