Rumors of Urban Meyer to Ohio State Heating Up Quickly

Thursday night and Friday morning the internet began to explode with rumors that Urban Meyer is going to be the next head football coach of The Ohio State University.

One of the first websites to publicly put their name to the rumor was the Ohio State blog Eleven Warriors. On their Twitter account, they wrote “We are 99.7% sure Urban Meyer has agreed to a deal to become the next coach of Ohio State. Solid sources. Plural. Just to clarify: We were being serious. No timetable for announcement yet, obviously.”

So does this mean Ohio State fans should start rejoicing and Michigan fans should start trembling? Not so fast. Eleven Warriors is as reputable of an Ohio State site as there is and their record of reporting stands for itself. But to say that Urban Meyer to Ohio State is a done deal might not be totally accurate.

The biggest hold up to this being formally announced at this time might be the forthcoming NCAA ruling on the OSU infractions. By all accounts the Ohio State Board of Trustees does not think Ohio State will be receiving a bowl ban, and this message has been conveyed to Urban Meyer.

Never the less, it seems a little hard to believe that Urban would accept the job without knowing for certain what the NCAA outcome is going to be. The bottom line is that Urban Meyer can make whatever demands he wants. This is going to happen on his timeline, not Ohio State’s. And he’s certainly unlikely to take a job where he does know with 100% certainty what the outcome of an NCAA investigation is going to be.

Perhaps that’s where Eleven Warriors’ 99.7% confidence comes from, as opposed to 100% certainty. If we play a game of logic hypotheticals, it’s plausible to imagine a scenario where Urban Meyer would tell Ohio State he will accept the job after the NCAA ruling is official and the sanctions are not more than he cares to withstand.

Eleven Warriors may have stopped short of saying Urban Meyer definitely will be the next coach at Ohio State, but multiple other reports and internet sites are saying it’s a done deal. I’ve felt for a very long time that this was the most likely scenario, and I have zero reason to doubt any of it. From the people I’ve talked to, I’ve heard very similar, equally encouraging signs that Ohio State feels certain Urban Meyer will accept their bid to make him coach. But everyone should be careful before saying it is a done deal.

Ohio State certainly would like the NCAA to rule before December 3rd, the date of the Big Ten Championship Game. The loss to Purdue all but killed Ohio State’s chances at playing for the title (unless you believe Illinois has more than a fleeting chance at beating Wisconsin). Had Ohio State still controlled their own destiny, it would have put pressure on the NCAA to act quickly. Now they don’t have quite as much pressure, although they still need to give the Bowl Games ample time to promote their games and sell tickets. So a decision on OSU’s fate should be coming soon.

Once that decision is handed down, expect things to happen in the coaching “search” extremely quickly. Ohio State’s Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and Plan E all along have all been to hire Urban Meyer to take over the program Luke Fickell has taken care of in this dark time. Urban Meyer’s ties to Ohio State are well known and the OSU job has been one tied to Urban Meyer ever since the coach left the University of Florida. Nobody thought things would happen this soon, but the timing is what it is. For Ohio State, it is now or never to sign Urban Meyer. For Urban Meyer, it very well could be now or never to accept this job.

Former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce once talked about how painful it was for him personally when Jim Tressel faced off against Urban Meyer in the National Championship Game a few years back. Both men coached at Ohio State under Earle Bruce. And while Coach Bruce made it clear he was rooting for Tressel and Ohio State in that game, he also said he would be extremely proud of Urban and happy for him personally if the Gators won.

A simple Google search for Urban Meyer and Earle Bruce will yield a multitude of articles outlining the close relationship between Meyer and Coach Bruce. Meyer views Coach Bruce as a 2nd father figure and holds more loyalty to Coach Bruce than anyone else in the industry. That alone doesn’t mean Meyer has to take the OSU job, but it’s certainly an added perk. Last time around, Coach Bruce felt conflicted about rooting for Urban’s team. Hopefully next time, there will be no such issues.

  • Cleveland78

    A very fortuitous development since he already owns a few houses in the Columbus area.

