THE Ohio State Buckeyes have had two unblemished regular season finishes, but no national championships to show for it. At programs like that SCHOOL UP NORTH a 23-game win and a Big Ten Conference is something to be proud of, but in Columbus where excellence is expected NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP are all that matter.
This year the Buckeyes are stacked and the gap separating them from their Big Ten peers is gaping. After three years Coach Urban Meyer has well stocked roster that has both speed and talent galore. Despite the Buckeyes abundance of riches the national championship hopes of Buckeye Nation rest squarely on the surgically repaired shoulder and previously strained MCL of Heisman favorite senior quarterback Braxton Miller.
When Miller was on the field he was nearly unstoppable, which is why he has two Big Ten Player of the Year Awards in his trophy case. Although Miller will always be a threat to run he continues to grow and mature as a passer. Each time Miller pulled the ball down fans were both amazed and horrified hoping that he would get up unscathed. Although there is no shortage of talent, replacing an entire offensive line for an injury prone quarterback is a bit unsettling.
However, the Buckeyes saving grace will be their defense, which will rank as one of the best in the country. Despite the losses of first rounders Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier, the defense will be nothing short of dominant. The defensive line will be downright scary and opposing quarterbacks and OC will be terrorized in their dreams and on the field by Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa, and Adolphus Washington. At Ohio State they don’t replace, they simply reload, FS Vonn Bell, CB Doran Grant, and LB Curtis Grant are all poised to be premier play-maker that will not be a secret for much longer.
Although no team will ever rival Meyer’s 2008 Florida Gators, Meyer may have assembled his best team yet in Columbus. The offensive line holds the key to the Buckeyes championship fate. Since they practice against the nation’s best defense there may be hope after all. If talented play maker Dontri Wilson finally live up to his Percy Harvin expectations which he is more than capable of doing then the Road2Arlington will be an easy one. But if Miller misses time due to injury all bets are off. Stay tuned…I know I will.
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast