We’ve all heard one side of the story: Urban Meyer is as unreliable as Kyle Kalis’s verbal commitments and as washed up as Paris Hilton. But, despite the predictions that THE Ohio State University haters have been touting about our good pal Urb’, it’s time to look at things from a cheerier perspective.
The first thing I’d like to address is how the existence of Facebook has allowed a group of people to reach their full potential of obnoxiousness that I like to call “super fans.” Yes, every team has them, even Ohio State. Some may argue especially Ohio State, but that’s a different topic for a different day. In light of “tatgate” and all the surrounding taunting and jeering that we OSU fans endured, it’s only logical that we would come back ten times harder and rub this in everyone’s face. It’s human nature. We’ve coined phrases after this behavior like “laughing all the way to the bank” or “we’ll see who gets the last laugh…” So on behalf of Buckeye Nation, sorry I’m not sorry.
Now I know
Michigan fans aren’t the only ones quivering in fear over the news, but I can assure you the rain in Columbus is more likely a collection of tears coming from the same people who were foaming at the mouth like a pack of rabies-infested wolverines in anticipation of an Ohio State beat down last Saturday (11.26.11), in which their team couldn’t even cover the spread. The best team Michigan put forward in almost a decade barely pulled it off against a very inexperienced, dismantled, demoralized, head coachless Ohio State team…but we still watched as they rushed the field and read all the first-time Facebook statuses announcing the “big” win.
And while we had just shy of 3,000 days of ownership over them, they had less than 48 hours to celebrate before Big Meyer came in to REIGN on their parade. And so came all the projections of how long it would take until Urban quit this job, too. Can you really question the man’s dedication to the program, though, when he took the job before the NCAA has announced OSU’s sanctions? Only time can really tell what the future will bring, but there are several reasons why we can bank on his arrival making a lasting impact.
Is there anyone besides babies and hippies who doesn’t like money? If you can’t answer immediately, it’s because most likely the answer is no. Urban Meyer is now one of the top 5 highest paid coaches in college football. But we weren’t stupid about it. His large sums of cash will come in two-year increments so if he decides to bail out, there goes all that change. His sweet little setup with all the six-figure bonuses, golf club memberships, and private jets is gone. And do you really think he wants a nation of NUTS hating him? Forget the Gators, this is his home state. His roots were planted here, and here they will stay. If you diss OSU, don’t come back…ahem, Pryor.
I believe being from Ohio and growing up a Buckeye makes the difference between his Florida “dream job” and his Ohio State “dream job” (one of the most coveted coaching positions in the NCAA). We all have dreams, Martin, and we usually forget them by the time we wake up. Ohio State blows a dream job out of the water. It’s a fantasy-come-true.
Speaking of his Ohio roots, people tend to forget it’s not the mere presence of Urban Meyer on the field that is going to win us games; it’s his recruiting skills. Ohio is one of the top four states to recruit football players with about half the population (as Texas, for example). He will have a high success rate of retaining Ohio’s finest football beasts, just like Tressel. He has all of his connections and he is hitting the ground running to recruit the best players.
And his recruiting won’t stop with up-and-coming football stars. Though Gators, Utes, and Falcon fans may still be bitter about his departure, he has maintained great relationships with those who really matter: the coaches. These guys will not only help in recruiting top candidates, but they will develop the players and allow them to build their skills to unthinkable levels.
While we’re on the subject of coaches, have you noticed how wildly successful his co-workers have been? Offensive coordinator, Greg Studrawa, worked with Meyer at Bowling Green and Utah and now coaches for one of only two undefeated teams in the country (and it’s not Houston). Additionally, although their record doesn’t quite speak to their talent, University of Toledo’s head coach Tim Beckman has done a stellar job with the Rockets, who technically finshed 8-4 overall, but definitely won 9 games this season. Their losses to Syracuse (due to poor officiating), Ohio State and Boise State (tough teams for argument’s sake), and Northern Illinois (by 3 points) prove that there is no mistake why six of their players were named 2011 All-MAC. This guy has a solid track record of assembling a highly qualified coaching staff; I don’t think he’ll have any problems now.
And last, though his name carries the prestige, it doesn’t begin and end with Urban Meyer. He will be grooming a young coach to become the next big name in college football and carry on the legacy– Luke Fickell. I know people from the outside looking in feel that Ohio Sate fans were as quick to dismiss him as we were to embrace him, but that’s simply not true. I respect what he did with little-to-no experience and very little time or developed talent to work with. He came to practices every day not knowing which players would be suspended, his mentor was exiled from college football, and he had young athletes as bewildered on the field as he was on the sideline…but in the face of all that adversity, he managed to pull a 6-6 record (which arguably could and should have been better). Plus: he’s young, the dude can recruit, and he will have worked under two of the greatest coaches in college football when all is said and done (say what you want about Tressel, he was THE man).
The point I’d finally like to arrive at is: you can make a million predictions as to whether Urban will leave Ohio State prematurely or not, but that won’t stop the Buckeyes from wreaking total havoc on football teams across the nation next season anymore than ignoring that burning sensation will make that infection magically disappear.