Would Ohio State Even Consider Urban Meyer To Replace Jim Tressel?
The main story in college football this week is the pseudo war between Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer and Orlando Sentinel columnist Jeremy Fowler.
At the center of the matter were the comments of UF WR Deonte Thompson, who had harsh criticism of former QB Tim Tebow.
Thompson was quoted as saying, "You never know with Tim. You'll think he's running, but then he'll just come up and pass it to you....With [UF QB John] Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. Like, you know what I mean, a real quarterback."
When Fowler confronted Meyer during the Gators' spring practice Wednesday, Meyer got into a heated argument with the reporter.
He criticized Fowler, saying, "You'll be out of practice—you understand that?—if you do that again."
All things considered, Meyer is still one of the best coaches in college football.
But his attitude and ego have been widely considered to be out of control by numerous writers and columnists.
Meyer's quotes were meant to be in the defense of his player, but the way in which he handled it could have been much more appropriate.
His behavior comes just months after he announced his resignation, only to return just weeks later.
This sequence of events is what might shy some ADs away from Meyer if he one day leaves Gainesville.
One place with a fanbase that might not be welcoming of Meyer would be the school he beat to win his first national championship: Ohio State.
Although the casual observer may think fans are still bitter over the 41-14 loss Meyer and the Gators delivered to the 2006 OSU squad—originally a huge favorite—the reality is that OSU has had the presence of Jim Tressel in Columbus for more than a decade.
The argument among Buckeye Nation is that Tressel has something Meyer doesn't have: class and integrity.
Tressel signed a contract a week ago that would keep him in Columbus until 2014—and he may coach for years after that.
His teams might not be as flashy as Meyer's Gators, but they both win just as well.
The difference is that some believe Meyer is the anti-Tressel, with many of the former's players being arrested and his recruitment of questionable personalities—while the latter has been a respectable face in the community.
Ohio State fans would never expect Tressel to have an episode similar to the Fowler incident.
In fact, Tressel is—in a way—an anti-Meyer, because everything he does is closed off and kept behind closed doors.
Over the years, Tressel has closed off all but a handful of practices to even the media, let alone the fans.
But if nothing else, Tressel has been good at keeping team matters in-house—dealing with problems internally, while maintaining his secrecy.
Some people wish he was more open, that he be less conservative and open things up to the public more frequently.
But the Tressel's formula has been fine this past decade—and OSU fans have to be happy with the results, regardless of their opinions of him.
Tressel will most likely retire before Meyer does, leaving a question as to whether or not Urban will be pursued by the top team from his home state of Ohio.
If Ohio State wants to continue the path to class and integrity from the head coaching ranks, AD Gene Smith may be inclined to pass on Meyer.
And while his future is unsure, that negative attention may be one thing Ohio State will want to avoid.
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