Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 1/31/13
Though they went undefeated in 2012 and will have a season of Urban Meyer’s curation under their belt, the Ohio State Buckeyes will likely enter the 2013 NCAA season ranked second overall per Phil Steele in a special for ESPN. Ranking first are the reigning National Champions, the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Right on their heels, however, is the Scarlet and Grey. Despite the NCAA probation, Urban Meyer’s first season in Columbus was a smashing success, finishing a perfect 12-0 and No. 3 in the final AP poll, and it looks like the Buckeyes will continue to ride that momentum into 2013. For starters, voters will see the Buckeyes welcome back quarterback Braxton Miller, who figures to be one of the Heisman favorites after a season in which he had 3,310 yards of total offense. He also figures to be improved in the passing game. Miller will have plenty of talent surrounding him, as No. 2 rusher Carlos Hyde and top two receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith all return along with key offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Jack Mewhort. The Buckeyes do have to replace their entire starting defensive line, but Meyer has done a great job of recruiting at that position in his short tenure. Meanwhile, the defense’s other stars in linebacker Ryan Shazier and cornerback Bradley Roby should help carry the load as the young linemen mature. The schedule clearly sets up for success, as the nonconference features Buffalo, San Diego State, California and Florida A&M, while in conference play the Bucks avoid both Nebraska and Michigan State and get to host Wisconsin and Penn State. The two toughest hurdles look to be road trips at Northwestern and at Michigan. To Steele’s point, that schedule which sets the Buckeyes up for success can also be what holds them back while Alabama et al trudge through the SEC in-conference play. From a preseason perspective, the Buckeyes will be aided by the number of returning starters, coupled with the 12-0 season, that will force the Associated Press to think very highly of their contention right out of the gate next season. Ohio State finished third in the AP Poll upon completion of the 2012 season. [Related: In slow-motion, Buckeyes deal with Badgers]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Richardson selling Carolina Panthers amid investigation

Roy Williams honored late Pat Summitt during game at Tennessee

Burfict responds to Smith-Schuster's TD celebration

Antonio Brown taken to hospital for further evaluation

Cam Newton offers support for Panthers owner

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Captain Munnerlyn calls benching ‘slap in the face’

Report: Jerry Richardson would ask to shave women’s legs

Twitter reacts to Thomas Davis' dirty hit on Davante Adams

Randall Cobb splits defenders with sick move on catch-and-run TD

Eli Manning's two TDs against Eagles vault Manning family to 1,000 TDs in regular season

Stephen Strasburg says he may skip future All-Star games due to injury concerns

Top takeaways from NFL Week 15

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

Buckeyes 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

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