    Now start calling these recruits that have backed away from OSU since JT left.

  • RyInCBus

    My bologna has a first name, it’s U-R-B-A-N!!

  • natedawg

    I am glad Fickel got a shot because of who he is, but he has proved that he is not ready yet for the big times. I was rooting for him, but there has been many a time (especially early) that I was left scratching my head after a decision (or non-decision).

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Eleven Warriors is also 99.7% sure Tom Izzo will be the next coach of the Cavaliers!

    Too soon?

  • B-bo

    Not a fan of this move if it does, in fact, go down. Sure seems like UF players found themselves on the wrong side of the law rather frequently during Meyer’s tenure. Of course, the Buckeyes had a few here and there under Tress, but for the most part it was restricted to violations of questionable NCAA policies, not actual lawlessness. We’ll be under the microscope for a while after the events of the past 12-18 months, and I’m not sure Meyer is the guy to steward a team in that position given the rap sheet his guys at UF put together. Good X’s and O’s coach, but that won’t be what folks outside of Columbus are worried about.

  • @BDS We love a good roast!

  • AMC

    This is a major coup for the Buckeyes if they can pull this off. Meyer is the only coach available that has legitimate college head coaching experience that I would want on the OSU sidelines. I can’t think of another guy that I would want to develop Braxton Miller. I’m really hoping all the rumors and reports are true. Hopefully the NCAA will get their stuff together and hand down their decision ASAP so Buckeye Nation can move on and hopefully begin the Urban era.

  • christopher


    i share your concern and am hoping to see Gene Smith replaced as AD in the same breath that Meyer is announced as the head coach.

    i think that with Meyer at the helm of the team/recruiting and a new watchful AD controlling the “under the microscope” issues that seem to be EVERYWHERE in the NCAA these days we will right the ship.

    i for one am hopeful that Fickell does remain with the team with Vrabel focusing on the defense while allowing Meyer to focus on the offense.

  • AMC

    If Urban does come to OSU and doesn’t have his own defensive guys, I have no problem with Fickell, Vrabel, Heacock and the whole defensive staff staying on – the defense hasn’t really been the problem with this team, though it has looked oddly overmatched in some spots. Even though I don’t believe Fickell is currently cut out to be a head coach, he was thrust into a situation not of his own making.

  • Pale Dragon

    The thing that bothers me about Meyer is…can we trust him to stay here long term? Or will he “retire” after five or six years? I liked that Tressel was a long term guy.

    Assuming that Mike Leach isn’t an option, the guy who could be a great fit here would be Tim Beckman from Toledo. He’s also a former OSU assistant, he knows how to recruit in Ohio, and I was very impressed with the way he coached his team against OSU this year. Hiring him wouldn’t be a splash, but neither was the Tressel hire, but that turned out to be the right move.

    A more important matter for the university and the football program is that Gene Smith NOT be the guy making the hire. He needs to be dismissed/resign as soon as the NCAA makes their ruling.

  • Gene Smith is not making this hire, regardless of his employment situation. This is all being done by the OSU Board of Trustees.

  • christopher


    agreed in hesitation on Meyer being a long term fit for the prorgram. obviously whoever we hire we want to see take the program as a “lifer”.

    of course on the other hand how ironic is it that the two would be “lifer” coaches we have employed were both booted out?

    while Beckman would be able to recruit within Ohio his problem would be recruiting outside Ohio which Meyer will be able to do no problem. The ability to recruit SEC speed on a Big Ten team would give you dominance in the conference for sure.

    Meyer gives the program the ability to recruit on a national scale which i think we can safely say neither Fickell or Beckman’s names would be able to do.

    now on the flip side i have heard that it was Fickell’s job to do the in-home recruiting and that we was very good at it. JT was only brought in as a name or as a final nail in the coffin type deal. which is another reason i’d like to see Fickelly stay with the program through 2012.

  • matt

    What happened to the health problems that caused meyer to quit at florida? I take it they have gotten better, but are they something that would not be recurring? If memory served it was something heart and stress related… well the OSU job is just a teeny bit stressful one would think, especially after this past year.

