O, The Places They’ll Go (Just Not This Year)

Pete Thamel Details How Ohio State’s Football Team Will Lead the Revival of the Big Ten Conference

Powering the Buckeyes’ turnaround from undisciplined to unbeaten is first-year Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s concept of juice: Who’s bringing the juice today? Who’s got the juice? Meyer uses juice to represent the relationship between hard work and production. Senior writer Pete Thamel looks at how Urban Meyer challenges his team, which cannot compete in the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, to not only maintain its surprising success, but also act as a catalyst for the Big Ten’s revival.

The Big Ten conference has not won a BCS National Championship since 2002, but Meyer and his sophomore phenom quarterback Braxton Miller look to be the Big Ten’s best hope once they are postseason eligible. Meyer, who has swiped recruits from other Big Ten schools, has taken heat from other coaches in the conference, but knows his team’s title hopes depend on the Big Ten’s strength. Says Meyer of the conference’s position: “There are great players in this league, but not enough. The quality is very good. The quantity is in the SEC. We don’t have the abundance right now … I think, the Big Ten, it’s time to jump to it” (page 50).


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