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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer takes funny jab at Michigan on FOX college football show

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer took a funny jab at Michigan during FOX’s college football show on Saturday.

Meyer, who stepped down as Ohio State’s head coach after the season and made way for new head coach Ryan Day, is now a part of the show. One of the topics that came up was the Michigan Wolverines.

Meyer was asked: “Is this finally Michigan’s year?” The former Buckeyes coach answered bluntly, “year for what?”

The question was likely asking whether this was Michigan’s year to win the Big Ten, reach for the College Football Playoff for the first time under Jim Harbaugh, and compete for a national championship. Meyer asking for a clarification wasn’t so much about specificity so much as it was about minimizing the Wolverines’ chances of winning a championship. Urb was obviously downplaying his former rival team.

Though his response was humorous, now that Meyer is not at Ohio State, Michigan has its best chance of winning the rivalry game since Harbaugh’s been the head coach. Harbaugh has gone 0-4 against Ohio State and is 1-3 in bowl games.

Maybe Meyer gave his zinger as revenge for what Harbaugh said in July.

Colleague expects Urban Meyer to return to coaching at some point

Urban Meyer

The start of the upcoming college football season will mark the first time since 2011 that Urban Meyer is not leading a program.

Meyer retired from his job at Ohio State and has been replaced by Ryan Day, who served as an interim head coach last year while Meyer was on leave over the Zach Smith matter.

Meyer won national championships at Florida and Ohio State, and also had an undefeated season at Utah. He is among the greatest college football coaches ever, though as Jim Harbaugh noted, Meyer is involved in controversies wherever he goes.

Meyer has made the move to TV and is now an analyst for FOX’s college football programming. Will that be enough to satisfy the 55-year-old? One of his former colleagues does not think so.

“I just don’t see how he sits out the rest of his life,” a former Meyer colleague told Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde. “That’s who he is, that’s what he does.”

That same colleague also said he believes Meyer would only return to college football at a program where he believes he could win a national championship. One specific job on the West Coast would seem to make a lot of sense if Meyer ever returns to coaching.

H/T The Spun

Urban Meyer text messages show how many programs tried to poach Buckeyes coaches

Urban Meyer

Text messages and emails relating to the Urban Meyer-Zach Smith case were released on Friday for public consumption. The documents made available include 1,840 pages of emails and 225 pages of text messages. Most of the content is redacted, but Ohio State made sure to leave content pertaining to recruiting available for consumption. Other nuggets that made the Buckeyes look good have also been left in.

One text message seems to show Urban Meyer asking whether Ohio State should leak news that Alabama tried to hire Greg Schiano, Alex Grinch and Zach Smith in early 2018 but got turned down. Meyer seems to have thought the leak would make the Buckeyes look superior to recruits.

Another message from Meyer in January 2018 shows him touting all the job offers coaches on his staff turned down from other schools. He was thanking the school for being supportive with pay raises for his staffers to keep them with the Buckeyes.

Mississippi State, Alabama and UCLA all seemed to be pretty aggressive in trying to poach coaches from Meyer’s staff. That makes sense considering Joe Moorhead and Chip Kelly were forming staffs for their first years at their respective programs.

Urban Meyer’s daughter shades Jim Harbaugh over comments

Nicki Meyer dad Urban

Urban Meyer’s daughter, Nicki, stood up for her father with some shade thrown at Jim Harbaugh on Twitter.

Harbaugh made a few headlines with some comments about Meyer on Tim Kawakami’s podcast this week. The Michigan Wolverines coach said Meyer has a great record but also is involved in controversies.

“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record. Really phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said. “But also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”

Harbaugh’s comments are factual, but some don’t like the source of the remarks and feel like it’s Harbaugh’s way of taking away from his 0-4 record as a head coach against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Nicki certainly thinks so.

She called Harbaugh’s remarks “a deflection strategy.”

The Meyer girls are always quick to come to Urban’s defense over social media, as we’ve seen many times in the past. Nicki’s not alone here as many other Buckeyes fans defended Meyer in response to Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh: Controversy follows Urban Meyer wherever he goes

Jim Harbaugh headset

Jim Harbaugh was never able to get the best of Urban Meyer when Meyer coached at Ohio State, but he clearly doesn’t feel that winning is everything when it comes to running a college football program.

In an appearance on “The TK Show” podcast with Tim Kawakami this week, Harbaugh spoke about everything Meyer was able to accomplish on the field at Ohio State. Meyer’s Buckeyes were 4-0 against Harbaugh and 7-0 overall against Michigan, but the Wolverines coach pointed out that “controversy” seemed to be a common theme with Meyer-led programs.

“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record. Really phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said. “But also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”

Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter for some people. Harbaugh went on to acknowledge that Michigan has always come up short since he was named head coach back in 2015.

“All you can be judged on is your record. What your record is overall. What your record is within your conference. What your record is with head-to-head matchups,” Harbaugh said, as transcribed by Kevin Harrish of Eleven Warriors. “I think you’ll find Ohio State is the only team with a better record, a better conference record than us (since I’ve been there) and has a better head-to-head matchup with us.”