  • oribiasi

    I like the idea of Urban Meyer because he is an experienced, winning coach from a big school with some significant ties to Ohio State. It’s a no-brainer.

    The only hesitation I see is that he has a history of health problems that could mean an earlier exit than any of us would like. I do want a lifer (more/less) in that position, so we shall see.

    All in all, I can’t see how hiring him would be a mistake at all. If he was our recruiter it would go miles for 4-5star athletes.

  • BigPapaC


    College football is business, flat out. Yes we all hope for over-arching morality and like to feel cuddly and warm about “doing things the right way”, etc. But clearly, the last year has shown us that those things do not exist in D1 college football. If guys like Tressel & Paterno couldn’t hold true to the righteousness we bestowed upon them, then it doesn’t exist. Nor should we expect it to. It’s business. And the business is winning.

    Do you want to win national titles or have a squeaky clean 6-6 program? I’ll take the titles.

  • Pale Dragon

    I’d like to think that the name “Ohio State” still counts for something in national recruiting. Bring in a guy who can coach, and his success will bring in the recruits.

    Yes, Ohio State has had to fire their last four coaches, but each of those guys was here for at least 10 years. Stability has been an important part of the development of this program.

    I don’t want a coach who comes in, shakes things up by installing a whole new system, and then leaves within five years, and we have to start all over picking up the pieces (like Rodriguez at Michigan, although obviously Meyer is a better coach than Rodriguez. But not by as much as most people would think)

  • mgbode


  • mgbode

    @Pale – my thought would be that since we already run a spread offense, we might as well get one of the foremost authorities in it. of course, meyer runs alot more spread-option than we have in the past, and he has a history of under-utilizing RBs, but I don’t think it’s quite the shift that UM went under when they hired RichRod.

  • Painesville


    I’m not so sure Tress was here much longer regardless. He was 58 yrs old and stated he did not want to coach much longer. Meanwhile, OSU is Meyer’s dream job and at age 47 I could see him in it for the much longer haul.

    If this goes down, this is huge….which should prompt a quick “u mad” to all those Brady Hoke lovers.


  • John Cooper’s offense was dramatically different from Earle Bruce’s. Each of Jim Tressel’s offenses were pretty different from John Cooper’s. Whoever OSU hires next will have a different system from Tressel’s. It’s not like Urban Meyer is going to do some kind of damage beyond repair to Ohio State’s offense. Urban Meyer is a truly great coach and OSU would be lucky to have him.

  • TSR3000

    I thought OSU was going to clean up their program?!??

    This guy recruits the scummiest of characters. OSU is going to be just as dirty as ever if Urban is the next coach.

    /admitted Michigan fan

  • Shamrock

    You just got Izzo’d! Anyways let’s hope Urban comes to Columbus. I think he can get two championships before the next scandal.

  • B-bo

    @BigPapaC of course titles are nice, and ultimately the outcome fans are looking for. But I’m not for being so blinded by title aspirations that we run afoul of an NCAA that is clearly going to be keeping a very close eye on us, not to mention the 4-letter network that seems to have an ax to grind. I assure you I understand the nature of big college sports, but I also understand that the NCAA is looking to send messages, even to the biggest of programs. And given the issues with athlete behavior that were so frequent at UF, I’d prefer we look elsewhere, and avoid receiving any more of those messages.

  • Stinkfist

    B-bo, are you serious about ESPN? They would eat up Urban Meyer. They would totally take him to “church” (“The League” reference). He is employed by ESPN. You think they will turn on him because he joins the Buckeyes? You’re nuts. Don’t pull that “4-letter network” crap, it does not apply here, but quite the contrary, it will help tOSU in the media and national spotlight

  • B-bo

    I respectfully disagree, stink.

  • Jake Udell

    I personally believe that the number of arrests has to do with the fact that the schools in florida tend to get a lot of loud mouths, idiots, and convicts. Miami was the same way.