"Knowing his team’s deficiencies, where they had strayed from his plan and where his plans needed to be altered, then making the changes needed to fix them are a big part of what makes Meyer a national championship coach."
While at a camp in Fort Wayne, IN, Sunday, Urban Meyer admitted that his 2013 Buckeye squad was not ready for a shot at the national title.
"Deep in my heart, I knew something wasn’t quite right as we prepared to play a very, very good team called Michigan State," said Meyer. "We lost the game. The sun wasn’t going to come up in Ohio.
Alabama had just lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn with the unlikely missed field goal return by Auburn cornerback Chris Davis to end the game, meaning that it would likely have been Ohio State facing freshman Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Florida State in the national title game that year.
"Deep in my heart, I knew we weren’t ready for that," said Meyer.
The loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game in 2013, followed by a loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, were Meyer’s first losses in his two-year tenure at Ohio State. While most coaches won’t admit to their team’s faults, Meyer owned up to the Buckeye’s shortcomings of that season, which may be an indication of how the team was able to rebound in 2014.
Following the disappointing 2013 postseason, Meyer worked to change the culture at Ohio State, working to overcome previous deficiencies and, ultimately, to earn a national championship far earlier than could have been expected.
"What’s in a jersey number? In the college football world—a whole lot."
In this video, Adam Rittenberg analyzed some of the most important numbers in college program histories. Some, like the No. 1 jersey traditionally worn by Michigan wide receivers, or USC’s 55 worn by linebackers like Willie McGinest and the late Junior Seau, are meant to be passed on to future players who earned the number. Others, like Archie Manning’s 18 and Peyton Manning’s 16, are meant only for specific players.
"You’ll find plenty of 45s in the stands at Ohio Stadium, but none on the field. That’s Archie Griffin’s number and no player will wear it again. While some numbers should be passed along to others to continue the legacy, others should be frozen in time just as we remember those who wore them," said Rittenberg.
Ohio State had three jersey numbers mentioned on the list:
- No. 2: Chris Carter, Mike Doss and Malcolm Jenkins
- No. 36: Chris Spielman and Tom Cousineau
- No. 45 Archie Griffin
Griffin’s 45 remains one of eight jersey numbers retired by Ohio State. Five of the other jerseys, Troy Smith (10), Les Horvath (22), Eddie George (27), Vic Janowicz (31) and Howard "Hopalong" Cassady (40), were also Heisman Trophy winners. Chic Harley (47) predated the Heisman Trophy. Bill Willis (99) remains the only defensive player whose jersey has been retired.
"Pick a college program and certain numbers will tell a story—of greatness, of leadership, or inspiration of history," said Rittenberg. Numbers help guide us through college football—its past, its present and its future."
"And I sat there thinking to myself, ‘What am I waiting for? I know this is the place’" McCall said. "So I went ahead and told the world what it was."
Demario McCall, the No. 2 running back in the 2016 recruiting class, knew he was going to commit to Ohio State when he watched the Buckeyes pummel Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship. Perhaps head coach Urban Meyer knew too, which is why, during McCall’s March 28 unofficial visit to Ohio State, Meyer bluntly asked "What are you waiting for?"
McCall, an Ohio native from North Ridgeville near Cleveland, was also heavily recruited by West Virginia and Michigan State, but officially committed to Ohio State in March after receiving an offer last May. He attended two camps at Ohio State last summer after receiving his offer. Last year, McCall also received offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee and Georgia.
Three of 2016’s top-five running backs, including the four-star McCall, are already committed to Ohio State. Five-star prospect Kareem Walker committed to Ohio State in January, and four-star George Hill committed last June. McCall is the smallest of the group at 5’11", 180 lbs., but anticipates that he could be used in a role similar to Dontre Wilson or Jalin Marshall as an H-back.
On a team already stacked at running back, the three 2016 commits will have to battle it out. McCall is more than willing to work to earn his spot as a starter: "There comes a point in life where there’s competition and you have to work for it," McCall said in an interview. "I am prepared. I have no doubt. I am willing to take the challenge and work for it."
The Big Ten released conference schedules for the 2015-16 men’s ice hockey season last week. Each team will play 20 conference games, including 10 each at home and away. Each team will play every other conference team four times in the regular season.
The Big Ten began sponsoring ice hockey in the 2013-14 season. Currently, six Big Ten teams have men’s hockey programs: Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. Minnesota has won both conference championships to date.
Ohio State’s first conference home game is scheduled for Jan. 15 against Michigan, with Big Ten play continuing through March. The Big Ten Hockey Tournament will take place March 17-19 in Minnesota.
You can check out the full schedule here.