Ohio State Football: Is Hype-Less Offseason Good or Bad for the Buckeyes?

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Ohio State Football: Is Hype-Less Offseason Good or Bad for the Buckeyes?
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

This offseason in Columbus, Ohio has been missing something that has been a major part of the Buckeyes' experience since 2011.

For the past two years, Ohio State's offseasons have been filled with hype. And it started with a ton of press involving a scandal.

Between the end of the 2010 regular season and the Buckeyes' Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas, quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other players were suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season.

The suspensions were, in and of themselves, a big deal, leaving the Buckeyes without Pryor, leading rusher Dan Herron and wide receiver DeVier Posey for the first five games of the next season.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Terrelle Pryor basks in the glow of a second consecutive BCS game victory.

But it never got that far for Pryor, the elite high school recruit who played with a versatility and excitement that led the Buckeyes to 31-4 record over the course of his scandal shortened career.

In the spring of 2011, Pryor announced through his attorney that he would leave the program early rather than deal with the five game suspension. The dual threat quarterback and the other four Buckeyes had committed the crime selling football awards, parts of uniforms and even the infamous "gold pants" in exchange for tattoos.

These events, just one of the several scandals taking place in the college football universe at the time, dominated Twitter, sports television and the interwebs.

But it didn't end there.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It came to light soon after the end of the 2010 season that head coach Jim Tressel was aware of the "benefits" received by the suspended players, and was himself suspended by the university for five games.

He eventually resigned, leaving one of the elite college football programs with an interim head coach, and without its star quarterback.

The Buckeyes went from possible title contenders to instantly irrelevant for the 2011 season, and wound up having to serve a one-year suspension from postseason play, which just happened to be their 12-0 2012.

This story dominated college football from the end of the 2010 season all the way through the following offseason, when the Buckeyes hired Urban Meyer to be the next head coach.

Then that story dominated headlines.

Meyer, the guy who coached Florida to two national titles, then left to supposedly relieve himself of the stress of coaching, was going to take over at OSU.

The buzz was immense, and with good reason.

Meyer took over the Buckeyes and led them to a perfect 12-0 season in season one at the helm.

Fast forward to the present.

Other than Gordon Gee and his ridiculous bow-ties making complete fools out of themselves on a regular basis, thing are pretty quiet for the Buckeyes.

No scandals, no coaching changes and no drama of national note for the first time in three seasons.

Just focus on football.

This should scare the college football universe to death. The Buckeyes return loads of talent, including Meyer's first crop of excellent recruits and quarterback Braxton Miller, who will be in the running for a Heisman Trophy in 2013.

Meyer has already proven that the Buckeyes are the most talented team in the Big 10, now, with another year to incorporate his system they are only going to get better.

The fact that there is no scandal, no extra drama to drown out the focus on football only makes things seem that much more ominous for the rest of the Big Ten, and yes, even the rest of the country.

This Buckeye team is primed to do something special in 2013, something no Big Ten team has done since Ohio State in 2003, take a run at the national title.

The absence of "hype" surrounding the program will only make Urban Meyer's task in Columbus in 2013 that much easier.

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