2012 was a great year for Ohio State and for Buckeye fans nationwide, as Urban Meyer lead his team to a perfect 12-0 season in his 1st year as head coach.
Back in July, I predicted that going undefeated was a very real possibility. I also mentioned the Buckeyes could still be crowned National Champions via the AP Poll.
That isn't very likely due to voters casting ballots just to spite Ohio State, since the program is on a 1-year-ban from the Tat-Gate, Tressel-Gate fallout.
Notre Dame faces Alabama in the BCS title game and if Notre Dame wins, Ohio State will likely finish No. 2, but if Alabama wins, it could go a couple different ways:
1. Alabama wins big, Notre Dame Drops at least two spots, and Ohio State finishes at #2.
2. Alabama wins close, say something like 6-0 or 7-3, in an ugly low-scoring bore-fest. That leaves Ohio State still unbeaten and worthy of consideration following such a poor showing from both teams ahead of them. Maybe, just maybe in this scenario, Ohio State would pull ahead of both and claim the AP title.
Although I mentioned the possibilities that still remain to end the 2012 season, the primary focus of my ramblings here today is not about the what-ifs of the 2012 season, but about Urban Meyer and his staff wrapping up the 2013 recruiting class with a bang and the huge scarlet and gray tidal wave that's about to crash down on the Big Ten and all of College Football in 2013.
The initial groundwork for Operation: 2013 Big Ten and National Champions was laid last fall when Ohio State hired Urban Meyer as head coach.
It wasn't always pretty, but neither were the close wins by teams like Notre Dame and Alabama either. And if those close wins and narrow escapes by those teams were gutsy and gritty, and "good teams find a way to overcome adversity and get the win, whatever it takes," so too were similar victories by the Buckeyes.
Because Ohio State is relevant and seemingly always challenging for conference and national titles, especially in the BCS era, there are many CFB fans who just happen to be AP poll voters, with personal vendettas against the Buckeyes, and so unfortunately, there IS a double-standard.
Let's compare the rise and fall in the rankings this season of Ohio State and Notre Dame, this years media (ESPN) darling, shall we?
Week Ohio State Notre Dame Preseason #18 NR Week 1 #14 #22 Week 2 #12 #20 Week 3 #16 #11 Week 4 #14 #10 Week 5 #12 #9 Week 6 #8 #7 Week 7 #7 #5 Week 8 #9 #5 Week 9 #6 #4 Week 10 #5 #4 Week 11 #6 #3 Week 12 #4 #1 Week 13 #4 #1 Week 14 #3 #1So what exactly does the chart above show? Well, both teams had a handful of lackluster wins and at least one very near loss, but Ohio State dropped in the rankings on three occasions, all after wins, while ND didn't drop once.
In addition to the obvious rankings-bias illustrated against Ohio State above, I'd also like to mention how nice it is that Ohio State can win and drop 4 spots in the polls, but when No. 1 Alabama lost to a 2-loss Texas A&M team AT HOME, they plummeted all the way down to No. 4—three whole spots, after a loss.
Wait, what? Was I talking?
Haha, nevermind, I digress,.....for now.
Looking forward to 2013, none of that matters. The Buckeyes will be in-play as one of the top contenders to play for and win the final BCS championship before the new bowl setup and 4-team playoff system goes into effect in 2014.
While several upperclassmen and at least one underclassmen won't return to the Buckeyes next year, Ohio State is one of those schools that never rebuilds, but instead, reloads.
That has never been truer now that Urban Meyer, arguably the best recruiter in college football, is on the recruiting trail for the Scarlet and Gray.
Here is the current list of Ohio State 2013 recruits:
Player Position Star-Rating ====== ======== =========== Taivon Jacobs WR *** Tracy Sprinkle DE *** Tim Gardner OG *** Johnny Townsend P *** Darron Lee S **** Donovan Munger DT **** Tyquan Lewis DE **** Jayme Thompson S **** Billy Price DT **** Gareon Conley CB/WR **** Michael Hill DT **** J.T. Barrett QB **** Cameron Burrows CB **** Eli Apple (Woodard) CB **** Ezekiel Elliott RB **** Evan Lisle OT **** Marcus Baugh TE **** Jalin Marshall ATH/QB/WR ***** Joey Bosa DE *****
With both the Under Armour and Army All-American games being played this Friday and Saturday respectively, here are a few key players holding offers from Ohio State that the Buckeyes could get commitments from this weekend:
Player Position Star-Rating ====== ======== =========== Christopher Worley LB *** Trey Johnson LB **** Shelton Gibson WR **** James Quick WR ***** Laquon Treadwell WR ***** Mike Mitchell LB ***** Vonn Bell S *****
Jim Tressel was often criticized for not being able to close out his classes. Urban Meyer has the complete opposite reputation, meaning not closing the deal with most of his remaining targets listed above would be somewhat of a mild letdown.
Be sure to visit BlockONation.com for all your recruiting news and updates, now through National Signing Day.