Year Two for Urban Meyer is Money, but What About Year Three?

By Jeff Beck on March 14, 2014 at 11:30a
Taking a hard look at year three.

Year two. It’s always been about year two. It’s the money year. The year when everything comes together. For Urban Meyer, that’s been the case at every one of his head coaching stops.

At Bowling Green it took Meyer two years to turn a 2-9 football team into a squad that went 17-6. In year two at Utah, Meyer went undefeated, a feat that included a win over Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. Then in his second season at Florida, Meyer summited the mountain, taking his one-loss Gator hell-machine into Glendale to defeat the heavily favored Buckeyes in the national championship.

Year two in Columbus didn’t deliver the crystal football many fans hoped for, but it’s hard to call an undefeated regular season a disappointment. Yes, year two has been special for Meyer, but what about year three?

Urban’s 2014 will mark just the second time in his head coaching career he’s had a third go. So, can we learn anything from the only sample in our sample size?

2007 began with expectations galore. Fresh off a national championship Urban’s Gators were hungry for more. His team was rife with talent, but it was young. Two stellar recruiting classes stocked the cupboards, but Florida was faced with replacing a number of upperclassmen including a whopping nine players taken in the draft (including two in the first round: Jarvis Moss and Reggie Nelson), not to mention his senior QB and team leader, Chris Leak.

Still, there was cornerstones to build around. A sophomore named, Tim Tebow would take the snaps under center, while a second year speedster named Percy Harvin would man the edges. The Gators also returned wide receiver, Andre Caldwell and defensive end, Derrick Harvey; preseason Maxwell and Bednarik watch-list candidates respectively. Surprising to most, these players would be molded by a coaching staff that remained impossibly intact after winning it all, giving Meyer a third straight year with the same assistants.

Florida rattled off four victories in their first four games defeating Western Kentucky, Troy, #22 Tennessee and Mississippi before facing Auburn. The Tigers were Meyer’s only loss in 2006, so there’s little doubt Urban had the tilt circled on his calendar from day-one. Unfortunately for Gator nation, Tommy Tuberville’s squad got the best of Florida again, defeating the Gators 20-17 on a last second field goal. The loss was

Keep your head up Urban
Don't be sad, this year three could be better.

Meyer’s first in Gainesville.

Reeling from the defeat, the Gators had to turn around and play #1 LSU the following week. All things considered, Florida played more-than-admirably, losing 28-24 on a Tiger touchdown with a minute left. Suddenly the defending national champs were 4-2.

The Gators bounced back in week seven beating #8 Kentucky in Lexington but would fall again to #20 Georgia the following week rendering Meyer and co. 5-3. Oh to be a fly on the wall in practices following that third SEC loss.

The Gators pulled themselves off the mat to finish the season 9-3 including a win over arch-rival Florida State in Gainesville. Despite the three losses, Tebow put together one hell of a season becoming the first player in college football to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in the same year. He finished the season with 3,286 yards and 32 passing TDs while rushing for 895 yards and an additional 23 TDs.

The Gators earned an invitation to the Capital One Citrus Bowl to take on Michigan in what would be Lloyd Carr’s swan song. Somehow the same team that did this went on to beat a team with a Heisman trophy winning quarterback. Color everyone surprised.

The loss knocked Florida to 9-4 and made the Gators just the second defending national champion to fall in a non-BCS bowl game the following year.

It appears year three isn’t as magical as year two for Meyer, but as aforementioned, a sample size of one isn’t really a sample at all. Still, there are parallels: a team losing a number of seniors, a Heisman trophy hopeful at QB, a team stocked with recruiting talent and national championship expectations.

The hope among Buckeye Nation is those similarities are the only thing linking the 2007 Gators and the 2014 Buckeyes. Patterns should stay in year two, right where Urban Meyer likes them.


Comments Show All Comments

jbcuky's picture

I'll gladly take his year 3 (except the losing to Michigan part) if it brings his same year 4 and year 5.

+2 HS
RBuck's picture

No surprise. Urban is a little older and therefore a little slower. Year 3 is it.

Long live the southend.

