ESPN Insider's "20 teams that can win it all" series is previewing each of the top 20 teams in Brian Fremeau's five-year program metric, with the help of ESPN's Stats & Information group (for a full explanation and links to all of the previews as they are published, click here). This is the entry for Ohio State.
Last season was one of the most difficult campaigns in the recent history of the Ohio State Buckeyes. It was the first time since 2004 that the scarlet and gray did not win at least 10 games, and they finished with a losing record for the first time since 1988.
The Buckeyes' game plan to turn things around in what will be their 100th season in the Big Ten started with the hiring of two-time BCS national championship coach Urban Meyer.
Meyer won't get a chance to direct Ohio State to a BCS title berth in 2012 due to the Buckeyes' not being eligible for postseason play (hence the reason for the asterisk included in the logo for this series). But they still have the potential to post one of the best seasons in the nation in 2012, placing in the top 10 of Brian Fremeau's PFEI rankings (check out the series page for more details).
What are the odds the Buckeyes can be a top team this season, and possibly even enter the AP national title discussion with an undefeated or one-loss campaign? Let's take a closer look at their situation to find out.
Why OSU could have a dominant 2012 campaign
The offense is a lot better than generally thought
Meyer said he didn't look at film of last year's team because he wanted everyone to be able to start with a clean slate. That is especially understandable on the offensive side of the ledger given how poorly that unit played at times, but the truth is that in many ways this offense wasn't nearly as bad as its reputation.