Athlon Sports: Urban Meyer No. 2 Coach for 2014

By DJ Byrnes on April 10, 2014 at 12:07p

Athlon Sports has ranked all 128 FBS coaches for 2014. Urban Meyer the second-best coach in the country, trailing only Alabama's Nick Saban.

Here's what Athlon has to say about the man leading Ohio State for his third year:

Meyer has been a head coach at four different jobs and has won at a high level at each program. A hallmark of Meyer’s tenures has been a quick turnaround or immediate improvement in the first season. Bowling Green went 2-9 in the year prior to Meyer’s arrival, and the Falcons recorded a 17-6 mark under his watch. At Utah, Meyer inherited a team that won five games in 2002. However, the Utes went 22-2 under Meyer and finished No. 4 nationally in the final Associated Press poll in 2004. Meyer was hired at Florida prior to the 2005 season and guided the Gators to a 65-15 record. Florida won two BCS titles under Meyer and finished No. 3 nationally in 2009. After stepping away in 2011, Meyer returned to the sidelines at Ohio State in 2012 and won the first 24 games in his tenure. The Buckeyes closed 2013 on a two-game losing streak but have won all 16 regular season Big Ten games under Meyer’s watch. With elite recruiting, combined with a top-five program like Ohio State, it’s only a matter of time before the Buckeyes win the national title under Meyer.

The top five is rounded out by Steve Spurrier, Bob Stoops and Art Briles.

I too agree with the "only a matter of time" sentiment in regards to Urban winning a title. I also rate him higher than Saban due to Urban's youth.

Regardless: May Urban Meyer reign for 300 more years.


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route4buckeye's picture
+5 HS
hodge's picture

Briles does really well with what he's got.  Personally, I think he's done much more with much less than Stoops and Spurrier have of late.

+1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Stoops has two BCS wins and two conference championships in the last 4 years.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
Kingbuck12's picture

I guess i agree but man i cant stand Saban. Still feels like he is cheating. Over signing, paying players, academic issues. Something. I could be wrong.   


+2 HS
unknownmusketeer's picture

What you said about Coach Saban is said about a lot of coaches. I am sure Coach Meyer is cheating from the perspective of Alabama fans, and Coach Saban is a saint.

+1 HS
southbuc's picture

You can't spin oversigning and medical releases...

+1 HS
OSUBias's picture

Steve Spurrier? He's like a parody of himself at this point, and they have yet to win a conference title under his watch.

I'd take crazy-ass Les Miles over Spurrier or Briles any day of the week.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

+3 HS
Chief B1G Dump's picture

Agreed.  I cam here to post a similar statement...Spurrier is a shell of his old self.  Guy is obviously not a bad coach but no way is he top 5.

I'd take David Shaw over almost everyone (except Saban, Meyer, and perhaps Dantoni0).

NuttyBuckeye's picture

My only fear is that Urban doesn't stay here very long until he is "forced" to quit again, like from another health issue.  I would really love to see him roam the sidelines for as long as Woody did, or longer.

We truly have one of the greatest coaches ever in college football here now.  I hope he can stay for a LONG TIME.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

bignut2017's picture

This pains me to say this but, where the hell is mike dantonio in the top 5

"Championships aren't won on Saturdays, they're won on Tuesdays in August" Kerry Coombs

+2 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

He's right after Mark Dantonio.

+21 HS
CGroverL's picture

That was a bit mean maybe, but I did laugh. I agree with the guy though. I do believe Dantonio to be at least a top 10 coach...Mark, not Mike.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



+4 HS
MacG91's picture

Art Briles at 5?? I'd put Les Miles, Kevin Sumlin, David Shaw, Mark Dantonio, Kirk Ferentz, Dabo Sweeney, Mark Richt and Brian Kelly all before I would put him.  


Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Briles took a bottom of the basement program to a Heisman and almost a National title birth while winning the big12. Almost all of the other programs of the coaches you mention were at least decent to good. Texas is going to regret not getting Briles I promise you that.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+4 HS
Will in Arizona's picture

If that's the criteria, then Chris Petersen would still be ahead of Briles.

cinserious's picture

He's (Urban) no. 1 in my book. These next few years are sure to prove it.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

brandonbauer87's picture

Just when I think the article is written by someone with a brain, you reveal the rest of the top 5. 

buckeyestu's picture

Urban is number one imo. I hope he roams the horseshoe sidelines for at least another 15 to 20 years.

-1 HS
BuckeyeinExile's picture

Brady Hoke was sure a homerun hire for tsun wasn't he!

