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After CFP shutout, 'enhancing' the Ohio State offense is the fun part for Urban Meyer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This is the good part for Urban Meyer.

The fallout from a humbling shutout, the coaching transitions and all the questions about what's wrong with the Ohio State coach's offense -- he can probably do without those things just fine.

But plugging in old game film as a refresher of what the Buckeyes look like when they're operating on all cylinders? Bouncing around ideas with another power-spread guru and looking for fresh ideas to put in future game plans? Coming up with a few new concepts over two months with a revamped staff and then hitting the practice field to install them for the first time in spring practice?

"There are some fun things you get to do and some non-fun things you get to do," Meyer said after the opening workout on Tuesday morning. "In the coach's world, that's fun for us."

First Meyer had to get the non-fun stuff out of the way, and there's not much doubt that the College Football Playoff loss to Clemson clearly belongs in that category.

There was also the search for a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after Ed Warinner and Tim Beck parted ways with the program, opening the door for former Indiana coach Kevin Wilson to take over the attack along with former Chip Kelly protege Ryan Day. But there were warning signs ahead of the season-ending defeat that Ohio State's offense was destined for an offseason overhaul as the passing game struggled to find any consistency late in the year. Those struggles may have paved the way for Meyer to move on quickly from one of the worst losses of his career and dive into what he calls "enhancing" his system rather than changing it.

There were hours with the new assistants spent watching old Ohio State clips that highlighted his vision -- primarily from the three-game postseason run to the title in 2014, but also a regular-season win over Michigan State that year along with a few other prolific outings. Wilson obviously had his own ideas after building the Hoosiers into one of the Big Ten's most prolific scoring machines despite not boasting nearly the personnel he'll be working with at Ohio State. And Day, too, was already putting his stamp on working with the passers, which was on display Tuesday morning with an early emphasis on the deep ball and putting the proper touch on downfield throws.

And considering Ohio State is coming off a season where it averaged more than 39 points per game, brings back senior quarterback J.T. Barrett, and will have four starters returning on the offensive line, there's obviously still plenty of reasons for Meyer to smile aside from his chance to tweak a couple pages in the playbook.

"I wouldn't say a bunch, but there is some enhancement going on now," Meyer said. "We're not changing, we're enhancing what we do. If it was broken, we'd have to change it. If we wake up one day fifth or sixth in the Big Ten in offense or something, then you're going to see one of these deals (overhauling everything).

"We have to get back to being productive [with] 250 [rushing yards], 250 [passing yards], great tempo in between plays, aggressive play calling. ... I made them watch and I sat down and ran the clicker and said this is what I want it to look like. The one common denominator in all those games was we hit the deep ball. It's who we are. We're going to pound the football at you and we're going to go over the top. When that works, life is pretty good offensively."

Meyer, of course, has had far more good days than bad with the Buckeyes.

But it's one of the low points that has set him up for a spring filled of the kind of work he appears to enjoy so much, which could once again make Ohio State a dangerous threat offensively by the fall.

"This is our vision, this is our game, and it's a very balanced [offense]," Meyer said. "We're not changing who we are."

The enjoyable enhancement process, though, is already well underway.