Why Urban Meyer would be perfect fit for Nebraska job
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are in need of a new head coach after firing Scott Frost on Sunday. They will be searching hard to find the right person for the job, someone who can help them get back to their glory days — or at least close to it.
There is one person who makes the most sense for the job if he wants it: Urban Meyer.
During his time at Ohio State, Meyer cemented his legacy as one of the best college football coaches ever. But his brief tenure as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars was so bad, it tarnished Meyer’s reputation.
If Meyer wants to address his reputation and not let his Jags disaster be the last taste fans ever get of him as a coach, Nebraska would be a perfect spot for him to go.
The Huskers were one of the best programs in college football during a 40-year span from the 1960s to the early 2000s, first under Bob Devaney, and then under the legendary Tom Osborne. They have three things most schools don’t have and can only dream of — things that can’t be bought or quickly earned: history, legacy and tradition. They also have great fans who love the program to death.
Nebraska wants to win badly. Their fans deserve a winner. If anyone can get them back to that level, the same guy who won big at Florida and Ohio State (and even Utah and Bowling Green) is probably their best bet.
What Meyer needs is an environment where he wouldn’t get a fraction of the media scrutiny he received in the NFL, where the national media was hounding him and pushing hard to get him fired. Not only would the Nebraska media be fairly friendly, but Meyer just wouldn’t have to deal with the relentless national media he saw in the pros. He’d be starting in a place where the program has been so beaten down, that they would appreciate any level of winning. Meaning, Meyer would have somewhat low expectations immediately, and time to turn things around. He’d be coaching in the Big Ten West, which is the much weaker division in an increasingly tougher conference.
There are challenges at Nebraska though. People believe it’s tough to recruit to Lincoln (Osborne was drawing in recruits nationally, including from Southern California, so I disagree). The program has a lot of work to be done to catch up to say, Ohio State. And the eventual expectations will be very high; this is a place that fired Bo Pelini for going 9-4 and 10-4 every season.
Meyer needs a place where he can be god. Where he will be unchallenged. Where he can be the boss, do things his way, and get away with what he needs to. And where he can still make the College Football Playoff. There aren’t many places like that left, but Nebraska qualifies.
If Meyer wants to get back into coaching and erase the stench of the Jags stint, this is the place to do it. He is 58 years old and this would probably be his last job, if he wants to continue coaching. The key is he has to want to do it. If he doesn’t, and his heart isn’t into it anymore, then they should find someone else. But if Meyer is motivated to achieve greatness again, this is the only gig for him that makes sense.
It’s also possible though that the Jags stint went so badly, that he’s beaten down to the point that he’s done entirely. We may soon find out.