An Interactive Sports Experience

Can Ohio State Buckeyes Match Early Bird Expectations In 2013?

Can Ohio State Buckeyes Match Early Bird Expectations In 2013?

May 21, 2013

The early bird spring predictions are already starting to come through in the college football blogging and media world. One of the biggest stories early on is the expectation that Urban Meyer and the Big Ten’s Ohio State Buckeyes can dethrone the Alabama Crimson Tide and the SEC to take the 2014 National Championship.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach added fuel to the fire last week when he ranked the Buckeyes #1 on his ‘Too Early Bird Top 25’. A lot can change between now and the preseason AP and USA Today polls are released. Even more will change before the final BCS rankings are released in December. However, there’s definitely reason to speculate about the effect of this ranking and the possibility of Ohio State returning to college football prominence after a postseason ban kept them out of the limelight in 2012.

The problem is that the optimism surrounding this football program is as much predicated upon what happened in 2012 as much as what is likely to happen in 2013.

The Buckeyes were buoyed by Meyer and his tremendous coaching ability. They ran through the Big Ten and a fairly weak non-conference schedule posting a 12-0 record. They would have been in the National Title game had they not been serving a one year postseason ban. They also return one of the early Heisman Trophy favorites at quarterback in dual threat Braxton Miller.

The non-conference schedule isn’t much better in 2013. San Diego State and the California Bears are not likely to pose too many problems, while Buffalo is nothing more than a warm up game. They also get to play potential tricky conference opponents Penn State and Wisconsin at home. That really leaves their main schedule challenge as the final game of the season at Ann Arbour against Michigan.

So schedule wise, Ohio State have a decent chance. They will also have to play a tough Big Ten championship game presumably. However, making it into the national championship game will require an unbeaten season and there is the potential that that wouldn’t be enough.

Miller returns to the offense along with nine other starters. Favorite receiver Corey Brown will be back, but the ground offense is a place where there are some holes for this team right now. Meanwhile, Meyer has to reconstruct his entire defensive front and has just four returning starters on defense.

The talent is definitely there for Ohio State. They will almost certainly enjoy a pretty good season and deserve to be the favorites as representatives of the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl game. However, achieving the perfection that will be needed for success under the conditions of the 2013 season won’t be easy with this defense.

Upset happen in college football, that’s just a fact. The chances of upsets happening are significantly increased when the defense is potentially a little fragile and inexperienced.

The hype is very heavy early for the Buckeyes. Only time will tell whether they are able to meet those hefty expectations because it won’t be at all easy.


468 ad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *