Best Bye Week Ever?

With six victories in the books, Ohio State has reached the midway point of the 2013 regular season unscathed, but in much need of a break. The Buckeyes will get just that throughout their first bye week of the year, where Urban Meyer has promised his squad unprecedented rest.

It's no secret that Urban Meyer is driven by a desire to be the best. And even Ohio State's bye week, his determination doesn't take a dip.

The 6-0 Buckeyes enter their week off ranked fourth in the Associated Press Top 25 and third in the USA Today Coaches' Poll following two consecutive wins over ranked opponents in Wisconsin and Northwestern. But while Ohio State is at the midway point of a potential second consecutive undefeated season, it's a different sort of history that Meyer hopes to make during the Buckeyes' bye.

"We're going to be one of the most rested teams in the history of college football," Meyer said following OSU's 40-30 win over Northwestern. "That's big. I'm gonna rest these guys. We're going to go Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Friday, Saturday, Sunday off."

The midseason intermission couldn't come at a better time for the Buckeyes, who have dealt with injuries to a number of key players this season, including Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall, Adolphus Washington, and Ryan Shazier. For Miller in particular, a week of rest could go a long toward getting him back to full strength, after OSU's star quarterback missed the better part of three games in September with a sprained MCL.

"Absolutely it is," Miller said when asked if the bye week was coming at the right time for his team. "Just rest your body and get ready for the next Big Ten game."

Despite only being halfway through their regular season schedule, the Buckeyes may have already faced the toughest stretch of their schedule with the past two weeks' battles with the Badgers and Wildcats. Ohio State still has an Oct. 26 primetime matchup with Penn State and regular season finale with Michigan looming, but as of now, the No. 16 Wolverines are the only ranked squad that remain on the Buckeyes' slate.

That doesn't, however, mean that OSU has a cakewalk left between now and a potential trip to the Big Ten Championship Game. Five of the Buckeyes' final six regular season opponents currently possess winning records, and the one that doesn't -- 1-4 Purdue -- has beaten OSU in the Buckeyes' past two trips to West Lafayette.

According to wide receiver Corey Brown, Ohio State's bye will be spent not only resting, but preparing to make the results in its second half of the season look a lot like the ones from the first.

"The bye will good for us," said Brown, who leads the Buckeyes with 30 receptions, 381 yards, and five touchdown catches. "It's coming at a perfect time to get our bodies right so we can go out there and execute like we've been doing."

It's not just the veterans who are looking forward to a week off from game preparation. The toll of a college football season can be a shock to any first-year player, particularly those who have seen a significant number of snaps thus far in their young careers.

"It's going to be nice," said defensive end Joey Bosa, who won the Big Ten's Freshman of the Week award for his efforts against Northwestern. "(Meyer) promised us that we'd be the best rested team in college football."

But while the Buckeyes do need to regain health and take some time to regroup, the upcoming bye could prove to play a crucial role in their quest for a national championship. Meyer may never admit it, but every step that his program takes is with that in mind, week off from action included.

"I'm not even thinking about that," Meyer said when asked if the Buckeyes are national title contenders. "We're going to go and get ready for the stretch run."


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