Ohio State Football: 5 Reasons Meyer Will Have More Success at OSU Than Florida
Urban Meyer came to Ohio State after a year away from the game and picked up right where he left off at Florida as he led the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record in 2012.
Bowl sanctions prohibited the Buckeyes from winning the Big Ten last year, and officially, they have not won a conference title since 2009.
OSU and Meyer hope to end that this season and start a run similar to the one he had at Florida, which included two national championships in three years.
But with where Meyer is, he has a chance to do even better at Ohio State than he did at Florida.
Here are five reasons why.
Few Conference Challenges
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The past few years in college football have taught us several things, including the fact that the Big Ten is just not as good as it used to be.
The addition of Nebraska gave the conference another good team, but the probation of both Ohio State and Penn State—two of the conference's top-finishing teams—along with Michigan trying to work its way back into elite status have made the Big Ten look weak.
OSU feasted upon that for years, winning at least a share of the conference title from 2005-2010, until OSU's sanctions took away the 2009 and 2010 titles.
The Buckeyes will be heavily favored to win the conference again this year, and if things go as well as they possibly can, they may launch another dynasty.
Nearly Limitless Recruiting Range
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Florida is without a doubt one of the top programs in the country. But Ohio State is another program that has national appeal, and it shows in recruiting.
While Meyer had to compete with Florida State, Miami and the rest of the SEC for top in-state talent, he can have his pick of the top Ohio prospects. Ohio may not produce as many top-flight prospects as Florida, but it still beckons the attention of SEC schools, including Alabama, who has extended offers to several of Ohio's top 2014 prospects, including Glenville WR Marshon Lattimore.
Combine Meyer's national reach with the lack of in-state competition for prospects and it's a recipe for outstanding recruiting results, as the 2012 and 2013 classes show.
Strong Coaching Staff
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When Urban Meyer came to Ohio State, he said he wanted to bring together one of the best coaching staffs in the country. By retaining defensive coaches Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel and adding offensive coordinator Tom Herman among others, he's got a staff worthy of his expectations—at least so far.
Herman, who is one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game, is one of the Buckeyes' top recruiters and helped engineer an offense that finished No. 10 in the country in rushing yards per game in 2012.
Adding Everett Withers and Kerry Coombs on the defensive side was a solid move as well in recruiting, where Meyer wants his staff to excel.
So far, so good.
2012's Improbable Run to Perfection
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Ohio State was a 6-7 football team the year before Urban Meyer came to Columbus. He took that team, which was largely unchanged, and made the Buckeyes an undefeated team.
Granted, it was a flawed football team and it may have been one of the least talented unbeaten teams on paper, but the fact remains they were unbeaten.
The scariest part of this is that with the way Meyer can recruit, this might have been the worst team he will have in Columbus.
A lot of the success of this and possibly next season depends on the health of Braxton Miller. If he's healthy, the Buckeyes are good contenders for a national title.
Saban Has Done It Already
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Odds are to be able to win a national championship, Urban Meyer is going to have to beat Nick Saban, who seems to have the game figured out and is making it look easy at Alabama.
Like Meyer, Saban left the college game and returned quickly, although the latter spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins before going to Alabama. Three national titles later, he's cemented his place as the best coach in the game.
The precedent is there without question. It would almost seem fitting for Meyer, who was responsible for the SEC's stranglehold over the national championship after winning his first with the Gators in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, to end it as soon as next January in Pasadena.
To do that, he has to follow in the footsteps of the only coach to win BCS titles at multiple schools.
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