An Urban Love Story

By Jeff Beck on May 2, 2012 at 4:00p
Spring LoveAs long as you beat Brady Hoke!

Love is in the air Buckeye fans. Can you feel it?

No I’m not talking about the person you met at Callahan's on Saturday, this is much bigger. This is coach love. What some are dubbing (i.e. no one is dubbing) the Urban Meyer Heat Index. It’s sweeping through Ohio with reckless disregard and, like most relationships, it’s an affair that can be traced back to a nasty break-up.

Nearly a year ago, OSU’s fan-base was reeling from losing long-time lover Jim Tressel and was looking to fill the void. Hurting and on the rebound, OSU quickly started dating Luke Fickell, a young ex-footballer who you could bring home to mom. It seemed perfect at first, but as time went on it was clear he was just an interim anesthesia for the horrific pain felt in the Heart of It All.

OSU started hitting the bars, flirting with anything it could get its hands on. From Gruden to Pelini and from Dantonio back to late night meet-ups with Fickell, Buckeye Nation was a mess.

Just when the good people of Ohio thought all was lost and were about to turn to Friday nights of Häagen Dazs and OK Cupid...

In walked Urban.

The courtship was a blur, it all happened so (SEC) fast that no one can quite remember how he proposed, but when he walked in with not one but TWO rings all OSU could say was…YES.

Ever since that November day, Urban could do no wrong. He’s made standup friends at work (Herman, Withers, and Coombs) even going so far as to befriend ex-flame Fickell. He’s infused a passion back into the relationship that seemed to be lost throughout all of last season, and best of all, he’s stolen the thunder of that wanna-be power couple up North.

Yes this union is certainly blossoming so it’s easy to be blinded by bling bling and Friday Night Lights but there are sure to be bumps in the road ahead. The earliest of which will most likely be Meyer’s first loss as the main squeeze of the program.

So the real question is how will Buckeye Nation react?

Completely RationalSomeone like this overreact? Never.

As is true with most things in life, one must look back in history to predict the future. In this case, as painful as it may be for the heart, one is forced to look back to a time with Buckeye fans’ 2,000s pin-up, Jimmy T.

In 2001 when OSU fired Cooper and hired Tressel, no one was seen drawing hearts around Jim’s head on the front of their notebook. A relative unknown from Youngstown State, he seemed not quite ready for big-time and just a little too vanilla.

He certainly talked the talk but could he deliver? All indications early on would point to no. He lost four of his first ten games including a loss to Illinois at the Shoe heading into his first Michigan game AT MICHIGAN.

But then something happened. Tressel went into that hellhole and came out alive, something John Cooper was never able to do. Instantly fans’ pumpers were aflutter and the rest is history.

Tressel was able to swoop in and steal fans’ hearts despite a 7-5 season, and he did it all without the messiah status Urban has acquired. Some would argue Tressel's hire as a relative unknown put less pressure on him because of lowered expectations. Therefore a loss in only his second game (against UCLA) and a 5-loss first season were taken in stride. But those people don’t understand Buckeye football. If you’re a ball-boy at the Shoe, there’s pressure to perform. What Tressel understood better than anyone is: if you beat Michigan, the fans will love you. It’s what allowed him to lose 5 games in his first season, it’s what allowed him to keep Jim Bollman employed for 10 years and its ultimately what allowed him to lie to the NCAA and remain a saint in Columbus.

So that takes us back to the flavor of the next 6 years. It’s no secret there will be the immediate pressure to perform coupled with the expectations that only two previous national championships can provide. However, those two rings along with the implementation of a new offense without “his guys” should allow Buckeye Nation to digest his first loss relatively painlessly (as long as it’s not Michigan). 

But, a quick glance at the upcoming schedule reveals Michigan may be the only real threat. If Urban gets past Cal, he’s got to play a down MSU, a Nebraska team at home that OSU would have beaten had Braxton stayed in the game, a PSU program that’s a mess, and Wisconsin without Russell Wilson, which brings us to Michigan in Columbus. 

If that is Urban’s first loss, make no mistake, some will fall from the love wagon. Losing to Michigan is a sin that not even the most Meyer smitten fan can tolerate. There will be questions, some of them ridiculous, there will be chest thumping from UM fans (all of it ridiculous) and Brady Hoke will continue to call OSU “Ohio” as he reaches into his bellybutton for hoagie crumbs.

