B1G Media Days: Meyer Rips Recruitng Circus, Players Welcome Michigan Night Game

By Patrick Maks on July 29, 2014 at 3:33p
Urban Meyer holds court at day two of Big Ten Media Days

Photo: @B1GFootball


CHICAGO – Urban Meyer’s affinity for recruiting is well-documented, but you probably haven’t heard this story before.

After stepping down from his post at Florida in 2010, Meyer took a broadcasting gig with ESPN. That February, the network asked him to aid in its coverage of National Signing Day.

Pretty straightforward, right? Having one of the nation’s best recruiters talk about recruiting on its biggest day of the year is a no-brainer.

But what Meyer saw that day bothered him.

“My year out of football, they had me go do signing day and it was awful,” he said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. “I sat for eight hours watching kids and talking about how they’ll project in the NFL. They’re 18-year-old kids. They actually probably believe that. But you can’t fight city halls, America loves that.

“The dot-coms (recruiting services websites), we have a bunch at Ohio State – great guys – but is that the best thing for a 17 year old to give an interview about how I’m gonna choose these hats? I’d rather you not take a hat and throw it on the ground. That was a lot to that school.”

It’s part of a larger problem that deals with what happens at the intersection of reality and expectations and how the hoopla of the recruiting process can lead to entitled players who expect to be superstars the moment they arrive on campus.

To combat it, coaches have started a process dubbed “de-recruiting” to deflate unruly and overweight egos.

There was a time, Meyer said, where he thought it was spiraling out of control.

“I did for a while,” he said. “I remember for a while it was like, wow, enough.”

But Meyer, a staunch opponent of recruiting deregulation, maintains he hasn’t faced such an issue in Ohio State's most-recent (and top-ranked) recruiting classes.

“The ones we’ve got the last couple of years, Raekwon McMillan, zero entitlement,” he said. “Johnnie Dixon, zero. Vonn Bell, zero. Joey Bosa, zero.”

Chasing Michigan State?

The fate of the Big Ten Championship might be decided in a much-anticipated night game between Ohio State and Michigan State on Nov. 8 in East Lansing. 

“I ain’t eyeing it right now, I’m just taking it one game at a time but when the time comes, I’m gonna be it eyeing it hard,” Braxton Miller said Monday. “Harder than ever.”

Of course, the Spartans knocked off the Buckeyes to capture the league's crown last season in Indianapolis. In the process, they snapped Meyer and Co.'s 24-game winning streak and a likely berth to the BCS National Championship. 

Which means it’s reasonable to think Ohio State – which ended the year with back-to-back losses – would be in a position of trying to chase the defending conference champions.

No such case, Miller said.

“We ain't chasing them. We just came up short, we were thinking about a bigger picture at the time. We’re gonna correct it this year,” he said.  “It was a good game, though. They’re a good team.”

Should Michigan Be a Night Game?

Ohio State players welcomed the notion of playing their annual bout against Michigan under the lights Tuesday, but weren’t sure how to logistically go about it.

Senior quarterback Braxton Miller said it’s a game worth playing at night.

“I feel like it should be,” he said. “If it’s gonna be a night game, it’s gotta be earlier in the season. Because at the end of the season like Nov. 30 last year it was cold. Oh my goodness. Freezing. It’s not good.”

Michael Bennett offered a similar sentiment.

“It would be freezing,” he said with a smile. “That game would be nuts if it was, but they have to be careful because a lot of people, like fans, are going to be frozen solid in the stands.

“That’s what you’ve got to take into account up in the north. Night games in late November are probably risky.”

Jeff Heuerman said part of the aura surrounding “The Game” is the time it’s played.

“I think part of what makes the Michigan-Ohio State tradition is it’s always played early. That’s kind of how I’ve known it to be,” he said. “It would kind of change the whole feel of the game a little bit I would say … I’ve always known it to be a day game. Who knows what the future holds? Something could change. I’m not against it. I think it’d be kinda cool. Probably won’t happen when I’m here.”


