This Week's Question: Where Do You Rank Urban Meyer in the Pantheon of Ohio State Coaching Greats?

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703Buckeye's picture
  1. Woody
  2. Urban
  3. Tressel

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

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dmiller2345's picture

So, who are your top three Ohio State football coaches of all time, ranked? And why?

Urban Meyer, undefeated (7-0) VS ttun | Ryan Day, undefeated (2-0) vs ttun

*As always, In (Urban) Ryan Day I Trust! There is a plan, even if we cannot see it right now!

God, Family, Guns, Country, and Sports!

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703Buckeye's picture

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

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stechs02's picture

IMO, the reason Urban gets the nod over Tress is better win percengage in a much more difficult BIG 10. Not Jim’s fault but the BIG was terrible in the 2000s. Everything else between Urban and Jim is very similar. I guess Jim gets the nod in BIg titles, but Urban gets the nod in recruiting and making OSU a national brand. You know, it’s really just splitting hairs. For #1 there is no debate...

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OSU56's picture

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

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LCT's picture

1.) Woody: The Godfather of Ohio State Buckeyes football, no further explanation necessary.

2a.) Tress: Saved Ohio State football from a future that would surely have resembled something Tennessee-like, or frankly, Michigan-like. Yes, Michigan-like. 8-9 wins a year, 10 in a good year. Doesn't win the conference, irrelevant as a national player, doesn't beat the rival. Tressel saved us from *that*.

2b.) Urban: Could possibly (probably?) have surpassed Tressel with a few more years but did not for the longevity factor. Kept great going; owned the rival. Primed us for long lasting future success.

3.) Earle: Would be Cooper but for Cooper's miserable record against UM.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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BuckAlum09's picture

I like this. I will echo this.

"...and when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of booze. And we'll drink to old Ohio till we wobble in our shoes."

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The Rill Dill's picture

That would be my order, as well. I think Tress was actually the best ‘coach’.

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stxbuck's picture

Agree-Woody and Urban built the image of the program, but JT was by far the best in-game coach.

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dmiller2345's picture

I can agree with this!!!

Urban Meyer, undefeated (7-0) VS ttun | Ryan Day, undefeated (2-0) vs ttun

*As always, In (Urban) Ryan Day I Trust! There is a plan, even if we cannot see it right now!

God, Family, Guns, Country, and Sports!

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faux_maestro's picture

This. Tressel did quite literally save the football program. We were that team that had been on the fringes of national relevance but were falling away quickly after the 99-2000 seasons.

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

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stxbuck's picture

I'd put Paul Brown ahead of Earle just because-all time great made a pit stop at tOSU, won a NC, went on to further greatness in the pros.

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Fatpants's picture

This is also why Woody is #1. He made Ohio State THE destination, and not a stepping stone.

PG <3 PG

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LCT's picture

Putting anyone ahead of Wayne Woodrow Hayes in this context is a kond of secular blasphemy that no Dubber should abide. It's Buckeye heresy.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Fatpants's picture

It's not close, in my opinion.

He made Ohio State football what it is today. Look at the coaching history before him. Carroll Widdoes left Ohio State after losing two games in two years to go take the head coaching job at Ohio University. Imagine a world where the Ohio State job was a stepping stone to get to OU. Woody obliterated that world and made Ohio State one of THE college football destination jobs.

PG <3 PG

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Browns88's picture

Urban's winning percentage puts him at a very high level.   Woody for longevity, then Tressel the Wolverine killer after the Coop years.

Browns88

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

He's firmly in my #2 slot behind Woody with Tressel as a very close third.

I hate to try and factor in the guys from the way yester-year because that was far before my time, even though Woody was as well, it's pretty easy to figure out he's #1 without question

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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LCT's picture

By the way, Tressel was *106*-22 with *7* B1G titles!

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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The Rill Dill's picture

Tressel really owned the B1G.

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BeatMeechigun's picture

Not discrediting that statement, but the Big Ten also stunk 2005-2010.  Michigan was at a near all-time low during the Rich Rod era; OSU may still be pounding them, but they have improved under Hoke and Harbaugh.  Penn State is more consistent of late vs. a couple great seasons in 2005 and 2008 amid some mediocrity.  MSU has had a far better program during Meyer's tenure than Tress's.  Wisconsin has maintained pace - just a year removed from one of their best season's ever, a year after we had a top 10 showdown in Madison that went to OT.

Iowa is weaker.

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mr.green's picture

You forgetting m*chigan was no 2 when we beat them in 2006? 

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LoufromOSU's picture

Yep, and minimalizing Michigan during that time period ignores the fact that Tressel forced a hall of fame coach into retirement.  Said coach beat Meyer in his last game, coincidentally.  Lloyd is still the best coach Michigan has had since Bo.  The reason Michigan fell on hard times was directly caused by Tressel.   

"Great moments are born from great opportunities."  - Herb Brooks

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SilverHaven's picture

Please go back, Beat Meech, and look at your facts again.  One case in point would be an all-time great Michigan team in 2006 led by hall of fame coach Lloyd Carr that was undefeated and ranked #2 nationally going into the game of the century against the Buckeyes.  And there are more...

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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Andy Vance's picture

This is the correct answer. I was at that Sugar Bowl. We beat Arkansas, I don't give a good goddamn what the NC2A says.

allinosu's picture

With all the forgiving the NCAA has done recently, do you think OSU will at least try to get those games added back?

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Andy Vance's picture

With all the forgiving the NCAA has done recently, do you think OSU will at least try to get those games added back?

