Losses Be Damned

By Jeff Beck on December 5, 2012 at 5:00p

Ohio State might not lose another football game for a while.

Don't Lose OneDon't wanna lose one in 2013.

It’s not a popular opinion, particularly within a B1G conference that has struggled to keep up with the Buckeyes for the better part of the 2000s, but it’s true.

The Scarlet and Gray lost an amazing coach and simply went out and found a better one. How many schools can do that? Can any other school do that? 

So here we sit with the very real possibility that 12-0 is the ground floor of a football behemoth Urban Meyer is building on the banks of the Olentangy.

With playoffs in the pipeline for 2014, next season is the last in which programs eyeing the crystal trophy can legitimately get away with scheduling soft opponents as stepping stones to higher win totals.

With a shadowy (and yet to be completely explained) selection committee slated to choose the four playoff contenders in 2014, ADs like Gene Smith are banking on the strength of out-of-conference games to play a key role in the decision-making process.

But that’s 2014 and Buckeye fans have waited long enough to dream of championships.

So that brings us to next season, and my, oh my does the schedule look promising.

The Buckeyes open things up with the MAC’s Buffalo Bulls at home. The mighty Bulls have managed to increase their win total every year for the past three seasons. Unfortunately for them, that progress looks like this: 2010, 2 wins; 2011, 3 wins; 2012, 4 wins. Northern Illinois they are not.

From there they take on Brady Hoke’s jilted lover San Diego State. The Aztecs were able to put together a solid season in 2012, going 9-3 and tying for first place in the Mountain West.

However, against stiff (and some not so stiff, e.g. Washington) competition, SD State faltered nearly every time. Sure they beat Boise, but so did Michigan State, and they’ll lose their leading passer in 2013. 

Cal is up next, and while this pairing may have looked strong in a scheduling meeting seven years ago, it simply isn’t the USC or Texas home-and-home of years past. Cal gave OSU a game in 2012, but ultimately went 3-9, lost their head coach and will lose their senior QB Zach Maynard. 

MemoriesBuilding block for a behemoth.

After their cross-country trip, the Buckeyes will take on the Florida A&M Rattlers, who won four games last season. Seriously, how does Gene Smith get away with this stuff?

OSU then opens up their B1G season with Wisconsin in Columbus…LOL. I can assure you the loss of this guy will hurt a lot more than the loss of whatever this is.

A rare trip to Evanston is up next to take on Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but this might be one of the Buckeyes’ most challenging matchups of the season.

While no one would mistake the crowd at Ryan Field for a game changer, it is an away game. The ‘Cats are also likely to return a shifty Kain Colter and a 1,000+ yard rusher in Venric Mark. Fitzgerald is definitely putting something together north of Chicago.

After a bye week, the Bucks will have a two-game stint at home where they’ll face Iowa and Penn State (games they’ll be heavily favored in) before heading to the house of horrors that is Ross-Ade Stadium.

If there was ever a more straightforward example of “having someone’s number” I want to see it.

This can’t happen again right?....right? I guess we’ll just have to get used to it. Oh wait, no we won't.

Wet paper bags in the form of Illinois (Purdue before Purdue was Purdue to the Buckeyes) and Indiana (with the exception of last season of course) stand in the way of another tilt with That Team Up North.

Long story short, what we are looking at here is a season in which the Buckeyes will be favored in every game they play. Not facing Michigan State or Nebraska also helps.

But being favored isn’t always enough.

Sometimes you’re unexpectedly wrapped up in a shoot-out with a bottom-feeder or needing your backup QB to lead a miraculous drive to pull your team to victory by their chinstraps. 

That’s the special stuff, and something Urban is going to need to tap into during the 2013 season.

If he does…

Ohio State might not lose another football game for a while.



gwalther's picture

I think you linked it up to the 2014 season on accident..

Class of 2008

dumpus's picture

nbd, we'll run that one too.  until the Big0 starts to hire even competent coaches and not get the only good programs they slapped with bowl bans, this writeup applies to 2014...and 15...and 16...and 17...and 18...and 19...

Buckeyejason's picture



BED's picture


The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

BoFuquel's picture

I think we used up all our Zebra chips this year, I'm not expecting any crucial calls to go our way next year.The big bucks won't be behind The Bucks.It will be on the team owned by The Men In Black.All you can do is play'em. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

CALPOPPY's picture

But I think we had many calls go against us as well, so I don't know that next year will be any different.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

onetwentyeight's picture

It won't matter. Those close calls only matter when your team is within the realm of your opponent and engaged in a competitive game. Remember that one Miami team from way back that accumulated like a thousand penalties against Texas and still won by 35? Because they were JUST that much better?
That's us next year. 
[EDIT: THIS game is what I was referring to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Cotton_Bowl_Classic ]

BucksfanXC's picture

Why do I have to keep seeing that picture of Bert's outie? Seriously, once was one too many times. Stop linking it!