CGroverL's picture

The strange thing about Hoke is that even though he hasn't been the best coach at TSUN, his overall coaching record has improved since he landed in AA. Before becoming their coach, his career record was only 2 games above .500. I was shocked when they announced Hoke as Head Coach. I just never could figure out why M*ch*gan would hire Hoke with his mediocre at best record along with the fact that he had zero conference titles as well (and still has none). The man is best known for having a nine win season at SDSU and then getting a win for their squad in the Poinsettia Bowl. They missed and missed badly with that hire. His best season at M*ch*gan was his first, when he used Rich Rodriguez's players to win a BCS bowl that in reality should have been the Spartan's bowl bid since they finished the year behind Sparty and the Spartans won their head to head match-up. Hoke is a dud at best.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



BuckeyeinExile's picture

I really think they thought he was going to be another Bo for them since he isn't as polished as other coaches. I honestly thought he was going to do a much better job then he has there. Hate for tsun aside he does seem to be a descent human being - but that doesn't help too much when you are on the hot seat. I am starting to think they should have kept Richrod another year and he might have turned the corner but who knows, thats why I am not an AD.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Too bad for scUM fans that the law of averages is catching up with Hoke as he regresses back to his career mean. They blame RichRod for all their woes but Brady is in year 4 and has not developed anybody to date. Brady was at his best with RichRods talent and "not being able to play Hokes style of man-ball." It didnt hurt all the breaks fell their way to get to and win that Sugar Bowl. Without that BCS stroke of luck, I do not think Hoke would have survived this off season.
But as a Buckeye, I welcome his tenure to be lengthy...

Buckabroad's picture

Saban is a fantastic coach and recruiter, but given the choice, I would always prefer our Coach Meyer. Intelligent, charismatic, driven, disciplined and dedicated. Coach Meyer has it all.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

-2 HS
nikolajz1's picture

I 100% love Urban but with Saban we'd essentially be guaranteed a national title with where his reputation and recruiting prowess is now a days. 

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Bert's NOT top 5?!?!

C'Mon Man!

What Gives?!?!

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+4 HS
southbuc's picture

And don't you love that Gary Andersen is ranked higher (by a lot)?!

+7 HS
CGroverL's picture

If the "entire body of work" was a factor, Meyer should be #1. I do give Saban credit though....not necessarily for his titles but for beating the 1998 Buckeye squad with his mediocre Spartan team. In my opinion, the 1998 Buckeyes were the best Buckeye team that I ever got to see. They finished the year ranked #2, with their lone loss coming against Saban and Sparty in a year that Sparty was not very good at all. The Buckeyes were the best team in the country in 1998, but the BCS pitted #1 vs. #2 which ended up being Tennessee, that was unbeaten against a 1 loss Florida State team. The Seminoles got in before Ohio State really just because FSU lost in their 2nd game of the season where the Buckeyes lost later...if not, Ohio State most probably would have knocked off Tennessee and won the title in 1998.

As to Art Briles being in the top 5....that is a mystery to me. The man has an overall record of 78-60 and his greatest claim to fame might be coaching a Heisman trophy winner (RGIII) as his best team was his 2013 squad which went to the Fiesta Bowl and lost to Central Florida, who were huge underdogs. I won't write them here but I quickly scribbled 10 coaches that I think are better than Briles and have numbers to back it up. Art Briles? Athlon was paid for that pick, I believe.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



jamesrbrown322's picture

A big part of the controversy that people forget now, was the FSU was playing with a 3rd string QB, and many in the media felt that a healthy OSU was better than an FSU team on their 3rd QB. Granted, he had played a few games, but nonetheless, that was the argument.

That 1998 team was great. If only they had a reliable enough kicker, they would have kicked FGs instead of going for it on 4th down. Just goes to show you that Tressel was onto something with the emphasis of special teams.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

ToledoMan's picture

What about this cat?

4-20 over the last 2 years and consecutive 10th place finishes.............ohhhhh but he can flash Rings!

Zimmy07's picture

Weiss at 102 was one that made me chuckle (wish he were still at ND, though).  So was Muschamp at Florida ranked 52 and Bielema at 53 (Andersen @ 21 / Petrino @ 16).  RichRod @ 30 w/ Hoke @ 38 is also nice.

I think Charlie Strong should be higher than 26, though.


+2 HS
Eph97's picture

I'd suspect all non-SEC teams would be doing a lot better in the wins and losses columns if they played by SEC "rules", e.g., oversigning and illegal benefits for recruits. Not saying the $500 handshake doesn't happen at OSU or elsewhere in the B1G, but the benefits and organization of getting the benefits to the players is at another level. Check out this article on the SEC bagman:

+2 HS