Comments Show All Comments

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

I would much rather play the game at noon, and keep the game as the last game on the schedule, than a night game earlier in the year. A perfect comprimise could be a 3:30 kick, or 4:00pm (Game of the Century) kick. #EndNoonKickOffs 

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

+15 HS
Wesleyburgess1's picture

I would puke with the anticipation of waiting until 4. I think the only noon game all year should be M#chigan and it should be the dead last regular season game.

+6 HS
FitzBuck's picture

God I hate that last hour before "the game" starts.  Feels like time is standing still.

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

+7 HS
Young_Turk's picture

Do not forsake me, Oh, my darling.


buckeyedude's picture

I can't remember what day the Fall time change is, but I believe The Game would be in the dark by the second half if it started at 3:30pm the weekend of Thanksgiving.  



+1 HS
DefendYoungstown's picture

2006 - #1 vs #2, game started at 3:30, it was dark by halftime and after the game. One of the greatest games I have ever been to.

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

+2 HS
CGroverL's picture

The Game should not change when it comes down to game time. Year by year it seems that the NCAA with the help of their buddies at ESPN do everything possible to weaken football in the Midwest, make sure that the bulk of the nation knows the SEC better than any other conference, and take our traditions away.

+1...I live in the south and there is no comparison to the passion of football in the south compared to the passion we Ohioans have. The southerners have no loyalty for any one team, care about no other games except for SEC games, and are very poor losers. I recently wrote how wrong Mrs. Urban Meyer was when she said that football is much "crazier" in the south. Of all of the Florida teams, college or pro, in all sports, sellouts are few and far between. If the 'Shoe held 300,000 fans, there would still be 200,000 fans outside the 'Shoe looking for tickets. Here, Miami has a baseball team, but can't get anyone to attend their games. Florida has more teams than any other southern state...but no one cares about them. I attended the first hockey game ever in Orlando (an exhibition between Philadelphia and Detroit) with very good seats...and when the first fight broke out my buddy and I stood up screaming things like "Beat his F***ing Ass".....20 seconds later we looked around and noticed that we were the ONLY fans standing. In fact, besides us, the only people standing were the 8 ushers that came down and told us to "watch more quietly or leave". Florida isn't technically a southern state, but the people that live here still don't even know the rules to hockey and football. Here, sports events are set up more like places for business meetings and sunbathing.

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



+1 HS

Personally - I always liked that The Game was at high noon... like a good western, it was great to wake up early and get ready for the game with my gameday routine.  Plus, in the years when we lost, I would head out to mow the lawn when I saw that my heart was going to get ripped out anyway - hard to mow the lawn at night without neighbors complaining...

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+21 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

You mow your yard in November? You must not live in the North, or the thought of losing to scUM really must make you unhinged!

I've always had a much better outlook - when we used to lose to the Skunk Weasels on a regular basis under Coop, I'd sit in my car and scream obscenities until I was hoarse, not answer the phone, and sulk for the next few days.

OK, something is wrong with both of us...

I like 3:30 or 4:00 PM starts.

+2 HS

Unhinged was a mild word... I broke a few things on the way to the mower usually.  I would have probably went leaf/snow blowing if I stayed in Columbus during the losses, but cutting grass always provided a nice distraction. And yes, there is certainly something wrong with me after the 90s.  They should do a study on me and see if the fans from up north have similar symptoms. ;p

Speaking of which, I remember when we got Biakabazooka'd and I burned my 'we're going to the rose bowl' hat, and my neighbors called the fire dept thinking our unit was on fire.  Half of the residents flocked out to see that it was just a bucket with a burnt hat in it... oh the glory days...

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+4 HS
buckeyedude's picture

One year back in the 1990s, can't remember exactly which one, all I know is we lost, I started putting up Christmas decorations...after I broke the remote and a couple other things.

It's nice to know I'm not the only person that is irrational when it comes to Buckeye football. I guess that's why they call us "fanatics."



FitzBuck's picture

Don't throw things.......

