Never Bet Against Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer did it again–won a conference title followed by a “BCS” bowl win and a National Championship. He’s the best coach in college football. I’ve said it for years, ever since he turned Utah around and led them to an undefeated season capped by a win over Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl–the first ever BCS Buster.
What Ohio State just did this year, especially these last three weeks, is unprecedented. Think about it: Braxton Miller is your stud starting QB, he goes out with a season-ending injury early in the year. You drop a game immediately to an average Virginia Tech team, then storm back to win 10 straight and earn a spot in the Big Ten Championship, but in that 10th game, you lose JT Barrett, your new stud QB who has proven to be a Heisman Candidate. No way you bounce back from this, right? No way a 3rd-string QB can come in and win the biggest game of the season for you to keep your playoff hopes alive, right? I even posted about how it wouldn’t be right to put Ohio State in the first ever College Football Playoff even if they beat Wisconsin since they were now on their 3rd QB. Well, then they annihilated the Badgers 59-0 and I was totally sold on them getting in the CFB Playoff over the Big 12 co-champs. Still didn’t think they’d get past Bama though. But they did and then they got past Oregon. Ohio State went into the College Football Playoff with their 3rd-string QB and handled the two best teams in the land nearly from start to finish in both games.
No discredit to the Buckeye players, but that’s all Urban Meyer. I honestly don’t know that any other coach in the country could have done that. Not even Nick Saban.
Look at Urban’s QBs: Alex Smith, Utah–drafted first overall, but proved to be somewhat of a bust for the pick and contract he got, but a decent starting NFL QB. Chris Leak, Florida–not sure what he’s up to now. Tim Tebow, Florida–a first round draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft, now working with ESPN (for the record, when Tebow was drafted, I predicted he’d be an assistant for Urban at Florida within 3-4 seasons in the NFL–instead he’s interviewing Urban on ESPN). Cardale Jones, Ohio State–nobody had heard of him until three weeks ago. My point? Urban makes players better–especially QBs. He literally makes us all believe they’re better than they really are. He gives them confidence and game plans to their strengths. It’s unbelievable to watch.
Urban is 141-26 in 13 seasons as a head coach. That’s a winning percentage of .844–highest among all active coaches in College Football. He’s 9-2 in bowl games–and his bowl games are big time, national spotlight bowl games against top ranked teams, not throwaway games no one really cares about. He has two undefeated seasons with two different teams (Utah 2004, Ohio State 2012). He has three National Championships with two different teams (Florida 2006 & 2008 and Ohio State 2014). I mean the dude is winning a National Championship 23% of his time as a head coach, that’s unheard of!
He turns programs around instantly. Bowling Green went 2-9 the year before Urban arrived. His first season they went 8-3, followed by 9-3 when he bounced to Utah. The Utes were 5-6 before hiring Urban. His first season they posted a 10-2 record, followed by 12-0 and off to Florida he went. Florida improved from 7-5 to 9-3, then 13-1 and a National Title. A second National Championship was added two years later in 2008. Ohio State was 6-7 in 2011. 2012, Meyer’s first year, the Buckeyes went 12-0. They’re 26-3 since that 12-0 inaugural season and still haven’t lost a conference game since he arrived three years ago (the 2013 loss to Michigan State was in the Big Ten Championship game).
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, never bet against Urban Meyer.