At each stop of the Urban Meyer Express, year two has seen some pretty significant improvements. How can a 12-0 Buckeyes team in Meyer's first year make an improvement? With a BCS bowl and a national championship. Let's take a look at their road:
8/31 Buffalo: Poor, poor Buffalo.
9/7 San Diego State: A little competition so soon in the season? The Aztecs went 9-4 (7-1) in 2012, beating a pretty good San Jose State team along the way. Running back Adam Muema rushed for 1,458 yards in 2012, and is on the Doak Walker watch-list in 2013. Adam Dingwell will probably get the starting quarterback position to replace Ryan Katz. Dingwell filled in for Katz in 2012, going 5-1 in that time, and throwing for 939 yards. One of those wins was against a 14th-ranked Boise State team on the Smurf turf. Although the San Diego State won't be afraid of the Buckeyes, don't look for an Aztecs victory.
9/14 @ Cal: Cal is a team that can be best described by the word "potential". Although they had some good seasons under Jeff Tedford, they never really lived up to some of the hype. Now that they have brought in Sonny Dykes, they'll look to meet some of the expectations that they should have met under Tedford. The Bears face two B1G teams in the first three weeks of the season, and will probably lose both games. However, this game could be a little more interesting if Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby are not playing.
9/21 Florida A&M: I know virtually nothing about Florida A&M, except for the Marching 100 and the tragic hazing incident. So, I went to the bastion of all that is "accurate": Wikipedia. I found that the Rattlers are actually a pretty successful football program. They've won 67% of their games, and Joe Taylor won 73% of his games between 2008 and 2012. Taylor resigned and was replaced by Earl Holmes.
9/29 Wisconsin: How can someone not love the B1G? We've got some of the best rivalries in the country, even when some of them are more recent and less traditional. The Buckeyes have won the last two Wisconsin match-ups by a total of only 11 points, and they are fast becoming a pretty hated team in Madison. However, this game is in Columbus, where the Badgers last won in 2004.
10/5 @ Northwestern: For as good as Northwestern has been, and will continue to be, they won't beat Ohio State this year. The Wildcats have beaten OSU precisely one time in the last 40 years; that victory came in 2004. Sorry, Fitz, your Wildcats have been outscored 205-34 since that '04 victory and I don't see that trend ending this year. Northwestern may be able to do what they haven't done since that last win, which was to score more than ten points, but it still won't be enough.
10/19 Iowa: Geez, 2004, what happened? This was another loss for the Buckeyes that year. Does anyone other than some Hawkeye fans really believe they'll win this one? Good luck to the new Iowa QB starting in the Horseshoe...you're a 23-point dog.
10/26 Penn State: Ohio State is a 16-point favorite in this one. Facing yet another young QB bodes well for the Buckeye victory.
11/2 @ Purdue: I received some criticism for declaring an OSU victory in my post on Purdue's schedule. Yes, Buckeye fan, the Boilermakers have been able to match up well against you, and have beaten you twice in the last four years, but I can't see how that will happen in 2013.
11/16 @ Illinois: If you can't say something nice...
11/23 Indiana: Indiana had the best passing offense in the B1G in 2012, and much like the Cal Bears, they have a ton of potential. The combo of Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld threw for 352 yards in last year's 52-49 loss; that was 130 yards more than OSU. Indiana's rushing game was virtually non-existent at 129 vs. the Buckeyes' 353 (including Braxton Miller's 149). The bottom line on this is that Indiana can hang with Ohio State offensively (also keep in mind that Tre Roberson should be healthy); if the Hoosiers can find some defense, they may actually have a puncher's chance.
11/30 @ Michigan:
Conclusion: The Buckeyes could very well end up undefeated, but with the absence of RB Carlos Hyde (although who knows for how long), and the suspension of Bradley Roby, things could be a little more difficult at first. I do, however, believe that the Buckeyes are going to lose in Ann Arbor, and end the regular season at 11-1. Fear not, Ohio State, you will have your chance at revenge in the B1G Championship. Whoever wins on 11/30 will lose in the conference championship; I just can't see either team winning consecutive games against the other.