The news of the day is that Urban Meyer has decided to step away from coaching and retire due to health issues with Ryan Day taking over as head coach at Ohio State at the end of the season. Obviously, this is a huge deal because one of college football’s historically great coaches in terms of his ability to win is walking away from the game.
Day’s rise to the top of the coaching ranks has happened at a breakneck pace the last few years, but OSU has had an entire year to vet him and see if he is capable of handling the load and got a look at what he could do while Meyer was suspended earlier this year. Right now, he is one of the game’s bright young offensive minds and Michigan fans need look no further than what his unit did to their top-ranked defense a few weeks back.
This really could go any way for OSU. He could be the next Lincoln Riley, or he could be a guy that wins 8-9 games a year. Nobody knows for certain. OSU seems to be in capable hands though after one of college football’s biggest Boogeymen elected to step away from the game. It is not a hot take to say that Day likely will not be able to win at the clip that Meyer did.
So that leads us to Michigan. Meyer leaves Columbus 7-0 against the Wolverines and 4-0 against Jim Harbaugh. This is a bummer from the standpoint that Harbaugh doesn’t get a chance to get at least one on ‘ol Uncle Urban, but he’s got nobody to blame but himself for that.
This is another golden opportunity for the Wolverines to swing things back in their favor. Harbaugh has not been good enough against rivals, but Meyer was a different beast. When coaching changes occur, so does the opportunity to change the status quo. They haven’t done it on the field, so now they’ve got to take this chance and run with it.
Does this open things back up for Michigan to emerge as the Big Ten’s go-to power? Sure it does, but it will not come without a lot of the changes that we have suggested before. The smashmouth, bullyball type of football has its applications late in games, but Michigan needs to be more of a threat in the passing game and use its talented quarterbacks (of which they have more than one now) and its athletes to create problems through the air. OSU was able to blow out Michigan because they out-schemed and out-athleted them. Even with Meyer on his way out, do not expect Day to not try to do different things, either. Change is necessary to stay ahead of the curve in today’s game.
The same goes for a school like Michigan State, who had one of the 10 worst offenses in all of college football this season. This is their chance to get back into the conversation in the East, as well. We’re about to find out how seriously they take big-time college football with how Mark Dantonio handles his staff this offseason.
The only positive to take out of this is that Meyer will not be the guy bullying you anymore, but that doesn’t mean OSU is dead or on the way down. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out on the recruiting trail, as Meyer was bringing in talent at a near-Alabama type of pace. OSU, like Michigan, is a school that will never have problems recruiting, but them staying at the level they have been at seems like a tough task for Day.
It’s disappointing that Harbaugh and Michigan were never able to get one over on Ohio State now, but at least the future is a little bit less bleak where we stand today. We have heard a lot of “Harbaugh won’t succeed until Meyer is gone” takes over the last few weeks. Urban is on his way out and The Game is in Ann Arbor next year.
Well, here’s your chance.