Sadly, I don't. I think if they were going to make a move to do so, it would have happened before now, and with everything that happened over the past year, any chance of reinstating those wins probably evaporated.

ChristianHaven's picture

Yes, LCT. I don't like fake news or fake numbers.  Give Tressel his due.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Buckabroad's picture

Very hard to answer. If Coach Meyer had been on board longer, I think he might have taken first place. As it stands, Woody, Meyer, Tressel. All absolute greats. 

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

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FitzBuck's picture

Woody

Urban 

Tressel

Urban left the program in better shape than Tressel.  Tressel benefited from no big ten title games.  

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

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BuckeyeChief's picture

I sort of disagree with the last statement. While I will agree that Urban left the program in good shape, I think (personal opinion) that not having an  established quarterback in 2011 was the difference. Tressel ran roughshod over the Big Ten and I think he would have crushed the title game; furthermore, if there was a title game, they would have been in better shape for bowl season.

(Please don't think I'm crazy...after 2007 LSU, I e-mailed Gene Smith and told him they should add a title game for this reason. I also invited him to my retirement ceremony last May. He ignored me both times.)

SCPO, USN (ret)

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stxbuck's picture

If not for tatt-gate, the 11' team would have made a serious NC run. 

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BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

Plus, Tressel would still be in Columbus and Urban Meyer would be retiring from Penn State or UCLA right now.

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CptBuckeye24's picture

Tressel also benefitted from a rather weak Big Ten conference.

Michigan was not much of a factor outside of a few years. Penn State was incredibly up and down. But never sustained success to be a conference threat.

Michigan State was barely bowl eligible during the Tressel years. Looking back at the 2000s teams of the B1G, the conference was very average and rather pedestrian.

There is something to be said about Meyer really increasing the talent and competition in the conference.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

I will not disagree with anything you have said. Meyer did make the conference step it up. 

SCPO, USN (ret)

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stxbuck's picture

From 2000-2006 scUM was MUCH more of a threat/national power than they are today. The rot set in when Dick Rod took over for Carr. That 2006 team was one of the best scUM teams of all time.

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BrutusB's picture

You could argue that Meyer  benefited from a weak B1G his first 2-3 years too.  We went 24-0 and I think most us realized we weren't THAT good.

Also Tressel didn't get to play Rutgers and Indiana every year either.

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The Rill Dill's picture

So, exactly how good was the Big Ten when Woody was here. You can’t discount championships. 

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stxbuck's picture

To be honest, pretty much like it is now/the past 30 years. scUM was always running #2, and various other schools had serious runs in the national spotlight. In the late 60s, MSU and Purdue were both ranked #1 at various times-Purdue was #1 when tOSU knocked them off in 68'.

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ChristianHaven's picture

Cpt, are you rewriting history?  Just one example: Michi in 2006 with Lloyd Carr was undefeated and ranked #2 going into the Game of the Century.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Nutinpa's picture

Meyer benefitted from a weak OOC schedule.  Other than a home/home with OKIE, he had it soft compared to Tress.  In fact, it wasn't even close.  

Woody

Tress

Meyer

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ChristianHaven's picture

Fitz: Often Meyer did not even get OSU to the title game.  He lost the Big Ten championship before Indy.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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kmp10's picture

1) Woody. Hayes is THE face of Ohio State football and he always will be. Thirteen and five. Until somebody gets fourteen and six, Woody Hayes is THE man.

2) Tressel. Seven B1G titles, 9-1 Vs TTUN, one national title and two additional title game appearances. 

3) Meyer. For me, Meyer felt like he had one foot out the door from the moment he arrived. An all-time great, to be certain, but he lacks the grind factor that both Hayes and Tressel possessed... and, imo, that's vitally important. 

4) Brown. First national title.

5) Schmidt. 16-1

6) Bruce. Meh... but he understood what The Game meant and he was a success in it.

7) Cooper. 2-10-1.

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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BeatMeechigun's picture

Excellent rankings. 

Personally I'd switch Bruce and Coop, but it's close.  Earle understood the Michigan game (5-4 I believe), but also had 3 losses each year, 2 of which were often head-scratchers.  1979 was great, but only 1 top 10 finish after that initial year at the helm for Earle.  Coop's 2-10-1 will forever be remembered with disdain, the 3-8 bowl record stunk, and player discipline was lacking - but IMO despite the frustration Coop deserves recognition for bringing in elite talent and turning the program around from a 10-25 ranked program under Earle back into a consistent top 10 program.

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hnyg8modonwelfare's picture

1) Urban Meyer - No disrespect to Hayes, but Meyer won more nationally.  His win pct is through the roof.  He is 7-0 vs TSUN, and he is the greatest recruiter in OSU history. And it would have continued.

2) Woody Hayes - College football is not a regional sport anymore so that's why I move Meyer above.  Meyer has proven he is better vs national competition.

3) Jim Tressel - He's another great one.  He'd be number one at most programs.

4) Paul Brown - His time was short but the innovator of the game won an NC.

Thank you Urban Meyer and Gene Smith

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BrutusB's picture

I don't downvote opinions but this is just nonsense.  How did Meyer "win more nationally" when he has 4 fewer national championships than Woody? 

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Ohiostate1957's picture

Because Meyer's OSU coaching all occurred during the playoff/expanded bowl era which resulted in many games against ranked non-Pac 8-10-12 teams. In Woody's day it was  basically only the Rose Bowl (tied in to the Pac 8-10-12 and no Big 10 team could play in a different bowl game until 1975) and all AP and UPI voting instead of a playoff. Plus more scholarships in Woody's day which made locking up the good players easier.

