TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: (FILE PHOTO) Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators gestures against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. Urban Meyer announced December 8 2010 that he would be stepping down as head coach of the Florida Gators. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
So, Ohio State, you've gone and gotten yourself a factory refurbished URBAN MEYER 2.0 for the holidays. What can you expect from your new coach?
Congratulations, [CONSUMER NAME HERE]. You have purchased an URBAN MEYER 2.0, the latest and greatest model of the URBAN MEYER line. This is an informative guide to help you best utilize your URBAN MEYER 2.0. Please use this pamphlet to familiarize yourself with its features and quirks so that you and your family can fully enjoy all the possibilities this URBAN MEYER 2.0 can bring you.
The URBAN MEYER 2.0 boasts top-of-the-line features making it one of the most desirable and envied coaching commodities in college football. These include:
- OLD SCHOOL FRAMEWORK WITH NEW SCHOOL STYLING. Your URBAN MEYER 2.0 may have introduced his own variation of the spread option to college football and started the nationwide craze that all DBs and grumbling I-form cromags hate, but at root Meyer is a traditionalist two steps evolved from the single-wing offense. His offenses are always run-first, his defenses play aggressive but fundamentally sound football, and his special teams are airtight margin-makers. (Usually coached by Meyer himself, it should be noted.) Your URBAN MEYER 2.0 will run on first down much of the time, block punts, and play field position ball in order to maximize every possible advantage on the field. Woody Hayes wouldn't like all the plastic filigree on the dashboard, but the sturdy shocks and humming V-8 engine do not displease the man, either.
- AN EYE FOR SPEED. Contrary to popular belief, there are fast people on the Ohio State roster, but your URBAN MEYER 2.0 will do nothing to hurt that. The emphasis on speed at every position is a decided feature of your new URBAN MEYER 2.0, as is the cliched-but-true "emphasis on getting the ball to players in space." If someone can burn, they will get the chance to immolate a defense in Meyer's attack.
- A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS EVERYWHERE YOUR URBAN MEYER HAS BEEN. The two BCS titles at Florida (including one won over the smoking carcass of an undefeated Ohio State team) are the obvious gets here, but don't forget that Meyer's ascent to the top of the coaching ranks came with stints at Bowling Green and Utah, two inconspicuous spots on the college football map. He'll work with what's there and build on that no matter where he is, and do so without ruffling the feathers of the NCAA. This might be especially relevant in the case of Ohio State.
- RESTED, READY, AND GENUFLECTING TO THE PROPER GODS. Ten months out of coaching should have URBAN MEYER 2.0 ready to coach at a place where he began his career as a mustachioed grad assistant in thrall to his childhood hero's throne. Yes, that is an oil painting of Ohio State legend Woody Hayes in his house. Yes, that is a birth certificate reading "Ashtabula, Ohio." Yes, that grad degree does read "Ohio State."
- BUGS IN THE URBAN MEYER 2.0 SHOULD BE REPORTED TO TECHNICAL SUPPORT. Oh, and there are some bugs. After five years in the SEC, Meyer entered the 2009 SEC Championship Game at least 20 pounds underweight and visibly showing the strain of a run at consecutive SEC and national titles. A 32-13 loss to Alabama did not help, and shortly before the Gators' Sugar Bowl matchup Meyer promptly retired, then unretired due to some kind of nebulously defined health problem. Meyer credited a turbocharged case of acid reflux and burnout, and message boards suggested he traveled to a subterranean clinic in Brazil to have his heart replaced by a nuclear Iron Man model. Whatever it was, it left Meyer a shadow of himself for the 2010 season, a mediocre eight-win campaign marred by pitiful offensive production and questions surrounding Meyer's capabilities in delegating power to assistants. It has been just 10 months since Meyer left for the second time at Florida, and questions about his health and commitment are perfectly legitimate since no one knows whether Meyer is up to the rigors of being a head coach again. (That group likely includes Meyer himself.)
- THE URBAN MEYER 2.0 MAY NOT BE COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER DEVICES. One issue leading to Meyer's breakdown: the inability to delegate. Like most coaches, URBAN MEYER 2.0 is an exacting control freak, and one who often makes up the gap between players' performance and assistant coaches' instruction with his own input. This is the kind way of putting this. The unkind way is to say that Meyer sometimes takes over the job himself, as he did with special teams at Florida (and as he periodically did with the offense, too). Delegation will be key to avoiding any relapses of burnout at Ohio State. The last time he did this, Florida relapsed into a Zookish torpor and barely beat Penn State in the Outback Bowl to reach eight wins.
- THE URBAN MEYER WILL NEED OTHER DEVICES. Meyer also got great mileage from his staff of assistants who followed him along the way. This would not be a problem if they were coming to Ohio State, but the nagging side effect of success is losing those assistants to head coaching jobs. Former Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen is now head man at Mississippi State. Former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong may win the Big East at Louisville. Even his least lauded assistants have head coaching jobs. Finding the talent to delegate to will be an issue, and that's not even touching the issue of what to do with capable defensive coordinator and interim Ohio State coach Luke Fickell.
- THE URBAN MEYER 2.0 MAY NOT PROPERLY DISPLAY ERROR MESSAGES. Or any other messages, for that matter. Meyer is the coach who allegedly told Jevan Snead he was recruiting Tim Tebow as a linebacker. Meyer also once told a recruit he had a dream God himself told Meyer the recruit was going to play at Florida. (Allegedly. Or not. Or did. Who knows.) Meyer was the one who waffled on his retirement, and Meyer was largely responsible for the vague understanding of whatever led up to that retirement. You may be getting a lot of things with Meyer, but someone who cares what the media or recruits hear in the way of truth is not one of them. What Tressel didn't say in five hundred words, Meyer will simply not say in five. (Oh, and he might threaten to kick the ass of one of your reporters. Be prepared.)
We hope this helps you to understand the terms and conditions under which you have purchased your new URBAN MEYER 2.0. Enjoy this outstanding product and all the joy it can bring you.
ADDENDUM: There is no warranty on the URBAN MEYER 2.0. Please proceed accordingly.