|It could be a while before Urban Meyer tastes defeat in Columbus. (US Presswire)|
Urban Meyer's first season in Columbus wasn't supposed to go this well. He was inheriting a team that finished 6-7 in 2011 and installing an entirely new offense. In other words, the fact that Ohio State wasn't eligible for the postseason in 2012 didn't seem like a big deal this summer, because 2012 was going to be a transition season, anyway.
Then Ohio State went 12-0, putting the finishing touches on a perfect season with a 26-21 victory over rival Michigan on Saturday. And now that the 2012 season is over for the Buckeyes, it's time to look to 2013. And looking in the crystal ball, it's hard to know when Meyer's first loss at Ohio State is coming.
While Ohio State is going to lose some important players on its defense to graduation and possibly the NFL, just about everybody is back on offense in 2013. That will include quarterback Braxton Miller, running back Carlos Hyde, receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith and four-fifths of its offensive line.
Then there's Ohio State's 2013 schedule. Gone are games against Nebraska and Michigan State, replaced by Iowa and Northwestern. Wisconsin remains on the schedule, but the Badgers will have to travel to Columbus.
In fact, Ohio State's only road games next season are against Cal (3-9 in 2012 and just fired Jeff Tedford), Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Michigan. Aside from Cal, Ohio State's non-conference schedule consists of Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M.
Obviously, in the world of college football, the upset is always a possibility. Ohio State nearly succumbed to it multiple times in 2012. Still, looking at that schedule, it's hard to see Ohio State being considered an underdog in any game but one.
And that would be in Ann Arbor on Nov. 30.
In other words, a year from now, we could be in the same spot we are right now. With Michigan the only thing standing between Ohio State and a 12-0 regular season.
The more things change...