Following an undefeated season can be a tall order. But an undefeated season in 2103 would mean much more. We are less than 2 weeks from Ohio State and Buffalo from the Shoe. Kickoff is at noon.
Urban Meyer enters season number two with a #2 ranking in both the Preseason Coaches and AP Polls, not a bad place to begin. Where they end up is more the question though. This is a talented team, especially up from on the Offensive line. Four Seniors led by preseason 2nd Team All-American LT Jack Mewhort, will provide the push for the offense and Urban Meyer Spread formation.
To me, that is the biggest strength, O Line. They know each other, and are veterans. The new guy, Sophomore Taylor Decker, will replace Reid Fragel at RT. He is massive, and a Dayton native...Decker should work out just fine.
Another strength is the front 7 on defense...yes, the front seven. Only 1 starter returns, but it's a darn good one in preseason 2nd team All-American LB Ryan Shazier. He is fast, and has added more meat to his frame for 2013. He should be an absolute terror for every offense he sees.
It's not just Shazier, they are very talented elsewhere up front. The Sophomore Defensive End tandum of Noah Spence and Adolpus Washington might be the best pair in the country. Spence is the classic "LEO" that can get to the QB. Washington is the mauler, that is an edge weapon. Washington and Spence are both future 1st Rd picks, barring injury.
The Defensive Secondary returns the Buckeyes only 1st team All-American in Junior CB Bradley Roby. Roby will miss the Buffalo game due to suspension. Armani Reeves will fill in at CB along side Doran Grant.
I feel like I'm forgetting someone...oh yeah, defending Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year , and preseason 2nd team All-American QB Braxton Miller returns for his Junior campaign 12 wins more experienced, and 2 years smarter. Look for a big season for Miller, a Huber Heights Wayne graduate, to shine. He must avoid the injury bug, which has haunted him forever.
This is a good Buckeyes team, but whether they are great will come down to a big game against the best the SEC has to offer. Is this team up for the challenge, I don't know. Look for them to be the about 11-1, someone gets them. But 2014...preseason #1 and a legit contender, no doubt!