+4 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed 100% nice analogy 

+1 HS
BoFuquel's picture

I being a piss-off TOSU fan consider year two a disaster. Even UM said at the Ohio High School Coaches meeting that his best players were not hard workers. Two years in and the players aren't buying what he's selling in his own mind. Well six of those best players are now gone, lets see if he can turn this mess around. Coach Mick has already said that none of the front seven on defense had a strong winter of conditioning. They even had Sammy Silverman do a piece to try and wake-up Noah Spence, Embrace The Grind, Yeah. The Bucks are blessed with the third easiest road to The Final Four, only Oklahoma and Alabama have a lighter schedule than us. He has on paper talent head and shoulders above his competition, But can he translate that into a B1G Championship. I have my doubts. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

-10 HS
BuckeyeGT2002's picture

I wouldn't say that the players aren't buying into his system...if his best players weren't hard workers that means that they are/were lazy...and you really can't fix lazy, it's a personality trait. Time will tell, the D will be revamped, the new coaches look promising, and Urban's recruits will have taken over soon. The last remnants of the Tressel Era are slowly fading away.

Because I couldn't go for three...

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

We shall see.  Just remember, there are many who still believe......until proven otherwise, the "Tressel Era" was among the best, if not THEE best in the history of Ohio State football.  Those "last remnants" of the Tressel era were the backbone of this team the past two seasons, so if you are giddy with excitement that they are gone, you might want to be careful about your enthusiasm..

It's all on Meyer see what he can do with "his players", his locker room, and what they are able to achieve. I would guard against getting carried away....Meyer's legacy is still to be seen. History has shown him to be a brilliant change agent...a master.  What he hasn't shown, is the gift of longevity -- either in himself or his methods. To be clear, I am not peeing in the punchbowl....but I am not gulping from it either. Like I said, we shall see.

+3 HS
Patriot4098's picture

Completely agree.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

CowCat's picture

Um, how exactly does a team go on the longest winning streak in school history, despite attrition, limited scholarships and sanctions... While being unmotivated or lazy?

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

+2 HS
OfficerRabbit's picture

To a certain extent I agree with what you're saying. At some point, we as fans have to start putting some of the accountability on the players instead of putting it all on coaching. To my knowledge, you can't teach the will to make yourself better. Were coaching issues part of the problem with our awful defense last year, in my mind absolutely. Can you blame coaches for players taking it easy in the off-season and not giving 100%, no way.

It concerns me hearing about players not going balls-to-the-wall during the off-season, I was hoping the 0-2 run OSU finished the season with would give them some extra motivation to get in the weight room, watch film, work on technique, whatever they have to do to erase that losing taste in their mouth. Maybe its more of UFM's psychology at work, or maybe this team just isn't as hungry as we want them to be, either way we'll find out soon enough.



+1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Bo, I'm not a hostile man by any means. But your post aside from the "Go Bucks!" part, just makes me want to tell you to go fuck yourself.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

-1 HS
4thandinches's picture

Urban uses statements like "not hard workers" to infuriate and motivate players. He was a psychology major, it's all mind games. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

+2 HS
woodcocklives@osu's picture

Last year was "great"????  Holy cow, Buckeye nation loves kool-aid....keep the PR machine churning.........this staff and dept. loves it's bloggers and friendly media!

-2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I've tried to stay away from putting a timeframe on UM putting OSU back atop the cfb mountaintop. For what the program has had to recover from, and with some serious gaps in talent/on-field performance, I'm still a fan of what he's accomplished (wait for it) far.

That said, I think he's close to lining up the right personnel (on and off the field) that's going to gear this team back towards the higher ground.

I'll take the start, but I think Meyer is about to enter the years where he will truly leave his mark.

+7 HS
ab1993's picture

Can we say that the first season didn't count because we weren't bowl eligible? Year 2 here we come?

+9 HS
Furious George 27's picture

By seasons end OSU had 9/11 staters replaced on defense.... I do not think we should be too shocked that it was the weakest link. W/ that said if it doesn't improve with the experience and depth added along w/coaching changes. Then we have a problem

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+2 HS
Horvath22's picture

It's going to be a very interesting year.

Killer nuts's picture

Kentucky was number 8?! That doesn't sound right 

+6 HS
GoBucksOSU's picture

That confused me too. Maybe a typo or a joke?

+1 HS
jbcuky's picture

I had to look it up cause i couldn't believe it.  It was right after UK beat LSU.  They fell back to being unranked by the end of the season.

Angry Panda's picture

#8 Kentucky in Lexington

It's hard to believe Kentucky was half way decent not that long ago...for a season....I forgot they were even in the top 25 let alone the top 10.

+1 HS
GoBucksOSU's picture

I just checked their 2007 season and Kentucky finished the regular season 7-5. Going into their game against Florida they were 6-1 with a win over #1 LSU the previous week.

