Urban Meyer is not yet 12 hours removed from the conclusion of his retirement party at Florida, and already he is being considered by some to be the frontrunner to succeed Jim Tressel at Ohio State.
Yep. When asked by a reader via Twitter where Meyer would make his next stop as head coach, ESPN’s Bruce Feldman replied in a blog posting on Friday afternoon—prior to the Gators sending Meyer out in style with a 37-24 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl—that Ohio’s prodigal son would return home when Tressel decided to step down in Columbus.
Here’s what Feldman had to say, which is available only to readers with ESPN Insider access:
“To me, OSU seems a little more viable than some other potential openings. I couldn't see [Meyer] coming back in a year or two to take over at Georgia, even though the Bulldogs' new AD came from UF. I wouldn't think taking a job at one of UF's arch rivals would feel right to him."
Feldman’s “hunch” has managed to create quite a tizzy and provides for some terrific water-cooler talk, since Meyer’s tenure in Gainesville has come to an official end.
But it’s hardly original. Nor does it carry any sort of weight at this point in time, although I’m not sure Feldman was trying to achieve either.
Given the fact Meyer, an Ohio native, began his coaching career at Ohio State as a tight ends/receivers coach during the 1986 and ’87 seasons, the logic certainly suggests he would be a snug fit for the Buckeye program in its post-Tressel phase.
But when are we talking here? Tressel was recently given a contract extension through the 2014 season, so who knows if Meyer, though currently only 46, will even want to coach by the time 2015 comes around?
Or if he’ll decide to take a job elsewhere before then.
For that matter, what if Tressel, for whatever reason, hangs it up before he exhausts the length of his contract, which would also likely be before Meyer even considers returning to the game?
This rumor, it seems, is nothing more than a matter of convenience and good timing.
Those who are filling out a requirement checklist for the next Ohio State head coach won’t have much work to do:
- Championship-caliber résumé
- Connections to both the state and the program itself
- Presumably immediately available to talk the second Tressel decides to call it quits
Whatta you know? That sounds a lot like Urban Meyer. Yeah, he would make a great fit at Ohio State! Imagine the possibilities.
Whether or not Meyer comes to Columbus may depend upon Tressel, who will be 62 when his current contract expires. When school officials added two more years to his contract last March, they also agreed to offer Tressel an administrative job upon his retirement from coaching.
If given a voice in Ohio State’s search for a new head coach, would Tressel, also a native of Ohio, seriously lobby for Meyer, who has been extremely vocal over the years about his affinity for his home state?
Probably, one would think. It makes for an interesting storyline, offering an epic changing of the guard should things align and Meyer is ushered in to succeed Tressel.
For now, it’s merely a rumor fueled by gut feelings and timeliness.