Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on November 29, 2011 at 6:00a

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.

Well, it's official. Ohio State laid out the red carpet Monday night and welcomed Urban Meyer as its 24th head football coach.

When Urban Meyer was the head coach of the Florida Gators, I couldn't stand him. Maybe it was the fact he derailed OSU's title hopes in 2007, or maybe it was because his quarterback made the promise, or maybe it was the fact that Florida had eclipsed Ohio State in his years there.

Whatever the reason, I just hated Urban Meyer and everything the Florida Gators stood for. But things are different now that he's a Buckeye. All is forgiven in my eyes.

Meyer is certainly a figure who can be despised, unless he's on your sideline. It's obvious that he'll attract big-name recruits and bring in a more experienced coaching staff, but what I'm excited about is finally feeling like Ohio State has a unified leader again. Buckeye fans truly owe Luke Fickell greatly for the job he did during uncertain times, but he was never a person people could rally behind (and that's more circumstantial than anything on Fickell).

Urban Meyer is that person, and everyday he is here means a brighter future for Ohio State football.

WILL THE REAL URBAN MEYER PLEASE STAND UP? While most OSU fans are drooling over the fact that Urban Meyer is their next football coach, some still remain skeptical about Meyer.

Matt Hayes of Sporting News wrote an article questioning whether the Urban Meyer OSU is hiring is the same coach he has been at his previous destinations. Hayes cites Meyer's health and stress problems as reasons Meyer may not be the same coach he once was.

Hayes continues by saying that Meyer basically couldn't handle all the success that he had built up at Florida because of the pressure that came with it. The article states that Meyer also would've preferred to coach at Penn State before the sexual-abuse allegations surfaced and that OSU basically became his backup plan.

I will have to disagree with Hayes on some points he made in his article. If Meyer is worried about his health and stress, a team coming off a 6-6 regular season is not the place to escape those issues. If Meyer didn't think he could handle the stress, I don't think he would've come here.

Additionally, Ohio State is Meyer's dream job and there's really no debating that. He was also born in Ashtabula, Ohio and his wife was born in Cincinnati. Both still have most of their family here. He took this job to live out his dream of coaching at Ohio State, still be a part of the game he loves, and be close to his family. I think it's safe to say that OSU will be getting the real deal with Meyer.

On the other end of the spectrum is CBS' Gregg Doyel, who pegs Meyer as the perfect hire for the Buckeyes:

The marriage of Urban Meyer to Ohio State is a game-changer for college football, a move that will propel Ohio State back to the top of the national heap with such velocity that it will pull along the rest of the Big Ten in its jet stream.

Doyel can be hit or miss, but in this column at least, he strokes a home run.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW. Luke Fickell is now officially a former head coach of The Ohio State University. The Ohio sports blog Starting Blocks had an article featured in the Plain Dealer asking what grade you would give Luke Fickell for his only season as OSU's head coach.

The article touches on how Fickell took over the job amid scandal and the loss of several key players who were suspended or left for the NFL.

While Fickell didn't always make the right coaching decisions, it is true that he kept this team together, as the article references. While many will critique some coaching decisions he made on game day, I can't bring myself to put all the blame on a guy who clearly wasn't ready for this role. We probably should've came a way with one or two more victories this year, but I am grateful for how Fickell kept this team together.

This team was always focused and committed to playing the next game. While Meyer will certainly teach a lot to this young team, it is hard to argue that they haven't already learned a lot from Fickell. I'll give Fickell a B for the season because of the adversities he dealt with. I'm glad to see he'll be back next season on Meyer's coaching staff.

Welcome home, Urban. (via NBC4 Sports)

THE GAME. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN wrote that the hiring of Urban Meyer should bring more intrigue to OSU's annual matchup against the Michigan Wolverines.

Rittenberg writes that if there's anyone who knows Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's system, it's Meyer. The two worked along side one another when Meyer was the head coach of Florida.

If Mattison stays at Michigan, perhaps Meyer could give the Buckeyes the advantage come next season, as OSU tries to avenge their first loss to UM in eight years.

HARDWARE TIME. The Big Ten held its annual awards show on the BTN last night and John Simon earned first team honors from the coaches. Joining him on the coaches second team are center Mike Brewster, tackle Mike Adams, linebacker Andrew Sweat and safety C.J. Barnett. Honorable mentions went to tackle Johnathan Hankins, Boom Herron (in just half a season, mind you), Jack Mewhort and Jake Stoneburner (thrown to just a dozen times, mind you).

