Ohio State Football: Breaking Down Urban Meyer's Strengths & Weaknesses
Urban Meyer is one of only three head coaches at Ohio State to start his career in Columbus at 5-0. The new head honcho at OSU has impressed Buckeye Nation since his hiring this past November, and its very hard not to like the work he's doing at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes had a few rough patches throughout their fairly easy non-conference schedule, but all major concerns were squashed with the hard fought win they notched this past Saturday over MSU. Meyer was cool and collected throughout the tight game, but seemed overjoyed with his first Big Ten win.
As of now, Meyer has done an excellent job in Columbus and with the meat of their schedule approaching, I fully expect the wins to keep coming thanks to a few things that make Meyer the effective coach he is today.
Strength: His Offensive Scheme
One of the first things Buckeye Nation looked forward to when Meyer was hired was seeing his offense at Ohio State. Meyer is a pioneer of the spread scheme and his system has been effective everywhere he's coached.
He has the perfect quarterback in Braxton Miller to implement the system and for the first time in a while, the Buckeyes are extremely dangerous on offense. His offensive scheme is based on putting his top skill players in space and letting them make big plays.
By putting his most talented players in the best positions to succeed, his offense is consistently productive.
Weakness: His Reliance on Good Quarterbacks
Through the Buckeye's first five wins, Braxton Miller has been asked to do quite a bit for Urban Meyer. The sophomore quarterback accounts for more than 70 percent of the Buckeyes offense and has a pretty hefty amount of carries already this season.
Now, I understand that Meyer doesn't call all the plays, but he oversees this offense and he clearly needs Miller to carry this offense right now. It's nothing against Meyer that he happens to coach great quarterbacks, but right now it is clear that this team wouldn't be 5-0 without Braxton Miller.
I'm a huge fan of his offensive scheme (clearly) but right now there is too much pressure on Miller each week.
Strength: His Ability to Win Big Games
In terms of preparation, Urban Meyer is one of the best in the game. The long time head coach always has his teams ready to play in big-time games and remains cool in collected with the pressure on.
This past Saturday was a prime example of Meyer's great ability to win big games as he remained calm throughout the tight game, and inspired his offense to move the chains and run the clock out late in the fourth quarter.
Meyer's teams always seem to come up big when the lights are brightest and that's something Buckeye Nation hasn't been used to in years past.
Weakness: His Relations with Fellow Big Ten Coaches
Since his hiring in November, Urban Meyer has done everything but make friends amongst his fellow Big Ten coaches. Earlier after his arrival at Ohio State, in-conference coaches were initially upset with Meyer's recruiting tactics and made their complaints public.
Then, right before the Buckeyes took on the Spartans this past Saturday, MSU complained about the game tapes provided to them by Ohio State, saying they were doctored.
Now the tapes probably don't reflect Meyer, but he has ruffled some feathers with fellow Big Ten coaches since his hiring. Jim Tressel was always on good terms with the other Big Ten coaches and it doesn't seem like Meyer is too worried about that.
I don't think this effects his ability to coach OSU but he doesn't seem very good at it, nonetheless.
Strength: His Ability to Recruit
When Urban Meyer was hired back in November, the Buckeyes had a top-20 recruiting class at best. By the time National Signing Day came around and Meyer was given a few months to recruit, the Buckeyes had a recruiting class rated in the top five of every major recruiting websites.
The Buckeye's new head coach has a knack for talking to high school prospects and has done an impeccable job on the recruiting trail since he's been in Columbus. Tons of recruits have looked OSU's way just because Meyer is the head coach there now and it's evident that Buckeye Nation can expect top notch recruiting classes while Meyer is at the helm.
Weakness: His Consistency
The consistency I speak of has nothing to do with his team's performances on the field or his ability as a coach or recruiter. The consistency I speak of deals with his time spent at programs and it may alarm OSU fans.
As a head coach, Meyer has only spent a maximum of six years at one university and that was at an established program in Florida. Besides Florida, Meyer only spent two years each with Bowling Green and Utah. Now, obviously Meyer was climbing a career ladder when he left places like Bowling Green and Utah, but his exit from Gainesville was extremely unexpected and could presumably happen at OSU.
From what we have gathered, Meyer is in it for the long haul at Ohio State but his track record does make me a bit nervous.
Strength: His Persona
Urban Meyer has the perfect persona for a head coach. He's a winner. Flat out. He's competitive, fiery, determined, committed, cool and collected. He's the perfect combination of intense and intact. No moment is too big for the longtime head coach, but he always brings the "juice" on the sideline and gets his team fired up.
In just one off-season and five games, it's obvious that this team has embraced Meyer's persona and embodied it themselves. This team is confident, inspired, truly competitive and well equipped to perform in big games. This is a direct result of Meyer's influential personality and is a huge reason for his success as a head coach.
When the personality is right, teams are at their best when they completely embody their coaches qualities and philosophies. When teams are completely bought in, they can be hard to stop.