Urban Meyer “Retires” At Ohio State

Look, everyone knew Urban Meyer’s time at Ohio State was coming close to an end because he’d gone all Urban Florida on us. You know the signs — program is in decline, off field issues become all encompassing, suddenly his health is in question and he has to “retire.”

So the big question here isn’t whether Urban Meyer, who is still only 54 years old, will stay retired, it’s where he ends up next.

My prediction?

USC.

Meyer can sit out for another year and then when Clay Helton falls on his face guess who would be there to ride into the Pac 12 and lead USC back to title glory?

Urban Meyer.

Honestly, it fits his past absolutely perfectly.

When Meyer went to the SEC Saban hadn’t arrived in the conference yet and the conference hadn’t yet become dominant. Meyer’s 2006 title set in place seven straight championships for the SEC and heralded the ascendance of the conference’s national domination.

Everyone had to chase Meyer, who would win two titles, and that chase led to to the hire of Nick Saban, who arrived in the SEC two years after Meyer got to Florida. For a couple of years Meyer was able to fight off Saban, but then Saban beat him in the 2009 SEC title game, the game when Tim Tebow cried, and Meyer’s program began its decline.

Meyer cited health issues after that SEC title game loss to Saban, but eventually decided to stay for another year, his worst in major college coaching as the Gators went 8-5 overall, 4-4 in the SEC. Included in that season was a second straight loss to Saban, a 31-6 beat down that turned a 4-0 season into a morass.

With two straight losses to Saban, and with the SEC poised to become Alabama’s conference,  Meyer skedaddled, bailing on a dumpster fire in Gainesville after six years at the helm.

Remember that initially Meyer said he was going to spend more time with his family and get healthy. Except he immediately went to work for ESPN, where he was a mediocre broadcaster.

Then a year later he headed to Ohio State.

At the time the Big Ten was a college football wasteland devoid of good programs. Meyer brought an SEC style program to Ohio State and went 54-4 in the Big Ten in seven seasons. But just like at Florida cracks began to emerge at Ohio State. First, other programs began to lap at his heels, then the defense fell apart, allowing 49 or more in three of the final six road games of Meyer’s tenure — 54 to Iowa last year, 49 to Purdue, and 51 to Maryland — at the same time that off field issues surrounding Zach Smith surged to the forefront.

With those issues came sudden health concerns, just as has happened at Florida, for Meyer.

(The biggest difference between Meyer at Ohio State and Meyer at Florida is Ohio State’s biggest rival, Michigan, was never able to beat him, whereas in the SEC Saban vanquished Meyer).

Now after seven years with the Buckeyes Meyer is leaving and I just don’t buy he’ll stay retired. That’s especially the case because Meyer wasn’t very good at TV. It’s not like he’s going to become John Madden and Jimmy Johnson and spend the rest of his life as a football analyst on TV. Plus, the more I think about it, I’m just not sure Meyer makes sense in the NFL.

Nope, I think Meyer will sit out for one year and then take over at USC.

That’s the prediction I made in October and November based on what we’d seen from Meyer’s career so far.

As for Ohio State going forward, I am shocked, SHOCKED!, that Greg Schiano, aka the greatest college football coach of all time according to the national media, didn’t get the Buckeye job and is likely to be fired or forced out as defensive coordinator this offseason.

If you’re a Buckeye fan you hope that Ryan Day can take over in Columbus and do what Lincoln Riley has at Oklahoma.

Can he?

We’ll see.

But for now the most interesting part of the Urban Meyer drama is this — where does Urban Meyer go next?

Comments

Get the Daily Outkick

* indicates required