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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who's coaching Ohio: The Urban Legend or the Urban Myth?

As you may have heard by now (I think it was on the one of the sports blogs somewhere), Ohio hired a new coach yesterday.  And they got themselves a great coach.

There.  I said it.  Based on his past record and accomplishments, one could even argue they got the best available coach.  But in the immortal words of Lee Corso, "Aww, fuck it!"  "Not so fast my friends."

Just four short years ago, Michigan nabbed a can't miss coach who'd won everywhere else he'd been.  And 10 months ago after the can't miss coach did, they hired what a sizable portion of the U-M fan base called -- and I'm being kind here -- the 85th choice when "better" choices like Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles didn't pan out.  And Michigan's equivalent to some of a "safety school" hire has so far gone better than almost any of us dared to dream.

Point is, you don't know.  So while Ohio State fans spent much of the yesterday yelling at their dial up modems because they couldn't get online at the Rent-to-Own store for Cyber Monday believing that an O-H was already being engraved on the next BCS Championship Trophy that they'll be on probation for, I say there are no guarantees.  I mean, wasn't John Cooper hired due to his past success at ASU, including a Rose Bowl victory over Michigan?  And I seem to recall more than a few snickers in Maize and Blue circles -- and panic in Scarlet and Gray/Grey ones -- when OSU struck out with bigger names and hired some guy named Jim Tressel "pryor" to the 2001 season.

And just who is this guy?  Yeah, I know about the "W"s and "L"s, but I mean the man behind the headset.  The man whose program had over 30+ arrests in his 6 years at Florida.  Who quit, then unquit, then quit again when things got tough in Gainesville.  Who swore he wasn't interested in the OSU job a couple months ago -- so much so that his daughter took to Twitter to quell the speculation -- then denied again last week while parsing his words like a practiced politician when the story began to leak about his impending hire.  It was "truthiness" at its finest. 

So sure, the hire looks perfect on paper.  And on the Buckeye blogs.  But the games aren't played there.  As Matt Hayes said in the Sporting News, the Urban Meyer the Buckeyes think they're getting might not be the one who'll actually be on the sidelines.

But what if Meyer turns out to be as advertised?

Bring it.  Because isn't that who you want to go into Columbus and beat next year?  Isn't that what The Game is all about?  Bo vs. Woody.  The Ten Year War.  Our best against their best. 

So let's do this.  No matter which Meyer they got.  We'll help get the smack talk started...
It's never too early to start the smack talk!


Mikoyan said...

As you said, the problem with a coach is that you don't know how he will work out where he is. Rich Rod had an impressive resume and for a multitude of reasons he didn't work out. Hoke didn't have as impressive of resume and he seems to be fine. so you never know.

wingedhelmet said...

I am glad TSIO hired Urban Cryer. This saves all kinds of time and effort that I don't need to waste looking for something not to like. I haven't liked him for a long time. This just adds to the rivalry.


Dennis said...

But he gave the world Tim Tebow. Doesn't that make him kind of like Mary? Considering your feelings about Notre Dame, probably a bad anaolgy. :)

Seriously, you seem to be spending a lot of time worrying about us instead of celebrating what did happen this year. I figured 8-4 at best this year with loses to OSU, MSU, UNL, and either Illinois or ND. The defense improvement can't be understated and how Mattison is not in the running for a defensive coach of the year is mind boggling.

I have to admmit I'm impressed with how OSU managed to get this wrapped up and in place instead of dragging it out for months. Not a direct dig at you guys, we've had long searches as have many schools. Given how badly they've handled everything else, this is more of a dig at ourselves. I wish they had kept it under wraps a little better, but secrets this day and age are trickier to keep.

As for Meyer himself, time will tell. He has some of the material he needs, I don't think he can make the bare cupboard argument if things don't go well except maybe at WR.

I don't know if SiC of BAH listen much to some of the local media down here, but some were gushing about how he has a clean program. Yes, from an NCAA perspective that seems to be true. But those arrest rates at Florida do concern some of us. At least until he starts winning.

