The Ohio State Buckeyes had one of the more unusual seasons in school history in 2010. The Buckeyes started out a preseason top five team, quickly jumping to No. 1, before losing to Wisconsin.
The loss to Wisconsin not only put a damper on their national title hopes but also meant they weren't going to the Rose Bowl either.
As the Buckeyes finished the season 11-1, and earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl, the idea that the Buckeyes would have a chance to defeat an SEC school in a BCS game was something they relished.
Then, after it was revealed five players would be suspended next year for selling memorabilia and accepting discounts on tattoos, a victory over Arkansas seemed somewhat tainted.
The five players facing suspension next year were more than likely all going to be starters, and one, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, was likely to be among the favorites for the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
With the tat-five set to miss the first five games of next season, Ohio State is surely out of contention for not only the national title, but also the Big Ten Championship as well..
Or are they?
Here are five reasons why we could still see the Buckeyes in the BCS National Championship game next season.
Depth at QB and RB
Terrelle Pryor missing the first five games of next season is supposed to be a huge blow for the Buckeyes.
Behind Pryor, it's a fact that none of the four quarterbacks who will vie for the starting job have all that much experience.
Yet, the Buckeyes do have some very talented individuals ready to step up and take the reins, including redshirt sophomore Ken Guiton, redshirt freshman Tyler Graham, or incoming freshman Braxton Miller.
And at running back, the Buckeyes should do well without Herron, as junior Jordan Hall, redshirt sophomore Jaamal Berry, or redshirt freshmen Rod Smith all appear more than ready to pick up the slack.
With all of this inexperience at key positions in the offense, can the Buckeyes really be expected to go 5-0?
It should not be forgotten that when Ohio State won it all back in 2002, they did so with a first-year starter under center, junior Craig Krenzel, and a true freshman running back, Maurice Clarett.
The Defense Will Reload
The next hurdle that many point to in the Buckeyes' quest to contend for a national title is the defense, which loses several seniors, including Ross Homan, Brian Rolle, Chimdi Chekwa and Cameron Heyward.
While those losses are significant, none of those players are irreplaceable. In fact, head coach Jim Tressel went on the offensive before the start of the season and landed several key recruits.
The additions of blue-chip prospects Doran Grant, Steve Miller, and Ryan Shazier, combined with returning Buckeyes John Simon, Nate Williams, Jermale Hines, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, and Tyler Moeller to name a few, means that Ohio State will not be rebuilding on defense next year, just reloading.
Corey Brown's Impact on Offense and Defense
When did coach Tressel decide to make 'Philly' Brown a two-way player?
The answer is he didn't. Yet Tressel did recruit two players both named Corey Brown in 2009 and 2010—one who plays wide receiver, and one who is a defensive back.
While many know the exploits of Corey 'Philly' Brown at wide receiver, not much is known about Corey 'Pittsburgh' Brown, the defensive back.
But by the time the suspended five hit the field next season, people will know what Brown can do for you on both offense and defense at Ohio State.
An Offense (that should be) Firing On All Cylinders
The big question in Columbus now is what happens to the suspended players should the team go 5-0 without them.
While it doesn't seem fair that the "replacement" players lose their job should they do well, head coach Jim Tressel will do what is best for the offense.
Whether that means benching Joe Bauserman, Ken Guiton, Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, or James Jackson (or whomever the starters are) in favor of Pryor, Herron and Devier Posey is anyone's guess.
It would be safe to say that however the scenario plays out, if the offense is clicking, it will continue to do so once Pryor and Co. return.
Tressel Knows How To Win, Period
Despite what anyone may say about the man, Jim Tressel keeps on winning. He has been the fastest to win 100 games as Buckeyes head coach.
His 10 years in Columbus have been 10 of the most successful years ever enjoyed by any college football program in the nation, and his 10 teams from each of his 10 years were all special in one way or another.
He won a national championship in only his second season, and led the Buckeyes to two more BCS National Championship games—and he led the Buckeyes to a 12-1 record last season.
The critics say Tressel needs to hire an offensive coordinator and/or that he is too much of a control freak. Tressel just lets the Buckeyes' record do all the talking for him.
The last three seasons, the Buckeyes have finished 10-3, 11-2 and now 12-1.
Still don't think 13-0 is possible?
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Written by Jarrod Argobright - BleacherReport.com