A bowl ban kept undefeated Ohio State on the sidelines this past season, but mark my words. In their second season under Urban Meyer in 2013, the Buckeyes will return to championship glory.
It certainly helps that the Buckeyes have a fairly easy schedule for next season. Save for games against Penn State, Michigan and Northwestern, two of which they defeated this season, Ohio State's schedule is fairly easy.
It also helps that a number of key offensive players are returning. Quarterback Braxton Miller will provide a reliable passing game while also doing excellent work with his legs, and running back Carlos Hyde should provide quite the explosive presence out of the backfield. The return of Philly Brown will also be a great help toward Ohio State getting back on top.
On the defensive side, the return of linebacker Ryan Shazier will give the fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic. The soon-to-be junior had 116 tackles last season, plus five sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown, and his continuing development on defense will definitely help the Buckeyes maintain the top form they were in for the 2012 season.
Most important in the Buckeyes' return to glory in 2013, however, will be Meyer. Here is a man who essentially replaced a Columbus icon in Jim Tressel, who went 94-22 in 10 years with the Buckeyes and went to three national championship games, one of which he won, and Meyer is already en route to establishing his own legacy.
Keep in mind that Meyer is probably the best offensive coach in college football right now and has gone 116-23 in a head coaching career that began at Bowling Green in 2001. At Florida, Meyer won two national championships, including one against Ohio State in 2007.
That all being said, what better way to lead the Buckeyes back to championship glory than by hiring the very man that beat them some years ago?
Meyer is a man that knows how to reach his players, and it's clear that the team responded well to him last year. So well to the point that key players from last year are returning and thus putting Ohio State in a position to contend in 2013.
Assuming everyone stays healthy and no freak occurrences take place, fans should expect nothing less than a championship-caliber season from Ohio State next season.