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#pounditTuesday, August 11, 2020

Urban Meyer

Report: Cowboys have ‘very real interest’ in Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

Barring a Super Bowl run, Jason Garrett’s time as Dallas Cowboys head coach seems like it will end after this season. Once he’s gone, the big question will become: who will replace him? The Cowboys apparently have a few names in mind.

NFL Media’s Jane Slater reported on Thursday night that the Cowboys have “very real interest” in Urban Meyer. She says Stephen Jones even spoke with Meyer recently. Slater says Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley remains a strong candidate, and that Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is also a possibility.

Between those three names, it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys not making Meyer their top priority. He is one of the greatest coaches in college football history and has had success at every single stop, from Bowling Green and Utah to Florida and Ohio State.

The big issue with Meyer is his health. Not having to recruit year-round might be better on his health and allow him to focus more on coaching, which could make the NFL ideal for him. And keep this in mind: Meyer has already said he would “absolutely” take the job.

Pat McAfee responds to shot from Urban Meyer with zingers

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer took a shot at Pat McAfee in an interview on Wednesday, and the former Colts punter responded with a few zingers.

Meyer is in his first year as a college football TV analyst for FOX. He has added a huge name to their college football coverage and led to success for their “Big Noon” pregame show. FOX is even pulling good ratings despite competing with ESPN’s “GameDay” college football pregame show.

Meyer talked about this success in an interview with Big Ten Network’s Mike Hall, saying it “turns out folks wanna talk about football” and don’t need goofy things.

The jumping into a lake comment was a reference to McAfee, who is an analyst/personality for ESPN’s college football coverage. In November, McAfee jumped into the Brazos River during the pregame show before the Oklahoma-Baylor game.

McAfee, who is undeniably energetic and funny, saw the tweet and responded. He corrected the facts to say it was a river and not a lake. But the real beauty of his tweet is how he took subtle shots at Meyer.

The line about remembering things is a call back to Ohio State’s lame explanation for why Meyer lied to the media about Zach Smith. The heart complications out of nowhere and completely fine since line is an allusion to Meyer leaving Florida because of heart issues only to sign on to coach at Ohio State less than a year later.

Meyer and McAfee have two completely different styles and add different elements to a TV program. Zingers aside, both are excellent on TV.

Urban Meyer’s daughter posts Jim Harbaugh meme after rivalry win

Urban Meyer

Jim Harbaugh finally got to take on an Ohio State team that was not led by Urban Meyer on Saturday, but the result was the same for Michigan. And even though Meyer no longer coaches the Buckeyes, one of his daughters is not finished trolling Harbaugh.

Following Ohio State’s dominant 56-27 win at Ann Arbor on Saturday, Meyer’s daughter Gigi took to social media to take a shot at Harbaugh.

Meyer owned Harbaugh when the two coached against one another, and his protege Ryan Day is now picking up right where the three-time national champion left off. It makes sense that the Meyer family is enjoying the win, as the 2019 Buckeyes are still Urban’s team in many ways. If they end up winning a national championship, his fingerprints will certainly be all over it.

This isn’t the first time one of Meyer’s daughters has thrown shade at Harbaugh, and it may not be the last. Rivalries as big as the one between Ohio State and Michigan don’t just disappear overnight for those who were involved with them.

Report: USC to fire coach Clay Helton, targeting Urban Meyer as replacement

Clay Helton USC

Clay Helton’s tenure as coach of the USC Trojans has reportedly come to an end.

According to Adam Maya of SI, USC has already made the decision to part ways with Helton after four and a half seasons. The decision is likely to be announced publicly by Monday.

USC’s top target to replace Helton will be Urban Meyer. According to Maya, USC has already been in talks with Meyer’s camp, and there is “optimism” that a deal can be worked out. The school has also put out feelers with other head coaching candidates in case discussions with Meyer fall through.

Hiring Meyer would immediately restore USC’s lost credibility as a program and raise championship expectations almost immediately. He’s won everywhere he’s gone, and the infrastructure at USC would likely enable that trend to continue.

Helton went 40-21 over parts of five seasons with the Trojans.

It was recently reported that USC was leaning toward keeping Helton, but something changed. Perhaps talks with Meyer progressed to a point where they were so confident they could get a deal with done, they had no need to keep Helton in the fold.

