Ohio State Football: Forget Urban Meyer, Here Are Five Legit Candidates for OSU

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent IOctober 15, 2011

Ohio State Football: Forget Urban Meyer, Here Are Five Legit Candidates for OSU

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    After losing Jim Tressel and starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Ohio State Buckeyes are in disarray under interim head coach Luke Fickell, trying to salvage a season where they have lost both their starting quarterback and, even more, their head coach.

    Fickell has done all he can given the situation, but at this point, with the Buckeyes sitting at 3-3, he is just trying to get them through the season without too much damage while trying to keep the team together.

    Meanwhile, the off-season is going to be an interesting one for the Buckeyes, who will be looking all over for a new head coach to replace Jim Tressel.

    But, with so many choices, who will be the chosen one to coach at THE Ohio State University?

Bryan Hairsin

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    If the Buckeyes think they're going to get back to Tressel-type form in one year with a new head coach and new systems that will come with that head coach, they'd better think again.

    It's going to be a new era, and with the luck that they've been having with sports in the state of Ohio, they'd better start fresh. And why not start with Texas co-offensive coordinator Byran Hairsin?

    Before coming to Texas, he was the quarterback/offensive coach for current Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, and he produced pretty good offenses for the Broncos.

    At only age 34, he has room to grow, and a program like Ohio State would give him room to grow, and the Buckeyes could begin to build anew with this bright, young talent as the head coach.

Paul Chryst

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    A more stable and proven offensive coordinator in Wisconsin's own Paul Chryst could certainly be an answer to the Buckeye's offensive woes.

    The Wisconsin Badgers have one of the better offenses in the Big Ten, and would be a big step up for Chryst from high-powered offensive coordinator to head coach of one of the most prestigious programs in the Big Ten.

    His smash mouth, spread offense can bring some toughness into this Ohio State offense. 

Kirby Smart

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    If there's one thing this Buckeye team has missed this season, it's been the aggression on defense. They are famous for having linebackers the likes of Mike Vrabel or AJ Hawk lead aggressive defenses.

    And if the Buckeyes successfully pursue defensive coordinator Kirby Smart of Alabama, they will get that kind of aggressiveness back.

    Kirby Smart is one of the most pursued assistants in college football today, and he is the sole responsibility for Alabama's hard hitting, physical style of play week in and week out.

    Ohio State's No. 1 priority should be to build its defense, and Kirby Smart can be the guy to help rebuild the foundations of a once-proud Buckeye defense.

Gus Malzahn

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    Another prized assistant in college football is Auburn's offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Despite a down year for the Auburn Tigers, in large part because of their defense, their fast-paced spread attack was instrumental in their national championship run in 2010.

    Malzahn has the offensive capabilities to bring Ohio State's current offense back on its own two feet, and become more relevant in the Big Ten again.

Mark Stoops

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    Despite what Florida State's record may indicate, their defense is still under great leadership from defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, who is still a great candidate for a head coaching position, due to his defensive background and aggressive defensive schemes.

    Stoops would be accepting a huge promotion if Ohio State offered him a head coaching position, and he, like Smart, would be able to turn the Buckeye defense around and build a foundation that re-establishes THE Ohio State University as a solid program known for its aggressive defensive play.