The argument for and against Urban's loyalty are two sides of the same coin. It has begotten embarrassing defeats, but also a national title.
When trying to decipher the reason for the team's struggles lately, one point that always gets mentioned is Urban's loyalty to certain people who are undeserving. While I'm not disputing that it's a setback of both the team and Urban himself, Urban being loyal to players and coaches hasn't always been a negative.
Remember when Braxton Miller got hurt during the second game of 2013, and Kenny Guiton replaced him and had a fantastic three game stretch? If it were up to the fans, Guiton would've remained the starter throughout the rest of the season. But Meyer made it perfectly clear that Miller would return as the starter, and the result was a 12-0 regular season and a trip to Indy. The same can be said for Taylor Decker, a guy who was mauled in his first start at left tackle against who at that time was a no-name linebacker from Buffalo, that would wind up being the second highest paid defensive player in NFL history. Meyer stuck with Decker, and he wound up being an anchor on what would become a legendary group of slobs. And of course, there's Cardale Jones; a guy who was classified as lazy, degenerate, and uncaring for his first two years in Columbus, wound up becoming a legend.
But where Urban's loyalty is most infamous is on the coaching staff. Everyone knows that Zach Smith remained on staff for as long as he did because of his relation to Urban's mentor, and that Bill Davis is Urban's BFF. But where there is a flaw with OSU's leader, there was also triumph. After 2013, Tom Herman, Luke Fickell, and Kerry Coombs were all under fire from the fan base. Herman's questionable decision to not run Carlos Hyde in the B1G title game against Sparty is still discussed to this very day. Coombs was coaching corners on a defense that was 110th in pass defense. And Fickell, who was seen as either a martyr or fraud after his 2011 interim campaign, was almost universally despised by Buckeye Nation for coordinating OSU's horrendous 2013 defense. But Urban did not budge, and kept all three men on his staff the following season. The result was... a bitter home defeat to Virginia Tech. The dogs were as rabid as ever, and wanted heads on a swivel. Just two games in, and the season was over, right? We couldn't have been any more wrong.
In short, for every Zach Smith or Bill Davis, there's also a Luke Fickell or Kerry Coombs. I don't think Urban's devotion is what the problem is; but those whom he chooses to share it with certainly is. That, along with his dwindling sense of vigor, but can we really blame him after the offseason he had?