Urban Meyer answers questions at his inaugural press conference.
For the first time in what seems to be the longest year of college football ever, the fans of The Ohio State University can again feel normal.
Normal seems quite inadequate when speaking a of a program whom in the last decade has seen seven—excuse me, six conference championships, six bowl victories and one national title. Normal seems quite inadequate when speaking of a program that in the last decade has produced 53 NFL players.
But in Columbus, normal just feels good right now.
Normal feels good because for the first time this year—regardless of outside scrutiny, regardless of possible sanctions and regardless of a loss to the University of Michigan—The Ohio State University has again landed itself in the national spotlight for all the right reasons.
Again families can gather around their Christmas trees, grasping hands, all while singing the calming notes of "Carmen, Ohio." Again friends can get excited about a marching band, and again a small child can get away with saying, "We don't give a damn."
Cue Urban Meyer.
After a decade of six conference championships and six bowl victories, the number six just seems fitting. With Urban Meyer signed on to The Ohio State University for six years, it is only right to bring you six predictions for his tenure in Columbus.
Prediction No. 1: Urban Meyer will turn Braxton Miller into an NFL-ready QB
There are more differences between Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller than more people can count. Without going into the obvious observation that Pryor just doesn't have a quarterback arm, it's refreshing to the Buckeyes that Miller not only has the ability to listen, but he has the desire to learn.
Miller has all the credentials on paper: 6'2", 190 lbs., a throw-first mentality, the athleticism to make conversion plays. Miller shows the obvious signs of a potential first-round pick, but lacks the ability to make the smart throws that would put him in such a position.
Cue, Urban Meyer.
I watched him play throughout the year. I've watched him compete in the big game. And to tell you I'm excited to coach him, I'm not using the correct adjectives. And because there's mixed company around I'm not going to use the correct adjectives, how excited I am. So, I think you get it, right? Really excited.
Luke Fickell and gang hardly had the strongest offensive coaching unit in the nation. Their playbooks were limited, their plays were susceptible to prediction, ultimately delaying the progress of the true freshman quarterback.
Meyer will bring in a strong offensive coordinator. The combination of the two, along with Miller's ability to listen and learn without distraction, will turn Miller's impressive paper resume into a strong NFL-ready resume.
Rich Rodriguez left sour tastes in the mouth of those hoping for success of the spread offense in the Big 10
Prediction No. 2: Urban Meyer will bring sustainable success to the spread offense in the Big Ten
The philosophy of college football is to get the best players on the field in the best situation possible. Where the spread offense has failed, especially during the Rich Rodriguez tenure at Michigan, had been when the spread offense was most tinkered with. Putting WRs in a TE slot, or a TE in a WR slot, will not bring the best success to running the spread offense. Sticking with the proven philosophy of the spread offense will make the offense successful.
Even though Northwestern University has shown proven success with the spread offense over the past decade, it has gone unnoticed in the Big Ten. Why? It doesn't have the best players on the field in the best situations possible.
Cue Urban Meyer.
His past philosophies have worked at each school he has coached at, and his past philosophies have stayed the same.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand Meyer will get better players to fit these situations than Northwestern has, and because of this he will be able to take advantage of the two things that make the spread offense in its purest form so sustainably successful: 1) taking advantage of matchups, and 2) taking advantage of grass.
Prediction No. 3: Defense will remain a staple at Ohio State University
Buckeye fans of the past decade can understand how important a defensive stop or a great punt can be in determining the outcome of a game. Jim Tressel programmed this into the everyday lives of those populating Columbus. Don't think Urban Meyer doesn't realize how physical the Big Ten is.
Meyer, known for his impressive play-calling on the offensive side of the ball, was a defensive back in college. Meyer knows defense, but will not be the ultimate factor in sustaining the defense Ohio State has long embraced.
Cue, Chris Spielman.
Spielman has the ability to become a successful coach at a school like Akron, but has decided to announce games on ESPN. Nobody besides Meyer wants to reincarnate the football program more than Spielman.
If Meyer can hire Spielman as his defensive coordinator, he can focuses on getting the appropriate recruits needed for his spread offense. The top defensive recruits will flock to a legendary linebacker like Spielman.
Prediction No. 4: Urban Meyer will get higher-caliber Florida recruits than the University of Florida
"Come on son, come play for me, Urban Meyer, at The Ohio State University. Help us re-establish the University as one of the strongest collegiate powerhouses around."
"No, I'd rather go play for Will Muschamp and his soft vanilla offense."
Cue Urban Meyer.
Players won't judge Meyer like the state now judges Meyer. Players go to the programs they feel will make them the most successful as a teammate and as an individual. Meyer has turned more recruits into NFL-caliber players than any coach in the NCAA—and nobody knows that more than 5-star Florida recruits.
Recruiting—and strong recruiting, at that—wins college football games.
Cue Urban Meyer's resume.
Prediction No. 5: Urban Meyer will lead Oho State University to a 2012 Big Ten Championship (pending any sanctions)
Ohio State went 6-6 with multiple suspensions, a true freshman quarterback, a hurt offensive line, multiple allegations and an interim head coach. At one point the Buckeyes were 6-3 with the possibility of winning out and playing for the Big Ten Championship. The inheritance isn't as bad as some think.
The entire defense is returning, the quarterback is better and recruits will flock to Columbus. Ultimately, with the help of another, Urban Meyer will ignite the fire that is the most historic rivalry of all time.
Cue Brady Hoke.
Hoke has revived the Michigan program, and it's one hell of a time for Meyer to revive Ohio State's. With Wisconsin and Michigan State losing a lot of upperclassmen, the window of opportunity is open next season. Michigan is an exciting team with an exciting coach that knows how to play Big Ten football.
This isn't We Are Marshall, though. The best players, in the best scenarios, win collegiate football games.
See prediction No. 4: recruits.
Prediction No. 6: Urban Meyer will have the most wins all time for a coach in Ohio State football history
I'm sorry, Woody. Please don't punch me.