Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Urban Meyer – Ohio State romance has many story lines and plot twists

image It’s like a dime-store romance novel. It’s on again. It’s off again.

It’s on again?

Earlier this week, former Florida Gators’ coach and current ESPN analyst told the Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley that he hadn’t visited Columbus and hadn’t interviewed for the Buckeye’s head coaching job.

But last night, news reports surfaced that he and the Ohio State powers-that-be agreed in principle to seven-year, $40 million nuptials. It’s a story that WE or Oxygen would drool over, isn’t it? After all, look at the story lines and plot twists, here.

Consider the jilted former lover in Gainesville, left behind by a coach who suddenly resigned, reversed himself, and then resigned for good. That page-turning chain of events was, according to Meyer, brought about first by health and then by family issues. Gator fans were saddened by his departure, but understanding and forgiving. That is, until reports surfaced that Meyer was the leading candidate for the job once held by the disgraced Jim Tressel at Ohio State.

It will be interesting to see how the Gator Nation handles the news if, as so many expect, Meyer and Ohio State finally consummate the relationship and join each other at the altar podium. Parting is indeed sweet sorrow, but it’s only sweet if your paramour isn’t jumping in the sack with the next pretty face.

And, as long as Florida was winning, Gator fans didn’t mind being in contention for the EDSBS Fulmer Cup. (for those of you who think college football coverage should be left up to professionals, the Fulmer Cup is awarded at the end of each offseason to the program with the collectively worst criminal record.)

Somebody should alert Columbus Police Department Chief Walter Distelzweig to let him know that his job may be about to get really interesting, and seeing how Ohio State fans deal with annual Fulmer Cup contention should be a storyline producing free blogging all offseason long.

Consider also the mean, hateful Alabama Crimson Tide. All Nick Saban and his 2009 National Championship squad did was show Meyer that competing in the SEC was a big boy’s job. They made his ass quit and made his quarterback cry. Does he really think the job of winning championships gets easier at Ohio State, where it took gaming the system to keep ineligible players on the field to get its first ever win over an SEC team?

This is another fascinating storyline to be played out--how does Meyer see his upcoming affair with the battling Brutuses? What would the ultimate goal of the relationship be? When he was introduced as the Florida head coach in December 2004, the stated goal was to compete at the highest level and contest for national championships. Meyer did just that—winning two national titles in 2006 and 2008. The goals at Ohio State are just as lofty.

But as Yahoo! Sports columnist (and BCS Anarchist) Dan Wetzel illustrates in a column yesterday, B1G commissioner Jim Delany isn’t thinking on such a scale anymore. In fact, Delany’s decision-making will likely make it difficult for even the B1G’s best to make beaucoup bucks in the BCS, much less compete for all the Tostitos and win a BCS title. A nine game season in the league makes it hard for even Ohio State and Michigan to emerge from the conference unbeaten, a task they are almost certainly required to complete before getting into the big dance. A one-loss Ohio State isn’t getting to the championship game like a one-loss 2006 Florida team did, because Ohio State is in the B1G, not the SEC.

The only way Ohio State gets into a title match is if some sort of plus-one or multi-round playoff is installed. Delany wants none of it and remains the most powerful conference commissioner to oppose it. When the SEC’s Mike Slive and the ACC’s Jim Swofford proposed a weaksauce plus-one system last January, Delany shot it down. This January, Delany will propose that the BCS sponsor only a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. While that would be awful for college football in general, it would be disastrous for an incoming coach who expects his team to win it all and coaches that way.

The plot will only get thicker as the story plays out. Chick flicks are fantasies but this is real, or something.

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Unknown said...

I'm curious why you think it would be a bad thing for the BCS to ONLY control the 1 v. 2 game?
Seems to me the BCS has given us MANY Lousy pairings in the 4 "BCS Bowls" every year.