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#pounditThursday, June 17, 2021

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer expects to be next Jaguars head coach?

Urban Meyer

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not fired Doug Marrone as their head coach, but they are already considering some replacements, according to a report.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that the Jags have shown interest in Urban Meyer for their head coaching job. Rapoport says Meyer has even been lining up a staff and telling people in the football community that he expects to get the Jaguars job. This part of the report should probably be taken as a rumor at this point.

Rapoport says that if Meyer does not end up with the Jags, the team is expected to look into Ryan Day as a possible option. Day replaced Meyer as the head coach at Ohio State.

Jacksonville has not yet fired Marrone, who is in his fourth season as the team’s head coach. Parting ways with Marrone would be contingent upon the Jags feeling confident they can find a suitable replacement.

Meyer has not coached the last two seasons. Day replaced him at Ohio State after a scandal involving one of his staff members.

Meyer reportedly turned down the Texas Longhorns, who later hired Steve Sarkisian. Despite turning down Texas, a separate report recently said Meyer had interest in the NFL.

Urban Meyer shares just how much Dabo Swinney’s ranking motivated Ohio State

Dabo Swinney

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney didn’t think his decision to rank Ohio State No. 11 in the Coaches Poll had any impact on the Buckeyes’ mentality. It sounds like it may have played a bigger role than he thought.

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer revealed Friday after the Buckeyes’ 49-28 Sugar Bowl win that in speaking with current Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and his staff, it was clear that Swinney’s vote motivated the team in a big way.

“I was talking to Coach Day and some of the other coaches, and then something happened,” Meyer said on Big Ten Network. “Disrespect… when Coach Swinney came out and ranked them 11th behind Iowa State and Coastal Carolina, I don’t want to make too much of that, but you try to get your team to practice the best you can. I can tell you, I was told they had the three best practices they’d had in a long time after that.”

Ohio State probably didn’t need a ton of motivation given what happened when the two teams met in last year’s College Football Playoff. It still looks like this mattered, though. It reminded the Buckeyes what was at stake, and made the players feel that Clemson did not respect them. Swinney shrugged off the ranking as an issue after the loss, but perhaps he shouldn’t have. At the very least, it was an unnecessary choice that caused needless drama and gave Ohio State something else to prove.

Report: Urban Meyer not ruling out coaching in NFL next season

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer could have his pick of several high-profile college head coaching jobs if he wanted to return in 2021, but he is also drawing interest at the NFL level. While that is not a surprise, it is noteworthy that Meyer is reportedly giving consideration to those inquiries.

At least two NFL teams have reached out to Meyer to gauge his interest in coaching in the league next season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Meyer did not dismiss the idea and has informed teams he will ponder the overtures over the next week.

Meyer is one of the most accomplished head coaches in college football history, but he has never coached at the NFL level. Schefter speculates that Meyer might be a logical fit for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are in search of a new general manager and could move on from head coach Doug Marrone. Meyer, of course, has ties to Florida from the time he spent as the head coach at the University of Florida from 2005-2010.

Meyer, who has won three national championships, last coached at Ohio State in 2018. This is not the first time we have heard that NFL teams have interest in him, as he was previously linked to the Cleveland Browns due to his deep roots in Ohio.

We know of several top college programs that are eyeing Meyer, so he may have his choice of jobs at both levels. He could also choose to remain in broadcasting and take at least another year off, as he seems to be enjoying his work as an analyst for FOX Sports.

Urban Meyer calls for expanded College Football Playoff

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has long been an advocate of keeping the College Football Playoff field at four, but he’s had a change of heart.

On Saturday’s “Big Noon Kickoff,” Meyer admitted that he has come around on expanding the playoff. His key reason is different than that of most other expansion advocates, though: he wants to encourage more players to play in games of importance.

“I have had some really deep conversations with some of my colleagues, and the game is changing,” Meyer said. “I can’t believe I’m saying it, because I’m a traditionalist. I love the bowl games, I love the bowl experiences. But you have two different sets of groups. You have the elite group, the high-profile players and the maybe not so high-profile.

“There’s two things important to elite players: NFL, College Football Playoff. If that doesn’t happen, they’re not going to play in bowl games. I’m not saying all of them, but I know coaches are dealing with that on a day-to-day basis. I say expand the playoff — I can’t believe that came out of my mouth. I know you guys are saying more teams are going to be involved. I say more players are going to be involved.”

Whether the playoff should be expanded is a very heated talking point. Group of 5 teams feel left out of the process, and a four team field ensures that at least one Power 5 conference will be excluded every year. On the other hand, there are concerns about the academic calendar and how many games a team can be reasonably asked to play in one season.

Meyer has been critical of the current CFP format before, but he’s never favored expanding it. If colleagues in the game convinced him that it’s the right solution, one has to wonder how many rank-and-file coaches would privately agree with the former Ohio State coach.

Report: UCLA could move on from Chip Kelly, target Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

The UCLA Bruins could make major changes to the football program this offseason, and maybe even target some big names.

According to Scott Roussel of Football Scoop, Chip Kelly’s job is not guaranteed for 2021. New UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond, who took the job over in May, will assess all aspects of the football program, including Kelly’s position. Kelly would be due a $9 million buyout if the Bruins chose to move on from him.

If Kelly is fired, UCLA would reportedly target Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen to replace him. Jarmond has close ties to Meyer in particular, with Jarmond serving as the lead administrator for the Ohio State football program during Meyer’s time there. The two are said to be “genuine friends,” which could lead UCLA to believe they could actually lure Meyer.

Petersen, the former Washington coach, would be another candidate. Jarmond reportedly discussed the Boston College opening with Petersen when Jarmond was filling that position last winter, though the job ultimately went to Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.

