COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The very last thing Urban Meyer wants from his second Ohio State team is for it to rest on the laurels of his first one.
"If they're not angry but complacent, this team is as average as dirt," Meyer said Monday when discussing what he wants from his 2013 team.
The Buckeyes ended their season prematurely on Saturday with a 26-21 victory over archrival Michigan, running the table in Meyer's first season back in his home state and back in coaching after a one-year hiatus.
Ohio State isn't going anywhere in the postseason due to NCAA sanctions stemming from the tattoo scandal which rocked the program of deposed coach Jim Tressel.
One thing Meyer will not abide in 2013 is a team that doesn't have an 'edge' to it. That's where this year's bowl ban might just enter the conversation.
"My concern here is complacency. We have to make sure that doesn't take place," he said. "We need an angry team next year. If we have to manufacture that, we will. Whether it's something was taken from them, we're going to use that. We're going to try to push the right buttons to get an angry team."
He added, "Just like any team, if you don't have a chip on your shoulder, you'll lose like that." For emphasis, he snapped his fingers twice.
Meyer has already met with his staff about how to light a fire under those returning from a surprising team that posted only the sixth perfect season in school history.
Incredibly, it followed a year in which the Buckeyes were only 6-7, the most losses at the school in a season since '97 — 1897.
Many of the players — those who have used up their eligibility and those with plenty of time left — look at the season just completed as a waystation more than a milestone.
"It sets the standard pretty high," departing wide receiver/tight end Jake Stoneburner said. "I don't think anyone thought coach Meyer would come in and turn it around like he did. It's crazy to think we went undefeated."
The Buckeyes lose at least six starters on defense and three on offense, plus punter Ben Buchanan.
The major losses on offense are right tackle Reid Fragel and Stoneburner. On defense, Ohio State must replace lineman John Simon and fullback/linebacker Zach Boren— whom Meyer has called "the heart and soul of the team" — along with fellow linemen Garrett Goebel and Nathan Williams, linebacker Storm Klein, safety Orhian Johnson and cornerback Travis Howard.
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