Ohio State

Buckeyes Undefeated in 2012

thinkR_buckeyes1It’s been exactly one decade since the Buckeyes boasted an undefeated season. Considering only one other team is undefeated, Notre Dame, some fans are lamenting the fact that the Buckeyes aren’t eligible for the BCS Championship Game. Jim Tressel’s issue with the NCAA standards means a one-year ban, which many fans say cost the Buckeyes the championship. However, it’s not all over for the Buckeyes.

Quarterback Braxton Miller is thought by many to be a shoe-in for a Heisman nod (if not the win). Braxton’s only a sophomore but averages 170 yards passing. It’s clear that in 2012, the Buckeye team is doing more cramming than just at science lab tables. Here’s a look at the best season in a decade.

A Numbers Game

The September 1 game against Miami set the standard for the season. The Buckeyes owned that game with a final 56-10 score. Next was UCF with an impressive 31-16 win. The closest game of the season happened on September 29 against Michigan State with an exciting 17-16 win.

The Buckeyes rounded out their perfect season on November 24 with a 26-21 win against Michigan. There were a few close calls during the season, such as the game against Indiana where the Buckeyes led by three. However, there’s no denying that it was a season for the record books. Fans are already hopeful about the 2013 season, when there won’t be any bans holding them back.

Is it Really That Impressive?

Some critics point out that the Big 10 wasn’t very tough this season, since only three teams were ranked. When competition isn’t that stiff, it’s easy to come out on top. However, that doesn’t quite disregard a stellar 446-283 season, so many fans are brushing the naysayers aside. The team also showed diversity and the ability to adapt on the field.

The good news is that the Buckeyes had only 22 seniors in 2012. Fans are already guessing at what 2013 has in store, since many of the players will be returning. Some are comparing Miller to Tim Tebow, and there are definitely some similarities if you look at Tebow during this time in his career. It’s a comparison that only time can confirm.

Blossom or Wilt Under Pressure

Obviously, the Buckeyes have a great coach, quarterback and promise of youth on their side. However, the pressure of an undefeated season might prove too much in 2013. It took them 10 years to get back on track, and there’s no way of knowing if 2012 was a fluke complete with unfortunate timing with the ban.

Regardless of how 2013 pans out, we’ll always have 2012 as proof of greatness. There’s the possibility of a Heisman in the future and the promise of a new season around the corner. That’s all fans can ask for.

Ohio State Football Important Info

Here’s the scoop on the Buckeyes’ season so far.

Braxton Miller

If you’re Braxton Miller and you’re coming out of a whiplash injury to play at scandal-scarred Penn State, you either show up or you don’t. Turns out, Miller showed up. And his performance in Pennsylvania set many tongues wagging that a Heisman invite might be in the works.

The Nittany Lions’ notoriously loud and unfriendly-to-visiting-teams crowd fell (nearly) silent as Miller managed multiple consecutive successful scoring drives, three of which were 75 yards or greater. Although Miller looked uncomfortable during the opening minutes, the sophomore resumed his old form to beat PSU handily.

And any lingering questions concerning rehab for that whiplash injury have since been answered.

Improving Defense

The Buckeye defense, which was Swiss cheese up until October, has improved measurably. Tackles are growing. They’re not letting up big point-making, game-making plays. They’re also enabling their offense to make late-game runs that put the team back in the lead.

Quality coaching helps, but Zach Boren’s work at linebacker helps too. And if the Buckeyes can support their offense and questionable special teams by keeping their defense tight, then they will remain at the top of the Big 10.

The Rest of the Season

With the press focusing on the sad events in the Happy Valley, many forgot that the Buckeyes endured some bad press of their own for the memorabilia scandal. With their spotless record, in addition to the fact that their last three games are against Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, the Buckeyes appear a shoo-in for the Leaders’ Division title..

Under more favorable circumstances, the team could have realistically considered itself a contender for the Big Ten championship. While their postseason play suspension makes that impossible, they could still play in a bowl game should the AP poll vote the team a spot.

What Needs Work

Big plays. As in, not giving them up. From kickoff returns to long runs to fumbles and interceptions, the Buckeyes have had some trouble in this area.

While their sterling undefeated-through-October record makes it easy to forget, there have been some close ones in there. The offensive line must surely be feeling the heat after a number of missed tackles, including the one that sent Miller to the hospital.

Overconfidence could also become a serious issue. When exciting late-game reprieves make you forget the five bad plays from earlier in the game, trouble is brewing.

Looking Ahead

The Buckeyes have an excellent chance to finish the season undefeated. Even with the missed tackles and punishing missed plays, Miller and the defense have come up large when the chips were down.

While the faithful OSU fans ponder the postseason that might have been, remember: there’s always January.

Byline: Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond.

How Bout Them Buckeyes

Jared SullingerIt took me a little bit to get into ‘basketball mode’ this year, but once March Madness rolls around, it’s hard not to get excited. Doesn’t hurt either when The Ohio State University has an all-star team that is now headed to New Orleans for the 2012 Final Four!

Led by sophomore Jared Sullinger, the Buckeyes put up an intense victory Saturday night over Syracuse, a favorite going into the tournament. Aaron Craft has played OK, missing a couple key shots from beyond the arc, but Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas have come to play.

Coach Thad Matta has really kept his team composed and focused, which can be hard to do when it comes to the ‘madness of march‘. However, college sports is a coaches game, and he’s taking his team all the way.

I remember watching them earlier this season, thinking they looked “OK”. They started the season off undefeated, but got their first loss on Saturday, December 10 to Kansas. They are going into this game healthy, and in their prime…

Guess who they’re playing in the Final Four?! Kansas… Time for some revenge! Should be a fantastic game!

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