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Some of Urban Meyer’s sideline anguish is totally normal. Some of it isn’t.

Meyer’s in-game demeanor is drawing more attention than usual, for understandable reasons.

Ohio State v Maryland Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

During Michigan vs. Ohio State, a game loaded with story lines, one of the broadcast’s biggest focuses will likely be Urban Meyer on the sidelines. It’s become a trend in Ohio State games of late for the viewing public to spend a lot of time watching Meyer, more than usual even for a star head coach in a big game.

The reason: Meyer has repeatedly appeared to be in physical distress.

During the Indiana game in early October, Meyer was brought to his knees, holding his head.

After the game, Meyer said it was due to headaches brought on by an arachnoid cyst in his brain and that the pain did last most of the rest of that game. A few weeks later, Ohio State got blown out by Purdue, and Meyer wasn’t really shown clearly distressed, but is that because he was fine for all four hours or because ESPN’s cameras were showing other things during the game?

Two days later, on Oct. 22nd, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said this:

“He doesn’t look the way he’s looked since he’s been at Ohio State,” Herbstreit said. “[Meyer] said, ‘Listen, if I’m going to take the Ohio State job, after what I went through at Florida, I’m gonna keep my priorities straight.’

“If you watch him on the sidelines…he looks, the word I’ve used is anguished. He looks frustrated. He looks very emotional and erratic.”

In response to this and other questions about his health, including whether he’ll even be coaching next year, Meyer released details about the cyst, and his doctor gave a statement. He’s had the cyst since the late ‘90s, and had been dealing with the pain especially recently.

“The past four years, we’ve been working closely with Coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst,” Thomas said. “This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years.”

That’s why when Meyer looks like this ...

... antennas get raised.

But there are a couple things at play here.

Because of what we know about Meyer’s health and the attention brought onto him by his mishandling of the Zach Smith situation over the summer, he is under a microscope. That Meyer has a camera trained on him basically all game isn’t new. Neither is the fact that he’s showing emotion.

The difference is what viewers are inferring, based on everything we’ve learned about him this year. Meyer wincing is one thing, and the guys doing the game for ESPN brought it up when referencing his headaches.

But his general sideline demeanor — beyond the visible signs of head pain — hasn’t really changed.

Meyer hasn’t usually been overly emotional on the sideline. He’s not Mark Dantonio stoic, but he definitely isn’t Jim Harbaugh animated. He’s always showed you a little something from time to time.

Like 2016’s blowout loss against Clemson:

2016 against Michigan:

2014 against Clemson:

All normal coach-on-the-sideline stuff.

Meyer tossing his headset like he did on Saturday against Maryland?

Looks familiar:

ESPN rolled a few of his reactions against the Terps, when his sideline antics became the game’s biggest story, into a supercut during the game.

ESPN’s Greg McElroy discussed it: “You have to wonder, with all the emotion that Urban Meyer’s shown on the sideline, is that a plea to get his guys to play with some urgency on both sides of the ball? Usually if he’s going crazy, he’s trying to inspire the rest of his team and they didn’t respond in the first half.”

But even the moments when he put his hand to his head, the ones that really stand out beyond his normal coaching emotions, can be tricky to parse. Were his headaches flaring up last year against Iowa? Or was he just pissed off?

What about in the 2013 Big Ten championship game?

And is it happening more than usual, or are viewers just keying on it more keenly?

Meyer — or any coach who has even toed a sideline — in the midst of a loss is nothing new. Sad coach looking sad happens.

So when you see Meyer on camera, understand that some of what you’re seeing is normal. But some of it probably isn’t.