The Ohio State Buckeyes will not be making the post-season in the 2012 football season after being banned thanks to a host of allegations against former coach Jim Tressel. They weren't anywhere near it last season anyway after an awful 6-7 campaign. Fortunately, Urban Meyer was hired by the Buckeyes and immediately got to work recruiting, eventually adding onto the already strong foundation of players that he had available.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly published his preview of the upcoming 2012 season for the Buckeyes on Friday, and called the season essentially a 'redshirt year' for the Buckeyes. That is to say, a year where they might not win any titles, but one that can be used to build confidence and ability for 2013.
Connelly argues that the Buckeyes should use the season much the same way that USC used their postseason-less 2011:
Of course, the No. 19 Badgers also aren't even the highest-ranked team in their own division according to FOA. Those honors go to the invisible No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes, who are banned from the postseason in 2012 and will attempt to deliver the same kind of promise that USC did last year. The Trojans caught fire late and rode their no-bowl season to a preseason Top Five ranking.
Both the offense and defense for the Buckeyes are covered extensively by Connelly, and an important fact pointed out is that the Buckeyes not only have a lot of good talent but almost no seniors on the squad. The team is talented, young and has another great group of players recruited by Meyer coming in soon. Braxton Miller especially is only a sophomore and has a full year to be molded into a great Meyer QB:
Meyer gets three years with Braxton Miller, there is nary a senior to be found in the receiving corps (and only one on the offensive line), his defensive line is one of the deepest in the country, and he is a good enough recruiter to continue making this a deeper squad. Things are in place for Meyer to pick up where he left off in Gainesville, and he has a year to figure things out before wins and losses actually matter.
How Urban Meyer's Buckeyes fare in the 2012 season is technically unimportant, but if they can take the role of spoiler and grind out a successful campaign, titles or no, they can build a solid foundation for themselves when 2013 comes around.