With a few months of the Urban Meyer Era under our belt, and now spring football practices underway, the excitement has been building. Coach Meyer is having his first opportunity to evaluate his talent and to place the players into the position where they will succeed the most. This year’s spring game will be highly anticipated due to high level of curiosity.
Has Braxton Miller improved?
Who will be our starting running back?
How will Reed Fragel look at right tackle?
How improved will our LB corps be? (hello, Curtis Grant)
These are several questions that fans are already itching to see answers for.
Yes, we as fans expect the Urban Meyer era to begin with hoisting the National Championship trophy, but that looks like it won't happen in the first year - with no chance to play in post-season play it negates the chance of playing a conference title and a bowl game. It sucks, but I would rather have a one year ban with a few scholarships taken away rather than facing the death penalty. No?
Year one in the Urban Meyer Era will still have a lot of promise even without a shot to be rewarded with a bowl game. There will be plenty to look forward for on Saturday afternoons, including the maturation of Braxton Miller. This new offense will be on everyone's radar...
Ohio State hasn't had too much creativity in play-calling since the days where Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Bobby Hoying & Co put up eye-popping numbers. The Buckeyes showed glimpses of creativity under the Troy Smith era, a bit of a surprise under Jim Tressell, but it will be nothing compared to what we are planning to see with Meyer's Buckeyes. If his Florida days with Tim Tebow at the helm are any indication, 2012 could be the start of something special in Columbus. Is Braxton Miller as good as Tim Tebow?
Not yet, but he may end up being better.
It will also be interesting to see how the defense gels as a unit. Coach Fickell did a great job with the defense, as expected, coaching the players up this past season. At times the defense looked as if they were a top tier unit in the country, but at times they looked as if they couldn't stop the Little Giants. The biggest issue was having them on the field for extensive periods of time. When an offense is almost at the bottom of the barrel its hard to give the defense a break. Three-and-outs occurred at an alarming rate in 2011 but with the new, improved offense helping the defense out it gives them an opportunity to play up to their potential. Add in some new speed on the corners and a defense built on speed, and we may just be seeing an SEC-style defense dominating the B1G this fall.
Still - there are the sanction.
As limited as the punishments being handed down were, it makes recruiting a lot easier for Coach Meyer. The alternative of dealing with longer-term sanctionsMeyer from taking the position in the first place. Kids out of high school now know that if they choose Ohio State they will have a chance to play for a National Title in the near future. With no dark cloud hovering over the program for an extensive period it gives Meyer a chance to rack up top recruits around the country, and he has.
Memo to #BuckeyeNation: There may not be a chance for a bowl bid next season, but hang on tight - the future looks very promising.
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