Former conference head coaching foe Urban Meyer — whose Ohio State teams averaged victory margins of 32.5-points over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in four meetings — will be visiting Lincoln this Saturday for the Oklahoma at Nebraska game. That is the same Urban Meyer who is being mentioned as a potential target by Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts to be the next head coach of the Huskers and reportedly had the same glowing review of his experience of gamedays in Lincoln during past visits.
I've been saying Urban Meyer to Nebraska is more realistic than people realize. pic.twitter.com/8mih35ygm4— Welcome to the Big Ten, Pac-12 schools (@Genetics56) September 12, 2022
“Nebraska is one the most unique fan bases I’ve ever experienced,” said Meyer, via 247Sports. “One year when I was a coach at Ohio State, I asked one of my guys that worked with me, I said take me around a little bit. Let’s go incognito a little bit. I just wanted to walk around and I kind of did you know? I put a hat on and just kind of was in disguise and I just wanted to watch this because I grew up watching Tom Osborne and watching Nebraska win national championships. I was a big fan and so the fan support is as good as there is in America. They’re great fans too.
“And then the game starts and they’re still there. They’re there all the way to the end. They’re as courteous fans as you can imagine. So I would imagine that this is just one of things, it’s a speed bump. They got to get going, but you just wonder to at what point will it ever start to dissipate a little bit? I can’t see it because the ones who grew up watching Nebraska and I’ve witnessed it first hand several times on that field, those are as good fans as there are in America.”
As head coach in Columbus, Meyer went 54-4 in Big Ten play at OSU that included six division titles (and another the Buckeyes were ineligible for), three Big Ten titles, and one national championship. His teams never won fewer than 10 games in a season and earned a bid to the College Football Playoff twice.
Overall, Meyer holds a 187-32 record as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State and owns three national championship rings. His teams won seven conference titles and earned bids to 10 BCS or CFP/NY6 bowl appearances.
However, Meyer also has a history of off-field issues in his head coaching career. During his tenure in Gainseville, 31 players for the Gators were arrested over the six year span that included various charges ranging from possession of alcohol by a minor to possession of a concealed weapon, aggravated stalking, domestic violence by strangulation, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and fraudulent use of credit cards.
Though many players saw charges eventually dropped, the off-field issues were still concerning at Florida. There were also accusations in Sporting News by former players after his departure following the 2010 season that he hid positive drug tests by star athletes.
While at Ohio State, some of those off-field issues continued as well. The most prominent of which came at the outset of the 2018 season when reports came out that Meyer was aware of allegations of spousal abuse against assistant coach Zach Smith prior to his firing. He was placed on administrative leave and an investigative panel’s review of evidence resulted in the Ohio State Board of Trustees suspending Meyer for the first three games of the regular season in 2018. Eventually Meyer announced his intention to step down from the head coach position at Ohio State following the 2018 season’s conclusion, something he had done at Florida as well citing health reasons at the time.
Meyer eventually was hired on by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 14, 2021 after working for FOX as a broadcast commentator for two seasons, including for college coverage such as the Big Noon Kickoff show. Meyer quickly flamed out in the job and was fired on Dec. 16, 2021.
Never forget when Urban Meyer was doing a live interview and you could see a shirtless man in the mirror behind him ☠️☠️ pic.twitter.com/rVJKF0MhuB— Blue By 90 (@bluebyninety) December 17, 2021
While many people recall an incident at his Columbus-area restaurant, Urban Meyer’s Pint House, in early October following the team’s loss at Cincinnati in which he inappropriately touched a woman dancing on him at the bar that wasn’t his wife, that was frankly the least significant issue of his tenure with the NFL franchise. Meyer was accused of kicking Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo’s leg prior to the team’s final preseason game. He was also accused of making racially offensive remarks to a Black player after practice. That was just a selection of the more serious allegations of misconduct and toxic culture leveled at Meyer following his short stint as a NFL head coach.
Meyer will be in Lincoln this Saturday as part of the hosts on FOX’s BIG NOON KICKOFF pregame show. The network’s morning show will preview college football’s games that week on location from outside Memorial Stadium in Lincoln starting at 10:00 a.m. ET/9:00 central leading into the Oklahoma-Nebraska game kicking off at its conclusion.
FOX BIG NOON pregame kickoff show set is being built behind the student union at UNL! @Channel8ABC @LaurenMichelson pic.twitter.com/FVfi0uaw2I— Anthony D'Agostino (@ADagostinoTV) September 13, 2022