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Ohio State Hires Urban Meyer: Good Move or Faux Pas?
Before breaking down what this means for the future direction of Ohio State, let us first evaluate the fact that any move to bring in a head coach would have been a good one. Ever since Jim Tressel resigned (was forced out by Ohio State officials), the program has been in disarray. It is not the best characteristic of a recruiting strategy to not be able to sell future student athletes on just the program because there is no idea of who will be leading the charge.
For the Buckeyes, parents of course want to know if their children will be kept out of harm’s way, publicly and privately, while being steered clear of violations that can taint their image. Urban Meyer is one of the most respected head coaches in NCAA football and has a reputation of building character in great football players and great men in general. Just look at Tim Tebow.
There is a huge upside to Meyer’s arrival in Columbus, Ohio. For one, he has a tremendous advantage in dealing with a quarterback who is primarily more successful on the run. Braxton Miller struggled to play at the QB position conventionally and Meyer can begin to mold him into the type of player he needs to be to lead Ohio State beyond the Big Ten.
Another upside is the fact that Meyer is one of those stand-up guys that you expect to be the face of a huge football program. With the downfall of Tressel and most recently the ousting of Joe Paterno from the Penn State football program, NCAA football is not operating under the most positive influence. At least that is not what is being perpetuated through the media.
There needs to be a change in the personality of these major football schools and it starts with who is the face of the team. The head coach has a hand in how the university is perceived and Urban Meyer’s clean slate is only the start of repairing Ohio State’s image.
These are officially Meyer’s Buckeyes now and although he will be battling from under Tressel’s shadow, there is nothing like winning to cure all. The system that Meyer brings along with him is the spread option that he has become so famed for using. The Florida Gators heavily employed this style of play when he was the standing head coach there and it will not come as a surprise to see Miller lining up in the shotgun and the offense spreading the defense from sideline to sideline.
This will give the Buckeyes so many more opportunities to exploit any opponents’ rushing defense and give Miller a wide array of options. The air attack will not be substantially higher. Miller still needs to develop as a passer. However, he will become a far more dangerous QB than he has been in his first year starting.
The thought may be that Meyer would bring in a JUCO transfer to replace him, but as long as Miller works hard to adjust and improve under the new head coach, he will be stable in his position as the starting QB.
This move for the Buckeyes is an immediate game changer. Meyer’s name adds greatness and without a doubt will bring an air of relief to a program that saw its worse moments in the latter half of last season. The Ohio State football team is upgrading and rebuilding from its core and Urban Meyer is just the head coach to put them exactly where they want to be and where fans expect them to thrive.
On the other hand, Florida Gators’ fans, players and staff may feel a tad bit slighted since just a year ago Meyer walked away from the program citing health and family reasons for his departure. His brief retirement and quick re-entry may have Gators’ fans crying “Bull!” as they watch him being announced as Ohio State’s newest head coach.
There may have been many reasons, other than those brought to light, for Meyer’s refusal to continue with Florida football. The fact remains that his actions show that it was not simply family life that led to his exit. In either manner, Meyer may have ended up exactly where he wanted to be and Ohio State is moving towards redemption.
Florida, well let’s wait until next season to judge.