Urban Renewal: It Really Works!

By on January 5, 2013


Urban Meyer addresses the crowd during the intermission of the game between Ohio State and the Indiana Hoosiers at Value City Arena. Ohio State won the game 80-63. (photot by: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE)

We here at Rocket Sports and Entertainment are humble sportswriters with modest egos. However, when we correctly predict something we like to let you know about it.   Darius with the Urban Meyer prediction

The Ohio State season was a surprise to everyone including myself, the residential Buckeye. No one expected a team that was 6-7 in 2011 to be 12-0 in 2012 with essentially the same guys. The difference was a guy the many University of Florida fans in the Bay Area home of RSEN know all too well: Urban Meyer.

The “Urban Renewal” was in full force this past season and we called it! Yes the summer of 2011, just days after Luke Fickell was announced the 23rd Ohio State head football coach, we on the RSEN radio show said Urban Meyer would become the 24th. Urban Meyer grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, played receiver at the University of Cincinnati and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the Ohio State University. In 2012 he had the chance to make his home state of Ohio proud by becoming the coach of their biggest team.

Meyer is just one of many great coaches to call Ohio home. Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Brady Hoke, Jim Tressel, Paul Brown, Lou Holtz, the Harbaugh brothers, the Stoops brothers and many others grew up in Ohio. However, unlike any of those other coaches he came back home to Ohio State and took a six-win team to an undefeated 12-0 season in his first year. Were it not for a postseason ban from the Tressel days this team may be in Miami Gardens preparing for a title shot.

The move to hire Meyer was huge to Ohio State fans who dubbed the new era the “Urban Renewal”. The excitement in Columbus was broadcast nationwide when the summer/fall training camp was documented by ESPN in a series called Training Days Ohio State. Fans were more excited for this season, a year in which everyone knew there would be no postseason play, than they had been in quite some time. The Buckeyes lived up to the high hopes of Buckeye Nation and far exceeded the expectations of any rational football mind outside of the Ohio State locker room.

Urban Meyer at the introduction press conference. Who knew 12 & 0 (photo by USPresswire/Greg Bartram)

The 2012 Buckeyes not only improved in record, but made a drastic statistical jump as well. The leading receiver in 2011 was Devin Smith with 14 catches for 294 yards. The Buckeyes rushed for 2,485 yards on the season. Braxton Miller had a 54% completion percentage for 1,159 yards and 13 TDs passing. Ohio State averaged 24 points per game while allowing 21 per game. In 2012 the leading Ohio State receiver was Corey “Philly” Brown with 60 catches for 669 yards. The team ran for 2,907 yards on the year. Braxton Miller completed 59% of his passes and threw for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Buckeyes averaged 37 points per game and allowed 22 to opponents on average.

The season was one of ups and downs with Ohio State being far from perfect while attaining a spotless record. Close games against Cal and Indiana and needing overtime to beat Purdue and Wisconsin showed the team was vulnerable. Scoring more than 50 points in four different games showed the team could score with the best of them. The offense made strides and the defense showed a few (albeit brief) flashes of greatness.

The 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes may not have been the best Ohio State team ever, but finished the season without a loss and would likely be playing in the BCS National Championship game were they eligible. With one of the best backfields in the country led by Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde, the 2013 Buckeyes will be a solid team.

The schedule sets favorably for the Buckeyes as well with the toughest road games being a cross-country trip to play Cal and at Northwestern

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before a season finale at the Big House in Ann Arbor against Michigan. Penn State and Wisconsin should be tough games as they always are, but will both be in Columbus. Also, the Buckeyes avoid playing Michigan State or Nebraska during the regular season.

I predict the 2013 Buckeyes will win the Big Ten Conference, and don’t be surprised if the Buckeyes hang another “O” after their name in the W-L column. When you’re watching the Buckeyes take the field in Pasadena remember you heard it here first, folks.

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