Former Ohio State Football Head Coach and Current Fox Sports Big Noon College Football Analyst Urban Meyer is a hot commodity and rightfully so. Urban Meyer's name trends every time a big-name NFL or college football coaching job opens up.
Urban Meyer's Coaching Career
In Meyer's 17 years as a head football coach, Meyer has never won less than eight games in a season. In his time at Ohio State from 2012-18, Meyer never won less than 11 games. His career win percentage of 85.3% is the highest percentage among FBS level coaches since Bowling Green's Doyt Perry, whose final season in 1964 capped off a career win percentage of 85.5%). Urban Meyer's winning percentage at Ohio State was at a video game level of 90%. Meyer has won three national championships, two as the Florida Gators Head Coach, and one at Ohio State.
So again, reasons are abundant why Urban Meyer is a top candidate for every major college coaching job and the NFL. But let's take a more in-depth look at the real reason why Urban Meyer is a hot commodity and why the rumor about Texas makes a lot more sense than any other job that might open up in college football or the NFL.
Building a Culture
Building a strong culture within your college football program is just as important as recruiting. Urban discussed the importance of culture on the Focus 3 Podcast with his close friend and business leadership expert Tim Kight. In episode #62, Urban Meyer discusses what you should do as a leader of an organization leading off with the importance of clarifying and implementing culture.
Culture is not a document or a poster. It's what people in the organization believe, how they behave, and the experience their behavior delivers to others.
-Urban Meyer (Focus 3 Podcast)
The Texas Longhorn Football program has underachieved since the departure of Mac Brown. Brown had a run from 2001 to 2009 of consecutive ten win seasons, including six seasons with 11 or more wins and one National Championship in two appearances. Texas Football from 2001 to 2009 was at the top of the college football hierarchy. From 2009 to Mac Brown's final season in 2013, the Longhorns began their decline winning as few as 5 games in 2010 and as many as 9 in 2012.
Since 2009, the Texas Longhorn Football program has won 56% of their games. They have hired three head coaches. From 1998 to 2009, Texas won 83% of their games. The instability and the culture of the football program have shown since the departure of Mac Brown. Including the most recent indictment that coach Tom Herman has an "it's my way or the highway approach" that has rubbed players the wrong way.
When Herman came in he said ‘it was my way or the highway.’ And when I spoke to former players, they said that’s the problem,” Howard said on Saturday’s edition of the program. He cannot connect with the players. There’s a gross disconnect between the head coach, Herman, and the players. That’s what you’re experiencing. That’s what you’re seeing.
-Desmond Howard College Gameday Analyst
Recruiting and Development
The lifeblood of college football is recruiting. Gone are the days when being a good game planner or schemer can help bridge a talent gap at the game's highest level. It's also not enough to get top recruits in your program; you have to work with and develop that talent to get the most out of each player.
According to 247 Sports recruiting rankings, the Longhorns have the nation's 17th best class so far for 2021. In recent years the Longhorns have brought in the nation's 8th best-recruiting class (2020), 3rd best recruiting class (2019), and 3rd best recruiting class (2018), and they currently boast the nation's 5th most talented roster according to 247 Sports Total Talent team rankings. Yet the Longhorns are currently 5-3 and have won only more than eight games one time since 2010.
Urban Meyer led football programs have proven to be both great at recruiting. At Ohio State from 2012 to 2018, Ohio State brought in five top 5 classes according to 247 Sports. And as stated earlier, Ohio State's win percentage of 90% under Urban Meyer shows that teams develop and perform at the highest level under his leadership.
Meyers Background With Player Arrest
Yes, we know Urban Meyer has baggage worth noting. There was 30+ arrest under Urban Meyer while he was at Florida, but while at Ohio State, the number of player arrests was not as consistent. There is the alleged Zach Smith domestic abuse cover-up that led to Urban Meyer stepping down at Ohio State and the health issues that have arisen in the past. These are all notable data points that deserve consideration when an athletic director decides whether to hire Urban Meyer.
If The Rumors Are True
If the rumors are true that the Texas administration is interested in Urban Meyer, they might need to load a Brinks truck full of cash and personally deliver to his Columbus Ohio home. Texas wants and needs a winner, a coach who can come right in and rebuild a dwindling culture within a football program that is a literal sleeping giant. Very few coaches can walk right into a college football program and turn it around overnight. Texas has all the resources, the talent on the roster ready to be developed, and a hungry fan base prepared to win. The enthusiasm for hire like this in Austin and throughout the state of Texas would be unparalleled.