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

+6 HS
Nutinpa's picture

Got a laugh out of your post.  And yes....I live in PA in the Philly burbs....and mow my lawn until Thanksgiving.

As for THE GAME........Noon for me;  3:30 an acceptable alternative once-in-awhile.  

Night game?  I will give up on college football for good.  There are few traditions left....if that one goes by the wayside, I will play a lot more golf in the fall.

Idaho Helga's picture

Well Oldschool you are smarter than I am because I didn't GO TO the car to have my obscenities rant and my family would always get pissed at me after awhile.  Oh, the Cooper years, ugh.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Hopefully, there will be no lawn mowing this year, eh?

I like cookies.

+2 HS
TossTrap's picture

I'm too much of a wreck after the Michigan game to do anything including yard work. Maybe it's my age but I was in better shape after a football game when I played in one.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

Boxley's picture

It would be a very bad idea for me to have sharp, motorized tools in my hands or under me after  a game, well at least during the Cooper years, deadly.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

acBuckeye's picture

Well, you did survive Cooper.

+1 HS
German Buckeye's picture

It's on at 0900 where I live, so its pancakes and bacon with The Game.  Maybe a spiked coffee or something else...

+5 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

It's hard to finish the whole bottle of Admiral Nelson by Noon. Just sayin'.

+6 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Lady Bligh slays all.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+1 HS
bergy22's picture

Can't drink all day unless you start in the morning

+3 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

The only time I've ver had Admiral Nelson's was during the 2011 OSU season, and it took me all season to finish the whole 5th. We all know how 2011 went...

sharks's picture

I agree with his sentiment about recruiting, but the websites aren't the issue: its ESPN and the like who are putting kids on television. 247 doesn't give recruits the platform to toss hats.

A man got to have a code...

+6 HS
aboynamedtracy's picture

But if no one was watching, that platform would go away.
If the ratings are solid, it's not going away. So ask yourself who really is responsible.

+1 HS
CTBuckeye's picture

While I'd love Ohio State to pull in every 5 star recruit, from what Meyer said it's important to not just recruit good players, but the right guys as well.  The last few classes seem to have a lot of high character, team-oriented guys that will not just play well, but bring the team together and make others around them better as well.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+7 HS
mrspray's picture

I love that some of these high-level recruits are coming in with no entitlement - a quality I dislike tremendously. Even if they have a reason to feel a little entitled, they should certainly be waiting to prove it on the field before they express that feeling.

In case you're curious, it's Mr. Spray

+7 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

I agree entirely, but there have been done in the past that find social media a great place to get their name in the media. Thomas and Hyde both did it. Like you, I much prefer the type that understand that the role they are in is the the roll that they earned.

I also think some of the egos are already in check at osu because they know there are other great plays already there.

IGotAWoody's picture

The best games are always in the 3:30 or later slot. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2006 game, and it had a lot to do with the 3:30 kick off. Of course, we won't always have #1 vs. #2 for THE GAME, but regardless of rankings, it's the biggest game of the year. Noon is too early for such an important game.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

+4 HS
Bucksfan70's picture

they need to stop trying to change everything; stop trying to fix something that isn't broken.

“Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't.” - Jerry Rice

+10 HS
mh277907's picture

I understand the sentiment but it's not like they would be changing anything permanently. I thought that The Game in 2006 in which the second half was basically a night game was pretty cool. I think a 6pm start could work. And if it doesn't, move it back to noon.


+2 HS
73buckeye's picture

Agree, Bucksfan. Seems like there are a whole bunch of people in this world whose sole mission in life is wrapped up in changing stuff that doesn't need to be changed. 


+6 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I agree gents. Hate sounding like the old grumpy guy, but if we all love college football so much, and it's popularity is booming nationwide..... why change it?  ditch the grass and mud and have neon green grass in November when everything is dying. Change uniform styles every year so no one knows who the hell is who anymore..... Makes me sad sometimes.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

buckeyestu's picture

Some things should never change, and the noon start playing scum is one of those things.