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BrutusB's picture

Except the changes to the bowl/playoff system would only affect the last game of the year.  Woody wasn't beating unranked Oregon teams in the Rose Bowl, he had to go against top-5 USC teams that had all the same scholarship advantages OSU had.

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analyticalguy's picture

Only in the past 30+ years or so did schedules start including early season cupcakes, with Meyer (and every coach at a top program in recent years )being able to pad his W/L percentage as compared to the type of schedule Woody's teams had to play. On the other hand, Woody had only 12 post-season games in his career (winning half), while (despite the 2012 post-season ban) Meyer has already won 7 of 10, with the eleventh coming.

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3rdtimesacharm's picture

Very good point about the change in ooc scheduling. I started following osu as a kid in the mid 90’s. Its remarkable how brutal the ooc schedule was in the 90’s compared to the last 15 years.

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analyticalguy's picture

Even though such divisions didn't come until much later, neither Ohio State not any big program would schedule games against what are now FCS or Division II schools, and seldom against what are now non-Power 5 schools. With few exceptions you knew what level you were on and scheduled accordingly. Sure, you might play a weaker SWC or ACC team, but that was as far down as you would stoop. I think the Buckeye's first game against an MAC team (or ANY team at that level) came after the regular season expanded to 11 games.

(Of course Michigan fans may yearn for the days when they could schedule h.s. teams)

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BuckeyeChief's picture

1. Woody- no debate here.

2. Tressel- he put the program back on the map. Multiple Big Ten titles, took us to multiple BCS title games...he won almost every game he should have won, a few he shouldn't have and never had the inexplicable once a year melt-downs that kept the team from it's goals.

3. Urban- a close third. If the Buckeyes didn't have the annual inexplicable loss he would have been number two.

SCPO, USN (ret)

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CptBuckeye24's picture

Tressel definitely had meltdown games. 2009 vs Purdue. 2007 vs Illinois. I'd say 2010 vs Wisconsin was another.

And the road/bowl losses against good teams. Texas, USC, Florida, LSU. During the later Tressel years, we really struggled against good teams from outside of the conference.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

2009: no excuse. 2007 Illinois: they were robbed. 2010 Wisconsin: Wisconsin was pretty damn good that year. Out of conference the Texas game (last one) was a toss up. I'll pretend the other three never happened. ; ) 

SCPO, USN (ret)

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CptBuckeye24's picture

We got dominated by some teams and I'm still not over John Clay and James White running the ball down our throats. But I digress.

I am particularly critical of the later Tressel years and felt like Ohio State, under Tressel and his style, wasn't good enough to win another national title.

I know that doesn't sit well with some around here. But from 2005 onward, I feel like Tressel really benefitted from a pretty weak conference while having very good teams, but never truly elite teams (2006 was probably elite) that were capable of beating elite teams and Tresselball was going a bit stale. At the time, I felt like the game was changing and Tressel was getting out coached by inferior opponents.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

I'm not over it either. I will also add that I would have loved a real offensive line coach, a real QB coach and another play besides "dave".

SCPO, USN (ret)

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CptBuckeye24's picture

My dad always attributes this saying to Paul Brown:

"I don't blame you, I blame the guy that hired you."

In this case, I blame Tressel for hiring and keeping these guys around. If you think we are ruthless to Billy Davis, imagine what this place would have been like towards Siciliano.

There's definitely something to be said about Siciliano never coaching in a full time assistant role after leaving Ohio State.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

I think it was kind of brutal towards him and Bollman.

SCPO, USN (ret)

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stxbuck's picture

JT didn't give a rat's behind about Siciliano b/c he was his own QB coach-he just needed someone to hold his clipboard, so to speak, while he worked w/ the QBs-which is how he came up in the coaching ranks-QB coach. Darrell Hazel was his right hand man on offense.

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Nutinpa's picture

Cpt24:  That was the only loss in 2010 -- that in today's day might have still seen the Buckeyes in the final four.  The reason John Clay trucked our LBs (poor Brian Rolle, ouch) was because Tressel did adapt to play the SEC by putting a faster Defense on the field.  He sacrificed some beef by opting for speed. It cost us against WI.....and I will go to my grave believing we would have beaten Auburn and Cam in the natty if given the chance.  

As for thinking the game had passed Tress by and that he couldn't field a NC caliber team.....I dare say that if the tatgate had never happened, the 2011 team would have been really scary good......even with Bollman and Sic on the staff.  

At the very least, when Tress's teams were beaten badly, it was against elite teams.......not 2017 Iowa or 2018 Purdue.  The comparisons to WI and ILL do not hold water in this argument.....just my opinion. 

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CptBuckeye24's picture

We got dominated on both sides of the ball against Wisconsin in 2010. Our game plan was poor on both sides. Our LBs and more team speed isn't the reason we lost that game.

Disagree on 2011. Tattoogate aside, That team didn't have a championship caliber defense and wasn't exactly depleted by suspensions like the offense was. It had young talent but the elder statesmen on defense weren't exactly all big ten type players.

Tressel constantly had games where his teams underwhelmed and didn't look good. And it wasn't limited to one season. He had teams that constantly played below their talent. I also point out that the game was passing him by when he had Pryor running the offense from the I formation. Pryor had immense talent and I always felt like he wasn't used to his strengths and the scheme didn't reflect that. Maybe it was because Tressel had Siciliano and the Walrus on his staff. The best teams in the later Tressel years were beating Ohio State. He struggled to win big games.

