Back to the Future

By Kyle Rowland on July 27, 2012 at 10:00a
Crystal: A head coach's best friend. 

Urban Meyer’s entire career has been about Year 2.

At Bowling Green, it meant a 9-3 season; at Utah, Meyer orchestrated an undefeated season and Fiesta Bowl victory; the second season at Florida turned out to be one of Meyer’s grand experiences: winning his first national championship.

So excuse people if they’re already looking ahead to next year in Columbus. For one, the Buckeyes won’t be bowl bound in 2012 regardless of the number in the win column. An absence from the Bowl Championship Series is enough to make a team irrelevant to some. There is still intrigue surrounding Meyer and the Buckeyes this year, but not the level that usually encompasses an Ohio State regular season.

All the hubbub regarding the future prompted Meyer to ask, “What about this year?”

Meyer’s first foray into Big Ten media days was entirely uneventful, with a bulk of questions directed to him about a different program in the Big Ten – Penn State. From his opinion on the scandal to whether conference schools should be in the practice of pursuing Nittany Lion players, Meyer was asked about it all.

But it was another topic that Meyer spoke most passionately about, and that was the here and now of Ohio State football.

"There's no such thing as a buffer year in college football, certainly not at Ohio State and certainly not with myself and our staff and our players," he said.

The sentiment is true – Buckeye fans are pining for instant gratification – but three loses this season will not warm Meyer’s seat. After tallying a less than stellar 6-7 record in Luke Fickell’s lone season as head coach, John Simon said Ohio State needs that “winning attitude back.” The entire team became overwhelmed at times last season with so much turmoil at every twist and turn.

Before, during and after the season, bad news seemed to envelop Columbus. The biggest smack was that of a two-by-four, according to Meyer, into the team’s gut when the NCAA ruled they wouldn’t be eligible for a bowl. Suddenly, it was rally time in the locker room again.

Simon's swan song will take place against U-M. 

"It's uncomfortable," Meyer said of the postseason ban. "I see Zach Boren walking across the hall here. That kid deserves to play for a championship. He's earned that right. John Simon is one of the hardest working guys I've ever been around in 26 years, same with (Etienne) Sabino.”

The displeasure with the ruling is understandable from Meyer’s viewpoint, but through the years it’s become a reality that when punishments are handed down in intercollegiate athletics, there is always going to be collateral damage.

A lack of playing for a championship won’t leave the Buckeyes any less motivated, though. The games will still be played and at the end of the season, 10, 11 or 12 wins still signifies that Ohio State was among the best teams in the Big Ten and the country. With a quarterback built from the Meyer mold – Braxton Miller – behind center and a stout defensive unit, Ohio State likely would have been the preseason favorite to win the Leaders Division and compete in its first Big Ten championship game.

"Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for (the seniors)?" Meyer said. "Yeah, we can go win the Leaders Division. Can we go to the championship game? That's out of our control. But they're playing for something.

"I hear 'What about next year?' No, no, no. We're about this year. Just look at those three guys. We're going to give it all we can."

Instead of Pasadena, New Orleans or Miami being a season-ending destination, it will be Ohio Stadium. The old Horseshoe will host the 109th edition of the Ohio State-Michigan game in November. It also marks the 2012 finale for the Buckeyes and Meyer’s first bout with the Maize and Blue as Ohio State’s head coach. Already, fans of both schools are anticipating that day.

"I certainly imagine in our home stadium there will be a buzz about that," Meyer said. "I've already heard it. I haven't made that decision on how we're going to attack that game other than it's the biggest game of the year and we will get ready for it.”


Comments Show All Comments

sir rickithda3rd's picture

quite possibly the best big game coach in football today... hoke is in trouble

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

buckeye76BHop's picture

I'd say I agree with you Sir (also love you pic btw...perfect)...I can see tTUN and Whiny Wisky getting a thumping if OSU offense does what I believe they're capable of. 