+1 HS
NeilAve's picture

I'm not sure Mich OSU game should not be a night game, but no way in hell should be a noon game. Make it 3:30. That would be perfect. It would be enough time to pregame before hand and you get a little of the night game experience in the second half.

buckeyestu's picture

I have never had a problem being ready for the noon kickoff to beat scum.

+1 HS
whobdis's picture

Interesting take from Urban on entitlement. I sometimes wonder when we stop recruiting a kid if that comes into play. We've had several that had us near the top of their lists and we just stop recruiting them. I remember the wr from out west..went to ND and has since transferred. It seemed we backed off Gibson a bit earlier in the year.

+2 HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Davonte Neal. One of the most bizarre recruitments, perhaps, ever.

+1 HS
ECSAGESTER's picture

Recruiting is always interesting because we like following who's gonna play for the Buckeyes, but the whole sideshow is kind of sickening. Recruits tweeting how many offers they have, retweeting people pathetic enough to tweet at them, pretending like they need a press conference to announce, it's all a little much. 

As far as Michigan at high noon, a night game atmosphere would be insane, but there's just a certain history with a noon kick-off. I'm adamantly anti-noon kick-off...except for the Michigan game. 

+2 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

Alabama knows what entitled 5* recruits are all about.

+2 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

"We just came up short, we were thinking about a bigger picture at the time." 

This is what I've been saying since the day of that game.  MSU was more focused than OSU, and won the game because of it.

+1 HS
PortlandBuckeye45's picture

Living on the West Coast, I do enjoy watching the games at 9am. Even tho i might look alittle strange drinking at 9am. But, I do it for the Buckeyes! Plues, the night of "The Game" I can't sleep. Its my christmas. Im to excited! I wake up around 6 am, cook a huge Buckeye breakfast, blaring TBDBITL LOUD and PROUD! Duck and Beaver fans, have no idea how to get ready for a rival game like we do!

+2 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

Living in Ohio, I usually have my first " The Game" brewski around 7 am.

As yo so well stated, like a kid at Cristmas, it's hard to sleep, the night before........ Easy to wake early for a Saturday.  When I go outside, I'll blast my CD of TBDBITL, make sure my OSU flag is flying straight and raise a beer to my smiling lips.  

+3 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

I'm right with ya brother!! I am up all night the day before the game watching old highlights and games. And when I did live in C-Bus, I usually has tickets to the game (if it was playing at the horseshoe). I always have to start popping beers or whiskey to help calm the nerves and by 5:30 am I am on my way to pick up my friend or friends that are going to the game, sporting car flags, car magnets, blasting any number of the TBDBITL songs so we can get to campus and start tailgating by 6:30 or 7. I'm usually beat tired by the time 6pm rolls around from too much yelling, drinking, lack of sleep, etc, but is always worth it and something I look forward to every year.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
PortlandBuckeye45's picture

Ever since they made that docum. about "The Game" on HBO. I watch it every night before it. I had to switch from whiskey to rum. Kept getting to angry hahaha!

Alex Boones Liver's picture

John, as we've discussed "It's hard to drink all day if you don't start in the morning!"  As for those who are against a night game because they will freeze in their seats...Please do us a favor, give your seat to someone who will stand the whole game and get loud. 

+3 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

The infamous Ron J.......... Hey we need to get together for the Navy Game in 4 weeks.   If you and Mrs. Aren't too busy, we should get our grills together and cook to some Paul Keels.

Hope the new job is treating you alright A.B.L.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I chuckled at that line about freezing in their seats for a night game.  As if it would be that much warmer at noon.  As if people would care about the difference for The Game.  As if it couldn't be anywhere from 20 to 70 degrees that day.

Class of 2010.

trigg03's picture

Did tOSU lose their last 2 games?? I don't know that I've been reminded of that nearly enough for me to know for certain.

Seems like the 06' version of THE GAME started later in the day....maybe 3:30?? I know it was dark by the time the game ended. And I've been to many of THE GAME's but that one just had an even extra sense of wowness to it.

