URBAN DEVELOPMENT – MEYER TO LEAVE OHIO STATE AFTER THE 2019 ROSE BOWL
Urban Meyer’s seven season resume as head football coach at THE Ohio State University is impressive: 82 wins against 9 losses, an undefeated season, 7 wins and 0 losses to archrival Michigan, three Big Ten titles and a National Championship.
Ohio State fans should appreciate this historic run because statistically speaking, it ain’t gonna be this good again. If OSU beats the University of Washington in the 2019 Rose Bowl, Meyer will have a 90% win percentage and ONLY 9 losses in seven seasons. Oh yeah, Urban also had huge out of conference wins against Oregon, Notre Dame, USC and Alabama. Jim Tressel and John Cooper, eat your hearts out.
There is no amount of hyperbole that can be attached to Urban Meyer’s on field success. At every stop –Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State – Meyer took each program to new heights. Those heights, however were not free of controversy and Meyer leaves a less clear off the field legacy.
After winning two National Titles as the head coach of The University of Florida, Meyer resigned and returned, only to resign again a year later. This act, coupled with the notion that he put winning above character, left a bad taste in the mouth of many sports fans. Meyer, a noted workaholic, cited work related stress as the reason behind his resignation while his critics deemed his resignation as a disingenuous act by a coach who had lost control of his program.
When he came to OSU, after only a year respite from coaching, Meyer famously signed a contract with his family. Essentially, this agreement meant that Meyer wouldn’t succumb to the long hours and pressures of college coaching and would properly tend to his physical and psychological health. However, if you witnessed the pain and discomfort exhibited by Meyer on this year’s sideline (all the while battling a arachnoid brain cyst), it is hard to imagine that Urban was enjoying this season, let alone fulfilling his familial contract by taking care of his physical and psychological health.
During his time at Ohio State, Meyer kept on winning and haters kept on hating. His general aura of aloofness coupled with his disinterest in glad handing and his inability to not have ‘resting coach face’ soured his appearance nationally. But really, who cares about that? That is a THEM problem. Ohio VS. The World, baby!
Meyer’s Ohio State teams had record high collective Grade Point Averages, flooded the NFL with draft picks and represented their community well. Then Zach Smith happened.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Meyer was suspended for the first three games of this season for the way he handled the domestic abuse allegations that were directed at OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith – who happens to be the grandson of Meyer’s mentor, former OSU head coach Earl Bruce. During the University directed investigation, Smith was found to have a track record consisting of ill-tempered behavior, a drunk driving arrest, and the habits and demeanor of a Cro-Magnon Man.
At best, Meyer showed a serious lack in judgment by allowing the beleaguered Smith to stay on staff and at worst, was complicit in a cover up. The truth, like in most instances in life, probably lies somewhere in the middle.
However, this is all now moot as Meyer has decided to retire from coaching after the 2019 Rose Bowl game. There is a poetic justice that Meyer, who grew up an Ohio State fan, will coach his last college game in his first Rose Bowl appearance. In fact, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks Meyer intentionally lost the Purdue game knowing that if OSU won out, the Rose Bowl would be their likely post season destination. I mean, its Purdue, a bunch of nerdy engineering majors.
Which is not to say we, as the Ohio State football collective, aren’t appreciative of Meyer’s accomplishments. We are and we should be, but we also have a short memory and if hypothetically Urban would have stuck around and lost his next three Michigan games, we would have ridden him out of town on a rail. For better or worse, that is who we are as fan base. Wait, that is definitely for worse. Sorry coach, we didn’t really make it easy on you.
As Meyers rides into the sunset, our fan base should recognize his unparalleled success and wish him good health, quality time with his grandchildren, and all of the golf he can handle.
Unless he ends up on the Notre Dame sideline. Then he’s dead to us.