Urban Meyer finally nailed it. After a year of public blunders and health scares the outgoing Ohio State head coach announced his decision to leave the football program at the end of the season. Now that offensive coordinator Ryan Day vacates the football equivalent of Assistant to the Regional Manager to the position of head coach, we can applaud the one move of Meyer’s that merits praise. And it was about time.
For the love of Sloopy, I was out of rope to hang onto.
Meyer occupied so much public noise this season. It began with his handling or lack thereof of Spaulding Smails’ tenure coaching receivers at Ohio State and persisted through health issues that left him bent over on the sidelines during the season. I’m glad Meyer will leave after the Rose Bowl. It makes the most sense out of any scenario.
Let him prep like hell for the game against Washington and leave the program in the hands of a dutiful assistant. In three games as an interim head coach Day curried the favor of athletic directors itching to hire a new football coach. No need to wait another year amid hush-hush uncertainty as to the Buckeyes head coach in 2019-2020.
Rumors circulated last week that Day would take over the program at the end of next season. The scenario allowed Meyer one more chance to get Ohio State in the college football playoff. If the Buckeyes stumbled down the stretch and failed to make the playoff, fans weary of the uncertainty surrounding the coach’s job status could have used the rumors as a place to lay blame. No immediate consequences, maybe some sour grapes after the fact. A struggle of a hypothetical to endure, but nowhere near as bad as an Urban Meyer farewell tour.
The thought of such a scenario left me willing to perform the Woody Hayes self-harm treatment, striking blows to my face while wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt and black tie. The tour would follow a predictable and gross course.
A stovetop hat from Illinois, a model train from Purdue, a bronzed Waste Management garbage can from Rutgers. A chance to fling cheese curds and buckeyes at the last B1G coach to win a national championship.
A sort of extended goodbye would belabor the fatigue the Ohio State program inflicted on the B1G and all of college football for the 2018 season. Yes, the Buckeyes gave the conference its best chance to make the playoff, but it came with too much conversation about life outside the Horseshoe.
We’re in the midst of Seasonal Urban Fatigue. Thankfully there’s end in sight. The program is in the capable hands of an assistant who ushered the team through a mentally taxing stretch. Who’s to say Day will be a success? He might end up a flop, but he won’t be the reason for such drama that Meyer provided at both Florida and Ohio State. And to Meyer’s credit, at least his exit strategy involves none of the same theatrics that marked his tenure in the big chair.
He took an opportunity to go quietly into the night and exit stage left. We won’t have to endure an entire year to find the perfect sort of picture for his postmortem. Now we can attempt to balance paying the coach his proper respect for the unmitigated success at two different programs with the absent night watchman routine. The act now has a shorter expiration date. Most TBS sitcoms don’t last past those number of days. We will endure.
So will the Ohio State program.