Ohio State debuts at number two in ESPN’s power rankings

ESPN.com released it’s preseason power rankings with defending national champion Alabama on top, followed by Ohio State. Earlier this month, Ohio State claimed the second spot in the USA Today/AP Coaches Poll as well. Here is ESPN writer Austin Ward’s comments on the Buckeyes.

“Urban Meyer has already made history with the Buckeyes, but not the kind that comes with a crystal football, thanks to NCAA sanctions that kept the program out of the postseason last season. Ohio State is free from those shackles now, and Meyer has traditionally done his best work in Year 2 at previous stops. His latest encore campaign is headlined by quarterback Braxton Miller, fifth-place finisher in the Heisman race last year and a truly dynamic weapon. With four senior starters on the offensive line, a deep stable of running backs and more options at wide receiver, the dangerous spread attack could help the Buckeyes overcome some defensive inexperience and do something even more memorable this year.”

Ohio State returns plenty of starters on the offensive side of the ball, including Heisman candidate Braxton Miller at quarterback, running back Carlos Hyde, wide receivers Devin Smith and Corey Brown and offensive linemen Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Corey Linsley and Marcus Hall.

The key will be the defense, and how quickly the young front seven develops. They are led by returning starters Ryan Shazier at linebacker, Bradley Roby at corner and safeties Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett. Defensive linemen Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington saw extensive time as freshmen last season.

The Buckeyes will be missing Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby at the beginning of the season due to team discipline stemming from off the field issues.

[Related: Carlos Hyde suspended at least three games]

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I can’t help but get the feeling that this season will have it’s letdown moment…where we lose a game or two that we should easily win. I know that Urban Meyer doesn’t coach anything remotely like Jim Tressell…but I think the expectations this year are higher than they should be…because I think last year’s undefeated season involved quite a bit of good luck on our part. That might have been the weakest team I’ve seen in a while that lost 0-1 games.

  • Natedawg86

    It is probably safe to say that most undefeated seasons had some luck along the way. I agree that last years team may have not been the best Buckeye team ever, but to be undefeated, a lot lies on the coaches and there preparation of the players for the games, and not having a let down week. Hard to control, but when writing a storybook for an undefeated season, there is usually at least one miracle chapter.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I’ll give you that some luck is needed. But our defense was far from stellar…and we lost a few starters there from last year. If we’re undefeated again this season, I see it on the backs of a lot of 50-37 type of games.

  • GoBucks12

    Even if Ohio State goes undefeated i don’t see how they could be considered a legitimate contender for the national title game with that schedule.

  • Natedawg86

    Miller has to stay healthy. Non-negotiable

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I don’t know that you’ll get any argument from anyone on that one…except maybe some of the closest friends/family to his backups. LOL