And, as you said, the paper record looks nice, but let's see how his scheme works in the cold in Wisconsin or the weather vortex that is Illinois.

Bigasshammm said...

I don't see what the big deal is. He's a good coach sure but they still have to come down with their sanctions and the school is going to be crippled. He's a schmuck for taking the job before any of that happened also.
Whats his record against Michigan? 0-1 0-2? Either way not worried. Michigan will have 4-5 years of experience practicing against a spread type offense.

scott said...

I see many issues for Ohio State with the Meyer hire. One of OSU's problems is the climate of hero worship in Columbus of all things OSU football. Meyer thinks he will be able to obtain that work/life balance and not be so hands on that led to his health problems in Florida. To do so, he is going to have to find a whole new set of assistants that he is not familiar with and then trust them to keep some of the most spoiled and entitled 18-22 year olds in the state in line.

The locals here in Ohio already consider Meyer a living legend and consider him beyond reproach. He may very well turn out to be an angel, but the people who want to be as close as they can to the program and its players (i.e. boosters, local tatoo parlors and car dealerships) will continue to break rules that don't apply to them. Remember, all Tresell did was not report rules that others broke. OSU needed to hire a coach that comes with a healthy dose of scrutiny and not someone who is already held in such esteem as to not be questioned about what is going on with the program. Meyer will probably win a lot of games for the Buckeyes and the rivalry can move to the next level, but will the underlying factors that led to this year's suspensions change?

Earle said...

Very, very well said!
Go Blue.

Austin Land said...

Urban Meyer has coached on seven teams that played Michigan (OSU, Colorado State, ND, and Florida). They were 2-5, including Tebow's #9 ranked Gators. Keep 'im coming. We ready.

Ramona said...

I don't know anything - saying this up front to save you guys from having to say it - but I think Meyer is a curious fit for OSU. All of your comments are well stated. Of course, the rhyme with "Liar" is going to provide endless fodder for the brilliant M Zone bloggers next season.
Why didn't they retain Fickell? He conveyed some much needed professionalism at a time where the program at OSU needed it the most.

Shaner5000 said...

Theres a really nice pic of Meyer sporting an epic Buckstache over on EDSBS right now lol


Yost said...

Thanks, Shaner!

JamesD'Troy said...

Hey, hey, hey...let's focus on what's truly important, that CUM has a hotty for a daughter;


Vid said...

Yeah, it was too bad that Michigan's best season in a while had to come right at the same time as The OSU's worst in ages. It'll be exciting to see them both at top performance next year.

616goblue said...

EPIC 80s porn stache on Urb from his grad assistant days at tOSU!

No wonder the Buckstasche nation is wetting themselves over this hire.

Yost, you will have more material than you need to fill the downtime that is the offseason.


Crabapple Buck said...

Yost, when you came back from your sabbatical, were you the same blogger as before. I submit you are pretty close to your old acerbic self. Corch will be fine. His health issues have been addressed. We also have a medical center next to the stadium. There is no comparison to RichRod. RR never won anything but the Big East and choked when it mattered most in 2007. Corch won 2 National Championships. One was painful for me to watch.

That said, I still think we need to stay on the B1G to divide the conference east and west and be in the same division. The Game should never move from its spot at the end of November.

Yost said...


Look at this site -- I'm a shell of my former self! Rehashing the same "Liar Liar" poster as used for Tressel (although, if the Vest fits...).

But if there is ever a time to fight the battle about UM/OSU being in same division, I'm right there with you!

CM UM80 said...

You have got to see the terms if sub-Urban's contract. Interestingly, he gets 250k upfront. That's probably their subsidy for his Columbus living expenses during the last year- kind of like a retainer while Fickell twisted in the wind. tOSU didn't wrap this up promptly. They were manipulating this one since the ax fell on Tressel. 35 hours a year of private jet service, golf club membership...... Some things will never change. Kids mimick the behavior of their parents and the same could be said of football teams and their coaches. The link shows the contract.

