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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Urban Meyer

Report: USC will do ‘whatever it takes’ to hire Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer has been repeatedly linked to the USC head coaching job since he decided to step down at Ohio State last season, but there have questions about whether the school is actually interested and if Meyer would consider taking the job. According to one report, USC plans to pursue the three-time national champion as aggressively as possible.

The Trojans are willing to do “whatever it takes” to land Meyer as their next head coach, Brett McMurphy of Stadium reports. One USC source told McMurphy that the school has full confidence in Meyer’s ability to turn things around for the program, but they are unsure if he is interested in the position.

USC’s new president would supposedly be hesitant to hire Meyer because of all the controversy that surrounds him, but it would be hard to envision a scenario where Meyer wants to coach the Trojans and they turn him down.

If Meyer expresses an interest in coaching again next season, USC is not going to be the only school that tries to hire him. We have already heard of another top program potentially having interest, but USC seems to be the most popular choice because of the current state of the program and the high-profile nature of the job. Meyer will probably be able to name his price if he decides to return, and USC sounds willing to meet it.

Report: Florida State considering firing Willie Taggart, pursuing Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

The Florida State Seminoles expect to be among college football’s elite, and the fact that they’re not may cost Willie Taggart his job.

According to Zach Barnett of Football Scoop, Florida State has begun discussing Taggart’s future with donors. Taggart went 5-7 last season, which was his first on the job and FSU’s worst finish since 1975. They’re currently 3-4 this year. If the Seminoles limp to the finish line, it is believed that the school could move on from Taggart despite the fact that he has a $17 million buyout.

If Florida State were to part ways with Taggart, they would reportedly make Urban Meyer their top target. Meyer coached Florida and had great success there, so he has ties to the area. There is no guarantee that it’s a job Meyer would want, however. The Seminoles will be an extensive rebuilding effort, and it’s not clear whether Meyer would be on board with taking on that responsibility at this stage of his career — especially when he could have his pick of jobs elsewhere.

If Meyer is unwilling to take the job, Florida State would have to determine if there are any other options the school likes enough to part ways with Taggart in order to hire.

It seems like Meyer would coach again. However, the job he openly spoke about is a lot more established and wouldn’t involve recruiting. All the same, it’s a sign of how desperate times are in Tallahassee that the option is even being discussed.

Urban Meyer ‘absolutely’ would take Cowboys job

Urban Meyer

The Dallas Cowboys do not have an available coaching position. That is not stopping Urban Meyer from publicly coveting it.

On Friday’s edition of The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Meyer was asked about rumors linking Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley to a potential opening in Dallas. Meyer didn’t know if Riley would be interested, but he certainly suggested that he should be.

“Pure speculation because I know him, but I don’t know him like that, but that’t the one (job),” Meyer said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “That’s New York Yankees, that’s the Dallas Cowboys. That’s the one. Great city. They got Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott. You got a loaded team. And I can’t speak for him obviously, I hate to even speculate because I don’t know him, that’s really not fair, but to me, that’s the one job in professional football that you say, ‘I got to go do that.'”

Driving home the point, Meyer said he would “absolutely” be interested in the job if the Cowboys were to contact him.

“Sure,” Meyer added. “Absolutely. Absolutely. That one? Yes.”

As noted, the Cowboys have a head coach, and it’s Jason Garrett. Owner Jerry Jones has repeatedly suggested that Garrett’s job is not in danger, though the coach is in the final year of his contract. That makes Meyer’s decision to inject himself into the rumor mill while Garrett is still employed a pretty sketchy decision. People will talk about the Dallas job, but he didn’t have to be one of the ones doing it or linking himself to it, especially when, by his own admission, nobody’s contacted him about it.

As for the interest? Meyer hasn’t coached in the NFL, so it would be intriguing, but plenty of top college coaches have failed when trying to make that jump. It’s no surprise that Meyer is already suggesting he’d coach again after suggesting that he was finished doing so, but this might not be the best opportunity for him to jump back into.

Urban Meyer agrees with Nick Saban about ‘rat poison’

Urban Meyer

The phrase “rat poison” has entered the college football vernacular thanks to the efforts of Alabama coach Nick Saban, but he’s not the only one who believes in the concept.

Urban Meyer, former Ohio State coach and current Fox analyst, used the phrase Saturday in the wake of Wisconsin’s stunning loss at Illinois. Meyer said that he felt hype could impact players. He reasoned that the Badgers, with a Heisman candidate in Jonathan Taylor and playoff aspirations, may have been a bit distracted or overwhelmed by that chatter.

“Nick Saban calls it the rat poison,” Meyer said.

