Ohio State Buckeyes ranked second in 2013 AP Poll projections

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]

  • C_CLE

    I think their schedule can only hold them back if there are multiple undefeated teams. An undefeated Ohio State, even on a weak schedule, would be hard to shove out of the NC game if they are the only undefeated team, or even 1 of a pair of undefeated teams. If there are 3, they could be the odd man out unless it’s a small conference school

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Go Bucks!

  • That’s great, but realistically, they wouldn’t be ranked #2 in either division of the SEC. The Big 10 will need to significantly lower their academic and ethical standards if they want to actually win a national championship.

  • mgbode

    2 words: Deer Antlers

  • saggy

    i was waiting for a venison-based remark!!

  • saggy

    I disagree. An undefeated OSU will almost always be ranked above other teams.

    The NCAA knows how to milk their cash cow. I have lived in a few different places in the country (including the south) and OSU is always on TV, regardless of region. They have a huge following and a great tradition. An undefeated OSU that doesn’t get into the title game would have huge ramifications with regards to the Big Ten and their relationship to college football. The only thing that could blow it would be an undefeated Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, or USC – all schools with a similar pedigree.

  • Natedawg86

    The B1G Championship would put them at 13-0…If there are several undefeated, tOSU will still go to NC

  • C_CLE

    So you agree with me, because that’s almost exactly what I said other than the fact that you gave specific school names. If there are three big time undefeated schools, they could get squeezed out due to the schedule…but that would be the only situation that I could see it happening.

  • cmm13

    Undefeated ND team won’t even sniff the Rose Bowl after their performance in the title game this past year… or at least that’s how I’ve played it out in my fantasy land mind.
    The only thing that keeps Ohio State out of the National Championship next year is a loss or the NCAA decides to allow 2 SEC teams in.
    I say this also in the same vein you have mentioned that the NCAA knows how to milk their cash cow… Urban versus Saban would be billed as the coaching matchup of the decade.

  • JK

    Don’t really see how the schedule would hurt them, win & you’re in.

  • JK

    Ummm… No, no.. & just no, wow what a sad comment.

  • C_CLE

    Uh…unless a bunch of other teams also win and have a tougher schedule than they do…that’s how.

  • JK

    Yes because that happens often huh?
    Also, if tOSU is starting the season #2, doesn’t lose, you figure they’ll finish below 2nd. Right……..

  • C_CLE

    I’m not saying it’s gonna happen, but it CAN. If you can’t see how it’s possible, then that’s on you.

    And yes, it’s also possible to start #2 and look mediocre against a weak schedule but still win games and have the team that starts #3 with a tougher schedule look more impressive, both teams finish undefeated and OSU get’s squeezed out (assuming #1 is also undefeated). No one saying it’s probable, just possible. A super weak schedule doesn’t do OSU any favors if they don’t look really impressive and slaughter those weak teams. A strong SEC team can look good and take those style points.

  • JK

    There is a 99.9999999999999999% chance if tOSU goes undefeated they will be in the ship. What the hell are we even talking about?

  • C_CLE

    You can’t envision a scenario where USC, OSU, and Alabama go undefeated and OSU gets squeezed out of the NC? Really?

    This is the BCS, crazy sh** happens year in and year out and strength of schedule is one of those crazy variables in the polls that can wreck everything for a school. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the weakness in OSU’s schedule could haunt them slightly. No one said that it was a 50% chance…just that it was possible and that it’s always a criticism of OSU, or Big 10 teams in general. Calm down.

  • JK

    Dude. It’s happened like twice in the history of the BCS, and normally the team with the gripe is a Big East or Non BCS school. It’s far from happening “year in and year out.”

    You’re saying it’s “possible.” Congratulations, you’re technically right.

    & to answer your question, no. I don’t see that scenario. I can’t see a 6 loss USC team going undefeated & jumping tOSU in that type of scenario.

  • KoW

    Seriously? You think the Buckeyes would compete in the SEC?

  • KoW

    Worked out well enough for Notre Dame, right? Good thing the BCS committee won’t learn from that mistake.

  • mgbode

    they most definitely would. they are an upper echelon program in the country. not only that, but if they were in the SEC, then more of those southern recruits would also come.

    maybe it would take a few years to figure things out. or maybe the Buckeyes would go all A&M on the conference (remember when people thought they would get killed for the first few years?)

  • KoW

    “then more of those southern recruits would also come.”

    That’s kind of the point, as then they wouldn’t be a B1G team anymore. SEC teams dominate because they can sign recruits who would not be admitted to OSU. There is a large pool of excellent athletes with disciplinary and academic issues that are available to the SEC that are not to the B1G. Having standards gets in the way of winning championships.

  • mgbode

    yeah, the Buckeyes don’t sign any guys with off-field issues and they are all super-sharp in the classroom 🙂

    no, the issue is that football has become a year-round sport in the South and the Northern states cannot develop their athletes in the same way because of the weather.

    7on7 is winter/spring football here in Texas and throughout the South and it is no coincidence that college football has taken to many of these concepts into the 11on11 game (aka the spread).

    finally, take a look at the Buckeyes signees. quite a few come from South of that ole Mason-Dixon line (which is why I think they would do fine from the jump).

  • JK

    100% absolutely no doubt.. Just like Michigan, Nebraska, & NWstern competed against SEC schools last year. (OSU went 2-0 against those teams FYI)

  • JK

    We’re not talking about that genius, we’re talking about them actually getting into the game. Read a little context of the situation before you go blabbing about things, k?

  • KoW

    That’s a worthy goal – avoid strong competion in order to weasel an opportunity to lose to the best team in the SEC by 35 points. I’ll bet your mom helped you get a lot of trophies growing up, am I right?