Ohio State Football: Evaluating Urban Meyer's Work Thus Far
Urban Meyer's arrival to Ohio State as head coach has been an amazing ride in the past few months since he signed his contract.
Meyer, who dominated Ohio State in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game while at Florida, came back to Columbus and put the spark in a program which was lifeless since the Tattoogate scandal.
In the last six months, all kinds of positive energy and great vibes have reenergized Ohio State while at the same time catching the eye of the nation in the process.
Let's take a look at what he has done since his announcement as the head coach.
Putting Together a Strong Coaching Staff
Urban Meyer came to Ohio State saying he was going to try to put together the best coaching staff in all of college football.
He put together an excellent staff without really changing much of the defensive staff, leaving Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel at their posts. All he has done was bring in former North Carolina defensive coordinator Everett Withers and former Cincinnati defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs to help out.
Offensively, he made a nearly complete overhaul of the current staff, led by former Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman.
Herman was a relative unknown that had great successes at Sam Houston State and Rice, and had good success at Iowa State where he had to overcome being under-talented most games in the Big 12.
That will definitely not be the case at Ohio State.
Ed Warriner and Zach Smith also joined the Buckeye coaching staff, making this group complete.
If this group isn't the best staff in the game, it certainly has the potential to be up there with some of the best. They just need to prove it on the field.
Ohio State's recruiting class before Urban Meyer came to Columbus was on life support.
Three months later on national signing day, the Buckeyes left 2012's class with a consensus top-five class anchored by star edge rushers Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington.
Meyer was landing players OSU fans wouldn't have imagined they could've gotten, even with Jim Tressel in charge.
2013's class is already on its way to top-10 status even with limited scholarships. Big commits from stars like Cameron Burrows, Joey Bosa and Jalin Marshall among others have this class potentially among the best in the country when all is said and done.
Making the Offense Look Respectable
Photo courtesy of US-Presswire.
Ohio State's biggest problem last season was something that had been snowballing for the past decade: the offense was offensive.
Jim Bollman's reign of terror finally came to an end at the end of the season, opening the way for Meyer and Herman to begin the rebuilding project.
The two have already conspired to make the offense much more explosive, operating at an Oregon-like tempo.
Braxton Miller will be the trigger man of the new inside-zone read offense that Ohio State is running.
The status of this construction project is TBD in Ohio State's opener against Miami (OH).
Openness Within the Program
Mark Pantoni, Ohio State Director of Player Personnel
The biggest difference between both Meyer and Tressel outside of the on-the-field styles is what we've seen off the field.
Tressel kept his coaches and the status of his program hidden under lock and key, with secrecy envied by the CIA.
Meyer is the opposite, showing an incredible amount of openness and the eagerness to drop his guard every once in a while.
This demeanor is most well-known in his assistant coaches, who have all not only taken to Twitter—something that would have been inconceivable under Tressel—but have been extremely active and popular on there as well.
Perhaps none has been better to follow than the OSU Director of Player Personnel Mark Pantoni, who Meyer has said was a reason for most of his recruiting successes.
That addition alone is a huge sign that this is a new era, an era where things are much more open than in the past.
Reigniting a Rivalry
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
For the better part of the last five years, the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry was dormant, mostly due to the sheer dominance of the Buckeyes over their archrivals.
That changed last November when Brady Hoke took his first game over the Buckeyes and exorcised so many of the Wolverines' demons along the way.
Two days later, Urban Meyer was announced as head coach. Since then, the rivalry has come back.
Through recruiting battles and subtle jabs aimed at their respective rivals, The Game is quickly returning to the national spectacle it was when Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler battled each other in the legendary Ten-Year War.
Round 1 of Hoke vs. Meyer is scheduled for Nov. 24 at high noon in Columbus. Never in so long has The Game meant more than it will on that day.
So in terms of ratcheting up the intensity of this rivalry, Meyer has succeeded with flying colors, and without playing a single game, either.
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