Saban sure does, and it’s a phrase he’s proven to be quite fond of. The Alabama coach doesn’t want his players hearing too much about how good everyone thinks they are. It’s a nice, succinct phrase to describe what a lot of coaches fear — getting lost within one’s own hype. Meyer knows it. All the great coaches do.

Urban Meyer ‘concerned’ about what Fair Pay to Play Act will do to college sports

Urban Meyer

The bill that was signed in California this week allowing college athletes to profit off their image and likeness could be the first real step toward changing the entire landscape of the NCAA, and Urban Meyer is among the many who are wary of it.

Meyer discussed the Fair Pay to Play Act in an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” this week, and he said it is going to permanently change college sports. The three-time national champion is concerned the bill is going to result in more players putting themselves before their teams.

“College athletics will never be the same,” Meyer said. “And how that impacts a person going to class, and being a team first, and the whole reason why we got into, why I did get into the purity of college athletics is because you get to mold 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds into a team-first mentality. That will be gone and I’m concerned about it.”

Meyer admitted there are “very legitimate” arguments for both sides, but he said legislating that is going to be an issue when such a small fraction of players are going to get endorsement opportunities. He was also asked if allowing players to make money could negatively impact team chemistry, and he believes it will.

“I can’t imagine (it wouldn’t). If you’re coaching a guy that’s making $600K like Ezekiel Elliott, how do you convince him that he has to go to class on Tuesday, because you’re 17, 18, 19 years old?” Meyer said. “So I just think the dynamics of this thing is going to be very interesting to watch. It will change college sports forever.”

The bill in itself doesn’t seem all that problematic, but it could obviously be a gateway to far bigger issues within college athletics. We’ve already laid out some changes we think should be made to the legislation, but two other states — New York and Florida — are currently working on similar bills. SB 206, the California bill, would take effect in 2023.

Urban Meyer has funny reaction to question about taking Michigan job

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer had a funny reaction to a question about potentially taking the Michigan Wolverines head coach job.

Meyer was on set for FOX’s college football coverage on Saturday and was asked what he thought about Michigan this year. Meyer said he thought the Wolverines would win at least nine games. He credited them for having very good players and a good coaching staff.

Then Brady Quinn asked Meyer whether he would contemplate taking the job if it ever came open.

Meyer just smiled and said “next” as he tried to wave off the question.

Where did some of the talk tying Meyer to the Michigan job come from? A sportsbook offered odds on who might be the Michigan coach at the start of next season. The odds did not have Jim Harbaugh favored to return. One name on the list of potential replacements was Meyer, which has led to a few questions this week about him taking the job.

Here’s the thing: Meyer just got done coaching at Ohio State and teaches there. There is no chance he is going to Michigan. He couldn’t stand them and it would go against everything he has represented since 2012. Frankly, the only reason the sportsbook included his name in the odds was for this exact reason: to get people talking about it, even if it’s not realistic. Job well done, because they sparked a conversation as they wanted.

H/T The Spun

Mark May: Urban Meyer clearly angling for USC job

Urban Meyer

Most people would agree that Urban Meyer has not coached his last college football game, and USC is the one spot that has continuously been mentioned with any talk of the three-time national champion making a return. College football Hall of Famer and former ESPN analyst Mark May is basically willing to guarantee Meyer ends up with the Trojans.

In an appearance on “The DA Show” on CBS Sports Radio this week, May joked that Meyer’s wife has “been measuring for drapes” in USC coach Clay Helton’s office for when Helton is inevitably pushed out in favor of Meyer. May says the fact that Meyer left ESPN for FOX Sports, which is based in Los Angeles, is hardly a coincidence.

“Once he took that job (at Fox Sports), that was the first thing that I had in my mind,” May said. “Why are you taking that job? Because you know the situation that Clay Helton is under. You know that USC is a great place to coach. You know that they’ve got a great heritage and a great history there, and you know that you can draw players there. They’ve got like four quarterbacks that can play major college football apparently.”

May pointed to the fact that Meyer used to coach at Utah and knows he can recruit on the West Coast, and the FOX studio where he currently works is around 40 minutes from USC’s campus. He also said he knows for a fact there are USC alumni who want Meyer.

“I live in the Southwest in Arizona, where a lot of USC alumni are at,” May said. “That’s all they’re clamoring about right now is getting Urban Meyer as their head coach.”

Meyer was at the LA Memorial Coliseum last week for USC’s big win over Utah, and he showed Helton some love after the game. Helton even pointed Meyer out, which seems bizarre considering everyone is talking about Meyer taking his job.

We know there is one potentially significant obstacle that could stand in the way of Meyer landing at USC, but the job makes plenty of sense for him. He has essentially admitted that he can’t stay away from coaching, and bringing the Trojans back to national prominence would be right up his alley.