The Internet went into full-blown “OMG!” mode last week after rumors surfaced that Urban Meyer was either on the verge of becoming or had agreed to become the next head football coach at Ohio State, with one report going so far as to state he had begun to assemble a coaching staff.
While the former Florida coach attempted to tap the brakes on the scuttlebutt, the speculation has persisted that Meyer will become the Buckeyes’ coach at some point after the end of the regular season.
In an extensive conversation with Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun, Meyer once again addressed the rumors connecting him to the not-yet-vacant OSU job, saying that he has not been interviewed and has not been offered the position.
“I’m in a good place right now mentally and physically,” the current ESPN college football analyst told Dooley. “So if something happens with Ohio State, I’ll have a decision to make. But there has been no interview. There has been no offer to make a decision about. …
“If there is a decision to be made concerning Ohio State, there will be a lot that will go into it. But right now, there is no decision to be made.”
(My translation: Urban’s door, meet wide open)
It’s quite illuminating, maybe even telling on some level, that Meyer once again either didn’t address or sidestepped completely the question of whether he’s had conversations, informal or otherwise, with OSU officials. Over the weekend, the Internet arm of Meyer’s employer reported as much, writing that OSU has been in contact with Meyer about becoming its head football coach and there is strong mutual interest on both sides.
Perhaps the most interesting and telling quotes from Meyer, though, came in regard to his family. In addition to his health, one of the single biggest factors in Meyer’s decision to step down at UF following the 2010 season, according to the coach, was the ability to spend more time with his wife and three children.
“The concerns are still there,” Meyer said about a return to the sidelines. “No. 1 — my health. No. 2 — my family. No. 3 — the state of college football. I’ve done some research into the second one. I’ve found that it is possible to have balance between your job and your family, that there are coaches out there who are doing it.”
The concerns may be there, but so is that coaching blood coursing through his veins.
“I love football,” he said. “It’s what I am. I miss it.”
Meyer may have intended for this conversation with Dooley to cool the fire of speculation, but, on the surface, it’s done nothing more than to fan the flames of rumors that insist he will be back in the coaching game sooner rather than later, whether that be in Columbus or elsewhere.
The money — the smart money — right now, though, is on the Buckeyes, perhaps even before the calendar flips from November to December.