Monday, November 28, 2011

Ohio State officially welcomes Urban Meyer to the Buckeyes

image One week after vehemently denying reports that he had reached a deal to become Ohio State’s next football coach, Urban Meyer was officially welcomed by the Buckeyes on Monday afternoon. Meyer could deny those reports all he wanted but let’s be honest—his next coaching gig was set the day Jim Tressel walked out that door.

As also discussed here last week, the romance between Columbus and its Ohio-born paramour has many different plot twists and turns. Not the least of which will be the set of expectations his new bosses have vs. those of the fans. The Associated Press’ Ralph Russo told me that he believes the Ohio State faithful would fit in the SEC perfectly (in terms of expectations and rabid following). In short, Buckeye fans want crystal balls and they want them now.

The NCAA has still not published the Committee on Infractions’ ruling on the Tattoo-trading scandal that rocked the school and cost Tressel his job. The program has offered a five scholarship reduction in its response to the league’s notice of allegations, but many observers expect the Committee to hand down a harsher sentence. I’ve seen estimates of five scholarship a year over three years based on the severity of the offenses.

The pending sanctions, the negative recruiting being used by competitors and at least a one- to two-year period of adjustment to Meyer’s leadership and philosophy mean that Michigan’s win Saturday might be the first of several before Meyer gets the program's feet beneath it.

When Meyer left Florida, he cited a combination of health concerns and family/personal issues as the reason for his departure. The pressure cooker at tOSU is as bad as it is in any school in the SEC, so it’ll be interesting to see how his physical, mental and emotional well-being endures the next two years.

At the end of the day, Ohio State still got the guy they wanted. Without a doubt, they had to hire the best coach available and the guy who knocked down two BCS titles at Florida was, without a doubt, that guy.

Exit question: Should the Columbus Police Department open a new precinct on campus? Or, can we get some odds on the Buckeyes’ chances of winning the EDSBS Fulmer Cup?

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