Meyer For Tressel… in 2012?
By Paul Myerberg // Mar 22, 2011
A brief blog post from the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi has been receiving plenty of attention from around the college sports world, not merely thanks to Bianchi’s confidence that Jim Tressel is not long for this coaching world but due to his assertion that Urban Meyer will be his immediate successor. Bianchi’s not only confident that Tressel will be replaced – he’s confident that a change is just around the corner: “I believe Urban will be coaching Ohio State when the 2012 season commences,” says Bianchi.
If anyone does know Meyer’s future intentions, it’s likely Bianchi, who covered Meyer’s tenure at Florida from its glorious start to its uneven finish. On the other hand, Bianchi is in the page-view business, to a degree, and a post tearing down Tressel – “Let’s face it, Tressel has lost all credibility and could face massive sanctions once the NCAA is done investigating his role in covering up violations by his players” – while insinuating that Meyer’s return will be sooner rather than later is sure to drum up the type of attention it has received.
Here’s the main issue with Bianchi’s argument, even if it’s not as unfounded as some might believe it to be when taken on face value. Yes, Meyer’s departure from Florida was poorly timed, but that does not mean the two-time B.C.S. title winner does not desire a future return to the sidelines.
And from where we’re currently standing, only one college job might be able to thrust Meyer out of retirement – where he’s done wonderfully as an ESPN analyst – and back into coaching: Ohio State. Where he earned his coaching stripes, the place where some had suggested his heart lies, where he can continue upon the success first built by his coaching hero, Woody Hayes, and continued by Tressel over the last decade.
So if Meyer is going anywhere by 2012, it’s Ohio State. Yeah, maybe he’d take a shot at the N.F.L. if that league comes calling; though it bears mentioning that an N.F.L. job, with a lockout in place, might come available at the same time as the spot in Columbus.
But there’s one issue with the step Bianchi takes in his argument: that Tressel will be gone by 2012. It can certainly happen; Tressel’s put himself in a sore spot with his current actions, and if he does feel under fire upon his return on Oct. 8 he might opt to retire rather than continue to face the music.
At the same time, if his Buckeyes struggle early without him in place and then scuffle upon his return there is the chance that he loses the backing of the university. Here’s the thing: I don’t see the first part, early struggles, coming to pass; I see Ohio State turning it on from Oct. 8 on; and I don’t see Gene Smith or Gordon Gee turning their backs on Tressel, not now, not after having his back all the way through these recent developments.
Does Bianchi have a valid point, even if it was made in an effort to create a conversation? Yes, he does. Is it a stretch to predict that Meyer will be back in Columbus for good in 2012? Without a question. Now, there’s no doubt that Meyer is next in line when Tressel does decide to hang up his whistle.
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Tags: Jim Tressel, Mike Bianchi, Ohio State, Urban Meyer
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