COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer says one of the mantras for his second Ohio State team will be truth.
He's certainly not sparing his Buckeyes his perception of it when it comes to whether they can compete with the likes of national champion Alabama next season.
For me to say we have to get there next year, that's like me talking about we have to go fly to the moon, he said Friday. We're nowhere near even having that conversation.
Despite a 12-0 record and a No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll after a bowl-less season, Meyer made it clear he does not believe his team is remotely close to even discussing competing with the nation's elite teams.
Truth means exactly (that); you have a good season, and there's a lot of conversation about things that really shouldn't be discussed because it's not true, he said, referring to extremely early predictions that figure the Buckeyes to be among the top handful of teams in the nation in 2013. For example, are you guys going to (contend for the national title) next year? No, probably not, unless we get a lot better — like, a lot better.
Meyer even detailed what makes teams like Alabama, Georgia, LSU and the rest of Southeastern Conference — where he coached for six years at Florida 2005-2010, winning two national titles — so much better than everyone else.
The SEC, right now, the quantity (of great players) is far greater than the quantity at the upper-level Midwestern schools, Meyer said. It's up to the Big Ten to change that. There's one way to do that: Go out and recruit and get some more depth. But to say that there's not quality football players in the Big Ten, that's not correct. The quantity is the biggest difference.
Even though he said he won't discuss with his players how they can compete with the Crimson Tide and others, that doesn't mean he isn't thinking about it — 24/7, every second of (my) life.
We've got to go catch them, he said of Alabama, the national champs in three of the last four seasons. Everybody's trying to catch the best. Some people are probably trying to catch us. There's nothing else I'd rather do than watch these other programs and kind of figure out how they're doing it, how do we get that or do that? How do we beat that?