A month ago, the big question at Ohio State was: Can a team really lose a stud like quarterback J.T. Barrett and go farther?

There’s a bigger question at Ohio State now. It revolves around Urban Meyer and the coaching fiber of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Meyer received a mild three-game suspension for his handling (mishandling?) of the long-running domestic-abuse problems of former assistant coach Zach Smith. Meyer’s inability to act contrite—or even sincere—in the eyes of many observers added to the unsavoryness of the whole business.

No matter how hard Meyer tries to put this behind him, the Zach Smith situation is likely to be an ongoing storyline for the Buckeyes this fall. Meyer won’t like it. His players won’t like it, either.

The question is, how much of a toll will this potential distraction take on a talented team that was widely projected to reach the College Football Playoff before Meyer was placed on administrative leave? The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.