The good news is this year is a run-through of sorts (except of course for the seniors, who did very little if anything to deserve this). With no post-season to play for, a loss in Urban’s first season even if it is Michigan, is slightly more palatable (did I just say that?). Talk radio would go wild and Brady Hoke would probably eat 54 cheeseburgers in celebration, but it wouldn’t change the fact that this season the team is playing for pride not Big Ten Championships. Now if a loss to Michigan happens in his second season…

Let’s cross that bridge when/if we come to it. HAPPY THOUGHTS!

Early indications suggest Meyer understands what Tressel knew better than his predecessor. Beat Michigan and the love never ends despite loss after loss after loss.

So slobber on Buckeye Nation. For now you’ve got the dreamiest coach on the block. When that first loss does happen, learn from your past relationship and don’t overreact. Behind every bump in the road (7-5 season) lies a potential honeymoon.



Baroclinicity's picture

Love that last paragraph.  A very good read, with a very good reminder.  Probably will need to ship this article out again a week before the season starts.
Still think Ohio license plates need to go back to "The Heart of it All" for it's slogan. 
Think I'll go listen to "Heartland" by the Michael Stanley Band.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Jeff Beck's picture

Write up the "Heart of it All" petition and I will be the first one to sign it

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Urbz: "I'm looking for my destiny. This used to be my specialty. I am good in a living room. At Florida, we had some very big nights. Very, very big nights. But it wasn't complete. It wasn't nearly close to being complete. I couldn't share it with Buckeye Nation. I couldn't hear the band. I couldn't laugh about Jabba with you. I missed my... I missed my home state. We live in a cynical eSECpn world. And we work in a business of tough competitors. I love you, Buckeyes. You... complete me. And . . ."
Buckeye Nation: "Shut up! You had us at 'hello.' You had us at hello."

Baroclinicity's picture

"You.............. complete us."
edit:  my bad...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

LadyBuck's picture

Hahaha! I don't think there was an actual "Hello" in Urbz's dialogue.

The Vest-er's picture

This is awesome. 

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

hodge's picture

This article is incedibly irrational.
You assume Urban Meyer will lose.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

78-0 over 6 seasons.  Put it on the board. haha

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

Poison nuts's picture


"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Borrowed Time's picture

This article was a very good read. I am definitely caught up in heightened expectations, and need a reminder once in a while that a Buckeye loss will be okay. I can't help but think if we had the type of recruits we are getting now, we would have been able to wreck Michigan like the past 10 years, AND win the national championship.
Watching the 2006 OSU UM game again, I noticed how the vast majority of our recruits were from Ohio. That offense was sick (Troy Smith, Ted Ginn, Gonzalez, etc etc) but then I remember how it got dominated by Florida's D-Line.... and can't help but wonder why can't our D-Line be like that in the near future, as we're picking up the best recruits Ohio has in addition to major national recruits?

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I can only imagine that if these kids live up to their potential - they are going to absolutely destroy teams and beat them into submission!  I would not want to be a QB against them starting this year!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Buckeye06's picture

What fans seems to forget is that Michigan's D-line was as good, if not better than Florida's that year.  Woodley and Branch were studs.  Both were all americans that year.  The OSU team just was flat, nothing else to say. 

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

and fattened up by In 'n Out.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

SPreston2001's picture

Michiigans dline may have been a little better, but Floridas dline was just sooo much faster! Our tackles couldnt keep Troy Smith upright for more than 2 secs! We came out FAT, out of shape, and high off of arrogance. We got straight up DOMINATED that game! My heart still stings when I think about that game...

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I pretty much have eliminated all but the first 7 seconds of that game from memory.  They just flat out kicked our asses in every signle facet of the game.  Hell, I think even their waterboy kicked our waterboy's ass that day!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

hodge's picture

Hey now, Teddy Ginn totally kicked Florida's special teams in the ass...
At least for the seven seconds of in-game action he saw...