Jarmond responded to the report on Twitter, saying there was no truth to the rumors.

Kelly has ultimately been a disappointment at UCLA, having gone just 10-20 over three seasons. Touted by some as a coup when hired, Kelly has failed to impress the fanbase and has left the door open for a possible change.

UCLA aiming big like this is bound to excite fans and boosters, but it’s hard to see this becoming a reality. However strong the friendship is between Jarmond and Meyer, it’s tough to see the former Ohio State coach taking the UCLA position when he turned down this even bigger job already. Jarmond has every right to do his due diligence, but he may well find that UCLA simply won’t be able to do better than Kelly at this point.

Urban Meyer responds to Dabo Swinney’s Ohio State comments

Urban Meyer

It’s safe to say Urban Meyer isn’t really on board with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s assessment of Ohio State’s playoff credentials.

Meyer responded to Swinney’s comments on Saturday’s “Big Noon Kickoff,” and he made clear that his standard for playoff selection is a bit different than the Clemson coach’s.

“There’s no doubt they’re one of the four best. Argument should stop there,” Meyer said. NFL talent all over the place, one of the best offenses in America, defense has got to get better. But there’s no question.”

It’s clear to Meyer that he thinks the job of the College Football Playoff committee is to select the four best teams in the country, and not solely based on resume. The Buckeyes have the talent, but have not played as many games as some other teams. Meyer thinks that shouldn’t matter. Dabo made clear that he disagrees, but he also has a vested interest in campaigning for his own team’s inclusion. It’s doubtful that the committee will see it his way if the Buckeyes win out.

Report: Urban Meyer turned down Texas

Urban Meyer

The Texas Longhorns’ pursuit of Urban Meyer may have come to an end.

According to Horns 247’s Chip Brown, Meyer turned down interest from Texas. Meyer reportedly told the Longhorns he is leaning towards not coaching again due to health issues.

Texas reportedly reached out to Meyer to show interest following consecutive losses to TCU and Oklahoma earlier this season. No formal offer was made, but the school was prepared to pay the coach over $10 million a year to coach them.

Meyer has not coached since 2018 and has served as an analyst for FOX since then, often making headlines for what he says. He’s the best coach available, which is why a dissatisfied program like Texas pursued him.

Other coaches Texas reportedly has considered include: Steve Sarkisian, Mario Cristobal, James Franklin and Matt Campbell.

If I’m Texas, I’m forgetting Sarkisian, as he won’t do more than Tom Herman, and Cristobal doesn’t get me too excited. Franklin would be fine, but Campbell would be the most desirable coach of the group.

But would Texas pay a massive buyout to Herman if they’re not replacing him with Meyer? That’s the big question for their donors.

Urban Meyer reportedly remains the target for Texas

Urban Meyer

All the rumors surrounding Urban Meyer last fall connected him to USC. This fall, all the rumors are connecting the former Ohio State coach to Texas.

Meyer has not coached college football since the 2018 season and has been working for FOX as an analyst since then. But he remains a high-profile target for interested programs, and that includes the Longhorns.

On Saturday, the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls said that Meyer was the top target for Texas. He mentioned James Franklin as a possible backup candidate.

The Austin American-Statesman’s Brian Davis said he did not expect any news on the Meyer front for Texas unless Meyer himself moves forward.

Meyer is one of the few coaches who can compete with Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, which makes him an attractive candidate for a school like Texas. The Longhorns are not sold on Tom Herman, who is 6-3 in his fourth season as head coach. A week ago we saw some rumors about Meyer’s wife looking at real estate in Austin. This is all a reminder that we are at that time of year again: the coaching carousel is in full swing.

Urban Meyer urges flexibility on Big Ten minimum games rule

Urban Meyer

Unsurprisingly, Urban Meyer is one of those who believes the Big Ten should be keeping an open mind on potential championship requirements.

Meyer told “Breaking the Huddle with Joel Klatt” that flexibility was paramount due to the changing nature of the circumstances, and that changes may have to be made to benefit teams like Ohio State.

“I think six games is a great place to start,” Meyer said of the Big Ten’s current championship qualifications. “Does the athletic directors and the commissioner need to stay flexible in case that’s unattainable? Or, quite simply, that’s not the right thing to do? I’m sure there’s many, many conversations going on. I just hope that they remain flexible and keep one thing in mind: what’s in the best interest of the players?”

It’s not just about what’s best for the players. The conference’s aims have to be considered too. In this case, both groups may want the same things. Ohio State is the lone Big Ten playoff contender. The conference will not want to be a reason they miss out, which is part of the reason behind these comments.

Urban Meyer house hunting in Austin, Texas rumor hits the net

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has not coached in college football since the 2018 season and is the best coach available. Texas Longhorns fans have been talking all fall about how he’s the kind of coach who could step in and replace Tom Herman to get the Longhorns back where they want to be. And guess what? Right on cue after the team lost to Iowa State, our first Urban Meyer-to-Texas rumor hit the net.

A new website called Austonia, which we previously have never heard of, started a rumor about Meyer’s wife Shelley going to Austin to check out the real estate market. Austin is where the University of Texas is located.

Is there anything to this rumor? Probably not, but this is a good reminder of a few things. One, expect there to be lots of talk about Texas possibly moving on from Herman. And two, expect more rumors linking Meyer to the Longhorns.

Herman has a hefty $15 million buyout, but we wouldn’t expect that kind of number to stand in the way of the boosters reeling in Meyer if he is interested. Herman has gone 30-18 over four years and has Texas 5-3 this season.

Prior to all the Texas rumors, all the talk last year was about Meyer headed to a different school. In the past, Meyer has offered some criticism of Herman while serving as an analyst for FOX.