"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 

BrewstersMillions's picture

18 losses in 10 years of coaching. Not to mention a penchant for kicking his 'rivals' in the throat while they are down. You know, you sort of forget about it-He flat out dominated college football. I'm usually one to give some benefit of the doubt to the opposition, especially here as I like what Hoke is doing up there, but it is REALLY hard to argue with the man's track record. Second to almost none. Carroll, Saban, and Tressel had similar runs of success but after those three, not many people get near the level of success Meyer has had.

Poison nuts's picture

I watch the Akron game this year and I listened to UM talk about Braxton Miller with a certain amount of passion & I knew there & then he would be OSUs next coach...I loved JT but if had to have a new HC - I couldn't ask for anybody better than Meyer. From all I've seen so far he's the perfect fit. We're in for a treat to say the least...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

hcazualcc's picture

funny enough - bucknuts used the same exact article title

WezBuck28's picture

I'm just excited that we will no longer be playing "conservative". Im ready to see some teams get drilled with some 30 plus point margin wins by the bucks..thats about the only thing I will not miss about JT..

bassplayer7770's picture

No kidding.  I will enjoy watching an explosive Offense paired with a dominant Defense.

SPreston2001's picture

Man it used to kill me to watch us squeek by teams we should have blew out by 40!! Im glad Meyer has that "if you dont like it, stop it" attitude when it comes to playing ball!! I have waited a long time for a coach like Urb!

CowCat's picture

It can go both ways -- If you're always blowing out other teams you can come to expect it and then choke in big games.
See:  Cooper, John.  LOL
I hope for big wins against legit opponents.  I don't want us to think we're worldbeaters if we beat Miami, OH by 60 points.
Meyer also needs to show he can win an ugly game in the rain, cold or snow.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

Poison nuts's picture

Actually, I had to stop watching a lot of the games over the past few years. Watching the close calls would just about give me heart palps. & the Purdue games...that's a whole other story It got to where I would either only watch games I new they'd win or I'd be watching through my hands ready to change the channels. I'm sure there will be close games but I imagine there will be more games where they're goal is to score whenever possible & that will be a welcome change. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Awesome - Unleash hell Urban!!! Unleash hell!!!

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

cplunk's picture

Do you know how blessed we are? Tressel was a once-in-a-generation coach; three national title games and one title, Big Ten titles left and right. And we get to follow him up with Urban Meyer. 
I can't wait for this season.

Hoody Wayes's picture

2012 will be the essence of the Buckeye football experience. 
I believe the torch has been passed from Woody to Urban.
And the TBDBITL, will provide the soundtrack to an epic story about playing to win, in twelve acts.
Go Bucks! 

OSUBias's picture

Let's be honest. Woody wasn't "passing" the torch to anyone. He was running it to them. Preferably over a wolverine.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

EastwoodsCousin's picture

It is a shame to know that guys like Boren and Simon won't get the big-time bowl game they deserve, but at the same time they seem like the type of guys who will say, "Let's go out with a bang!" and beat the tar out of that waste of space between us and Canada.

"I tried being reasonable, I didn't like it"

buckeye76BHop's picture

Also agreed Clint's cuz ...It's a shame that GS and Gee didn't think like intellectual ppl that they portrait themselves as.  Sit out last year with a 6-6 record, kids on the team on 2011 were "actually" involved in Tat-gate, but yet they got to play in a bowl game two years in a row when they shouldn't have.  Now guys who had little to nothing to do with it are punished this year.  Kinda makes you sick to your stomach (at least it does me). Only 120 days Clint's cuz till the skunk weasels come to town...for that whooping you spoke of;-)

"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 

slicksickle's picture

It also marks the 2012 finale for the Buckeyes and Meyer’s first bout with the Maize and Blue as Ohio State’s head coach. Already, fans of both schools are anticipating that day.

Haven't you heard? They are now "Sun and Blue"