Expectations are always high in Columbus for the Buckeyes. This year marks the biggest set of expectations yet for Ohio State, even with a questionable and undisciplined offseason at best.
At face value the expectations are not unreasonable. Ohio State was the only team to go undefeated last year and is returning 13 starters on both sides of the ball. The team is already ranked No. 2 overall in the USA Today coaches poll as a result. Quarterback Braxton Miller is a serious contender for the Heisman Trophy.
Yet, it may be best to temper those high expectations.
The Buckeyes had an iffy offseason marred by off-field issues with key players that shows a certain level of immaturity. Perhaps Ohio State is simply not ready for a serious national championship push this year.
Star running back Carlos Hyde, after acting as the team’s leading scorer last season and falling just 30 yards short of a 1,000-yard campaign, will now miss at least the first three games of the season. Hyde is one of a host of others out the first game of the season, per Ben Axelrod of Yahoo! Sports:
Between Carlos Hyde, Bradley Roby, Marcus Baugh, and Rod Smith, at least four Buckeyes have been suspended for the team's opener vs. Buffalo
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) August 17, 2013
The defensive side of the football has recently taken a major hit as well with cornerback Bradley Roby being slapped with a one-game suspension by head coach Urban Meyer for an arrest in July resulting in misdemeanor charges of assaulting a bar bouncer.