Dennis said...

Why didn't they retain Fickell? He conveyed some much needed professionalism at a time where the program at OSU needed it the most.

Short answer, Luke did not win, Urban has a better resume, OSU did not want to miss the chance to get a hig quality coach, especially with rumors he might end up at Penn State.

The longer answer:
Part of it was he did not win enough this season. I've said before he came into an unenviable situation. This was his dream job and it was understood Tressel was grooming him to take over. However, Tressel left before his training was complete. Tressel left at a terrible time to try to find a new coach so they promoted Fickell and gave him this year to audition for the job.

While Tressel had offensive coaches, it was no secret they were there in some extent in name only or were little more than Yes men. He was also without our best WR, RB, LT and QB. You could see a major improvement when we got some of those guys back and the coaching staff finally settled on an identity.

However, we still blew a huge lead to Nebraska, did the same thing with Wisconsin but managed to win. We got slow starts against Indiana, Purdue and Penn State and lost those last two. Had Luke been able to win out in November, he might have kept the job, but I get the sneaking suspicion they set him up to not make it to the B1G championship game and a BCS bowl.

I like Fickell, I know he loves the University, but I was unhappy with some of the decisions he made, like making some of the Tat 5 guys team captains. I didn't see the personal foul play where he got on our player. I was glad to see it described in positive terms by you guys.

Another problem is he looked lost at times. Bad clock and timeout management. I'm not sure how well this coach in waiting thing works. I think it would be in Luke's best interest to go the Brady Hoke route and coach at smaller schools and develop his own identitiy.

Finally, Meyer was avaiable and interested. Luke losing made it easier to pull the trigger. I still think they might have still made the move unless Luke went 11-1, won the B1G and did well in the Rose Bowl. I know Meyer is not perfect but if you look at his body of work, his ties to OSU, it is hard to pass on him when he is available. If you stick with Luke and he has a couple more season like this one, it is going to be more of a challenge to find a coach. I wonder if OSU or Meyer know what the final ruling from the NCAA will be because I have a tough time believing he would come here with major scholarship loses and multi year bowl bans.

bigGexpress said...

Two reasons why this may not be as good of a hire as it is on paper. It does admittedly seem pretty good initially, though.

1)OSU will be under a microscope recruiting and player behavior wise.

2)Over recruiting is not allowed in the B1G like it is in the SEC.

Dennis said...

I didn't think Meyer dabbled much in the oversigning business. In the period from 2002-2010 they had the third lowest average in the SEC and had an average identical to Nebraska and Va Tech.

There is a story there that looks like he might have been doing it in 2010 (by a couple) but his successful years at Florida do not appear to have been due to oversigning.

surrounded in columbus said...

Urban Meyer is very good coach. he's going to win a lotta games at tsio. what did people expect? tsio hasn't had a "bad" coach in 60 years. they've had maybe one losing season (1988?) in that time? they were going to hire someone w/ good credentials and run a competitve program (and nothing the NCAA is going to do is going to stop that- look at USC this season).

all that said, the expectations here in cowtown are so completely unrealistic it's funny. Meyer took over at UF w/ a team stocked w/ SEC speed talent (by a coach -Zook- famed for his recruiting and lack of coaching skill). that's not what he's doing here. he's taking over a midwestern team filled w/ kids from Ohio.

Meyer's first MNC came over the 2006 buckeyes, remember? that tsio team was as talented as any team coming outta the big ten in a long while, and they got steam rolled by UF. it wasn't coaching; it was the roster. how many of those Gators were from Ohio? how many of those buckeyes from Fla?

unless Meyer recruits all 85 kids outta SEC/Texas, he isn't going to repeat his work at UF. that doesn't mean his teams won't be competitive or win a fair share of big ten titles, or play well against Michigan. he will. but he's not going to win 2 MNCs in 4 seasons like he did at Florida, because he's not at Florida. he's at tsio. and we know how that story ends for tsio in 2006 (& 2007).