UPDATE: Yahoo national reporter Pete Thamel says the report is incorrect.

Urban Meyer criticizes Tom Herman, Texas for coaching and ‘player development’

Urban Meyer

If you want to know what Tom Herman has done wrong at Texas this year, Urban Meyer may not be the best person to ask. The two coaches have a complicated history with one another, and that could be why Meyer had no problem criticizing his former assistant on national television Friday.

During FOX’s pregame coverage of the Texas Tech-Texas game, Meyer and his colleagues discussed what has gone wrong for the 6-5 Longhorns this season. Meyer pointed out how they have done an excellent job recruiting in recent years but not been able to develop those recruits into NFL players. While he may not have come out and said it, he was clearly criticizing Herman.

“It’s not just recruiting, but recruiting and player development,” Meyer said. “When you talk about an evaluation period — when you see injuries and you see non-development of players as NFL guys, why is that? Is it assistant coaches? Is it the weight room? Is it the nutrition program? You can’t just put this on players. You’ve gotta say, ‘What’s going on when they get there?'”

Meyer noted how Alabama has had 46 players drafted since 2015 and Ohio State (his former team) has had 40. Despite having one of the top recruiting classes in the nation every year, Texas has only had 13 players drafted during that span. That could be Meyer’s way of telling Herman, “Look how much better I am than you.”

It’s possible Meyer was just doing his job as an analyst and calling it like he sees it, but many believe he couldn’t wait to rip Herman. Why? Herman was a coach under Meyer at Ohio State from 2012-2014 before he left to take the Houston head coaching job, and there was a report that he was the one who leaked the story about Meyer covering up domestic violence allegations against a member of his staff. Herman denied it and said neither he nor his wife had anything to do with it.

What Meyer said was accurate, but it would not be a surprise if he took pleasure in saying it.

Urban Meyer defends Nick Saban’s handling of Tua Tagovailoa

Nick Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban has come under significant criticism for his handling of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Saturday’s game, but another high-profile name in the sport has his back.

Tagovailoa was still in the game with three minutes left in the first half despite the fact that he was still recovering from an ankle injury and had the team ahead 35-7. That was the point that Tagovailoa hurt his hip, an injury that is set to end his season. Many argued that Saban was reckless with his quarterback and that Tagovailoa should have been resting by that point. Saban later said in an interview that that was going to be Tagovailoa’s last possession of the game.

Urban Meyer, now doing analysis for FOX Sports, said he understood where Saban was coming from in his decision to leave Tagovailoa in.

“I was staring at Coach Saban’s face right there. He’s hurting,” Meyer said. “He’s gonna get his players ready to play the games coming up down the road. … It’s the obligation of the coach to get the team ready. And he sees Auburn coming down the road, a potential SEC Championship, and he made the comment about a two-minute drill. I certainly understand that. Is it the right thing or the wrong thing? That’s his decision to make with the player involved.”

Meyer also relayed a story from when he was coaching Florida about an injury suffered by Tim Tebow. Meyer had decided Tebow would not play in a massive game against LSU, but he was cleared by doctors. Meyer initially didn’t change his stance until a “heated” discussion with Tebow and his father, and the coach ultimately relented. That story was meant to illustrate that players want to play, and that Tagovailoa probably didn’t want to be sitting, either.

Saban said as much after the game.

Tagovailoa’s injury sounds very severe, and the second-guessing of Saban will continue. That second-guessing does not sound likely to come from Meyer.

Urban Meyer keeps trolling Michigan on FOX pregame show

Urban Meyer

Michigan fans probably don’t like it, but Urban Meyer trolling their school is becoming a somewhat regular occasion as part of FOX’s pregame coverage.

It happened again Saturday, as Meyer was part of the team previewing Michigan’s rivalry game against Michigan State. Meyer has gotten in a few jabs at the Wolverines over the course of the season, and he didn’t miss the opportunity here, either.

In case you weren’t aware, 7-0 would be Meyer’s record against Michigan with Ohio State. Just, you know, as a gentle reminder.

This is nothing new for Meyer on the pregame show. He’s an Ohio State guy. This is going to keep up as long as he’s an analyst, so maybe Wolverines fans should be rooting for Meyer to land one of those jobs he’s interested in.