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Nutinpa's picture

Cpt 24.....I agree with some of your points/themes.....and shake hands to disagree on others.  And I hate to say it, as I hate to see Meyer go, but you can (arguably) replace Tressel in some parts of your post and replace his name with Meyer's.  

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stxbuck's picture

While not an excuse, 09' was not a vintage tOSU team-the Purdue loss was annoying, but it wasn't an "OMG" shocker-Pryor was still very much getting his feet wet/head together.

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lamplighter's picture

different eras and all that, but I think this is the answer.

Go Bucks!

Beat the Huskies

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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NHBuckeye's picture

Woody

Tress

Urban

if Urban would have stuck around another few years he’d be #2 on my list with what he surely would have accomplished.  

Fields of Dreams

 

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ChristianHaven's picture

If Urban stuck around a few more years-- and a couple more natl champs with very few losses-- he would be the obvious #1.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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MAVBuck's picture

Woody

Urban

Tressel

With that being said, a lot of that ranking is because I, like many others, consider Woody the Godfather of college football. The legend only grows stronger with time and it's because of that I could see Urban's legend (no pun intended) becoming much of the same as my son grows older. Just look at that winning percentage!

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saintstephen11's picture

If you value longevity then it is Woody. If you value greatness then it is Urban.

It is like answering the question of who is the better pitcher ... Pedro Martinez or Greg Maddux?   

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kmp10's picture

If you value longevity then it is Woody. If you value greatness then it is Urban.

Woody had both longevity and greatness. Greatness is five national championships, thirteen B1G titles, and fifteen top 10 finishes in 28 seasons. I value both, and as great as Meyer was, he clearly lacks one of the two factors. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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BrutusB's picture

That doesn't make any sense. Woody won 5 titles in 27 years.  Urban won one title in 7 years.  Woody won them at a higher ratio than Urban did.

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avail31678's picture

Not entirely fair.  Championships in Woody's day were voted on.  In Urban's day you had to play the #1 or #2 team in the country OR go through a playoff. 

Also, Urban has 3 Nattys in 17 years, an almost identical rate to Woody.  

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saintstephen11's picture

Urban's winning percentage was much better than Woody's. It was all time great level.

... and by the way, Maddux was a hell of a pitcher. He just wasn't Pedro level great. He did win more games though.

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GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

1. Woody

2. Tressel

3. Urban

I love Urban, but The Senator has a special place in my heart. With a longer stay and a couple of more wins (looking at you Iowa and Purdue), Urban could have been my #1. We should have won the natty in 2015-2016, and probably also at least been in the game a couple of more times.

"We talkin' about practice?!" -Allen Iverson 2002

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CTBuckeyeFan's picture

Based on pure coaching ability:

1. Paul Brown

2. Woody Hayes

3. Urban Meyer

4. Jim Tressel

Based on their time as OSU HC:

1.Hayes

2. Meyer

3. Tressel

4. Brown

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Cooper's picture

I don’t understand the reasoning for people putting Urban behind Tress. Jim had 6 seasons in which he lost 2 or more regular season games, Urban only had 1. Tress also had some pretty bad recruiting classes, Urban has never finished outside of the top 10. There were no conference championship games when Tress was around, so if tiebreakers weren’t a thing for Urban, he’d have exactly as many B1G titles as Tress in less seasons (they’d both have 7 if the NCAA didn’t sanction OSU). Tressel was a hell of a coach, but I think there should be more of an argument for who is at the number 1 spot between Woody and Urban. Those were the two Golden Ages of Ohio State football.

I’ll go:

1a. Woody

1b. Urban

2. Tress

3. Earle

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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BrutusB's picture

You're trivializing Woody's accomplishments by putting Urban on the same level IMO.  I could listen to a debate on if Tressel or Meyer is second, but I can't understand any argument for the top spot.

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Cooper's picture

Woody’s accomplishment is that he was healthy enough, more stabilized, and didn’t have to deal with today’s media and college football landscape. It’s impossible in this current age to be the Ohio State coach for 20+ years. Urban was more dominant in 7 years than any stretch for Woody. It is also astronomically harder for OSU today to win a national championship than it was for Woody to win a title. I’m not demeaning anything Woody did, but rather reinforcing the accomplishments of Urban. With regards to similar timeframes, what Urban did at Ohio State has only been replicated by Saban at Bama and Pete Carroll at USC. Further, Urban is arguably the second best coach of the modern era, only behind Saban. 

Urban is the one that needs more respect in this conversation.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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BrutusB's picture

Urban winning one title in seven years has been replicated by many coaches - the guys you listed won multiple titles.  And Urban was able to be so successful here BECAUSE of Woody.  The reason he wasn't pulling top 5 recruiting classes every year to Utah or Florida isn't because he suddenly became a better recruiter in 2012, it's because he was at place with a history of success and tradition that was helped in large part by some guy winning 5 national championships.

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Cooper's picture

Urban consistently pulled in a top 5 recruiting class at Florida, with multiple #1 and #2 finishes. 

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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Nutinpa's picture

Then, playing devil's advocate, with only 1 NC to show for it at OSU, you can argue (like Paul Finebaum does irritatingly) that Meyer under-achieved with the supposed talent that he had.   It cuts both ways, Cooper. 