FitzBuck's picture

Sec sec sec.  How else does UK get ranked in the top 10 with one win.  Did Utah jump into the top ten when they beat Stanford (because they didn't play Stanford football). What a joke.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

allinosu's picture

It was a little disturbing to see him in those colors again.

+1 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Just as a quiz-If Florida was the second team, does anyone know who the first defending champion to not make a BCS bowl was? 

Without any research or even looking at any lists, my first guess is either '03 Miami or maybe '01 Oklahoma (I remember them playing WSU in a Cotton bowl or something around then).  

Feel free to guess, or cheat and look it up, as I'm about to do...

Just... Go Bucks.


hit_the_couch's picture

I hope he has a defense up his sleeve in year 3.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+1 HS
BuckeyeWags's picture

We had a punchers chance last year if our defense had performed any where close to the level of the talent it was "coaching".  The failure to make the necessary changes after the 2012 season (Fickell), proved the difference. That is on Urban. I hope it will not deep six us this year as well. We will only get so many shots at the bullseye.

+1 HS
Bamabucknut's picture


+2 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Said Brady Hoke as he was asked what his ultimate goal to achieve at Michigan was.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

-1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Tough crowd

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

southbuc's picture

Since this is the first place he had to start over with assistants, perhaps this is really year 1?

southbymidwest's picture

I believe that issue was what just about did him in at UF-lost Strong and Mullen (perhaps others) and had to bring in guys he didn't have a background with. He started getting involved in minutiae that his assistant coaches had dealt with before, and kind of imploded for a variety of reasons. He is older and wiser now, has a better support system professionally, and hopefully has learned to roll with the punches, and always keeps a list of coaches of interest in his back pocket.

TUNBUCK89's picture

Urban Meyer is managing tOSU Football Program as a CEO. We all know that successul CEOs will not keep an employee who is a liabiity to their business. The defensive shortcomings of the last 2 seasons being so obvious to everyone, let alone Meyer, I'm sure he has done his duty as a responsible CEO by reviewing his staff's performance and identified the root cause of the poor showing by the defense . As far as i'm concerned, the root cause is no longer with the program after being promoted to a HC position at another program with a pay cut.

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

*Reads article, laughs about Appy St. & UM, prays for the repeat this year.

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

+1 HS
4thandinches's picture

Thank you for not using all of a sudden. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

Max Power's picture

Ever since Meyer took the head coaching gig the buckeye faithful were quick to place a timeline on when he would hoist the crystal ball in Columbus. Yes Year 2 was successful for Urbz at every one off his former coaching stops. Past successes do not correlate to future seasons. Year 2 of his OSU career did not bring home a NC but it was far from unsuccessful. Year 3 looks promising but will also have its own obstqclesvas every year will. The upcoming season will field ateam looking for a new o line and of course a lb uni competent enough to satisfy what Urbz is looking for in a defense. In 2015 thet bucks will need to teplace a QB and several talented D linemen. Point is, every season will have its obstacles and just because Urban has won at other schools doest mean that its guaranteed in Columbus. It falls on xurrent players to work hard and put all the pieces together. The right players are commiting to the program. Will they put in the work thats necessary? Urbans past stats wont tell us the answer. Its up to Buckeyes to ensure Buckeye success...not the Utes or Gators. I feel we are in good hamds. Good coaches and good players should yield GREAT results. Go get that title Bucks!

+1 HS
TonyK's picture

We need to stop with all the timeline stuff.  Urban has a completely different scheme than Coach Tressel did and needs to get all his pieces in place.  I think the Bucks will be better this year than last and year 4 is going to be amazing.

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Tonyk Spot on - It is going to a real fun year.

cw823's picture

Still, there WERE cornerstones....

2morrow's picture

The 24 game streak was great but year 2 was not a success - not when you end the year 0-2. And it can't be entirely laid at the hands of the defense. The Big 10 Championship game was lost because of really bad play calling and not using your offensive strengths. Same could be said for the bowl game to some degree. I give UM full credit for the 24-0 - I also give him full credit for the 0-2.

+1 HS
BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

Technically, the Buckeyes weren't eligible for anything in year one... so we'll consider that practice (what a sweet practice it was)... we'll call 2014 "Year 2"

BeijingBucks's picture

Just saw an interview with Fickel on espn (I know I know... it was a brief under heard of lapse after months of absence)... that I won't link where it is clearly stated something along the lines of he will 'continue to make the defensive play calling'.  Is this correct?  on game day?  who is up in the press box and who is on the field?  who is making half time adjustments.

yes, these are the questions I know we all have.  cause enquiring minds want to know...

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton