Not that there aren't already more differences between college football and the NFL than one can count, but Ohio State coach Urban Meyer illustrated another on Monday. Quarterback Braxton Miller, out for the season with a shoulder injury, will travel with the team this season and thus count against the Big Ten Conference's 70-man roster limit for road games.
That, of course, would never happen in the NFL, where just about every member of a 53-man roster (outside of those deemed inactive for a particular week) is a starter's twisted ankle away from being pressed into service, home or away. Presumably out of respect for Miller's value to the team as a leader, however, Meyer plans to take him along for OSU's road trips at the expense of an able-bodied reserve.
"He'd be one of the 70 if he can go," Meyer said, according to cleveland.com. "He won't be able to go this time (vs. Navy this Saturday) because of his (surgery), but there will be times we have to make that decision."
Subsequent road trips for the Buckeyes this year include Maryland, Penn State, Michigan State, Minnesota, and potentially the Big Ten title game if OSU gets that far.
Miller is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in practice last week. His decision to stay at Ohio State and return for the 2015 season, rather than leaving for the NFL draft, might have played a role in Meyer's decision to allow him to travel. With Miller having vast experience as a starter, he'll be of benefit to new starter J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman who could probably use whatever sideline guidance Miller can provide.
If Miller can help ease Barrett's transition even a little bit, he'll be contributing more to the team than the 70th man on the bus normally would.