Ohio State doesn't need Braxton Miller to earn a spot in college football's four-team playoff. Would he help? Well, duh. With Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes were a final-four favorite. Without him? They can get there anyway, and this is why:

Braxton Miller, contrary to what you've been reading and hearing since he suffered a season-ending torn labrum last week, isn't the most crucial person at Ohio State.

Urban Meyer is.

And he's still available.

Meyer isn't just a guy with two national championships at Florida and 12-0 seasons at Utah and Ohio State and a history of overachieving -- yes, overachieving -- at every place he's ever been head coach. More than that, and as it applies specifically to the 2014 Ohio State football team, he's a monster recruiter and an offensive savant. And even more than that, and again as it applies to these Buckeyes, he's a quarterback whisperer. He takes good quarterbacks recruited by someone else, and he makes them great. And the quarterbacks recruited by Urban Meyer himself?

He wins a ton of games with those guys. And he does it right away.

J.T. Barrett is one of those guys. Barrett is the redshirt freshman who will replace Miller as the Buckeyes' quarterback this season, which begins Saturday at Navy, and he's a Meyer guy. That means something, and what it means is this: Ohio State's going to win at least 11 games in the regular season.