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Cooper's picture

He did underachieve at Ohio State and he’s still clearly a better coach than Tressel was during their respective tenures. I’m not sure where you’re going with the “cuts both ways” argument. Urban built OSU into a program that Tressel couldn’t, resulting in even higher expectations.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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LCT's picture

And then....did he meet them?

No slaggin' on Urban here as he's one of the best that ever was but I'll look back on these years and say "Man, those were some great teams....it's too bad Urban didn't do more with them..."

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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Cooper's picture

My point is those underachieving teams still far surpass the 01, 04, 08, and 09 Tressel teams. What does that say about Urban when certain teams that didn’t meet expectations were still ranked in the top 5 final poll? I think a lot of you are underselling the behemoth Ohio State became in the past 7 years, so much so that a 13-1 season will have some fans feeling a tiny bit of a disappointment because there were no playoffs.

This is definitely where I parked my car.

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Nutinpa's picture

"Cuts both ways".   I am not trying to be cryptic, cooper.  During Meyer's tenure, with all that 4 and 5 star talent he had, he also had 3 humiliating losses including one in the playoffs that shredded the notion that "given 6 weeks, Meyer could prepare for anyone."    The Clemson game showed a real chink in that armor, and Meyer fielded a team and a coaching staff that was broken before the game began.  His losses to Iowa and Purdue were on such a scale that the street cred of the progam was -- and still is, questioned. 

To be clear, I too, am not trying to pee on Meyer's parade.  Despite being here a short time, he earned his spot on Buckeye Mt. Rushmore in many ways.  But to suggest that he separates himself from Tress because he "got to the next level" is only partially true. While he faced a stronger Big Ten (and helped to create it) he also benefitted by an almost laughable OOC schedule in the 7 years he was here......a benefit Tressel never had when you consider Texas, USC and Miami.  

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LCT's picture

I don't even buy that the B1G is better now than when Tress was here. Expansion has badly diluted it. Rutgers? Maryland? Nebraska?

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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EnonBuck79's picture

Urban Meyer has never fielded a less than .500 winning team in a season..... anywhere. Hayes had 3 . 2 at Ohio State.
Bowl Records
Woody Hayes 5-6
Urban Meyer 11-3 and 4-2 at Ohio State.
Worst season at OSU
Woody Hayes 3-5-1
Urban Meyer 12-2
Worst season overall
Woody Hayes 2-6 at Denison.
Urban Meyer 8-5 at Florida.
Hayes had as many losses in his first three seasons at OSU as Meyer has had in 7(they played less games then)

At OSU have no problem with any one of Hayes, Tressel, or Meyer at #1. Because you could make a valid case for any one of them in that spot while at Ohio State. Because even Tressels worst year at Ohio State was still 7-5 .Which was pretty good if you look at some of Hayes teams from the 50s and 60s.
But overall at every stop it's Meyer . Bowling Green before Meyer was close to a yearly doormat in the MAC. Utah is in the PAC 12 because of two years of Urban Meyer's coaching.
He effectively doubled the amount of national titles at Florida (only had one before his arrival). His record in rivalry games everywhere he has been is ridiculous .
Even if you want to say he has underachieved at OSU .....
His worst season at Ohio State is 12-2! Did not coach in 3 games this year and could still get to 10 wins!?!

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stxbuck's picture

Roseanne Barr could pull in top 15 recruiting classes every year with the Gators. Too much talent not wanting to leave home.

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stxbuck's picture

68'75-Woody was just as dominant.

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ChristianHaven's picture

Instead, Woody dealt with student riots, anti-Viet Nam war demonstrations, racial tension, black civil rights riots, burning High Street, shutting down the OSU campus...

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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Buctor's picture

To stir the pot!  Can't be done, it like comparing any one back when fouling was not called to today's NBA players.  For example Oscar and LeBron, both great.  Oscar's stats, LeBron's physicality are both unbelievable, but the diffence makes them hard to compare.

But do not take this comment and move off topic!

I like most of the rankings, but those early guys deserve more recognition.  Where do you rank doing well enough to build the Horseshoe?

I would probably pick Woody, but even that I am not sure of!

What I am sure of is that there are a bunch of great ones, certainly for their times, and damn few bad ones.  Short list of schools that can say that.  Especially among today's top programs.  The vast majority of schools would have sold their souls for yearly 9 - 3 records!  Here, the fans bemoaned those records!

One last thing, hopefully 25 years from now this thread can be repeated and Coach Day is the unanimous choice!!!

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Boggles my mind how we had John Cooper for so long and Urban for so short a time. Imagine 13 years of Urban at the top of his game? SMH.

1. Woody

2. Urban

3. Tressel

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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LCT's picture

How long would Cooper's leash have been with Gene at the helm? No way he'd have lasted 13 years in this era.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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stxbuck's picture

Once he got things rolling-93' season, Coop was allowed two bad years before getting the boot. I think the same timeline would apply today-1 mulligan season.

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BrutusB's picture

I agree.  You kinda saw the same thing with Thad Matta - people were kind of grumbling, but it was 2 consecutive missed tournaments that ultimately got him the boot.

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Nutinpa's picture

And an exodus of kids leaving the program. When nearly an entire recruiting class bolts, something is rottten in Denmark -- or Columbus.

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stxbuck's picture

Third. Woody and JT are ahead of him simply on longevity, minus all other factors-which would still make him third if considered,imo.

