Urban Meyer coaching at Ohio State next season? According to a source close to the messy situation in Columbus, that's about 90% sure.
Rumors have been raging about this for months, all denied, of course, by official university sources. Unofficially, though, insists this source, there's been plenty of action on the Meyer front, with underground negotiations in progress. Adds the source, there's a new sense of urgency since Penn State has also been surreptitiously knocking at Meyer's door--rumors naturally denied by that university's spokespeople.
Famed for his championship teams at Utah and Florida before heart issues forced him out of coaching last year, Meyer, currently an ESPN analyst, is college coaching's biggest prize. Ohio State seems like a natural fit, since he's not only an Ohio native but he also spent two years at the university as a graduate assistant coach. What's more, Meyer has always said that the Ohio State and Notre Dame jobs were his prizes. Brian Kelly is entrenched at Notre Dame, so that leaves Ohio State.
But Ohio State is in limbo, floating in a sea of X factors. The university is awaiting an NCAA decision on sanctions resulting from athletes behaving badly and coach Jim Tressel's lame cover-up attempt. In the wake of that scandal, some athletes were suspended and star QB Terrelle Pyror left. So did Tressel.
In the first six games this season, with defensive coordinator Luke Fickell as interim leader, Ohio State staggered to a 3-3 record. But in the last two weeks, the team has felled two giants--previously undefeated Illinois and 12th ranked Wisconsin. Suddenly Fickell, aided considerably by defensive coach Mike Vrabel, has a supportive faction in his corner. But if you have a chance to get Urban Meyer, you get Urban Meyer.
According to this source, when the dust clears, Meyer will be roaming the Ohio State sidelines next fall, living his dream.