This sentence, spoken by Urban Meyer at Big Ten media days, says all you need to know why big things are expected from Ohio State this season.
“Last year we were the youngest team in college football,” Meyer said. “And this year we’re not.”
It’s almost enough to wipe the ugly off last year’s 31-0 playoff loss to Clemson.
Don’t forget, though, that before that game Ohio State’s only defeat was a three-pointer at Penn State.
The thought of Ohio State getting older, and better, is frightening.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
We swear quarterback J.T. Barrett graduated six years ago, but it’s not true. He’s one of five, elite, fifth-year seniors returning with vengeance after a shutout humiliation in the Fiesta Bowl.
“You can’t put a price tag on that,” Meyer said of the experience factor.
The Buckeyes are so talented and deep they’ve named NINE captains for this year’s campaign.
Meyer is 61-6 in five years on campus, yet always looking to get better.
When the AP poll came out on Aug. 21, listing the Buckeyes at No. 2 behind Alabama, Meyer barely raised an eybrow.
“I don’t care,” he said. “We got a kicking meeting here in an hour.”
In other words: get ready for Ohio State to kick some butt.
Meyer already had an NFL-pedigree defensive coordinator in Greg Schiano, who led the division that allowed only 15.5 points per game last year (third best in FCS).
Schiano’s entire defensive line is already being mentally timed and measured by NFL scouts. They’re calling this side of the ball the “Silver Bullets.”
To give the defense more points to protect, Meyer has added offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, the former Indiana coach and the most experienced play caller Meyer has employed since…himself.
Wilson and Barrett should form quite the one-two punch.
Thousand-yard rusher Mike Weber back this year?
Right and left tackles?
From the outside, Ohio State looks like a football tsunami about to hit land-locked Indiana this weekend.
After Indiana comes the home opener against Oklahoma, part of the epic Sept. 9 gala weekend. Of course, last year, in Norman, with the youngest team in college football, Ohio State won by three touchdowns.
The only problem for Ohio State is that it plays in, arguably, the toughest division in football—The Big Ten East.
“I’ve coached in the SEC East when that was one of the strongest in the country,” Meyer said. “And I think the Big Ten East right now is every bit as strong as I can remember SEC East.”
Ohio State lost the Big Ten title last year at Penn State, which means this year’s game is in Columbus.
This was the deciding factor in picking Ohio State over the Nits for the league title.
Then, of course, there’s the annual game against “That team up North.”
Ohio State, frankly, was lucky to win last year’s game against Michigan, the difference being a favorable spot by the referee.
This year, though, it’s Jim Harbaugh who is breaking in a boat load of new players.
If Ohio State isn’t in the Rose Bowl this year, playing in the national semifinals again, dial football 9-1-1. Because it’ll mean something has gone wrong. [/membership]