Urban Meyer was the perfect head coach for Ohio State for a lot of reasons. While winning more than 90 percent of his games, claiming three B1G titles and bringing a national championship are certainly impressive credentials, the respect he had for the rivalry with Michigan was also an attractive quality.
Meyer never let the word “Michigan” slip out of his mouth. His teams practiced for the annual meeting with “That Team Up North” every single day. His focus on beating the Wolverines every year is the reason he had a perfect 7-0 record against UM.
This week, Meyer spoke with the Buckeyes once again, delivering his Gold Pants speech for last year’s 62-39 thumping in Columbus. And his final message was one that will be remembered at Ohio State for many years to come.
Not only did Meyer talk about the intensity of the rivalry and the seriousness of “The Game,” he also took a few shots at Michigan, primarily for “disrespecting the rivalry.”
Below are some of the highlights from Meyer’s Gold Pants speech, as transcribed by Eleven Warriors. Ohio State and Michigan go head to head on Nov. 30 in Ann Arbor:
So it really bothered me when I heard a player for the other team come out and guarantee wins, and Revenge Tours, and shit like that, and I remember those days and my head almost popped off my shoulders. That’s disrespecting the rivalry. And I think – everyone listen real close, this is in our DNA, this will never change: How do you really show respect for a rivalry?
Is it a tee shirt, is it uh – some guy, that Kamara (Ed. Meyer likely meant Michigan running back Karan Higdon, not Saints running back Alvin Kamara) that asshole that said they were going to win the game and said “I guarantee it” or that defensive end, really good player, Revenge Tour Almost Done so he’s going to group us with Wisconsin or Penn State or something like that?
So if you’re new to the program – welcome to the program. Understand where you’re at. This is not a game. This is not silly. This is a way of life. There’s a bunch of former players in the back [of the room] that lived it. As you move up, you live it. This is who you are.
You never lose to those pricks. Ever. Ever. And you work it every day. And I don’t give a shit if you’re from California or Texas or whatever, as soon as you say you’re a Buckeye this is part of your life for the rest of your life – and you don’t lose to those pricks. You beat them every day. Every day.
This will always be a player’s program. What you guys did in that game, to put a beating on that team like they’ve never had a beating before in the history of that program – very good program, by the way.
That’s the way you respect a rivalry. Then you outwork them and then you kick that ass like it’s never been kicked before. And that’s what you did.
You can view Meyer’s entire speech at Eleven Warriors.