The media did not see fit to include any Buckeyes on their first team, but Adams and Simon did earn 2nd team honors with Barnett, Brewster, Hankins, Mewhort, Tyler Moeller, Andrew Norwell, Stoneburner and Sweat named as honorable mention.

The Badgers were the big winners on the night, earning a record nine first team selections and capturing the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year (Russell Wilson) as well as the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year (Montee Ball). GREAT DAY TO BE A BADGER FAN, SAYS BRET BIELEMA.

WE'RE PLAYING BAS-KET-BALL. With OSU's football-regular season coming to an end, it's time to get into full gear to watch the #2 Buckeyes tear it up this season on the hardwood. And there's no better way to get it started than against the most despised/envied team in basketball, the Duke Blue Devils.

After winning the Maui Invitational in impressive fashion, Andy Katz awarded the Duke Blue Devils the team of the week for the tournament. Duke junior Ryan Kelly came away with MVP honors after racking up three-consecutive games in which he scored 17 points. Duke has come out much stronger than analysts anticipated with the welcomed surprise of Kelly who was expected to be more of a role player this season.

Despite Duke's strong play, OSU will still have a major advantage in the front court. However, Duke's back court is playing at an extremely high level this season with junior Seth Curry averaging 15.1 points, and freshman phenom Austin Rivers averaging 14.4 points. I still expect Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith to get the better of these two guards because of their stellar defense, but this matchup should certainly be entertaining until the end of regulation.

Lest we not forget, the game is part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the incredible accurate Ken Pomeroy likes the Big Ten to repeat.

LOS LINKS. Ohio State could find out about possible NCAA sanctions in the next two weeks... Penn State begins to move on... Much like Penn State, the Second Mile must face life after the scandal... Billy Donovan's 400 wins do not include a vicotry against OSU this year... Saban asks for a candid thought process from voters.



Comments Show All Comments

Hoody Wayes's picture

He was NOT born in Ashtabula. Urban Meyer was born in Toledo!

faux_maestro's picture

THANK GOD he didn't go to the dark side. I know too many weasel fans from Toledo.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Hoody Wayes's picture

It's that proximity to MI and - history. "The Toledo War" is the root of the rivalry. This makes Buckeye fans in the area - arguably - the fiercest. And Meyer may be the fiercest coach.

The team's in Columbus. But, it belongs to Ohio...ALL of Ohio.

cronimi's picture

True, but he did grow up in Ashtabula.

Kennywayne34's picture

The meatchicken following up here in T town is enough to make one puke. Especially with thier recent "success" As if it wasnt bad enough to live here.



Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I need more basketball hype. At least 2 more posts and a gray box for today's game alone. Maybe some pics of the campers out in the cold rain alongside the schott. An interview with a Nuthouse fan and what they are planning for the game? Maybe some old school write up featuring Jent or Jimmy Jackson?

Olemissbuckeye's picture

Toledo was intolerable during the Cooper years.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I was in Rossford near the end of that era and it was bad. Michigan owned what little I saw, and others didn't seem to care.

Hoody Wayes's picture

cc: Olemissbuckeye

I know all about it.

M stood for "merciless."

Proof of karma:

20sider's picture



BuddhaBuck's picture


(I believe secESPN is the source...)

Don't text while driving.

flipbuckeye's picture

It's the morning after and I'm still on cloud 9. I know we've known about this for a while (well, 99.7% sure), but seeing how Urban carried himself in the presser just hit it out of the park for me. We should probably be cautiously optimistic given all of the circumstances, but reading fluff pieces all over the Internet praising the hire just makes me feel really good about the next few years.

rkylet83's picture

I like the presser too.  Not dramatic, completely to the point and honest.  I'm going to recruit the best players and get the best coaches on my staff and we're going to win.  I like that formula.

chibuck's picture

Long time reader, had to finally signup for this great site. Just wanted to say great job to the whole 11W crew!

Scott's picture

Welcome, CHIBUCK!

Class of 2008

The_Lurker's picture

Doyel can be hit or miss, but in this column at least, he strokes a home run.



Whereas Hayes can only be miss. Dude is the trolliest of all trolls and never misses an opportunity to bash Ohio State. I don't believe for a second that Meyer would have rather coached Penn State.


