Ohio State Football: Why Buckeyes Will Be Unstoppable in 2013

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes congratulates Bri'onte Dunn #25 of the Ohio State Buckeyes after he scored a touchdown against the Illinois Illini on November 3, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Illinois 52-22. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Ohio State might have gone undefeated this year, but Buckeyes fans must be salivating at the fact the best is yet to come.

Even the most ardent Buckeyes supporter had to be shocked at the team's 12-0 record in 2012. Despite the arrival of Urban Meyer, expectations for the season were quite low considering all of the factors coming into the year.

Ohio State was coming off a 6-7 season during which Jim Tressel was fired. And then there was the bowl ban as a result of infractions during Tressel's tenure.

This year was only meant to be the foundation of the Buckeyes' long-term success under Meyer. Instead, the school skipped all the steps involving rebuilding and went straight the chapter about success.

There's no reason to think it can't continue in 2013.

The Buckeyes might have benefited from a less than intimidating non-conference slate, but it doesn't get tougher next year.

Ohio State has home games against Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M. The most difficult non-conference game is away to Cal, but that's not all that scary considering the Golden Bears' disastrous 2012.

The Bucks are going to ride a great offense into 2013 as well. All of their key weapons should be back.

Junior running back Carlos Hyde may be the biggest question mark, but the odds are against him declaring for the draft early. Along with Hyde, junior Philly Brown and sophomore Devin Smith will return as the leading receivers.

The crown jewel will of course be sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. He improved by leaps and bounds under Meyer. No matter how much the offense might have stalled at times, Miller provided the spark.

At various points in the season he had an outside shot at the Heisman, but in 2013 Miller has to be considered one of the favorites.

One of the team's biggest problems, penalties, will only improve as the defense gets more experienced. The Buckeyes ranked 103rd in the nation, giving up around 65 yards a game.

Every game you could almost expect a defender to pick up a personal foul for a late hit. The players were a little too excited to put up a highlight-reel tackle, hurting the team in the process.

No team can finish undefeated making so many dumb mistakes, but it's fair to expect that won't continue next year.

The Buckeyes might have finished perfect, but they were far from it on the field. Fortunately, the best is yet to come.