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Rooster Buckburn's picture

I saw Bert nekked ERMAGHERD - my eyes!!!  Seriously, how does a dude with a big belly have an outie??

carton's picture

Very probable 25-0, going into NCG.

Buckeyejason's picture

Yeah totally because alot of teams do that right.


btalbert25's picture

I typically agree with you when people are being a bit too homerish, but I have to tell you, after this season, that I thought it would be impossible to go 12-0, I'm buying in.  The team is going to be better next year, the schedule is going to be worse, and they are going to be pissed that they didn't get to play for something this year.  I don't think next year there are going to be many close games.  I think Urban will compensate for the weak schedule by running up scores next year. 
I'm not saying it's probable for Urban to start off 25-0, but I'm thinking it's definitely a possibility now.

onetwentyeight's picture

Not just 25-0 my man. Do you wanna know how DRUNK on the URBAN #KOOLAID I AM? ...
^ THIS. is in jeapordy. Yes I'm going there. Yes this is homer as F*CK. IDGAF. #COMEATMEBRO LOL

Colorado Buckeye's picture

that first cup of Urbanade tasted pretty damn good! poor me another... and another... and another...

Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever!

TheTenYearWar's picture

Are you sure you're not just drunk?

BME_Buckeye's picture

A rare trip to Evanston is up next to take on Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but this might be one of the Buckeyes’ most challenging matchups of the season.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't concern about this game a lot. NW always beats a team you don't expect to beat and I see no reason why it won't be either us or Michigan. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


Urbstache's picture


Urban Warfare

TheHannimal's picture

Nerdwestern got game.

Hoody Wayes's picture

You know, there's a fair number of Buckeye fans and lots more haters who'd read Jeff's post or hear someone else make the same argument and chirp, "You guys are swooning like a bunch of teenage girls, over your new coach!" Or, they'd discount such talk as over-the-top arrogance. But, it's neither. 
Urban Meyer is like a tornado, with a brain. And like any tornado, what it's gonna do is all about time and place and conditions. 
FEMA will be of no use to those hit by this "perfect storm."

sandytowne's picture

It is far more likely that the Buckeyes lose a game next season than go undefeated.  The law of averages and such.  That being said, the 2013 schedule is unbelievably favorable for the Buckeyes.  If there was ever a schedule that would make back-to-back undefeated seasons possible, next years schedule is certainly it.  

Oben_Where's picture

It is far more likely that the Buckeyes lose a game next season than go undefeated.  The law of averages and such.

That's kind of like saying if you flip heads, there's a better chance of flipping tails than heads for a second time. But I know what you meant. Truthfully, it looks like there's a better chance of an undefeated season next year than there was this year. Here's to hoping.

onetwentyeight's picture

But that's the thing. Law of average assumes that a lot of external factors are also random or equal. Like in the NFL the talent level is so close that, all things considered, law of averages often plays a role. In even more random things like (um...Most life events) this is even more so the case. 
BUT. College football is one of those gloriousssss exceptions in life where we can theoretically control our destiny far more than is statistically 'normal', for lack of a better word. It's not an "any given sunday" type of thing anymore. When Bama played their poor FCS foe this year, what were the odds that they weren't going to win? Yes we've seen FCS upsets happen App. St. style and it wasn't a statistical certainty. But I daresay that Bama's odds at winning vs FCS teams were far higher than say the odds of any NFL team winning or losing this Sunday. And if this same Bama team in our example played 8 straight FCS foes, and went 8-0, and before they played another 8 FCS teams would you then caution that "Law of averages" dictates in the next 8 FCS games Hypothetical Bama would be more likely to lose? I wouldn't say so. The talent, coaching, facilities, and straight up MONEY discrepancies between some CFB teams are just so big that I daresay law of averages wouldn't apply.
And yes, I just compared the entire rest of the B1G to FCS-level teams.
Because they are.  