+1 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Muuuuust haaaaave fooooootball soooooon. 

+3 HS
FairfaxBuckeye's picture

I typically do not like 12:00 noon games--that is, except the Michigan game. 


Kurt's picture

I'm not a big supporter of recruiting coverage, so I obviously like the sentiment Urban expressed here.  Unfortunately there's just so much money to be made from the hype surround it.  There are only 12-14 games a season but 365 days a year that someone can make a post online about recruiting and generate hits/revenue.  

M Man's picture

Notions like moving The Game to an earlier date in the season, so it can be played at night, is why we have athletic directors.  Adults.

Braxton Miller is a fine collegiate quarterback.

+5 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

OSU/Michigan should always be played in the last week of the season.....both teams final record/results of the the regular season should always be on the line.  Ultimate decider of where you stand.  Would love the possibility of denying the Wolverines any shot at a Big 10 Championship, in the final chance of the year.

+1 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

I like the OSU/michigan game at noon, usually, but I would fully support the idea that each home team ( Buckeyes or Wolverines) have the option to call for a night game once a decade.  One out of  five, and at most, total 2 in a decade.  They would still be few enough between to keep their uniqueness, but also give the option to capitalize on a potential mega-matchup. 

I like the noon games, on a crisp November Staurday, when the days are shorter.  However, a Night game once in a while, would be okay.  

As far as being too cold too play properly at 8 pm, I'd say the for the casual football tv viewer ( if they were anything like me) cold, inclimate weather, rivalry games, draw my attention for their uniqueness.  Something you normally don't see can happen at any time.  I' m not playing, so let it be cold/ snow.  I'm more inclined to watch a random NFL game if it is cold/ snowy.  As far as people in the stands go,  100% garuntee that there would be 110,000 waiting in line to get tickets for an OSU/Michigan game scheduled for 8:00pm in the Horseshoe.

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I like that idea of having it be at night just a couple of times.  Save it for really special occasions, like OSU and TTUN both ranked in the top 5 or top 10, with the B1G East and potential playoff spot on the line.  Then other years where it looks one or both teams may be down, have it be at noon like normal.

As far as a night kickoff, for all you know, on 11/29/14 at 8 PM, it could be warmer than it was on 11/24/12 at noon (the last time The Game was in the 'Shoe).  My last home game as a student, vs Iowa in 2009, it was almost 70 degrees that day.  We know that the last home game the past two years had cold and snow, but this is Ohio, and the window of potential weather is huge.  Besides, I'm pretty sure people would go if it was -20 out.

Class of 2010.

Jabba1977's picture

As awesome as it would be,to have OSU and SCUM play a night game,there is no way I could wait that long!! When it comes to that game,I am thinking about it as soon as the season begins!! If I had to wait until 8 o clock that night I would go Insane!! So because of that problem.I would rather have it be a noon game like it is supposed to be!!


Shangheyed's picture

If it is a nite game how would that impact Kegs N Eggs...   these are life shaping moments that would be lost if not for the early start!!

OscarSierraUniform's picture

*ichigan game - that's the only game on our schedule that should have a noon kick.

See ball, get ball.

Kurt's picture

They play night games in cities like Cleveland, Chicago and Buffalo in December at night in the NFL if I'm not mistaken.  Don't know why Thanksgiving weekend at night should be difficult for college players and fans.

Csturg's picture

Night games are awesome, but the anticipation is the worst plus if I drink that day (which is rare) then I'm tired by halftime. I bought an HD projector and inflatable screen, Big Green Egg and a fire pit  for the night games, so should be awesome this year. If you know anything about the egg you'll be over for the game and all Buckeye family is welcome unless you're that guy that says, "dude we suck, this game is over", at halftime. I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR! Only thing is I love summer and it's over before you know it. I'll be up at 4am on the day of the game blasting, The Buckeye Battle Cry waking my girlfriend up and pissing her off. Don't care 29 days left because today is over. Go Bucks OH-

Chris Sturgill