COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following what he described as a “sledgehammer game” with another one around the corner, Urban Meyer sat at his Sugar Bowl postgame press conference smiling and laughing, with a jovial nature not typically seen since he arrived at Ohio State three years ago.
“Oregon won by 40?” Meyer asked of the Buckeyes’ next opponent, after beating Alabama 42-35 in their battle on the Bayou. “Whew, I gotta go. We gotta go get ready.”
Meyer’s words indicated fear, but his body language conveyed the confidence of a man who has already pulled off the most impressive coaching job in college football history. With a starting lineup half comprised of freshmen and sophomores and down to its third option at quarterback on the season, Ohio State will play for college football’s national championship next Monday, after advancing in the sport’s first playoff.
“We are good enough,” Meyer said. “The future is bright at Ohio State.”
So is the present, evidenced by the fact that the Buckeyes will be playing for their eighth national title in program history when they take the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12. Regardless of the outcome at “Jerry World,” it would have been nearly impossible to foresee Ohio State having this opportunity in front of it four months ago, when star quarterback Braxton Miller went down with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder two weeks prior to the start of the season.
At the time, Buckeye players and coaches said…