With the 2013 football season slowly approaching, still the Big Ten seems to be looked down upon by the college football world.
Heck, it seems like you’re not in the SEC, you shouldn’t be allowed in the best of the best conversation. Sure, the SEC has won seven national championships in a row, but the Ohio State Buckeyes have a full head of steam coming this fall.
Already with an undefeated season in 2012, the Buckeyes could be in for another huge year with the right amount of talent at certain positions and a schedule that isn’t too daunting. The question is, though, with the schedule Ohio State has in 2013, would a one-loss team, or even another undefeated team pass up a Buckeye team riding a 25 game win streak? My answer: No.
First off, love ‘em or hate ‘em, we can all agree that Ohio State is one of the most prestigious programs in college football. The schedule sets up perfectly for an undefeated run. There’s no doubt that we, as the media, are looking ahead, but how can’t you when the toughest non-conference opponent could be a home game against San Diego State? That’s not a shot at the program, just reality.
This will be the biggest factor in the BCS rankings all year for Ohio State. The Buckeyes need to hope the rest of the Big Ten ups their game and climbs up in the rankings so it can ultimately boost OSU’s overall strength of schedule. Looking farther on, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Michigan should all be ranked fairly decent, but that only gives Ohio State three ranked games all season.
A home game against FCS opponent Florida A&M doesn’t help, either. Can that possibly be the downfall of Ohio State in the fall, the schedule? I sure hope not. If that’s the case, Alabama needs to be help accountable too as the Crimson Tide have an FCS opponent as well, two even.
Moving on, it feels as if there’s a bias against Ohio State that sparks from the media. The last two BCS National Championship games haven’t gone as planned for the Buckeyes, but that shouldn’t have any effect on the 2013 team.
The general consensus in sports media is that the Big Ten, Ohio State, isn’t fast enough to compete with the other conferences. That’s all a frame of mind, really. Kids in the south or out west aren’t born faster, quicker and stronger than their counterparts. Coaching, however, plays a huge role in that. Ohio State, with Urban Meyer, is becoming one of the most athletic teams in the country as each recruiting class comes in. This coming season, the Buckeyes will be in a position to match up physically with any team in the country. There’s no way that a bias point of view about speed should determine if a team is able to compete for a national championship or not.
Though I hate this phrase, but “style points” may need to be taken advantage of early in the year for Ohio State. The first polls haven’t came out yet so there’s no definite position that we can say Ohio State will start at. We can guess that a Top Five start is pretty much a given, though. Ideally, the Buckeyes would start at No. 2, win every single game, and then have a shot at the title.
The problem is that there’s always more to it then that.
We can assume Alabama will start at No. 1, and rightfully so, but Oregon, Stanford, Georgia, and other will be vying for the second position right out of the gate. Big, impressive wins by the Buckeyes will be a must early in the season to catch the eye of the voters and the media. Man, would I hate to play a September game against the Bucks this season.
I know, Ohio State needs to take every game one at a time. It’s a good thing we aren’t on the team and can have fun thinking of these kind of scenarios. Think about the history that surrounds Urban Meyer and his second season’s at the schools he has been to.
His second season at Utah was an undefeated, Fiesta Bowl win while his second year at Florida he brought a national championship.
There’s a long way to go before then and now, but the excitement that surrounds Ohio State football is of the charts heading into 2013. The BCS is unpredictable. With that said, the thing the Buckeyes can control is winning every single game. If Ohio State did in fact string along 25 wins, dating back to the 2012 season, there’s no way you could keep them out of the BCS National Championship. It’s safe to say “The Chase” has started for the Buckeyes.