Can the Buckeyes go undefeated and play for the National Title?
The Ohio State Buckeyes were perfect during Urban Meyer’s first year as head coach.
However, because of NCAA sanctions they did not get a chance to compete for the national championship.
Nevertheless, the Buckeyes could have a season this year that is even more impressive than what they did a year ago.
Regardless of the way the team’s season played out last year, the expectations were going to be extremely high this fall since the roster is loaded with talent on offense and the school has a very favorable schedule.
Another perfect schedule might be in the making for Meyer for a second straight season, but this one might end with a national championship.
The Buckeyes are amongst the favorites to play in the national title game. The Big Ten has been very weak of late and outside of matchups with two or three conference teams such as the Michigan Wolverines or the Wisconsin Badgers, the thought is the weakness of schedule could hurt the Buckeyes in playing in the BCS title game.
Having said that, it would be difficult, if OSU goes 13-0 during the season to keep them from playing for the national title especially if they are the only team undefeated in the nation.
Last season, OSU was not ranked as high as many felt they should have been. No one is sure and no one will ever know if that was due to a weak schedule or NCAA sanctions. Regardless, this season the schedule could affect the Buckeyes in their quest for a national title.
Nevertheless, if Ohio State can start the season ranked high in the national polls and keeps winning all season, they should conceivably reach the title game anyway regardless of how other teams finish or their weaker schedule.
However, a loss and especially one late in the season could be devastating for their title hopes. At that time, the weakness of the Big Ten could come into play if they are battling against a team from the powerful SEC for a spot in the title game.
One the field, only the defense could keep the Buckeyes from being undefeated in 2013-2014.
With 13 starters returning from last season and the longest active winning streak in the nation the Buckeyes’ chances of playing for a national title are big.
Add to that quarterback Braxton Miller, a top contender for the Heisman Trophy and Meyer’s chances look good to repeat his undefeated season of a year ago.
However, their defense was spread out by opponents last season that had a great deal of success against them.
In 6 of the first 7 games of the season last year, OSU opponents ran a form of the spread offense against the Buckeyes. During those games, the OSU defense allowed over 400 yards per game.
Indiana scored 49 against the OSU defense, while Nebraska had 38, and Cal winners of only three games all season managed 28.
How this plays out with the defense this season will be the key to whether OSU will be there when the BCS title game rolls around in January or sitting at home watching.