Ohio State narrowly missed reaching the College Football Playoff for a third time in four seasons this year, as the Buckeyes were edged out by Alabama for that fourth and final spot. But ESPN doesn’t believe it will be long before Urban Meyer has his team back in the picture.

College football reporter Adam Rittenberg wrote that Ohio State is one of the favorites to compete for a national championship in 2018.

As part of a list of teams to keep an eye on next fall, Rittenberg included the Buckeyes. In fact, they were at the top of the list. Here’s what he had to say about OSU:

The team that fell just short of the No. 4 spot this year should have a good chance to leave no doubt about its playoff profile in 2018. Ohio State will lose key seniors and draft-eligible juniors, but its depth chart features quite a few sophomores, freshmen and juniors who will return. Quarterback J.T. Barrett leaves a void, but Dwayne Haskins showed promise against Michigan and might have a higher ceiling than Barrett. Running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins both return behind a solid offensive line, and receivers K.J. Hill, Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin all have eligibility left. The defensive front seven loses a handful of standouts, but end Nick Bosa, a true sophomore, will be back alongside linebacker Tuf Borland and others. Cornerback Denzel Ward should go pro, but Ohio State would get a big boost if end Sam Hubbard and linebacker Jerome Baker stick around. The Buckeyes will be tested away from home — TCU, Penn State, Michigan State — but have the talent and experience to get in.

The Buckeyes were in the mix this season, but a 31-point loss to Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in early November really crushed their chances at earning a bid, despite winning a B1G title.

Ohio State still has one last game as it’ll battle USC in the Cotton Bowl. Once that comes to a close, it’ll be time for the Buckeyes to start focusing on getting back to the College Football Playoff.

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