Based on his impressive body of work, it can be argued that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is second only to Alabama head coach Nick Saban in the world of college football. Based on reality, second is as far as Mr. Meyer is ever going to get.
Meyer won a pair of national titles at Florida in between undefeated seasons at both Utah and Ohio State in efforts that were not rewarded nationally. Saban has won four national titles (three of them at Alabama) and has one perfect season that came in 2009.
In three meetings between the greatest coaches of this generation, Saban has won the last two after losing to Meyer in the 2008 SEC championship game.
Now that Meyer is leading the Buckeyes, the chances of him facing Saban again are relatively slim.
Nonetheless, it is a matchup that college football would love to see and would benefit from greatly. If the supposed meeting ever does come to pass, Saban will likely have the clear upper hand.
Here are four reasons why.
At Alabama, in games in which he has been given two weeks to prepare, Saban is 15-4. Three of those losses came to LSU. With longer layoffs, he has lost only once. He is also a perfect four for four in national title games.
If Meyer and Saban are to face each other again, it would likely be for the national championship.
There is just something about the way Saban approaches the long layoff that puts his team in position to dominate their opponents.
Alabama cruised to BCS title wins over Texas, LSU and Notre Dame, winning all three by far more than most expected. In season openers against ranked teams, Saban and the Tide have destroyed ranked non-conference opponents in Clemson, Virginia Tech and Michigan.
At this point in the game, betting against Saban in a title game is the equivalent of burning cash.
According to the Rivals.com 2013 Top 100 recruits, a whopping 50 athletes hailed from SEC states. Meanwhile, only 13 of the Top 100 came from B1G states.
Let's face it, the talent that is available in the south is more athletic, more talented and more plentiful than it is in the midwest.
Based on this fact, it is safe to say that as long as the status quo stays the same at both Alabama and Ohio State, the Tide will be deeper and more equipped than the Buckeyes if the two are to meet anytime soon.
Add to this the fact that Saban is expanding his recruiting circle with every new championship and there is little chance, if any, that Meyer can keep up with the pace that Alabama is setting when it comes to talent.
This is one uphill battle that Meyer cannot overcome.
It is well documented that Ohio State is just 1-9 all time vs. the SEC in bowl games. Maybe it is the mystique of the SEC, but the Buckeyes appeared to be the better team going into a number of those games and yet they came away with next to nothing.
The SEC has won the last seven BCS national championships, a run that would have seemed impossible for any conference to pull off just a few short years ago.
In those games, the top ranked team has won just twice and the SEC has won these games by an average score of 32-15. The conference is flat out throttling its opponents on the big stage.
No player would admit it, but in last month's title game between Alabama and Notre Dame, the Irish looked and played like a beaten team from the opening kickoff.
As if Saban really needs another edge over his opponents, the reputation that both he and his Tide carry right now is enough to give them a 10-point edge before the teams even take the field.
As good as Meyer is, he cannot overcome fear with a locker room speech.
Alabama has twice now been to the BCS Championship Game with a loss on its resume. One of the perks that the SEC gets by being the seven-time reigning champions is that one loss does not eliminate them from a title shot.
The B1G, however, does not get this courtesy.
Overall, the possibility of a Saban vs. Meyer matchup hinges very heavily on the chance that Meyer leads his Buckeyes to another undefeated season. Honestly, if anyone can do it, Meyer can.
Unfortunately, just one slip-up will prevent his Buckeyes from reaching the promised land. Even in a weaker conference, running the regular season and a conference title game without a loss is a difficult task.
Saban, on the other hand, has proven that he can lose as late as early November and still play for the glory in January.
This is once again the benefit of the doubt that the SEC has earned through years of superiority. Meyer gave up this perk when he stepped down as coach of the Florida Gators.