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BrutusB's picture

1. Woody

2. Tressel

3. Urban

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

I'm lazy in not offering explanations, but I'm with BrutusB:

1. Woody - the modern era of Ohio State football began with him. His records and longevity speak for themselves.

2. Tressel - took TOSU program out of the Sisyphean depths of Cooper futility v. TSUN; won a NC.

3. Meyer - the hired gun who cleaned up the B1G and gave a national facelift for the Buckeyes. Oh, and another NC.

Others not mentioned: John Cooper got a bad rap for his TSUN futility, but 111 wins for TOSU is nothing to sneeze at.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

This is tough, after #1 that is - Woody, Tress, Urban

It was hard going after the guy born in the same hospital as me, but Tressel did send me a birthday card in 2007, and while Urban exorcised the SEC demons, Senator Tressel exorcised a different set of demons, 310 days after a basketball game, as I recall - in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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subUrbanBuck22's picture

Woody, UFM, Tress 

Our holy trinity 

Go Bucks!

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rllbucks1's picture

It’s Woiody, Urban, Tressel.   Woody because of longevity and Urban because of HIS talent at recruiting and big games! 7-0 versus the hated wolverines, 7-0 in regular season games when an underdog! Some of you seem to forget the last few years of Tress when the game was starting to pass him by! 

rllbucks1

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BrutusB's picture

In Tressel's last year he went 12-1 and won the Sugar Bowl (regardless of what the NCAA says).  The year before that he won the Rose Bowl.  And if not for Tatgage they would have made a serious run at a NC in 2011.

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sivaDavis's picture

Ryan Day. 

Because I’m from the future and currently he has won 6 national titles. I’m only from the year 2025 for what it’s worth. 

"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

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CCBucks's picture

1. Woody
Woody brought the Buckeyes into national prominence year in and year out. He established the game against Michigan as the biggest game of the year, every year. He is the reason OSU is OSU.

2. Tressel.
I know this is different from most, but Tress came in and brought back the importance of The Game. I love Tress for making it the goal of every player and coach to Beat Michigan to be the number one goal of the program.

3. UFM
He brought recruiting to the top of the OSU game, and took us from a top 10 program to a top 5 program. Continued the rivialry dominance, and a NC. But he changed the game for OSU recruiting, and takes the 3rd spot.

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allinosu's picture

Woody actually pissed me off all the time with his offensive philosophy but being able to coach that long in one place is a great feat that the others couldn't pull off, so I have to go with him #1. Tress and Urban are very close but Tress came out of nowhere and Urban was given pretty much what he wanted to succeed so Tress #2 and Urban #3. I hate rankings this because each answered the bell when they were needed under different and difficult circumstances that need there particular expertise.

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BrewstersMillions's picture

Numero Uno. Woody clearly has the advantage of tenure but Meyer won 9 out of time times at OSU in a vastly more competitive game with better players, better training, more intense recruiting battles, etc.

Football is the hardest sport to discuss across generations as today's athletes have the benefit yesteryears did not and that extends to coaching, its hard enough to try and compare Meyer and Tressel, who were veritable contemporaries. Its nearly impossible to do it for guys that coached 40 plus years apart. With that said, .901, 7-0, 3 Big Ten titles and the big one? Meyer, then Hayes, then Tress.

Proudly dispensing unbridled arrogance since 1983.

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

Woody is still #1 for his longevity and excellence.

Tressel and Urban are very close. Urban has taken Ohio State, and forced others in the BIG, to another level. Therefore, I say Urban is just a bit ahead of Tressel.

The fact is that Ohio State is an elite program and has been for many years and Buckeye Nation has had many elite coaches. 

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EnonBuck79's picture

1) Urban Meyer.
7-0 vs TTUN. Put up more points vs them than anyone. 7-0 as an underdog. 90% winning percentage. Recruited at an all-time level nationally.
Forced the rest of the B1G to step up it's game(night games, recruiting, coaching hires, assistant pay, brought change to an overall stale conference)
2)Woody Hayes.
The Godfather of OSU football. Could make an argument that without Woody Hayes/Earle Bruce there would be no Urban Meyer. 10 year war really brought the rivalry with TTUN to a national level of entertainment /made it household.
3) Jim Tressel
Probably for other CFB teams he would be number 1. Outstanding record vs. TTUN. His teams dismantling of the 2002 Miami team had to be one of the greatest coaching jobs I've ever seen (right up there with winning the title with a 3rd string QB).Only reason I have him at 3 was National Championship vs. Florida with number 1 on the list.

Really you could not go wrong with any of them at 1 for one reason or another.

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Johnny Utah's picture

For me, Woody is the obvious #1.

It's really hard to decide between Tressel and Meyer for #2. Tress had a little more longevity and delivered more conference championships. However, several of those championships were shared - an advantage Urban hasn't had. 

Both had scandals, but Meyer's was really confined to himself and didn't affect the program itself. The team lost a whole season under Tressel's management.

I lean towards Tressel but it's really a coin flip.

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Nutinpa's picture

Both had scandals, but Meyer's was really confined to himself and didn't affect the program itself

While I see your point, we'd be naive to think that what happened to Meyer only impacted "himself" and not the whole program. I think we've seen enough this year regarding the Committee's final ranking/placement of the Team and the absent-minded treatment of Dwayne Haskins in NYC to realize that the Zach Smith scandal had a more far-reaching impact on the entire program that just Meyer alone -- especially -- and as long as Meyer was here. 

