Despite being the preseason favorites to win the Big Ten Championship, a destructive offseason may keep the Ohio State Buckeyes from realizing their immense potential this season.
On Monday, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune reported that head coach Urban Meyer had suspended starting running back Carlos Hyde after he received news that Hyde was involved in the assault of woman at a Columbus, Ohio bar.
Hyde's suspension wasn't even the worst news for the Buckeyes, as All-American cornerback Bradley Roby also ran into trouble with the law and was arrested at a bar in Bloomington, Indiana.
Lesser known freshman recruits Marcus Baugh and Tim Gardner were also disciplined by Meyer on Monday, in what was a day filled with bad news for the coach.
While there is still much investigating to be done with regard to the troubles of Hyde and Roby, it would hardly be a surprise if the two players were suspended for at least the beginning of the season.
While some offseason distractions can be fought through, suspensions to two of a team’s best players could be catastrophic.
The Buckeyes should have no trouble beating Buffalo and San Diego State at home to start the season, even without their two star players, but a road game at Cal will be that much tougher if Hyde and Roby receive lengthy suspensions.
The Buckeyes’ second leading running back Jordan Hall ran for just 218 yards last season, and would be a big step down from Hyde if Meyer doesn’t reinstate him.
Roby was an All-American last year in his sophomore season and would be nearly impossible to replace.
A recent poll by cleveland.com showed that 25 of 26 writers sampled believe that Ohio State will win the Big Ten Championship.
This poll was conducted before the recent arrests of Hyde and Roby, however.
Time will tell us more about the fates of Robey and Hyde, but there is no doubt that their offseason actions will have an adverse affect on the Ohio State football team this season.