Ohio State is coming off its worst season since 1999, finishing with a 6-6 record and not earning at least a share of the conference title for the first time since 2004. While the 2011 season had plenty of drama and a disappointing record, the Buckeyes won’t be down for long.
Just how soon can Ohio State fans start to think about a trip to the Big Ten title game? Try 2012.
The Mississippi State coach and former Florida assistant is highly respected.
The search for the next Penn State head coach took an interesting turn over the weekend with the news that current Miami coach and former PSU player Al Golden signed a new four-year contract extension that stretches to February 2020.
You can mock Urban Meyer about his family-first statements. You can question his ability to handle the rigors — both physically and mentally — of coaching at Ohio State. You can cite the high number of arrests that have occurred under his watch. You can call him a hypocrite. But you have to admit that the guy is a great football coach.
Some of his doubters will insist that his outstanding record at Florida is simply a product of Tim Tebow’s greatness. That is ridiculous. Meyer has won at a high level at all three of his stops as a head coach, compiling an overall record of 104–23 and a 50–19 mark in league play.
In 2001, Meyer inherited a Bowling Green team that won two games and averaged 15.8 points the previous season. In his first year, the Falcons went 8–3 and doubled their scoring output to 30.2 points per game. The following season, in ’02, Bowling Green went 9–3 and averaged 40.8 points per game.
At Utah, he took over a program that had suffered two losing seasons in the previous two years, including a 5–6 mark in 2002, and went on to records of 10–2 and 11–0 (did not coach the bowl game) in his two seasons. His ’04 Utah team set a school record by averaging 45.3 points and became the first non-AQ school to earn a spot in a BCS bowl. The Utes also produced the top overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, quarterback Alex Smith.
Then, in 2005, Meyer began a six-year run at Florida that featured a 36–13 record in SEC play and two national championships. His teams won 13 games on three occasions, and he went 3–0 in BCS bowls. And in three of his six seasons, the Gators ranked first in the SEC in total offense.
His detractors will point to his final season at Florida — an 8–5 record in 2010 — but not every coach wins at a high level every season. That might be the only wart on what has been a near-flawless coaching record.
And I don’t buy the argument that it’s easy to win at Florida. In fact, history proves just the opposite. Meyer and Steve Spurrier are the only two coaches who have consistently competed for championships in Gainesville.
The bottom line: Meyer is one of the elite coaches in the game and is almost sure to win at a high level as the boss at Ohio State. I have no problem with those who question the way he goes about his business off the field, but it’s almost impossible to find fault with what he has done in the between the lines.
I’d be shocked if Ohio Sate is not competing for a national title in the very near future. He is the right coach at the right time.
With 13 weeks in the book, it's time to take a look at how teams project to the postseason. There's going to be a lot of changes over the next couple of weeks, especially as teams battle just to get to six wins.
Rich Rodriguez wasn't a great fit at Michigan, but that's not the case at Arizona.
This article originally appeared in Athlon's 2008 Big Ten edition. In light of Rich Rodriguez's hire at Arizona, we feel it's important to look back when he took over at Michigan and some of the feelings surrounding the program.