Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/28/11
The Ohio State University has either stepped in a pot of gold, or stepped in the proverbial it. There really seems to be no in-between in the hiring of Urban Meyer as the Buckeyes head coach. That this hiring came together so soon after the Buckeyes loss in Michigan on Saturday ranks up there with the discovery of new moons around Jupiter. Only the monks on Mt. Athos were caught unaware. Ohio State gets the glitziest coach on the market, a guy with two national titles and and a guy who won at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. If Ohio State had to rid itself of Jim Tressel -- a notion that was unthinkable some 12 months ago -- it could not have found a successor with a better resume. Fans who adored Tressel now may want to make that tattoo parlor into a shrine. But theres a reason resumes are printed on paper. Because while they matter, they can also be torn up. After the 2009 season, Meyer said the stress of the job had gotten to him. Never mind that he worked in one of Americas most livable small cities, and coached at a school where every edge for winning is in place. The day after Christmas, Meyer said he was burned out. A day later, his departure was a leave of absence. He returned for the 2010 season, one in which many believe he mailed it in. He resigned, again, after the season, a season when Florida got waxed at Alabama, waxed in The Swamp by South Carolina and waxed at Florida State. Meyer said he left because of his health and his family. One longtime Florida columnist called his illness bare-cupboard-itis, which is evidenced by the Gators 6-6 mark this season. Many in Gainesville believe Meyer jumped ship because he couldnt find Tim Tebow anymore. Thats harsh, but at some point actions do speak. Meyer wanted all that time with his family and to better his health, parts of life that coaches across the country find time to balance. Then Meyer was quick to jump on the television grind. Which meant, of course, that he was traveling all over the nation to games, which seems kind of odd given he wanted to be home. It seems more like Meyer couldnt get away from the game. Like many coaches, its in his being. But with Meyer, the game almost killed him. He has admitted texting recruits at church. And the story of him telling a recruit he came back because he had a dream that God wanted him on the sidelines coaching said recruit has become apocryphal even if its not true. This is what Ohio State has signed onto. A guy who cant walk away even when he walks away. The Buckeyes have always prided themselves that they were bigger than a coach or a team. Woody Hayes graduated players, Earle Bruce the same. The one guy not totally accepted came from outside the family -- John Cooper -- but when Tressel was hired he was an Ohio State guy who stood for the right things who won. His players say he prepared them to be men, he prepared them for life. He left amidst free tattoos and a falsely signed form, transgressions that really seem miniscule compared to some of the other things that have happened. Meyer leaves behind a fan base at Florida that feels cheated, deceived, yes even lied to. Ohio State welcomes him. He set a high bar with his success at Florida with two national titles in three years. Only Nick Saban has won national titles with different schools; many others have tried. Ohio State has given Meyer more money than Tressel ever made and gotten rid of a staff that regularly challenged for national titles (evidently they became dumb in a year). The Buckeyes pursued the Urban Meyer who won national titles and went 65-15 at Florida. They might have hired him, and if they did that truth combined with the Ohio State lure will make for some incredibly good years in Columbus. Nobody can say how many, but they could be good. Thats real. But the concerns are just as real. Ohio State seems to be standing in two continents. One has its every wish coming true. The other deals with being careful what you wish for.
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