Jeff Beck's picture

I think we are going to see our D-Line perform like that in the very near future. 

wigbug5's picture

Your absolutely right. It's gonna happen in the 'really' near future :)  And it's not just gonna be the D-line, but the O-line dominating things as well. Then you got the LBs,DBs,WR,RBs, FEAKIN' TIGHT ENDS!  Say it ain't so.......


dubjayfootball90's picture

When I clicked on the 'Honeymoon' link, and up came the score, a huge smile came across my face. I loved it!!!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

pcon258's picture

i love the honeymoon phase. its so easy to shrug off the outrageous thought of losing a game, while our beau is out there stealin recruits, and bein a boss. it'll be interesting to see how the reverance changes as we get into the nuts and bolts of the season ("why the hell didnt we use our last time out there" -random assh*le in the stands with no idea whats going on)

Carolina Buckeye's picture

"OSU started hitting the bars, flirting with anything it could get its hands on. From Gruden to Pelini and from Dantonio back to late night meet-ups with Fickell, Buckeye Nation was a mess."

I know this is just for fun but gotta disagree with this. OSU (the administration) never once looked at anyone seriously except Urban. It was Urban from the moment Tress resigned. Period.

BuckeyeVet's picture

I think, in this case he was referring to the OSU fan base, not the administration.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx


Jeff Beck's picture

I was referring to the OSU fan-base, but I completely agree with you on the administration. Urban was their guy, from day one. Anyone else would have been plan B.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

I went to Ohio State, but my entire family went to TSUN, from Great Grandfather to Father, from Grandmother to Uncles and Cousins, they went to TSUN, my Dad even played golf for them......I tell you, WE MUST NOT LOSE TO TSUN!!!  I spew so much smack every chance I get.  I make sure I wear my "Beat MichAGAIN" t-shirt to family get-togethers.  I'd rather lose to Akron or something.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

buckeyedude's picture

My nephew played baseball for Michelin(but my neice recently graduated from the OSU School of Nursing, on the bright side), and I wear my "Michelin is our Bitchagain" t-shirt.
So there.



OSUAlum95110's picture

Nice post, Jeff - among the superlative writing lies a simple message to all us fans. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

Nice article Jeff.  IMO this year's team will have a better record than Tress's first year just based on talent (at all levels) and returning starters.  It's such a shame that this years seniors and coaching staff are getting the shaft as far as post season is concerned.  I think that will be the biggest hump for OSU and the staff to get over this year.  I assume the last two games will be that motivation tool;-)

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Jeff Beck's picture

Definitely.  Based on talent, returning starters, strength of schedule (or lack thereof) and the caliber of the coaching staff at all positions I think 7-5 would be seen as coming up short. 

bigbwolfe's picture

Brady Hoke will continue to call OSU “Ohio” as he reaches into his bellybutton for hoagie crumbs
LOL classic

Jeff Beck's picture

You know its happened.

buckeyedude's picture

I don't think Buckeye Nation will fall out of love with Urban, even (God forbid) we lose to those pricks.
Because we all know that even with a loss here or there, OSU will be on an upward trend, much like the stock market(well, maybe not the last 3-4 years, but you know what I mean).
There will be ups and downs, be even Stevie Wonder could see at the Spring Game that OSU's offense is going to be 100X better than anything since the Cooper years.



DetroitBuckeye's picture

Looking at those games, the really disappointing game was the lsu game. When the kick got blocked giving lsu good field position for a score that's a ten point swing. The Florida game they just absolutely came out flat in.

Doc's picture

Urban will be good until he loses to AACC.  If he would lose to them this year in the Shoe the honeymoon is over.  Period.  We can not lose to those dickweeds two years in a row.  I know HE didn't lose to them this past year, but letting Detard get two wins is the first sign of the Apocolypse.

"Say my name."

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Seriously - I don't see much of a chance of Urban losing The Game.  I actually think he will destroy them by a fairly large margin. It is his first one, it is in The Shoe, and it is our bowl game.  He has video highlights of previous games playing 24/7 and he rarely loses rivalry games!  I could very well be totally wrong here, but I do believe this game gets ugly for AACC and I doubt Denard finishes the game!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Alexander DeLarge's picture

Referring to a school universally seen as academically superior as a CC is quite logical. Michigan fans take swipes at those slackers in Palo Alto all the time, I'm sure.

