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Urban Meyer Sugar Bowl press conference: Preparing for Alabama and life after Tom Herman

For the last time until the Buckeyes take off for the College Football Playoff in New Orleans, Urban Meyer met with the media after practice to give updates players and talk more about the significance of playing in a historical game against a team he knows all too well.

With just a few practices left before the Ohio State football team takes holiday break, Urban Meyer spoke to reporters about where his players stand ahead of a tough match-up against Alabama. It's important for the players to keep a level head, and not get swept away in the pageantry of what they are about to embark on.

-- This team can "absolutely" compete with the best in the country. Meyer was pleasantly surprised he didn't have to wait a year to have the team that is playing now; for a young team they matured very quickly.

-- Meyer on Tom Herman,"looks like he's been hit with a bat around here" when referencing his use of time between preparing the Buckeyes and transitioning to Houston for the head coaching job. The relationship between Herman and the rest of the coaching staff is still great, and Urban has nothing but respect for him and what he's done for the program. He may not have been well-known before Ohio State, but he is when he's leaving.

-- On Cardale Jones, "he's changed, but that's the job of our coaching staff." When he made a mistake during the Wisconsin game, he looked Meyer in the eye and acknowledged what he did.

-- Meyer talked about Dodson not returning due to neck injury, but no other losses to academics or other injuries besides Dontre Wilson. Rumors have swirled for months about when Dontre Wilson will be making his return to the football field; Urban Meyer said Wilson is about 50/50.

-- When asked how the players look at Alabama. Meyer has used them as motivation for his team, and he has a lot of respect for the University and the athletes.

-- The 2013 recruiting class became a core group of pretty young guys, Meyer and staff felt really good about that class and they have all been "program changer guys".

-- Meyer will continue to talk about working with the NCAA to ensure that families are able to travel and afford to see their sons play one of the biggest games in their lives.

-- Playing in a playoff game is completely different than a bowl game. While it's exciting that they are playing in the Sugar Bowl, they aren't approaching it the same way they have before.

-- When asked if he has a short list for replacing the Offensive Coordinator; he acknowledged that they are working on it early and have plans all over the place.

-- Meyer calls the offense "quarterback friendly" when talking about being so deep in the quarterback position moving forward. The offensive line plays a big part in the quarterback's success; they weren't playing well against Virginia Tech and had a great game against Wisconsin, it can make or break a game.

-- Per Meyer, Cardale Jones "is not a grab bag quarterback."

-- On Tim Tebow speaking with the players this week, "I have very few jersey's hanging in my office, and he's one of them." Apparently Tebow still wants a chance to play in the NFL.