More often than not, based on talent, coaching, and schedule, Ohio State will have the capability of winning a national title in any given year. Whether everything breaks properly (no pun intended) for that to happen is another story, however.
Those championship possibilities are certainly the case this season as well, as the Buckeyes have a number of experienced redshirt seniors leading the team down a championship path that they have already traveled before.
Yes, they will need some luck along they way, but fortune favors the prepared mind, and the Buckeyes don’t mind being prepared.
In fact, they will be so prepared that I am going to give you five reasons why Ohio State is winning the national title this year.
(Yes, next week I’ll give you five reasons why they won’t. We’re equal opportunity click-bait artists like that around here.)
1. Senior Quarterback
When your offense absolutely, positively has to make a play or else the game is over, it’s a beautiful thing to have a quarterback who has already been there and done that. Time and time again. Need a yard on fourth down? No problem, J.T. Barrett will pick it up easily, just like he did against Michigan last year. He left no doubt then and he will leave no doubt the next time. Barrett is entering his fourth season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. He has the experience and the trust to get the job done. The one thing he hasn’t done, however, is raise a team trophy. That’s the driving force this season, and Barrett is as driven as any player on the team. He has plenty to prove, and he knows there are doubters expecting him to come up short. It’s fourth-and-1 for Barrett’s legacy. Expect him to respond.
2. The Running Game
Good luck winning a national title if you can’t run the ball and control the flow of a game. It’s not impossible, but it ain’t easy either. The Buckeyes will have a dominating running game this season with Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins, Demario McCall, Parris Campbell, and J.T. Barrett. That’s a lot of names, and it’s not even all of the names who could be involved. It’s a pretty good start, though. Weber has taken another step toward being an elite runner. Dobbins might be the busiest true freshman running back Meyer has ever had. McCall can score from anywhere. Campbell is a pain to defend on sweeps. And Barrett is only on pace to rush for more yards than Keith Byars and become just the 10th Buckeye to ever rush for 3,000 yards in a career.
3. The Hunger
At the Big Ten Media Days last month, there was a national college football writer going around to the OSU representatives asking about “Zero Dark 31“, and then having to explain what he meant by “Zero Dark 31”. Yes, he was referring to the loss to Clemson by a nickname that either he coined or had seen somewhere else and thought was witty enough to appropriate and use in conversation with those who lived it. Even aside from the personal feelings of failure from that loss that each player has to live with, they then have to deal with it again any time new faces pop up to ask old questions. Tyquan Lewis said back in the spring he gets mad when it’s brought up, and it doesn’t appear as if the mood has cooled any in the months since. Outside annoyances are never going to be what drives a team to a championship, but they can give you a glimpse of the inner drive that is propelling them toward something greater. This is a team that walked off the field last season embarrassed. They don’t want to do it again.
4. The Defensive Line
Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State. Those are the three programs to win a College Football Playoff, and each of them did it with talented and disruptive defensive lines. They didn’t just do it with their defensive lines, but they also weren’t going to do it without them. Clemson may lose all-time great quarterback Deshaun Watson, but they also return an all-time great defensive line, which is why they are once again one of the favorites to win it all. The same can be said for Ohio State, who returns everyone and more from last year’s defensive line that led the way to the No. 3 scoring defense in the nation. The Buckeyes must find three new starters in the secondary. Having a disruptive defensive line will give them a little more time to sort things out in the back end.
5. Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer is the great equalizer. He is the bridge where other coaches are the gap. Meyer found a way to get his team to the playoffs with an offense that was capable of being shutout. This would be commendable if it wasn’t damnable. Still, his team found a way and he was there to make it happen. There are some question marks with this team and some concerns about positions solidifying in time. Having Meyer at the helm means that you can assume those concerns will work out just fine because he’s way more worried about it than you are. As long as Urban Meyer is in Columbus, you’ll have to manufacture most of your worries. Or just leave it to the media to do it for you.
Next week: Five Reasons Why Ohio State is Most Assuredly NOT Winning a National Title This Year!
Nice article, very optimistic, and I tend to agree. The last time OSU had two competent coordinators under Urban, we beat OR 42-20 to win the first CFB playoff. The year before OSU’s D struggled, then we got a new D coordinator, after that game, Hermann left for Houston and we watched the O struggle for two seasons. So Norm Head, spot on with your observation and time will tell!
We will see.
You forgot Kevin Wilson, and over-rate Urban Meyer. Two years ago when we had Zeke Elliott , Meyer and the current coaches managed to blow it. What’s different this year? Kevin Wilson, a guy with a proven track record and an opportunity to be the next Tom Herman. Wilson has in theist proved he can do more with less than 4 and 5 star recruits. The only question is can he get the same kind of superior results with better recruits. To me, he’s pretty much the only factor in hoping for a National Championship. All other things being pretty much equal, and Kevin Wilson match Tom Herman?
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