Buckeyejason's picture

My biggest concern with us going undefeated this year is that we will probably not do it next year..a loss this season would've probably been healthy and something to learn from to benefit a team that will be ELIGIBLE to win a title next year.
It's not easy to have college dynasty teams now and days that never lose. I would've took a 10-2 11-1 record this year if it meant getting that Crystal ball next season.


btalbert25's picture

I typically agree, but I think some the wins they pulled off this year were actually better than losses.  The staff didn't treat the IU game like a win.  The Purdue game they were dead in the water and came back and one that.  I think they learned much more about the team in that win than losing a home game to a team like Purdue would of taught them. 
Plus, all this success this season was meaningless.  At least that's what Urban is going to tell them.  He's going to blast these guys all year with messages about how people disrespected them because of a weak schedule, and people said Braxton didn't deserve any awards, and how people laugh at the idea that this team could beat Bama or Notre Dame.  He's going to be in these guys ears keeping them motivated.  Pissing them off.

Buckeyejason's picture

Good point.


Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's not easy - or typical - to find teams that might end being as good as the Buckeyes were in back-to-back seasons (2012 + possibly/probably even better in 2013) that also has back-to-back schedules as favorable as Ohio State's 2012 and 2013 schedules might end up being. 
I appreciate your point, but the coin flip analogy is apt - i.e., a team is not "due to lose" because it beat the odds the year before (independent causes). Ohio State losing a game this year would not have gotten it of their systems and/or helped teach them how to win close games next year, etc.
Now, in terms of the odds, you do have point about next year, but not because they went undefeated this year: even if we assigned a 0.95 chance of winning to all 13 games next season (in reality, a few would be higher, but most would be lower, even considerably lower), the probability of 13-0 would be around 0.50.

Timotheos's picture

I'm not as worried about the games as the mentality of the team. Don't want a 1969-esque letdown for one game. This team could be dominant, and I hope and believe that Urban will keep this team ready.

Dougger's picture

no complacency

I like football

onetwentyeight's picture

Because I worship at the altar of UFM these days, I have no problem seeing 26-0. 
HOWEVER. IF. we were to lose a game next year, it'll be Cal. They just hired Sonny Dykes. Mr. Air Raid himself from this year's LATech team that led the nation in scoring. 
Give him PAC caliber athletes to run Air Raid and watch out ... Part of me gets uneasy wondering if our Defense has matured to the point where they'll be able to mark those targets and make those tackles. 

Bucksfan's picture

We don't even know who's staying or who's going to the NFL (Hankins, Roby).  We hope Jordan Hall will be healthy (sort of need some speed out in space for this to be a confidently "unstoppable class warship"), but who knows?  Michael Thomas saw some very limited action this year, and I'm pretty sure he drew more penalties than minutes-played.  And as much as I absolutely hate that Braxton Miller didn't get a NYC invitation, he did struggle down the stretch when the tests got tougher (as did the coaching staff).
It is wildly premature to say an Ohio State team won't lose a game.  They have to go to Ann Arbor, and may potentially have to play them a second time the following week in Indy.  "Undefeated" is a word I don't like to say until they're at least 9-0.
That said, very exciting.

Buckeyejason's picture

^ Basically what I've been thinking. I wouldn't be suprised to see the Bucks run the table by any means..basically the whole offense returns, which is huge. I also wouldn't be shocked to see this team drop a game or two next year. Losing your best D-line combo in the past decade as well as veteran contributors (Goebel, Williams) won't be easy to replace..even with former top 100 prospects. Either way it'll be fun to watch and I would love to see this team play in Indy late November for that BIG 10 title.


btalbert25's picture

I don't think it'll be easy, but I think Spence, Washington, and Bennett will all be studs. 

headina's picture

Hopefully they can still get into the title game after playing no ranked opponents. 


AirForceNUT's picture

I agree with you, but regardless of the schedule, if an OSU team is 25-0 after winning the B1G championship,  could they really hold us out? When is the last time a team has won that many games consecutively?  Miami 2002?

Menexenus's picture

We have 2 open dates/bye weeks next season?  That sucks.  Any chance we fill one of those open dates for a 13 game regular season (like in 2002)?

Real fans stay for Carmen.

DaiTheFlu's picture

This is an interesting though. I would be intersted in knowing if this is even allowable by the Mark Emmert Gestap...Err, NCAA. Does anyone know?

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

AirForceNUT's picture

That is interesting because after the CCG game and the NC (if we make it and win) we could become the first team to finish a season 15-0 (that of course breaking our own record of 14-0).

Tommy's picture

We will have the highest probability of going undefeated next season of any team in the FBS.  And it will still be less than a 25% chance realistically.  Probably far less.
If you gave us 90% odds to win each game next season (not realistic) and treated them as independent events, that would give us a 
.9^12= 28% chance of winning them all
We would actually have a better chance of going 11-1 (38%).
If you want to argue the premise of independent events that's fine, but be careful.  I'd say it's at least as likely that the wins get harder to come by than easier as the season goes on and the pressure mounts.

