Urban Meyer stepped down as the head coach at Ohio State this past December, but most in the industry don’t believe he’s actually going to stay retired. Let’s take a look at a few programs that he might actually consider for a potential next job.
Meyer has been the head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. He’s won three national titles. In short, he’s not going to return to coaching at any program he feels can’t have a chance at competing for national championships.
Here are the five programs we think he could consider, if the timing were right.
The Longhorns are currently coached by Tom Herman, an Urban Meyer disciple. Texas finished with a 10-4 record last year, which included a Sugar Bowl win over Georgia. In theory, Herman’s job is safe.
But Texas has lofty expectations, and things can change quickly in college football. If Herman eventually fails to bring the Longhorns back to prominence, perhaps Meyer could be tempted to one-up his former running mate. They aren’t exactly on good terms these days.
Both Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley have proven that you can compete for national titles at Oklahoma. While Riley seems firmly entrenched as the Sooners’ head coach for as long as he wants the job, he’s going to have offers nearly every year to leave. If he decides to take another job (maybe an NFL job) then Oklahoma would have to figure out what’s next.
Meyer doesn’t have a connection to Oklahoma, but he might not need one. The Sooners would be foolish to at least not consider bringing him in.
3. Back to Ohio State
Meyer stepped down as the head coach of the program in December, but he still works for Ohio State as the assistant athletic director. What happens if Ryan Day bombs in his first few seasons in Columbus and Meyer is still sitting there in-house? Is he at least considered?
It’d be one thing if the university had completely cut ties with him when he stepped down. But that’s not what happened. Maybe a few years off could reinvigorate him to return to the sidelines for the Buckeyes.
USC probably makes the most sense. The Trojans play in the Pac-12, which is completely winnable. If they hired Meyer, they’d instantly have as massive advantage in a recruiting-rich area. There’s also the timing aspect. Clay Helton is probably gone if he doesn’t have a huge season in 2019.
The big question would be whether Meyer would want to return to coaching so soon. If Helton is fired after the 2019 season, and Meyer takes the job, he’ll have only taken one year off. It’s hard to know if he’d be ready.
1. Notre Dame
Everyone knows that Meyer once said that Notre Dame is his “dream job.” He worked for the program as a wide receivers coach from 1996-2000, so he knows South Bend.
There are two big questions, however. One – Brian Kelly isn’t on the hot seat these days, so he’d either have to leave soon or be forced out after a few poor years. Two – Notre Dame’s high academic standards could factor into Meyer’s decision.
Still, we think that if Meyer returns, Notre Dame is the best bet.