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Here are the game weeks Urban Meyer is semi-suspended for

Ohio State will have interim coach Ryan Day on the sidelines against Oregon State, Rutgers, and TCU, but Meyer won’t be completely removed from the team.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - USC v Ohio State Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On Aug. 22, Ohio State announced that Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer would be suspended for three games due to his handling of abuse allegations against former assistant Zach Smith. OSU’s first games of 2018 are home games against Oregon State and Rutgers, plus a game against TCU on Sept. 15 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Meyer’s suspension is unusual, though.

Although Meyer will not be on the sidelines for the Buckeyes’ first three games, he will be with the team during practice ahead of the Rutgers and TCU games. He will not be able to travel with the team for the TCU game in Arlington, though.

Leading up OSU’s announcement of his suspension, there were reports that a reduced suspension was being discussed, due to the fact he had been away from the team for some time:

Two sources connected to the investigation said the likely recommendation is a suspension for Meyer. Drake and the board could also opt for a “time served” punishment since Meyer has been removed from football activities for more than two weeks.

It appears this was factored into his punishment, as he’ll miss a total of six weeks pay.

So was he just suspended for three easily winnable games?

Two easily winnable games, yes, but also one of OSU’s toughest games. Suspending him for the TCU road trip is significantly more meaningful than suspending him for just the first two — the Buckeyes have been favored against Oregon State by 38 points, for example — though since he’s able to coach the team at practice for most of these three weeks, it isn’t exactly a complete suspension anyway.

Here’s the win probability for the first three games from S&P+, which doesn’t adjust to account for coaching changes:

  • Oregon State: 99 percent
  • Rutgers: 97 percent
  • TCU: 78 percent

When Meyer fully returns to the team after the TCU game, the Buckeyes face Tulane at home before a trip to Penn State on Sept. 29.

So, who will be the head coach while Meyer is suspended?

Those duties will go to interim head coach Ryan Day, OSU’s offensive coordinator who was elevated to the position the same day Mayer’s suspension was handed down. Day has been on Meyer’s Buckeye staff since 2017. In January, it was rumored Day might join Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Tennessee Titans, but he remained in Columbus.

Prior to Day landing at Ohio State, he coached under now-UCLA head coach Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. Previously he was Boston College’s offensive coordinator from 2013-14, where he worked as a wide receivers coach from 2007-11. He also has coached at Temple and New Hampshire, and was a graduate assistant for Meyer’s first Florida staff in 2005.