Buckeyejason's picture

 I'd say it's at least as likely that the wins get harder to come by than easier as the season goes on and the pressure mounts.

This was one of my main points, that I probably didn't explain clear enough.


CowCat's picture

There are just too many unknowns at this point to predict another unbeaten season ...
An unproven DL and LBs, coaches could leave, injuries could occur, opponents could have surprise seasons, etc.
I hope our team doesn't think on paper like this :)

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

TheTenYearWar's picture

This board is drowning in koolaid.

jarheadbuckeyefan's picture


"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."~ Woody Hayes

TheTenYearWar's picture

There are going to be some very, very disappointed people here come next November.

onetwentyeight's picture


jthiel09's picture

I can see undefeated, but with that schedule I could see getting left out of the title game to a 1 loss ... I'm not going to say the conference ... team. People hate the B1G, especially Ohio State, but I still think we go undefeated.
The only thing I think that could give us a chance is our opponent in the B1G Championship game. We need a 10-2 top #15 team or better to give us a statement game that season and hopefully not our only win over a ranked team (but likely given our schedule). And with us not playing Nebrasky it's likely depending on how many 70 point losses they get next season.


btalbert25's picture

After what we just witnessed this season, how can anyone not be drinking the kook-aid???  I try to be as realistic as possible and I'll be honest, I thought people who were predicting a 12-0 season were out of there mind this year.  Granted, this team had great leadership from seniors, but that alone is not enough to get to 12-0.  It took more than just the seniors, and I believe after this season a lot of those qualities were passed on to younger guys as well.  All that being said, if the 2012 Buckeyes went 12-0, I don't see why it's so outrageous to believe 2013 will as well.
After watching the 2012 Buckeyes and witnessing what Urban just pulled off, I think anything is possible.

Doc's picture

Spot on BT.  First off, I've been drinking the Kool-Aid for a year now, boy is it tastey.  I believe an undefeated 2013 is very well with in reach.  Of course the ball has to bounce our way a few times, but still possible.  This offseason and next summer will be key.  If the guys continue working like they have something to prove then they will get better and the offense and defense can make forward progress.  The schedule is perfectly set up for it as well.  Granted we have a tough roadie to Nerdwestern, and of course the grudge mass in A2.  Those two are the season.  Cal could be tough with the new air raid offense being implemented, and Purdont always plays us tough at Ross-Aide.  Other than that cake city.  I fully expect to see Urban and the Bucks playing for all the marbles next winter.  Anything else will be disappointing.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Boxley's picture

We could go 12-0 next season and we could go 10-2, 11-1. There are so many variables out there right now. We are replacing the entire defensive line. we may be replacing over 50% of the secondary too.
Can we win all of the games? yes, but the likelihood of doing so is very difficult. If Braxton improves his passing game the odds go way up. If our defense struggles early we could get outscored and lose one we should not have.
Then again, it will be Urban's second year at a new school, and he does very, very, well in his second year, always improving over his first year so......
12-0 is possible, we will have a much clearer picture around week 5 if it is more than just a pipe dream.
The bad part of that is we now have to wait about 46 weeks to get the answer. This is really going to be a long offseason.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt


OSU's legit road blocks to 12-0 next season:
At Cal (they just hired the LaTech coach whose offense averaged 50 points game this season, if the OSU D isn't up to par it could be like the Indiana game all over again)
At Northwestern (The Wildcats have most of their team back and will likely be ranked in the top 15 at that point so they'll be looking for the upset. Also, this game comes a week after the Wisconsin game and if Wiscy plays us close it could be a tough one)
At TTUN (just because its The Game and anything can happen)
Barring a devastating injury to Miller (knock on wood) or a complete fundamental collapse of the team, I do NOT see the Buckeyes losing at Ohio Stadium in 2013. Wisconsin is the B1G opener at home. If we don't thump them with their new coach I will be bitterly disappointed (unless Alvarez takes the job in which case I'll mark this one up as a definite road block). I think we will throttle Penn State and everyone else that comes to our place. Those 3 road games concern me the most.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Far too early to be thinking about next season.
Come back to this after:
1. Hyde, Hankins, and Roby make their decisions (Hankins is most likely done so the decsions of Roby and Hyde loom large).
2. The coaching carosel ends (Possible coaching staff changes).
3. National signing day (Freshman that could get significant playing time next year)
4. Summer (Stoney, Mewhort, Jordan Hall nuff said)
After that then I'll be able to give a better guess.
There are too many things to go through until next season.

dtanmango's picture

Haha this is awesome, how did we get such a schedule :D.
It's gonna be a good ride!