Rumours are flying this week, and after just one NFL regular season game, is Meyer leaving the Jags? The well respected college football coach, who has won three national championships, two with the Florida Gators, and one with Ohio State, has been out of coaching since 2018. He left Ohio State under unusual circumstances, and came back this year to take on an NFL head coaching role in Jacksonville. Of course, a large lure to this was the favourable number one overall pick, turning into Trevor Lawrence, widely considered a generational talent. But is it right for Meyer?
Meyer is royalty in the world of college football, and he has run successful programs since 2001. He has NEVER coached a losing season. Yes of course, college football is different, but here’s his resume:
- Bowling Green 2001-2002 Overall record 17-6
- Utah 2003-2004 Overall record 22-2
- Florida 2005-2010 Overall record 65-15
- Ohio State 2012-2018 Overall record 83-9
Plus a bowl record of 12-3, and three National Championship titles.
Now, you can see why he would take the Jacksonville job, and the lure of Trevor Lawrence, and rebuilding a program, but that’s a very different objective, and a long term rebuild, and not at all what Meyer is used to. College football is totally different. Recruitment is a huge part of it, and Meyer’s resume speaks for itself, recruits would go and play for him, in a similar fashion to a guy like Nick Saban at Alabama. Meyer is highly decorated in that world of football, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to the NFL. Growing and developing guys from high school into top NFL draft picks is one thing, trying to then handle them once they’ve got millions of dollars and they’ve become grown men, with salary caps and contracts in place of recruitment efforts and scholarships is a totally different ball game.
The Jags got off to a rough start, taking a beating in week 1 against what is widely considered the lowest ranked team in the NFL this season. They’re unlikely to win a tonne of games this year, and a week 1 37-21 loss to Houston is not exactly ideal. Could Meyer really leave after such a short tenure?!
The reason this is all coming about is the USC job, after the Trojans fired head coach Clay Helton earlier this week. Spots at top college football programs don’t open up too often, and they have top coaches scrambling. USC might be in a tough spot right now, but a coach like Urban Meyer could go over there and have them winning games again with talent coming in left right and centre pretty quickly. Word is, he might like the sound of it too.
Maybe Urban Meyer has realised that the NFL gig just isn’t for him, according to sources, ‘his hearts just not in it’, and he ‘doesn’t deal well with losing’. Well that might be a problem. Meyer lost nine games in TOTAL in seven seasons with the Buckeyes, and will likely lose more games than that in this season alone with the Jaguars. Could he really call it quits and jump on a plane to California before the end of the week? A lot of experts think he might. Meyer is currently around 7/1 to become the next coach of the USC Trojans, along with guys like Luke Fickell of the Cincinnati Bearcats, and Mario Cristobal of the Oregon Ducks. Oregon look good this year, and I’d say it’s more likely that Meyer decides that the NFL isn’t his scene while a nice college opportunity has just opened up, than Cristobal jumping ship on the Ducks.
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