Bo Pelini and Urban Meyer grew up a mere 60 miles away from each other—Pelini in Youngstown, Ohio and Meyer an hour north in Ashtabula, Ohio. And Saturday night will not be the first time the two have crossed paths.
In 1987, Meyer was entering his second season as a graduate assistant on Earl Bruce's Ohio State coaching staff, while Pelini was entering his first season as a safety on the Ohio State football team.
Meyer left following the 1987 season to further his coaching career. Meanwhile, Pelini went on to start his final two seasons and become a captain on the 1990 Ohio State team. After his playing day were over at Ohio State, Pelini started his own coaching career.
In 2005, both the two coaches landed in each others' paths, but this time they were not on the same side—Meyer was the head coach at Florida; Pelini the defensive coordinator for LSU. In their first meeting Pelini got the better of Meyer when LSU held the Gators to just 206 yards and 17 points.
However, the next season Meyer had his ace-in-the-hole. Even though Chris Leak was the QB for Florida, it was a freshman named Tim Tebow that was responsible for all three of Florida's TDs in their 23-10 win over LSU—a win that helped catapult the Gators to a BCS National Championship Game win over Ohio State.
In their final showdown in the SEC, Pelini's defense held down Tebow and the Gators just enough to allow the offense to steal a thrilling victory in the closing minutes.
Unfortunately for Ohio State fans, that game once again catapulted its winner into the BCS National Championship Game where once again the Florida/LSU winner beat the Buckeyes to claim the crystal ball.