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Cruiser79's picture

1. Woody Hayes 2. Urban Meyer 3. Jim Tressel 4. Paul Brown 5. Francis Schmidt 6. John Cooper 7. Carrol Widdoes 8. Earle Bruce

Special recognition to Howard Jones who while only coaching Ohio St. for one year went on after a couple stops one being Iowa to make the USC Trojans into a national power.

Go Bucks !!!

Cruiser79

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Cruiser79's picture

Edit : While Widdoes had a nice two year stint my number 7 pick is John Wilce. Had a brain cramp as I posted. What these lists show is we've been blessed by some wonderful football coaches.

Cruiser79

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Poco Loco's picture

Since none of you youngsters are old enough to remember Schmidt, he started the kick TTUN' ass. If we rank the coaches on their record against the team up north it would be Urban, Tressel, Schmidt and Brown.

a hard rock miner from Butte, Montana

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RBurgundy4's picture

I'm a Tress guy and always will be, no matter how many games Meyer won. No disrepek to UFM, and I give him a ton or credit for raising the bar for the conference. But JPT took over a program suffering from an identity crisis and set the World back on it's correct axis literally from day one. Said he'd do it and hell if he didn't, and in spades. Like Meyer enough. Love Tress. 

Can't argue with Woody at #1. No leg to stand on in that argument. It'll probably always be a battle for 2nd place, but that's okay.

#CalpoppyStrong

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LCT's picture

I think a lot of the younger Bucks don't fully appreciate the depth of the abyss JPT pulled Ohio State football back from.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 8-1, C 7-0, T 4-0

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RBurgundy4's picture

I agree with that, in addition to your other posts on this topic. You're spot on.

#CalpoppyStrong

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Nutinpa's picture

Loves the Legacy of

Coach

Tressel

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stxbuck's picture

No kidding-the locker room was having a mini race-war, the QB coaching was a mess, and in-state HS coaches were throwing their hands up in the air about their treatment/the state of the tOSU program. To win a NC in his second season after inheriting that mess is pretty damn amazing-and doing so by navigating a very tough schedule.

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Buckeye Chuck's picture

W.W. Hayes has to be at the top: longevity plus results. 

Urban's weakest team was still a Top Ten-level team nationally, while Tressel had the nation's best or second-best team three times (pre-bowls, at least). Meyer v. Tressel is a little closer call than most of the respondents here seem to think, though I'd probably go with Urban given that he didn't leave the program in a mess.

Brown is obviously a more significant figure in football history than anyone who has ever been associated with OSU, but the major part of his legacy was formed elsewhere. It would be like referring to Urban Meyer as a Bowling Green coaching legend.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

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Rocket Man's picture

I know this forum isn't the place for it,

But why did the 'life as a top recruit' topic get axed and deleted?  Did it violate some rules in a big way?

Varys: I've always hated the bells. They ring for horror, a dead king, a city under siege. 
Tyrion: A wedding. 
Varys: Exactly.

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Art Harrell's picture

Go Woody...Go Urban...Go Tress...Go Bucks...

Go Three Yards Cloud of Dust...Go Special Teams...Go Punt the Ball...Go Bucks

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Sonof&#039;47alum's picture

Woody ranks number one at Ohio State based on the totality of his record.

What I sometimes think about is how close Woody came to earning recognition as the number one college coach of all time.  In 1969, 1970, 1974, and 1975, if Ohio State has won the final game of the season—and the Buckeyes were the higher-ranked team in each of the final games of those seasons—Woody would have had four more national titles.  (And yes I know the 1970 team was recognized as the national champs by I think the NFF but it didn’t exactly feel like a national title after the loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.)

imagine that: 3 consensus titles in a row from 1968-1970 and back-to-back national championships in 1974-1975 (including what would have been a split title in 1974). That was absolutely within reach and, if things had gone according to form, Woody have been recognized as unequivocally the greatest of all time when combined with ‘54, ‘57, and ‘61.  

I’m not blaming Woody for the near-misses (although maybe he was too conservative at times).  But credit him for getting them to the brink of the mountaintop so many times.  So, in Ohio State history, maybe Woody should be ranked first, second, and third...and then the others compete for the fourth spot.

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rkylet83's picture

#1.  He’s the greatest coach we’ve ever had.  I base that on recruiting, player development and big game coaching.  This 7 year run is the greatest in school history.  I would put him up against any other Ohio State coach.  The fact was he doesn’t have the mentality to hold up long term like Woody or Tressel.   

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wigmon's picture

Agree with the general consensus that Hayes is #1.  I think there is a bit of a gap between he and the next 2.  I think its clear Tress and Meyer are in the next level with a significant drop off to #4.  Where you rank these 2 guys probably depends on what criteria you focus on.  Both coaches feasted on a down B1G, though it was a bit weaker in Tressel's years.  Tressel had to change a culture, Meyer had to get recruits to buy back into the program.  I think Meyer's rebuilding job was easier, though he obviously knocked it out of the park.  If Meyer coached another 2 years, I'd probably give him the edge, but I'd go with Tress at #2.  Meyer wsa 3 "bad losses" away from being in the playoffs 3 additional years which is kind of a catch-22 statistic.  He had the team in position for a national title more often, but failed to come through in some games we had no business losing (at least losing as bad as we did). 

Now, if you asked me which guy I'd want coaching this program in todays' football landscape, the answer is a healthy Meyer.

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avail31678's picture

I just know our top 3 are better than TTUN's best 1.

