Too Early 2013 Ohio State Football Season Preview

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All the talk around Ohio State football this summer has been about arrests, sanctions, player discipline, etc. Off-the-field issues pretty much. As well is should because 1.) we don’t have actual college football to speak of for a whole ‘nother month yet 2.) 25 players got arrested under Urban Meyer while he was leading the Gators. 8 already with Ohio State football.

In fact, before subbing Christian Bryant for Bradley Roby, 2/3 players selected to represent OSU at Big Ten media day had been arrested! That’s 67% if you’re scoring at home.

Urban Meyer received a grilling from the national media during the first day of Big Ten Media Days about all this (here are the highlights of that). Then the second day he was swarmed by his local lap-dog media who mostly lobbed softballs at him.

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With that out of the way, we can talk about Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby. We know Hyde is suspended for the first three. Those first three also just happen to be pillow top mattress soft. They would easily win those games with their fourth string running back. Hyde wouldn’t even play in the second half of those games.

As for Roby, we’re still waiting on that.

Ohio State football reasons to get EXCITED! ALL CAPS! They have Big Ten MVP award winner Braxton Miller coming back. He’s a true dual threat. That term “dual threat” gets thrown around way too loosely, but in his case it applies. The only major competition he has for the award this year’s Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez (read about him from Big Ten Media Day go here)

There are no major glaring weaknesses on this squad. Sure they have turnover and depth at some key positions; just like all college football teams do. However, Ohio State football has the recruiting classes and talent ready to step in and fill those holes. Of course, with that talent comes the inevitable thuggery that always occurs. So how do the authorities manage that?

Ohio State football reasons to be worried :(  Bo Pelini famously said at Big Ten Media Days: “The whole SEC isn’t Alabama. There are a lot of teams in the SEC that would like to be Nebraska.” This is the one time a year that Bo Pelini actually says something interesting and colorful. And he’s right, from a football stand point. A lot of teams would like to be NU, and the same thing applies to Ohio State.  However, he also needs to qualify with that statement. Non Alabama SEC teams like Auburn, Florida, LSU, Georgia and probably Tennessee have a history as rich as anyone. Same with Ohio State football. However, Ohio State football is not Ohio State football until they compete again for the national title. And who do they have to beat to get there? The SEC of course. The last two National Title games, versus the SEC, went pretty awful for the Buckeyes. That is the standard for which THE Ohio State University football program shall be judged.

Urban Meyer knows this.

It’s a ridiculously high standard, yes. But 1.) what other program/league is going to compete with the SEC? It should be the Big Ten. And it should be Ohio State football. 2.) when you have a core returning from an undefeated team. It’s national title or bust.

This team is solid and talented all around. The only thing that can get in their way is themselves. Stay out of jail, and you’ll stay at the top of the rankings.

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Ohio State football key games: They should be 4-0 entering Sept 28th vs. Wisconsin, the last game of the year versus Michigan is always a season definer. Could they be undefeated for that one? Most likely. Maybe Purdue trips them up on November 2nd, like the Boilermakers sometimes do. However, I don’t see that happening. How can Ohio State football not go 10-2 or better? Only if off-the-field issues gets in the way.

Ohio State football bottom line: If the New England Patriots are the “Thug Life” of the NFL, then Ohio State football is the “ain’t nothing but a Gangsta party” of college football. Legal issues are the major question mark for the Buckeyes. If Meyer can keep his players in line, they will pass go, not go directly to jail and instead to the national title game. They have all the talent to compete with the SEC for the big prize.

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the 2013 College Football rankings 1-51

Big Ten Season Previews:

Wisconsin

Nebraska

Michigan

Michigan State

Northwestern

Illinois

Minnesota

Indiana 

Iowa 

Purdue

Maryland

Rutgers

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter aacount (@PaulMBanks)

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