By Patrick Sweet ‘19
For those of you out of touch with the world of college football, this year was a roller coaster ride for Ohio State fans.
It all started before the season even began when Head Coach Urban Meyer’s job was in jeopardy for failing to report a case of domestic abuse by one of his assistant coaches. Following the OSU athletic department’s investigation of the situation, Meyer kept his job but was suspended for three games. There was more panic to come for the fans when the team fell to a .500, unranked Purdue in week eight. The team did bounce back, though, winning every game for the rest of the season, including a 62-39 routing of Michigan. The Buckeyes closed out the season with a spectacular 28-23 victory over Washington in the Rose Bowl in Meyer’s last game as a head coach. The Ashtabula native has cited his health as the reason for retiring.
Although Meyer’s reign as head coach was shorter than Buckeye fans wish, many have confidently remarked that Meyer is the second greatest OSU football coach of all time (second only to the legendary Woody
Hayes, of course). In 2012, Meyer inherited a formerly 6-7 football program and transformed it into an undefeated team in his first year. He would go on to have an 82-9 record with Ohio State, including a national championship in 2014.
However, the media and rival Big 10 programs didn’t hesitate to criticize Urban and his program the past few years; Ohio State football has maintained a consis tent pattern of being outplayed by far less talented teams around the midpoint of the season. In addition to the Purdue loss this year, an unranked Iowa annihilated Meyer’s Buckeyes 55-24 in Week 9 of 2017 and unranked Penn State came out on top in Week 7 of 2016. Yet, almost every year Meyer proved his critics wrong with a mid-season turn-around. He responded to the 2016 Penn State loss by qualifying for the CFB Playoffs. Meyer also answered the 2017 routing from Iowa by finishing as the 5th-ranked team in the nation. When times seemed the worst for OSU Football, Meyer defied all odds and made the best of the opportunities the team had ahead of it.
Over the years, Coach Meyer has earned the praise of countless fans, players, and coaches, including Coach Chuck Kyle ‘69. “He has been successful everywhere he’s gone. Urban is a perfectionist, which has resulted in a magnificent win/loss record.
I will miss him. But his retirement entails a health issue that needs to be addressed,” remarked Kyle, whose program has produced scores of athletes for Ohio State Football. Meyer accepted a position as the school’s Assistant Athletic Director, with the team now in the hands of Head Coach Ryan Day.