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Ohio State Buckeyes: 2013-14 Outlook

Last season, the Ohio State Buckeyes finished with a perfect 12-0 record. However, none of it counted because of academic sanctions against the school. However, their results will count this year, and head coach Urban Meyer, one of the best in college football, is a big reason why the Ohio State Buckeyes are the clear favorites to win the Big Ten this season – and possibly a whole lot more. In fact, according to VegasInsider.com, they’re the second-most likely team to win the title this year besides Alabama. Here are the complete title odds:

  • ALABAMA           5/2
  • OHIO STATE        6/1
  • OREGON              7/1
  • GEORGIA             10/1
  • TEXAS A&M        12/1
  • LSU        15/1
  • SOUTH CAROLINA           15/1
  • FLORIDA              15/1
  • STANFORD          18/1
  • CLEMSON            25/1
  • TEXAS   30/1
  • MICHIGAN          30/1
  • OKLAHOMA STATE          30/1
  • LOUISVILLE         30/1
  • UCLA     40/1
  • NEBRASKA          40/1
  • NOTRE DAME    50/1
  • OKLAHOMA       50/1
  • USC        60/1
  • OREGON STATE                100/1
  • ARIZONA STATE                100/1
  • BOISE STATE       100/1
  • MICHIGAN STATE            100/1
  • TCU        100/1
  • NORTH CAROLINA           100/1
  • WISCONSIN        100/1
  • NORTHWESTERN              100/1
  • WASHINGTON  100/1
  • BYU        200/1
  • CINCINNATI       200/1
  • BAYLOR                300/1
  • ARKANSAS          300/1
  • FRESNO STATE  300/1
  • TENNESSEE         300/1
  • KANSAS ST          300/1
  • TEXAS TECH        500/1
  • ARIZONA             500/1
  • UTAH    500/1
  • VANDERBILT      500/1
  • MISSOURI           500/1
  • OLE MISS             500/1
  • GEORGIA TECH 500/1
  • AUBURN              1000/1
  • NORTH CAROLINA STATE              1000/1
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE          1000/1
  • IOWA    1000/1
  • WEST VIRGINIA                1000/1
  • FIELD (Any other school not listed above)             30/1

A big part of Ohio State’s success stems Meyer, whose grueling conditioning drills set the tone for his teams. That, and his total emphasis on winning.

“Once you start winning, and winning the way we were winning, there’s a tremendous amount of confidence that comes with doing that,” said Morgan Scalley, a former player under Meyer at Utah. “You just had a collective group of players who believed in what we were doing, and the results were really confirming it. We knew what we had coming back, a good, solid group. Then there was a huge amount of leadership coming back that Urban gave a lot of responsibility to and let us kind of run with the team, take ownership in it. It just went from there.”

“When Urban Meyer starts his program, there’s a little bit of a shock and awe to the whole approach of the way we’re going to do business,” said Stan Drayton, a coach under Meyer at Florida. “It is vastly different than what these kids had been accustomed to in these programs.  But, you know, the beauty of it is that you can’t time it up. Sometimes it’s a season, sometimes it’s an event, sometimes it’s an experience. But there is something that sparks and turns it on. When that happens, if it happens, there’s no crystal ball — including the national championship crystal ball — that can give you the answers to it.”

The Ohio State Buckeyes are certainly in the discussion for best college football teams in the country when the season kicks off this fall. Their defense still needs some shoring up (they ranked 31st in the country in points allowed last year), but their offense is truly dynamic. Built around the running game, the Buckeyes racked up 242.3 yards per game on the ground last year, the tenth-best yardage in college football. In a grind-it-out Big Ten, that’s an ideal recipe for success.

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