What’s the future for Urban Meyer at Ohio State?
Ohio State was blown out by Iowa this past Saturday, which, obviously, isn’t what Buckeyes fans are used to seeing from an Urban Meyer-coached squad. But since Meyer arrived on the scene in 2012, the Buckeyes sport a ridiculous 68-8 record, with a 44-3 mark in-conference.
Still, Meyer’s future is being discussed by many in the industry.
Thursday, FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd ranted a bit on Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, then debated with Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead regarding whether he’d potentially leave the school for Notre Dame or an NFL gig. McIntyre thinks it’s possible Meyer moves on soon.
Here’s Cowherd’s rant:
“Urban Meyer lost this past weekend to Iowa on the road and he was asked a question at his press conference. Where’s the program headed? The media wears me out. But sometimes you’re in a press conference and you just ask a question – and this wasn’t the world’s worst question. But let me just give you some numbers.
Urban Meyer took over Ohio State, they were 6-7. He’s now gone 44-3 in conference. 68-8. But let’s focus on that 44-3 in conference. Peter Carroll, when he was dominating the Pac-12, and the Pac-12 back then was not as good as the Big Ten now. It was full of a bunch of coaches who are now out of work. Pete Carroll was 63-14. Urban Meyer is 44-3.
Urban Meyer has lost three conference games in six years. By the way, he took over for Luke Fickell. In 2011, Luke Fickell lost three games between November 12th and November 26th of that year. Urban is 68-8 at Ohio State. Of those eight losses, he scheduled them. Virginia Tech, he got on the phone, we’ll play a top-20 program. Oklahoma, we’ll schedule them.
You know what Nick Saban never does? Goes on the road out of conference in the last five years. He doesn’t do that. He plays that big opening game on a neutral field preferably somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line. Next year, Urban Meyer is playing TCU. Where are they playing? In TCU’s backyard in Dallas. He also has a road game coming up at Texas, at Oregon, at Notre Dame. He’s getting on the phone.
And the Big Ten right now. James Franklin, you remember him, the last guy to win at Vandy – now runs powerful Penn State. Jim Harbaugh, you know him, he ended up in a Super Bowl. Mark Dantonio, Wisconsin’s staff, Pat Fitzgerald. Do you know the toughest coach right now that Nick Saban faces? A guy that two years ago was one of his assistants. He’s 11-0 against those guys. And then a bunch of Butch Jones’ and Ed Orgerons.
Where’s Ohio State headed? I don’t know, outside of Alabama, what’s the best program in America today? I’d vote Ohio State. 44-3 in conference. His losses are to Oklahoma, Clemson twice. Sometimes it’s been injuries. This year they have an incredibly young secondary. Because it’s a glamour job, he’s lost great assistants. Tom Herman left. Tom Herman was the best young assistant in the country.”
Here’s McIntyre’s reasoning for Meyer potentially moving on:
“Well I don’t know, let’s go back to his time at Florida. He kind of built the modern SEC. It was ascending, they do the expansion, I believe the SEC won seven straight national titles, eight in 10 years. And Urban was dominant, they win two in four years with Tim Tebow and then all of a sudden he’s, what are we using, tired, fatigued? He needed to just get out. The SEC was like holy cow, that’s a murderer’s row.
So he goes to the Big Ten, which at the time was struggling. Three yards and a cloud of dust, conference is down, and he dominates. Well now, as you just said, the Big Ten is loaded all of a sudden. The Big Ten has the most depth in the country. Franklin, even Purdue has a good young coach, Northwestern is ascending.
Is the Big Ten getting challenging enough that Urban Meyer is just saying man, “this is a lot more work than it was a few years ago. Maybe I move on? It’s been six years, at Florida I spent six years.” He’s got one in the bag (national title), why not move on?
Brian Kelly is having a great year at Notre Dame. What if he goes “this is my shot at the NFL” and Brian Kelly bolts for the NFL? Urban Meyer, I believe in his book at one time wrote “that would be my dream job.” So I don’t think it’s crazy that Urban Meyer just says “eh, maybe it’s time, I’ve had a great run here, let me move on to my next spot.”
Cowherd did not agree.
Ohio State takes on Michigan State this Saturday in a game that could decide the Big Ten East.