Dodd On Urban Meyer: "I Don't Think He's Done"

Dennis Dodd didn't think Meyer would be Ohio State's head coach in 2019, but he does think he'll coach again – possibly in 2020

Taz and the Moose
December 04, 2018 - 9:18 am

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Urban Meyer will step down as Ohio State football coach, this after going 82-9 in seven seasons, winning a national title and three Big Ten championships, and going 7-0 against Michigan.

He will coach No. 6 Ohio State (12-1) in the Rose Bowl against No. 9 Washington (9-3) on Jan. 1.

“I’m not surprised at all,” CBSSports.com national college football writer Dennis Dodd said on Taz & The Moose. “I’ve been saying all season that I didn’t know how it was going to look, but he wasn’t going to be the Ohio State coach in 2019. I guess it’s a little bit surprising it’s happening now, but when else are you going to announce it? You won the Big Ten, you’re going to (the Rose Bowl) – all the hay’s in the barn. For whatever reason, he’s going to call it quits for now. This is his third retirement. Is it going to stick? I don’t know. I think a lot of people think he’ll just be back in 2020 after some time off.”

Meyer, however, has battled health issues in recent years. In October, he acknowledged that he has a brain cyst that causes aggressive headaches.

“That was the reason at Florida twice,” Dodd said of Meyer’s health issues. “Let’s not forget a huge scandal almost chased him out of his job in August. He was suspended for three games. What’s left there? I don't know. . . . He’s a great coach, a fantastic coach – probably second best coach to Nick Saban in the game right now. But after what went on in August, you could sense there was a skirmish between the administration and him. Without saying it, I think he was on a zero-tolerance policy. He embarrassed the school tremendously.”

Ohio State went 3-0 during Meyer’s suspension but lost 49-20 at Purdue on Oct. 20. The Buckeyes (12-1) won their final five games of the season, finishing No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

“I just don't think at age 54 he’s done,” Dodd said. “I just saw him a week ago at Ohio State-Michigan, and he looked like the picture of health. He shook my hand. Obviously they won the game, he was happy. But what happened between the Maryland game and the Michigan game? I don’t pretend to be a doctor, and these things come and go. But I’ll tell you this: I don’t think it’s all health, let me put it that way.”

As for Meyer’s legacy, Dodd said it’s complicated.

“It’s a brilliant coach with these issues,” he said. “How many coaches who win conference titles and contend for national championships retire at this age? They don’t. They retire because they’re 70 years old or they’re done with their career. I think this guy is really, really hard to figure out. I’ve known him since Utah, and he’s been a brilliant coach. But everywhere he went, there was drama. He reinvents himself at Ohio State, and his brilliance showed on the field. Again, he’ll probably surface somewhere else. He’s only 54.”

Ryan Day, who coached Ohio State during Meyer’s three-game suspension, has been named the next head coach. Dodd believes the 39-year-old will provide “a steady hand” in the post-Meyer era.

“He really opened a lot of eyes when he was the interim coach for those three games,” Dodd said. “There’s a reason he’s there. Chip Kelly loved him when he had him in the NFL. Urban Meyer loved him and brought him in, and I think that was reflected in the fact that he got this job. I think he’s a rising star in the profession. I’ve said it before: Ohio State football is bigger than any Ohio State football coach. They will continue to be good.”