Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 12/5/12
Well, the undefeated season for the Ohio State Buckeyes is officially over. All we are left to deal with are articles about what could have been, what should have been and what the NCAA or Ohio State could have done differently to avoid this debacle. Somewhere along the line you will find articles tying all of those pieces together in an effort to claim to know what would have been best for each situation. Put me in the camp where I think the Buckeyes got what they deserved. It is extremely unfortunate considering what came out later for other schools, but it is the bed they made regardless of the seasons’ outcome. Given all of that, somehow the season does not really feel like it’s over to me. I get that there are no more games to be played by the Buckeyes this year, but finishing the season the way they did with two huge wins, it feels as though the ending was more of a springboard for this team than a true conclusion. The Buckeyes were not supposed to go undefeated this soon. Urban Meyer was supposed to come into this season to assess players that he largely had no hand in recruiting prior to, realize the talent and start building a winning program with his guys that fit his system under his coaching style. Instead, he came right in and led this team to an undefeated, 12-0 season in his very first year. What the heck? How do you build on that?! With confidence and an influx of top tier recruits, that’s how. It’s never been a secret about how good of a recruiter Urban Meyer is and he certainly made a big splash in the B1G in just under one year. Across the entire NCAA, people obviously take notice as was proven by the amount of recruits that attended The Game. That has to be one of the greatest feelings in the world as a coach, but at some point all of that is put on the back-burner only to be left with the team and task at hand. So what did we learn from this season? A fair amount actually, and not all of it is great: Braxton Miller I’m at an impasse here with really being able to identify the player that Braxton Miller is, versus what he may become. As he is only a sophomore, maybe it is too early to be trying to really figure that out. I’ve stated several times in the past that I believe Braxton has the tools and the potential to be a pocket passer to the likes of a Troy Smith. The omnipresent variables in his career are Urban Meyer, Tom Herman and their developmental desires. They have proven that this team can win in a variety of ways and at this point, I will never doubt that they can continue to create any winning opportunities for this team. The point that remains to be seen is putting the game on Braxton’s shoulders in primarily a pocket passer situation and really finding out what talent may be there. I would have to assume that the coaching staff knows at this point, but there is no evidence of attempting this in a real game. Maybe that’s our answer. Did you know that Braxton ended up with over 1,200 yards rushing this season? We all knew that the amount of his rushing attempts per game was soaring and topped out at 227, but I honestly was not aware that he was well over 1,000 yards on the season with 13 TDs on the ground nearing 6 yards per carry. Miller also racked up over 2,000 through the air with 15 TDs, which shaped up to be a very solid season though not Heisman worthy. Not too shabby, huh? Carlos Hyde From Urban Meyer, to Braxton Miller, to the evolving defense, I feel that Carlos Hyde’s name has gotten lost in all of this great chaos. With Jordan Hall getting hurt early in the season, it took away one of Miller and Meyer’s greatest weapons to open up the offense like they wanted to. Hall can give the offense several different looks and create havoc for defense’s, but that scenario was never realized because of his injury. Welcome Carlos Hyde. Hyde was not exactly a stranger to this team having carried the ball 106 times for 566 yards last season, but he was never the intricate piece that he became in 2012. Many feared the worst (including me) that with Jordan Hall out, it forced the team to be much more one-dimensional. Hyde proved any doubter wrong falling just shy of a 1,000 yard season on 185 carries which translated to a very nice 5.2 yards per carry. What makes this really great is that he truly does not fit Meyer’s offense. He is a big, bruiser back that almost never catches the ball out of the backfield and is not nearly as versatile as Meyer’s offense typically calls for. But when he was called upon, he obviously stepped up and stepped up big time. With Jordan Hall red-shirting and the new-found depth at running-back, this offense will be that much more interesting to watch this upcoming season. Defense Not to kill your buzz, but we have to talk about the other side of the ball, known as the Silver Bullets. John Simon (DE), Nathan Williams (DE), Zach Boren (MLB), Etienne Sabino (OLB), Orhian Johnson (CB) and Travis Howard (CB) are all graduating. Yeah, I just had a mini anxiety attack too. Factor in the potential for junior Johnathan Hankins (DT) and sophomore Bradley Roby (CB) departing early for the draft and we could have a very real situation on our hands. Many of these guys are irreplaceable just from a pure leadership and knowledge standpoint let alone the gaping hole they will leave in the actual position. I’m nervous, I really am. This team better learn to score a lot of points with sustaining drives to help take some pressure off the defense. The good news is that there is depth. There are some highly touted recruits that are very eager to fill those voids and should have no problem doing so with time the right development. The thing that I really believe that has been overlooked throughout the season is team chemistry. Yes, it sounds like a hokey high-school tactic that acts as some sort of facade to mask a talentless team, but this team would not have achieved an undefeated season without it. Urban Meyer has set the bar somehow even higher than when he originally accepted the head coaching role at OSU, but I believe that we all feel very confident in what he has so quickly built, and even more-so in what he continues to build. While many may think that this season should have continued to go on before it seemed to end so abruptly, I believe that a “to be continued…” tag is much more fitting. (photo courtesy of USAToday.com and msn.foxsports.com)
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Cassel believes Bills will keep three quarterbacks

St. Louis police seize scalpers' World Series tickets to give to friends

Eli Manning happy Tom Brady will play NFL season opener

Phil Kessel has shed 13 pounds this summer

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

Bill Belichick on having Tom Brady back: ‘He never left’

Mendoza replaces Schilling on 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Judge Sarah Thomas as an NFL official, not a female NFL official

Simona Halep popular with fans who want to kiss her

Patriots planned on raising a "Brady banner on opening night

Braves and Phillies sucking at the same time is rare

Montana St. linebacker delivers bone crushing hit in opener

Despite loss, all eyes still on Jim Harbaugh, Wolverines

Kirk Cousins discusses what it’s like to be called ‘Kurt’

Playoffs or not, Bryce Harper is the NL MVP

Donald Sterling’s wife Shelly seeking alimony

Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler: A love/hate relationship

Likely scenarios for current MLB front-office vacancies

Seven takeaways from Eagles final preseason game

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker