Analyst On Urban: "I Would Never Say Never"

The Rose Bowl could be Urban Meyer's last game, but Bill Bender won't be surprised if it isn't

December 05, 2018 - 9:13 am

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Urban’s Meyer future in Columbus was a popular topic of debate this fall, and in the end, Meyer will retire from Ohio State, effective Jan. 2, 2019 – the day after the No. 6 Buckeyes (12-1) face No. 9 Washington (10-3) in the Rose Bowl.

“I thought he was coaching next year, but if his health doesn’t allow him to coach, he can’t coach,” Sporting News college football writer Bill Bender said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I am a little bit surprised Ryan Day is the head coach, but he obviously showed them enough. I think he can do a good job there. It’s just interesting to me that they didn’t open up the search. Obviously Urban Meyer had  his fingerprints on who the replacement would be. Meyer set a very high standard, and it’s never easy to follow the guy that does that.”

Meyer, 54, went 82-9 in seven seasons in Columbus. He won three Big Ten titles and a national championship and has as many regular-season losses as he had wins over Michigan (seven).

Is he actually done coaching?

“I don’t think he's going to go to the NFL, and there is a very exclusive list of schools that he would entertain,” Bender said. “I would never say never, especially with coaches, knowing their egos, how much money they can make, their competitiveness. I think other than Dabo or Nick Saban, there aren't others that do it better than him at this job right now.”

Day, meanwhile, is a head coach for the first time in his career. At Ohio State. Immediately following Urban Meyer.

“I do like Ryan Day’s quiet confidence,” Bender said. “I think his offensive vision was a large part of why Dwayne Haskins was so successful. But there’s a lot of challenges to Ohio State for a first-time coach – not limited to Michigan, Big Ten championships and all those things Meyer excelled at.”

On the flip side, Ohio State has been successful for more than a century, and Day will enter his third season with the program next fall.

“I think a coach could fall out of bed and win eight games here,” Bender said. “It’s winning those other four that separates the good from the great in Columbus.”