Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why Bowl Ban Benefits Urban Meyer in His First Season

By Tim Featured Contributor

Urban Meyer's arrival as the head coach at Ohio State hit a speed bump when the NCAA announced that the Buckeyes were banned from the 2012 postseason.

That means that even in the unlikely even that Ohio State goes 12-0 in the regular season, they will not get to play for a national championship let alone a Big Ten championship.

However, that doesn't mean that a shortened season won't benefit Meyer.

What it takes away, obviously, is the 15 extra practices that come from playing in the bowl game and a chance for this year's freshmen to experience the bowls.

But what it gives this team is a chance to prepare itself for a national championship opportunity the following season similar to what USC did last season.

Meyer also gets a chance to let his new message sink in further with a clean slate and a full year's audition to get ready for the future.

The best thing that can happen for a program that has a postseason ban is for them to go through a coaching change like Ohio State is going through.

The idea of having a postseason ban during the Jim Tressel era if he were still the head coach has much less buzz and can impact the demeanor of not only the fans, but the players as well.

By then, the players in the system are set in their ways, and not having anything to play for can make them feel much less invested in the finished product.

With Meyer's new system of continuous competition, there's always a sense of needing to keep the pedal down all the time, and any sense of entitlement will keep a player on the bench.

Even seniors like John Simon will have to find something to play for, such as ending their careers with a 3-1 record over Michigan and boosting their draft stocks.

The majority of the Buckeye roster consists of underclassmen.

A season like this to gain the much required experience—without all the typical pressures coaches and players face year-in and year-out at Ohio State—provides a near perfect situation. Plenty of opportunities will be given to several of OSU's younger players if Meyer feels they are ready for it.

The other thing a postseason ban does is allow Meyer and his coaching staff to do what they do best—recruit.

Meyer pulled a top-five class in 2012 from the depths of mediocrity in just over three months since he came to Ohio State.

He has already put together a fantastic class with limited scholarship numbers for this year.

The extra time will allow him to focus his attention not only on closing the deals with top recruits for the 2013 class, but to also start putting work in for the 2014 class.

Recruiting is a 24/7-365-day business, and Meyer understands that as well as anyone in college football.

He will take that time when his players can't practice to get the last few pieces to load up for a national championship push in 2013.

That's what this season is all about—getting ready to recapture the college football world in 2013, regardless of what postseason system comes into effect.

Meyer will have to wait a year to bring the crystal football back to the Buckeye state, but he's ready to do what he has to do with a short season to make sure his team is ready to get there.



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