Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer believes the Buckeyes’ relatively short schedule will be a disadvantage vs. the Crimson Tide.

OSU is just 7-0, including its upset victory over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl last week. Ohio State lost three games due to COVID-19 cancelations this season.

“College football, all due respect to other sports, is a developmental sport, much more than pro football because you’re getting guys 17, 18, 19 years old,” Meyer said on FS1 this week, via 247Sports. “There’s only one true way to get better at blocking and tackling in the game of football, and it’s to play.

“You try to simulate it in practice but you’re always worried about injury. Teams get better. Players get better. You saw it against Clemson, Ohio State starting to get into a little bit of rhythm. They had zero rhythm going into that game. They looked average at times against Northwestern and some other teams.”

Meyer also noted the emergence of running back Trey Sermon. He’s rushed for 524 total yards in Ohio State’s last two games vs. Northwestern and Clemson. Meyer made the point that his emergence would have come much earlier in the season if it was a normal year.

“A guy like Trey Sermon, normally you’d find out about a guy like that in October,” Meyer said. “Now, they have a legitimate running game to compliment that dynamic passing game.”

It will be interesting to see how the lack of overall reps meshes with the idea that Ohio State could have fresher legs than Alabama. This will be the Tide’s 13th game of the season.

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 11.