Whether through rumor, speculation or innuendo — or downright trolling in a couple of cases — Ohio native Urban Meyer‘s name has been attached to the Ohio State job even before Jim Tressel “stepped down” and opened it up.
If the Buckeyes are to do the expected and pursue the former Florida coach in a couple of months — here’s a hint: he’s Nos. 1-5 on OSU’s offseason to-do list — they could have some competition from someone inside their own conference for Meyer’s services. Provided, of course, Meyer decides to end his coaching sabbatical.
In a very, very extensive and comprehensive piece that appears on something called Sports RappUp.com — the Altoona Mirror vouches for the site — the Ohio-based website reports that Meyer met with Penn State president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley in September while on campus as part of his current job with ESPN. “Those talks were apparently productive,” the website wrote, although just what productive means as it relates to this situation is uncertain.
The only problem with all of this Penn State talk as it pertains to Meyer is the fact that there’s a living legend currently entrenched in Happy Valley and, even as he’s at the end of another contract, has given no indication that he intends to step down anytime soon.
“Urban would love to have that job,” a source said of coaching the Nittany Lions. “Keep in mind, though, that he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who forced out Joe Paterno. It would have to be done in the right way. I think they could appeal to JoePa’s best interests and allow him to be the king-maker.”
Of course, a couple of things would have to come to fruition before this scenario could play itself out. First and foremost, Meyer would have to decide to return to the sidelines. Secondly, Paterno would have to decide to step away from the sidelines and abdicate the football throne he’s sat upon for nearly 50 years. Based on his own words this past offseason, that doesn’t appear likely, at least not without a firm nudge from a university official or booster
Even then, even if both of those occur, PSU could still have a fight on its hands with OSU for Meyer. Why the word “could”? Simply put, Meyer’s interest in becoming the head coach of his home state’s flagship football program will be directly proportional to the sanctions levied on said program by the NCAA.
Again, though, we’re still a couple of months and a few steps — at least — away from any of this going down, if it goes down at all. Still, it beats the hell out of expansion talk during the middle of the season.