Notre Dame Football: Why Urban Meyer, Ohio State Could Beat Irish

Alex CallosCorrespondent INovember 25, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes smiles with head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes after defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. The Ohio State Buckeyes won, 35-23. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With one week left in the regular season, there is still a question as to who will be taking on Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game.

The winner of the Alabama-Georgia clash in the SEC Championship game will get a shot to knock off the undefeated Fighting Irish in January.

One team that will not get that shot is Ohio State. It raises the question: What would happen if the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes took on the 12-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

While some may question whether or not Ohio State would be playing for the national championship if it was eligible, the Buckeyes would likely be playing Notre Dame. 

Both teams have played some relatively close games throughout the season. Notre Dame has won five games by seven points or fewer, and Ohio State won six games by one score.

What would happen if these two teams squared off? While it could go either way, the slight edge would go to Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Here is why.

Ohio State is improving steadily on the defensive side of the ball. The unit was a weakness at the beginning of the season but is now turning into a strength for the team.

In the second half of the season-finale against Michigan, the Wolverines were not even able to cross midfield. The improvements on defense date back to the midway point of the season, when the group seemingly turned the corner.

After allowing 49 points in a victory over Indiana on October 13, the defense has been dominant in recent weeks.

The key to that dominance has been a defensive line led by John Simon and Johnathan Hankins. The recent play of the defense would not be good news for a Notre Dame offense that still struggles to score points.

While the Notre Dame offense has been relatively consistent for most of the season, it is not improving at nearly the rate the Ohio State defense is. 

Notre Dame wins games with its defense and front seven in particular. The Fighting Irish would be tested against an Ohio State offensive line that has been solid all season. Controlling the line of scrimmage would not be as easy against Ohio State as it has been against other teams for Notre Dame.

Dominating the line of scrimmage has been something Notre Dame has been able to do all season, but it might struggle in that department against Ohio State.

If Notre Dame does not dominate the line of scrimmage, they are a very beatable team, and the skill players on the offensive side of the ball for Ohio State are much more talented than Notre Dame. 

Perhaps the X-factor in all of this is Urban Meyer. He has much more experience than Brian Kelly in big bowl games. Meyer has won two national championships and played in four BCS bowl games. 

Meyer is not only one of the best recruiters in the game, but also as good a coach as anybody. The edge in this department clearly goes to Ohio State. 

Come game day, the slight edge in this one would go to Urban Meyer and The Ohio State Buckeyes.