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Urban Meyer to Ohio State: Done deal?


Multiple reports surfaced last week that former Florida coach Urban Meyer had agreed in principle to take over at Ohio State after the regular season concludes. The current college football commentator, who left the Gators last year after citing health and family reasons, has denied the reports and said that he and the Buckeyes’ administration have not talked. Is Meyer to be believed? Many around the game think not, and that he is already working on a potential OSU coaching staff. The controversial coach is an Ohio native, and he has been the favorite to be the next permanent Buckeyes’ boss since Jim Tressel resigned amid a cheating and coverup scandal. The NCAA punishment should come soon for Ohio State, and then heavy speculation has Meyer moving to Columbus shortly thereafter.

Is Urban Meyer the next coach at Ohio State?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven
I would be very shocked if Urban Meyer is not coaching at Ohio State in 2012. All signs seem to point to Meyer taking the job and it makes sense from both sides. The only holdup could be any sanctions the NCAA hands down to Ohio State. If the Buckeyes are slapped with significant scholarship reductions and a bowl ban, the two-time national championship coach may not take the job. Meyer grew up in Ohio and coached in Columbus from 1986-87, so there’s plenty of familiarity on both sides. Also, the Buckeyes should be able to spend big-time bucks on building a staff, which will help reduce some of the workload on Meyer. Although he has denied it, barring a last-minute change of heart or significant NCAA sanctions, Meyer will be the next head coach at Ohio State.

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Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman
Barring a last minute change of mind or heavier NCAA sanctions than expected, all signs point to Urban Meyer taking over at Ohio State. I certainly believe the multiple reports more than Meyer’s denials. From recruiting to the way he left Florida, the truth and Urban Meyer do not always seem to agree. After a year off, it makes sense that Meyer would return to another big-time job. Although he was successful at the highest level of college football, the SEC meat-grinder wore Meyer down physically and mentally. Now recharged, he should be successful back in his home state. As for the Buckeyes, it’s a chance to get a coach with a big name who can win games quickly — a factor that seems to be the only goal of the Ohio State administration. As for Florida players and fans, I imagine they will feel a little betrayed to watch Meyer take over the program that the Gators crushed in the 2006 BCS Championship Game.

Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden
In the modern era of social media and message boards, very little can be kept secret in the arena of sports. So trying to conceal that Urban Meyer has potentially accepted the Ohio State job would be like, well, trying to cover-up the digital fingerprint of a state university email chain. It cannot be done. Multiple unnamed sources have confirmed to a variety of outlets that early in December (say, perhaps shortly after a late November conference call with the NCAA?), Meyer will formally accept the OSU head coaching position. His official denials carry about as much weight as Nick Saban's "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach" refutation. It appears that he is building his staff already and that it won't be long before the Ohio native is the boss of the best job in the Big Ten. This is a huge coup for Buckeyes fans, but a word of caution, as there is some level of uncertainty to hiring the prodigal son. He did just walk away from arguably the second-best job in the nation after only six years of coaching. But I suppose Buck-Nuts everywhere would take three division titles, a Heisman Trophy and two BCS national championships if it meant he were to retire in 2018, right?

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch
I do believe Urban Meyer will be the head coach of the Buckeyes in 2012. While he may enjoy broadcasting and he may have wanted to take a longer break from coaching, this opportunity will be too good to pass up. He is an Ohio native who has dreamed of coaching at Ohio State. Even with potential NCAA sanctions looming, this is still one of the very top jobs in all of coaching. At this stage of his career, he simply cannot say no to the Buckeyes.