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kareemabduljacobb's picture

1. Woody

2. Urban

3. Tress

Urban and Tress could switch spots.  Tress may get the nod just for bringing this program up to where it's at now...  But it's hard for me to ignore what Urban's done.  He's won over 90% of his games which is crazy and would probably have 2 titles if we were eligible his first year.  If he stayed long enough he'd definitely hit 200 wins at tOSU before he'd even lose 20 games.  

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CincyBucksFan's picture

A lot of people are mentioning that Tressel would have probably/possibly had another NC in 2011 if tat-gate wasn't a thing, and while I agree and think that team certainly could have won it all, he directly contributed to that team's downfall.  That should be a point against him, not for him

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Crumb's picture

1) Woody - 5 National Titles

2) Urban - 1 National Title + 7-0

3) Tressel - 1 National Title + 9-1

4) Brown - 1 National Title

Only two things put Tressel behind Urban. The fact that Urban has Ohio State at a more elite level than Tressel did (and only just) and his undefeated record against that team up north. 

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

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Miss Walker's picture

Cooper gets short changed.  He had OSU at the same level they are now, just choked against Michigan and never won it all.  But he had to build them up more than Urban did to get them on that level.  And he didn't have a 100,000 seat stadium yet either.  

Makes me think as long as you stay open to nationwide recruiting, you can do pretty well here.  So maybe Day will be all right.  

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bd2999's picture

In my mind, he is probably number one. No worse than second after Woody because of the legend. I would probably have Tress at third, a great coach but I feel Meyer has the edge. 

I am a little surprised Meyer did not get another title, but it is what it is on that front. The 2015 team probably should have. But, what might have been. 

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RMLogic's picture

Tressel's team went 1-6 against the NC teams- Texas, USC, UF , LSU during  the national spot light on non conference games. His coaching was not good during that time and led to the overrated mantra that OSU  received nationally. His recruiting fell off and the program lacked athletes needed to compete with the SEC. JT did a great job rescuing the program from Cooper's follies but he is not close to Meyer in big game coaching and recruiting at the elite level. Plus JT inexcusable actions by not suspending the tattoo fools led to sanctions. But at least JT and Urban never punched an opposing player. Fans do not realize that Woody was certifiable nut.

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stxbuck's picture

Clemson owned Urban every bit as badly as USC did JT and Co. Just sayin......................

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Kujo247's picture

2nd behind Woody.  Way ahead of John Cooper.

Nothing is too difficult for the person that doesn't have to do it.

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motobuckeye's picture

Urban was well on his way to being #1, but you can’t put him ahead of Woody as we sit now.  I will say, he’s #1 in my lifetime (I’m 36) and it’s really not even close.

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Miss Walker's picture

I'm 36 too, but I'm not sure now that he's going to be the best in my lifetime.  What if we get stuck now with mediocrity forever because he decided to quit so early?  

I always figured whenever he walked away, it was over as far as being truly nationally relevant.  I expect now that OSU will go the way of Michigan, Penn State and Notre Dame.  And you'll see what I mean when ND gets stomped in the CFP.  Physically, they're just not up there on that level.  

OSU was this year and has been since probably 2014.  I expect that to come to an end now.  

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osu992's picture

Thank you.

New Day for OSU. Same noon for TTUN.

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SilverHaven's picture

Twilight of the gods?

Stone statues in a pantheon?

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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AngryWoody's picture

1. Woody. 5 natties and he was before my time so I can romanticize his coaching career in a way I can't with JT and Urban.

2. Jim Tressel. Listen I know Urban recruited better and won at a higher rate. But when I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati the Iowa Hawkeyes were my favorite team because I liked the bird on their helmet. Lame I know! But it never occured to me that a team from Ohio could win a championship. All that changed on that night in the desert against Miami. I'll never forget that night as a kid. I sat two feet in front of the TV for the entire four hours. It felt like forty. My dad and I bonded over that game in a way we never have. Go bucks!

3. Urban. Great players. The talent has been insane. But the frustration has been overwhelming at times as well. 2014 could be my favorite buckeye team of my lifetime (along with 2002 and 2012)

MGoBlog Blocked Me On Twitter.

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Elfkrieg's picture

In terms of longevity.. 1. Woody, 2. John, 3. Jim, 4. Earle, 5. Urban**/Francis (tie), 7. Paul
In terms of win-loss ratio.. 1. Urban, 2. Jim, 3. Woody, 4. Earle, 5. John, 6. Francis, 7. Paul
In terms of games played per year.. 1. Urban, 2. Jim, 3. John, 4. Earle, 5. Woody, 6. Paul, 7. Francis
In terms of titles per year.. 1. Jim, 2. Woody, 3. Earle, 4. Urban, 5. Paul, 6. Francis, 7. John
In terms of national championships per year.. 1. Paul, 2. Woody, 3. Urban, 4. Jim, 5. John/Earle/Francis (tie)
Tied together (with equal weighting from above categories):
#7 Francis, #6 Paul, #5 John, #4 Earle, #3 Urban, #2 Woody, #1 Jim

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ChristianHaven's picture

The Priest wants to know, who do we enshrine in the pantheon of the Greek gods? 

Oooh.  Heavy stuff.

So we have Zeus and half-mortal Hercules and ... where do we fit Thor?  I know, different time, different circumstances.

Maybe we should talk about all 3 being equal in the holy trinity: Woody, Tress and Urban F. Meyer.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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bucksfan92's picture

Woody

Urban

Paul Brown

I will say that the gap between Woody and Urban is much smaller than the gap between Urban and Paul Brown.

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