The NCAA has just accused Jim Tressel, who oversees the football program at The Ohio State University, of lying. Generally speaking, it doesn’t pay to lie to the NCAA. (Ask Bruce Pearl, who used to coach basketball at Tennessee.) There are those who believe Tressel, his stellar record notwithstanding, isn’t long for his job.
And then there’s Beano Cook, who believes Urban Meyer will coach Ohio State in 2012.
Beano Cook, who used to be a big man in college football circles, went on ESPN Radio last week and averred: “I’ve said on my Podcast. . . Urban Meyer will be the coach at Ohio State in 2012. That was my prediction and I stick by that prediction.”
Corporate synergy note: You can find Beano’s podcast, also on ESPN, by clicking here. And Urban Meyer, who once coached the Florida Gators, works for ESPN. At least he does until he decides to end his latest retirement.
A couple of things: Beano has been wrong before. (So have I.) He infamously predicted Ron Powlus would win two Heismans. (I infamously predicted Georgia would beat Florida and Urban Meyer in 2008. Also in 2010. I never learn.) That said, Beano could be onto something here.
Tressel is in trouble. He has already been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season — Ohio State was ready to dock him two games, but Tressel requested three more — after failing to tell school officials he’d been given reason to believe his players had traded jerseys for tattoos. And Meyer is, among other things, a native Ohioan.
Born in Toledo. Grew up in Ashtabula. Played defensive back for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Started his coaching career at Ohio State. Has his Masters from Ohio State. Can do all the gestures to “Hang On Sloopy.” (Official rock song of the Buckeye State, FYI.)
Meyer does have one blip on his history. He outcoached Tressel and beat the hugely favored Buckeyes in the BCS title game in January 2007, giving rise to the notion that Ohio State couldn’t handle the big boys of the SEC. This was the notion Tressel was so desperate to debunk that he lobbied for those players suspended in the wake of the tattoo investigation to be allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas. (They played. OSU won, just.)
If Tressel does fall, there’d be no better choice as replacement. But one word of warning to Michigan fans: If your team should score a touchdown against the Meyer-coached Buckeyes and your players should feel the need to express their elation via an on-field dance … well, the Urbanator won’t like that. He won’t like that one little bit.
Oh, and one thing more: Readers have reminded me that The Ohio State University will meet The University of Georgia in 2020 and 2021. Mark your calendars, folks.
By Mark Bradley