While some viewed Harbaugh’s remarks as a swipe at Meyer, he was really just stating the obvious. Meyer had numerous players with character concerns during his time as the head coach at Florida, and more than two dozen players were arrested over a six-year span. He recruited and vouched for guys like Aaron Hernandez, who went on to murder multiple people.

More recently, Meyer was accused of ignoring domestic violence allegations against a member of his staff at Ohio State. That almost certainly contributed to his decision to step down following last season.

In terms of running a clean program, Harbaugh — and many other coaches — have Meyer beat. If you’re judging strictly on wins and losses, Meyer is one of the best to ever do it.

Urban Meyer watches Tim Tebow minor league baseball game

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer took the opportunity on Friday to watch one of his best known former players compete in a baseball game.

Meyer went to Huntington Park in Columbus to watch Tim Tebow in a minor league game between the Syracuse Mets and Columbus Clippers. The former Ohio State and Florida Gators head coach tweeted photos from the game:

Tebow played for Meyer at Florida from 2006-2009, winning two national championships and going 13-1 three times. After an unsuccessful NFL career, Tebow decided to pursue a professional baseball career in 2016. He’s worked his way up to Triple-A for the Mets, though he has seemed overmatched at the plate this season. The 31-year-old entered Friday batting .131 with a hideous .376 OPS and 34 strikeouts in 26 games.

Batting ninth and playing left field, Tebow went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored against Columbus. Interestingly, Meyer used to be a pro baseball player too. He was a 13th-round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 1982 and spent two seasons in rookie ball before switching professions.

It’s nice he seems to not be holding this comment from Tebow against the former quarterback.

Urban Meyer reportedly hired by FOX for big pregame show

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer said he believes he is done with coaching for good after he stepped down at Ohio State, but that does not mean he will be disappearing from the college football landscape going forward.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Meyer has been hired by FOX to serve as an analyst for its new college football pregame show, which does not yet have a name but will air on network TV next season. FOX has also hired former NFL and USC running back Reggie Bush, and he and Meyer will join Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn for the new production.

According to Marchand, FOX is hoping to create serious competition for ESPN’s popular “College GameDay” program by creating the same type of star-studded panel it has with its NFL and MLB pregame shows.

Meyer was part of a major scandal in his last season at Ohio State, but FOX executives apparently do not feel that has negatively impacted his popularity.

Urban Meyer responds to adorable letter from 7-year-old fan

Urban Meyer Ohio State

Urban Meyer responded on Twitter Thursday to an adorable letter from a 7-year-old fan.

Jack Lucas, a professor in Calgary, tweeted a photo of a letter written by his daughter to Ohio State football. The letter asked what the stickers on the players’ helmets were for and offered congratulations on winning the Rose Bowl. Lucas tagged Ohio State on Twitter and received a response from Urban Meyer. The person running Meyer’s account offered a cute response: “They are stickers and each one means the player did something really good to help the Buckeyes win! Thanks for being a fan, Hannah!! Go Bucks!”

Helmet stickers are one of the cool traditions in college football. The real fun part is seeing awesome players whose helmets are nearly covered by the end of the season due to all their great plays.

Urban Meyer: I don’t believe I will coach again

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer coached his final game at Ohio State in Tuesday’s 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl, though he stopped short of guaranteeing he is retiring for good.

Meyer’s Buckeyes beat the Huskies to close out a 13-1 season. After the game, Meyer was interviewed by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and was asked whether he would coach anywhere else in the future.

“I don’t believe that’s going to happen. I’m going to enjoy tonight. I don’t believe I’m going to coach again,” Meyer said.

Meyer seems to have been pushed out by Ohio State due to his handling of former assistant Zach Smith. He will be giving way to Ryan Day, who coached Ohio State to a 3-0 record during Meyer’s suspension.

When asked last month if he was sure he would retire, he said he was “fairly certain” he would not coach again. Meyer is still only 54 years old, so he easily should have at least 10 years left as a coach if he still wants to do it. He’s also leaving the door open for a potential return.

For now, Meyer is expected to serve as an assistant AD at Ohio State.

Report: Urban Meyer to become assistant AD at Ohio State

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer may be ending his tenure as Ohio State’s football coach, but his time with Buckeyes athletics will continue.

Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises reported on Saturday that Meyer will become Ohio State’s assistant athletic director after the Rose Bowl.

Meyer will have an office in the school’s administration building rather than the football building, which is expected to allow Ryan Day to have his space as the program’s new head coach. Athletic director Gene Smith says he will reach out to Meyer if he feels the coach is interfering with Day’s ability to grow into the role.

According to the report, Meyer will help work with Ohio State’s coaches across all sports. He will also do speaking engagements and fundraising for the school.

Meyer announced earlier this month that the Rose Bowl would be his last game as Ohio State’s coach and that Ryan Day would take over thereafter. Despite the announcement, Meyer has not definitively said he is done coaching.