Buckeye Chuck's picture

Given his predictions of multiple touchdown losses to Miami 9 years ago (granted, he had a lot of company) and to Oregon in the Rose Bowl (which was always just anti-Big Ten bias), it's hard to take anything Hayes says about Ohio State seriously. He's just a housebroken version of Finebaum.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

chitown buckeye's picture

Watched the presser 3x last night and loved everythng Meyer was saying. Dont get me wrong I am a Tressel fan, but it felt good to see a coach on the podium actually saying something and showing fire! Him saying OSU and players deserve the best coaches in the contry, I am going to have a team that is relentless, those words along with the look in his eyes as he was saying them certainly let me know he has great passion for football. Was a great day yesterday and have never looked more forward to a season then I am for next season!

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Totally agree. When he said we'd have the best players and coaches and that we'd play with our hair on fire, I believed him. He's right, the formula itself is simple. 

btalbert25's picture

Doyel has seemed to soften up on Ohio State since Tressel has left the program, I've noticed the same with Herbie.  Seems like some people in the media just didn't like Tressel very much.  Anyway, I tend to agree with Doyel's article here.  The hiring of Meyer and the monster staff I'm sure he'll assemble is a game changer.  I also think this will cause the rest of the B1G to get off their asses and bring some quality staffs in.  I think it's possible that in 4 or 5 years the B1G could be the premier league in college football.  Urban even indicated that it's cyclical, and while the SEC is hot, it won't be that way forever.

I kind of think of Urban coming back in a different light then the take Hayes had.  If anything, the guy getting a year to watch his kids play sports, spend time with the wife, and do some soul searching made him realize he was miserable without coaching.  I think he could come back more hungry than he was.  Also, one potential reason the team wasn't as good last year, is because he admittedly didn't focus on "center field"  he was too involved with cleaning up the sport and chasing agents and things like that.  He took his eye off the ball a little.  If anything, I think we'll see a more ambitious, more focused Urban Meyer.  Perhaps, and this may be a stretch, his best coaching is yet to come.

Buckeyejason's picture

I think the reason his 2010 team wasn't that good was because he simply lost too many talented multi year starters from the previous season.

Most importantly they had no QB..without a solid QB its tough to win games, no matter how good the coach is.


Maestro's picture

I think you hit the nail on the head here BT.  He knows the pitfalls that made him leave Florida.  His wife knows the pitfalls.  His kids know the pitfalls.  This is a new and wiser version of Urban Meyer.  I think he has a real understanding that he can't do it all by himself.  He will hire a great staff.  Great leaders almost always surround themselves with great people and even if he doesn't have the same high intensity fire that he once had I think he will succeed.

vacuuming sucks

LABuckeye's picture

His stress level is an unknown quantity at this point, and I guess we have no choice but to take him at his word. I think it is unfair of writers to say it is a bad hire because of his Florida issues... they have likely never been in any executive role and have no idea what they are talking about regarding stress management. Granted, I'm not a coach... but I've been an executive in consulting for major corporations for awhile and have had stress/life balance issues in the past. They are solvable... it is just a matter of figuring out things in your head, finding the right activities (for me it is running) to notch that stress level down, and setting up processes to improve efficiency at getting more things done in less time. Do things right and you can come back better than ever at your profession and more equipped to keep those issues at bay.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Best part of the presser: as a graduate assistant, Urban would sneak out of the locker room to watch TBDBITL perform and would tear up. He gets it guys. Just like Tressel. He gets it. He's one of us.

Buckeyejason's picture

I agree, definitly..

But boy what a difference in personality's between him and Tressel. Its like night and day. Meyer is very upfront and aggressive about what he wants to do and isn't afraid to tell the world. Tressel just kinda bull shitted with "we want our kids to be successful, compete, and so forth" with more "and so forths" and finishes "and so forth".

I love the change!


jenks's picture

I think i end every sentence I write at work with the words "and the like."

It makes some things a lot easier.

acBuckeye's picture

I use "and what not" a lot.

BuckeyeSki's picture

I'm an "If you will" kinda guy

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

OSUNeedles's picture

If none of those work, I just start screaming "Dave!," & then things tend to calm down.

buckeyenut10's picture

Any coach who takes in the Ohio State experience will be successful here. Both Woody and Tressel were BIG supporters of the band. Coincidence? I think not!

On that note though, he needs to understand the band plays Buckeye Battle Cry during Ramp, not  Across the field haha.

The Vest-er's picture

Schlabach is a product of group think. His initial writings for twwl were pretty even handed. Put him in meetings with a bunch of know-nothings and he starts spouting the company line and using phrases like "sec speed" and "getting guys in space". Now he's just a bitter dbag

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

btalbert25's picture

These kind of articles drive me nuts.  Is there some concern for what stress may do to him?  Sure.  I've said time and again though we have no idea what was going on with him at Florida.  It sounds to me that there was a combination of many things that all came together and caused a great deal of stress for Meyer.  He lost a ton of players to the NFL, he lost members of his staff, he lost games, he was losing touch with his family, and he was losing the battle that he took on trying to clean up college football. 

People should actually listen to what the guy has to say.  He layed it all out there yesterday, and I was pretty convinced.  Instead of picking one aspect of what went on in Florida, why don't people pay attention to what the man actually said.

I loved the part of the press conference where he was talking about sitting with John Gruden at a Monday night game talking and Gruden said do you know how many coaches would love to take a year off to watch their kids play sports or coach their son's team and just spend with family.  Gruden said EVERY coach would love that. So for those who say a year isn't really enough time to be away from the game because of stress and come back, I say yes, a year is plenty of time.  Where I do question him is how he talked about not liking the state of college football, but he came back when virtually nothing has changed.  Unless he meant he didn't like the state of how things are done in the conference he was coaching in. 

William's picture

I think Meyer despised the SEC, Cowherd was on ESPN radio talking about how he had spoken with Meyer about coaching, and that Meyer had considered coaching at a service academy or in the Ivy League so that he could avoid all of the crap that goes on in college football and participate in true amateur athletics.

btalbert25's picture

I could see that, the guy loves to coach and at a program like  that he could actually be a coach and not have to participate in all the BS. 

JLP36's picture

Picture this scenario:

A top notch recruit gets an in home from Ohio State's coach and Michigan's coach.

One has a proven track record and big rings.

The other has 57 career wins, powdered sugar on his shirt and a McDonald's bag stuck to his shoe.



Buckeyejason's picture



acBuckeye's picture

One is polite to the recruit and the parents.

The other gets up off the couch and leaves a sweat mark where he was sitting, while breathing heavily through his nostrils.


JLP36's picture

Not that I would ever let him in my house, but I am buring anything with Brady Hoke sweat stains.


Menexenus's picture

Well done, JLP36.  :-)

Real fans stay for Carmen.

jenks's picture

I know we talked about this yesterday, but his research and faith in how the NCAA sanctions might turn out also leads me to believe they won't be bad. Reearch and faith are simply code words for "I've spoken to the people who know and now I know."

buckeyepastor's picture

I do like that he knows Mattison.  Though, to be fair, scoring on Mattison's defense this year was hardlly the problem.  

I had seen an article on ESPN that said we're getting the Urban Meyer that had a disappointing last season at Florida, and not the one that won 2 national titles there.   That's some of the worst logic I've heard on this matter.  It would be like saying Tressel, who was 4 years removed from his last title with YSU when he came to Ohio State, was no longer a quality hire because his 2000 team didn't finish as well as others had.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I love Meyer talking X's and O's. His explanation of how they still run a lot of power-I but just out of different formations was awesome.

New play for 2012: The Shotgun Dave!

jenks's picture

Apparently Meyer told Dunn that he's always wanted a back of Dunn's size for that.

Denny's picture

DaveGun > GuapoCat


sharkvsghost's picture

I'm just excited to finally see four- and five-star kids get to participate in a five-star offensive scheme. 

swing hard in case you hit it.

Buckeyejason's picture



timdogdad's picture

here's what urban should do.  just like a truckdriver- only 9 hrs at work, not 12.  then he can get home and have a sensable home cooked meal and not fast food on his desk. and get some exercise too.   

Buckeyejason's picture

He should do that, will he...probably not. He's not built that way, especially being at the school he's dreamnt of being the head coach his whole life. I'd assume he'll be grinding like a motha'!.


Denny's picture

Should he also get all crazy hopped up on meth and 'drines like a trucker.


jenks's picture

Between Hoke and Meyer's health, we've been hating on fast food way too much lately. Its so tasty.

Peter Pete Peterson's picture

I was only able to listen to the presser, so I turned the radio up so as not to miss a thing! I take him at face value, he made no boasts or promises of championships. He said he would get the best coaches available and pursue the best recruits in the land. People with their hair on fire speaks of some real intensity, I like that! I loved JT, but I never felt that intensity. I'm excited and can't wait for next season...SHOCK THE WORLD!

Peter "Pete" Peterson

"Recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it everyday, you look like a bum!"  -Jim Tressel