Ohio State Football: 10 New Year's Resolutions for the Buckeyes
After a long week of last-second shopping and stuffing your face at your aunt's Christmas party (who you probably haven't seen since last year) while pretending to act like you remember everyone's name, you can finally take a big sigh of relief.
However, we are just days away from 2012, which means everyone has to start thinking of a new year's resolution.
A resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to one or more lasting personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. Or in other words, if you achieve a goal that you made for yourself, you have kept a resolution.
For example, a common new year's resolution is to quit smoking cigarettes. Another is to lose a little weight (or a lot, depending how much you ate at those Christmas parties).
Some people come up with one resolution to focus on, and others set out with a few.
The Ohio State Buckeyes football team has 10 for 2012. Click the slideshow button to check out their list.
Follow NCAA Rules
It's been a year since it was announced that star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, All-American offensive tackle Mike Adams, running back Daniel “Boom” Herron, receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas were to be suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling awards, gifts and apparel and receiving improper benefits.
Former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel decided it was in his best interest to resign when investigations exposed his lies to the NCAA at an attempt to cover up his players' wrongdoings.
Ohio State would end up vacating its 12 wins from 2010, including a victory over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
And if that wasn't enough, just days before the season opener against Akron, Ohio State announced that it would self-report violations to the NCAA involving three football players—Jordan Hall, (DB) Corey Brown and Travis Howard—for receiving impermissible benefits of $300 or less each in total at a charity event they attended.
Later on, Herron and Posey were later hit with an extended suspension by the NCAA for taking more money than necessary for a summer job they didn't do. Herron was only given one more game, while Posey missed an extra five.
The rebuilding process starts here. If the Buckeyes want to clean their reputation, reel in recruits and ultimately improve their overall record, they'll have to abide by the NCAA's rules.
I don't think Urban Meyer will find that difficult.
Forget About the Postseason Ban
The NCAA hit Ohio State with a one-year bowl ban and additional penalties Tuesday for the same violations that led to the suspensions of five players and departures of Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor.
Some might say that the Buckeyes will have nothing to play for in 2012, with the Big Ten title game and postseason unavailable.
However, OSU needs not worry about the penalty and focus on being the best it can be. It can still salvage a great season and give its fans something to cheer about, increasing expectations for a National Championship in 2013-14 and beyond.
In eight of 12 games this season, Ohio State found itself down early after the first quarter. The Buckeyes were forced to play catch-up numerous times and allowed opponents to carry momentum.
OSU was outscored 92-51 in the first quarter this year, including a three-game stretch of being down 10-0 after the first 15 minutes to teams that include Indiana, Purdue and Penn State.
Urban Meyer will bring a consistent game plan that will prevent situations such as this from happening anymore. Instead, he'll be working on being on the other end of that statistic.
Allow Less Than 9 Sacks Against Michigan State in 2012
True freshman Braxton Miller was brought down nine times when Michigan State visited Columbus in Week 5.
Many could make the case that he had happy feet syndrome and left the pocket way too early, but it was quite apparent that members of the OSU offensive line couldn't block anything to save their lives.
Ohio State lost 10-7 and was held to 178 yards of total offense, including just 35 yards on the ground off 39 carries. Much of that was because of the nine sacks, as Miller found himself in the negatives with minus-27 yards rushing.
This is an embarrassing statistic, and the Buckeyes need to do everything they can to never let this happen again.
Mix Up the Playbook
Run, run, pass, punt. Run, run, run, punt.
This was the everlasting source of frustration for Buckeyes fans in 2011, as Ohio State struggled to come up with any creativity with the offense.
Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman—long time OC under Tressel—has been scrutinized for his conservative play calling since 2001. His tenure will end after the Gator Bowl on Jan. 3.
Bollman's replacement is former Rice and Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman.
Meyer was impressed with the way Herman ran the spread with the Owls and Cyclones and is excited to teach him the offense he used with Florida.
Play With a Vengeance
Vengeance: with great violence or force; revenge.
I know that this could tie in with getting off to a faster start and mixing up the playbook, but too many times did I see Ohio State play a lackadaisical football game in 2011.
We're used to seeing tough, physical performances from the defense and an offense that gets the job done with both the pass and run.
I'd like to see the Meyer-led Buckeyes play like it's them against the world next year and finish off the season leaving everything on the field with no regrets.
Eliminate Comparisons to Navy When It Comes to Passing Stats
Ohio State averaged just 124.1 passing yards per game this year (117th), and true freshman Braxton Miller threw for more than 100 yards in only two of nine starts.
The Navy Midshipmen, who are widely known around the college world for their prolific triple option offense—which is in the top-five best rushing offenses—finished just two spots behind the Buckeyes in the rankings (119th) at 85.8 yards per game.
This pitiful statistic is the result of combining a young, inexperienced receiver corps, a first-year quarterback, a subpar offensive line and a ludicrously conservative offensive coordinator.
The Buckeyes return an extremely talented group of young wide receivers with Devin Smith, Corey (Philly) Brown, Verlon Reed, Chris Fields and Evan Spencer, along with a solid pack of tight ends and a new group of offensive linemen.
Not to mention Miller, who accounted for 50 percent of all touchdowns in just nine starts.
Urban Meyer has a tendency to favor dual-threat, athletic quarterbacks and has turned them into All-Stars.
Just look at Tim Tebow.
Go Undefeated in the 'Shoe
In 2011, Ohio State finished with five wins at home this season, including victories over Akron, Toledo, Colorado and Indiana.
All combined for a 13-36 record.
The Buckeyes' two losses were to Michigan State and Penn State, both by three and six, respectively.
Ohio State is scheduled to play eight home games next year. With no postseason to look forward to, focus will be on the sentimental aspects.
Protecting the Horse Shoe will be one of them.
Be the Best Team in Ohio
An argument can be made that the Buckeyes were still the best team in Ohio this season, but their record wasn't.
The Cincinnati Bearcats finished the year 9-3 (5-2 Big East) and have earned a trip to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl versus SEC opponent Vanderbilt.
Ohio University recently secured its first-ever bowl victory after defeating Utah State 23-20 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Bobcats ended a great season with a 10-4 (6-2 MAC) record.
After starting the season 1-3, Toledo won seven of its final eight games and will make an appearance in the Military Bowl to take on Air Force.
Arch rival Michigan beat Ohio State in Ann Arbor 40-34 a few weeks ago for its first win over the Buckeyes since 2003.
Wolverines fans rejoiced as Denard Robinson and company broke the streak and head to the Sugar Bowl to face Frank Beamer's Virginia Tech Hokies.
However, they may not be able to celebrate for very long.
With Urban Meyer leading the helm, already reeling in multiple top recruits and putting together what looks like an outstanding coaching staff, Ohio State may be starting another streak over "that team up north" starting in 2012.
This is also where the bowl ban will actually favor the Buckeyes. Instead of looking forward to another game during the postseason, their last regular season game versus Michigan will be their Super Bowl.
And it'll take place in Columbus.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!