Ohio State's national title path

Do Buckeyes have what it takes to win it all in Urban Meyer's second year?

Originally Published: May 29, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN Insider

Miller & HydeJamie Sabau/Getty ImagesThe Buckeyes should have a dynamic backfield this season with Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde.

From May 20-31, Insider's college football experts will examine the national championship chances of the 10 teams with the best odds to win the BCS title this season, according to Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections.

Today, Austin Ward takes a look at the path the Ohio State Buckeyes could take to the national championship game and the factors that could trip them up along the way.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Perfection might have arrived a bit ahead of schedule for Urban Meyer. Ohio State can't do anything to improve its win percentage in Meyer's second year in charge of the program.

But the Buckeyes can provide an encore that could be more impressive than what they pulled off a year ago while sitting out the postseason because of NCAA sanctions if for no other reason than simply getting the opportunity back to play for more than a division title and pride.

Expectations were going to be enormous for Meyer this fall regardless of how many games he won last season, particularly with a roster loaded with offensive talent and a favorable schedule. But the numbers seem to support the possibility of a perfect record in 2013 as well.

On the low side of ESPN Insider Brian Fremeau's projections, the win range for the Buckeyes sits at nine. At the end of the regular season, it could be 12. (And the computers give them a league-leading 30 percent chance to win the Big Ten.) But what really motivates the Buckeyes is the chance to tack a couple of games on top of that in December and January, and there are plenty of reasons to think they can do just that. That said, there are also a couple of issues that might prevent them from raising a crystal football once again.

Why they'll win a national championship

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter