Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, it has been no secret that the SEC has ruled the roost. They boast the most championships with 9 as well as the most wins with 17. It seems that, even to the casual fan, that conference stalwarts Alabama and Florida seem to be at least in the mix every single year. However, even with this dominance, the Ohio State University is tied for the most BCS wins and the most appearances. Somehow, despite playing in a weaker conference, they have kept pace with the big boys down south. And with the addition of coach Urban Meyer, look for the Bucks to keep this up.
Unfortunately for the scarlet and grey, the team was on probation last year for the lovingly named Tattoo Gate Scandal that forced Terrell Pryor out of school early and a sub par season out of interim head coach and Adam Sandler look alike Luke Fickell in 2011. The situation in Columbus was such that it coaxed former Florida Gators box out of the broadcast booth and onto the sidelines, despite having suffered from injuries related to coaching stress.
In Meyer’s first season, the Bucks went undefeated. They ran the table in Big Ten play, which is tough regardless of the competition. However, this is the year that will really test Meyer’s mettle in the Big Ten. Judging by his roster, his team is more than capable of a repeat of last year’s performance.
QB Braxton Miller led the team with 3,310 all-purpose yards last season and will be back to lead the Buckeyes in his third season with the squad. Carlos Hyde will join Miller in the backfield. Hyde enjoyed a breakout season with 970 yards in 2012 and will look to put up similar numbers this year. The receiving core keeps their anchor with another breakout star, Corey “Philly” Brown, who had 60 catches for 669 yards and 3 scores last year. Meyer has to be licking his chops with this arsenal of weapons that he can use in his spread, up-tempo style attack.
On the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes have two Lott IMPACT pre-season picks in CB Bradley Roby and OLB Ryan Shazier. Despite these two standouts, there are a lot of questions for the Buckeyes on defense. They only return one starter on the front seven and ranked 31st in scoring offense, which is very uncharacteristic for the Buckeyes. The true test of Meyer’s 2013 campaign will be how he will shape and mold his defense to dominate the way that Ohio State fans are used to seeing.
Meyer has inherited a great core of players that he can mold into being his guys, the same way he did with Tim Tebow at Florida. Now that the Bucks are off of probation, they are poised to add to their already impressive BCS record.
Mike O’Keefe is a writer and comedian that can be found at www.themikeokeefe.com and on twitter @themikeokeefe