Doc's picture

Come on Alex give me a break.....  We have been referring to tsun as AACC for months.  Arizona Buckeye coined the phrase and I think it is hilarious.  We all know that they have very good academics, just like they know we are Ohio STATE.  Just friendly jabbing.  In the same vane as we all know Fatty Fatty Two By Four really isn't Flounder of Animal House fame.  Geesh!?!?!?

"Say my name."

William's picture

I'm not a fan of the jabbing myself. They're the University of Michigan and we're The Ohio State University and I find the little jabs on both sides very petty. Let the talking be done by the players on the field/court/pitch/ice.

Doc's picture

Don't you have exams to study for, or papers to write, or drying off behind your ears or something Willie?  See funny light hearted jabbing is part of sports and being a guy.  It's after nine o'clock isn't it time for you to be in bed?

"Say my name."

William's picture

Haha very funny, actually have spent the better part of two days living in Thompson writing a paper on our Preventive War on Iran. Fun stuff Do NOT mean to spark any political debates.

SPreston2001's picture

No way the fans turn on Urb for losing to Mich this year....

sir rickithda3rd's picture

Yea i'm gonna throw up if I have to see Detard doing that eating sh*t again.

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

hail2victors9's picture

Well, if he's doing it, that's good for me because it means we scored.  It is ridiculous and I wish he wouldn't do it.  At the same time, he's so likeable, you just have to laugh it up to him having a good time.  I'm sure after a hard sack, someone will do that gesture while staring down at him on the turf (gholston at MSU, if he gets there).

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!
~Bo Schembechler

timdogdad's picture

i really hope scum gets run over by bama. and then loses a close one to nd to start 0-2. if the domers hate scum as much as us, they must be hating to the 10th degree after the last few years games-look it up-scum has won in the last seconds the last 4 games in a row. is it really 08-11 in a row?  it's unreal how scum has pulled out those games. nd is due for a win.    

hail2victors9's picture

Hate to break it to you, but the worst we'll start off is 2-2, as ND is week 4 and Air Force and UMass are sandwiched between.  I don't see it happening, though.  Denard is to ND what Troy Smith was to Michigan.  He has his best games/moments in those games and owns them.  As long as our LBs can keep Eiffert in check, and contrain Reddick, we should be fine.  ND probably sees us as their number 2 or 3 rival, same as we see them. '09-'11, 3 in a row, all 4-point games one in the last minute and a half.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!
~Bo Schembechler

William's picture

Honestly I'd love for Michigan to just stomp Alabama, Saban is just vile in my mind (waits for a Catch 5 response). Also I'd rather play Michigan when we're both 11-0 coming into The Game than have one of the teams floundering about while the other proceeds to crush them, that's not what rivalries are made of. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Turn in your Buckeye Nation card immediately for typing that first sentence!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced


I actually wouldn't mind seeing Bama lose either. If Bama destroys aacc then it doesn't matter what we do. The media will just refer to the Bama game and say the buckeyes and any other big ten team would be average at best in the sec. However if aacc beats Bama and then the buckeyes beat aacc we could actually get some respect nationally. 
With that said I will not be rooting for AAC by any means. I think I'll be neutral. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Yeah, I know, having a stronger AACC makes our victory over them better from the perspective of polling, however, the side effects of an AACC victory, in my opinion, are far worse than them having a shitty season - the wave of arrogance that follows is vomit inducing at times.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

SPreston2001's picture

I will never under any circumstances ever root for scUM!!! I hope Bama kicks their ass by 50pts!

740 BUCKEYE's picture

Would not mind to see them get their hopes up of an undefeated season only to have their dreams crushed on 11/24!!!

timdogdad's picture

that's right, 3 years in a row, but when is the last time nd/mich wasn't in week 2?  must be a long time.  always a good one to watch for the general midwest fan. 

Alexander DeLarge's picture

Dating analogies are one of the most played out things in the sports blogosphere.

SPreston2001's picture

"Brady Hoke will continue to call OSU “Ohio” as he reaches into his bellybutton for hoagie crumbs."
Hilarious!! lol

Ann Arbor Buckeye's picture

As cute as this story is I'm not sure I would consider MSU in a "down year."  I realize they may have inexperienced kids on offense, but the reports I am hearing from Lansing say their defense might be the best in the BIG.  That said we may still take them, but I worry about that game.

Yes there are two Buckeyes in Ann arbor on this site!