Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Urban Meyer’s firing as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and debate if he could return to college football coaching.
DAN WETZEL: Urban is gone. He was fired. Total disaster of a tenure. It was like every negative quality of Urban blew up on him, and every positive quality just didn't work. It just could not have gone worse.
The offense was absolutely atrocious. The defense was pretty good, but he clearly lost everybody in that building. His coaches are leaking stuff. Players are leaking stuff. Former players, everyone-- nobody likes Urban.
So thoughts on Urban's demise? And then our thing-- could Urban come back to college? You know, he's gonna say I don't want to, I don't want to coach again. That's fine. He may not, but he's only 57. And he's told us he's retired or been fired now. This is his fourth time-- one firing, three retirements. Is there a place for Urban back in college football? Pat, I'll start with you.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. And if you didn't hear the Yahoo NFL podcast with Charles Robinson last week, Dan and I buried Urban the day before Urban got fired. So we had a lot of thoughts on Urban then. You know, look, we've all covered this sport long enough. Are you really gonna tell me that somebody not going to want to hire Urban Meyer? No.
I mean, does it actually happen? We'll see. I think it would probably depend what sort of level he will allow himself to come back at. If he thinks I'm only coming back for a Cadillac job, he might have a little bit of a rude awakening. But Bobby Petrino's coaching.
Now, he's coaching in the FCS level at Missouri State. Hugh Freeze is coaching. Now, he's coaching at Liberty after being in the SEC, but he's a better coach than both of those guys and arguably has less baggage. Although he's got a pretty good amount of baggage at this point.
PETE THAMEL: Acquiring bags.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, he has acquired plenty. So I will say that if he wants to coach again, he will absolutely find a job. It's just a matter of what level he will see himself being able to come back at.
I've known a lot of coaches and seen a lot of coaches who thought that after getting fired or something goes wrong, well, I'll jump right back in at a really good spot. And then all of a sudden they don't get a job they want, and they don't get another job they want. And it's like, what happened? It's like, you got to realize you're a little bit damaged goods now.
But Urban Meyer has three championship rings he can flash. People will look at those. Somebody will say, I'd like him to coach our team.
PETE THAMEL: I think obviously there will be opportunity. But I think he would be pretty foolish to go back. And I don't think that the way he won, be it at Florida, be it at Ohio State, I mean, Urban Meyer was the dominant force in the program. And full on obedience to him and he being the full driving alpha was his way. That was how he coached. That was who he was.
He was in charge. Everybody knew it, and everybody fell in line from Urban Meyer. And that is just not the way-- I mean, he was not a college football coach that long ago, right? I mean, this was just Ryan Day's third full season at Ohio State, right?
So, I mean, it was not that long ago. The college coaching world has drastically changed. Now could he come back and go to some metaphorical Colorado State and have success? Sure. Like, no question.
He's a good football coach. People would want to go play for him. They'd go transfer to play for him. He'd be fine. Would he ever be able to win at a level that he would want to and that his ego would require to? No, I don't think that option is available anymore.
So I don't think he should come back. He was excellent on television. Like, he was a really good TV analyst, and I think that's where he'll end up back if he's in the public eye again. He'll be back on television, back some sort of role.
He liked Fox. Fox liked him a lot. So I would imagine-- I don't know if it's soon, if it's next year, or when it is that there's likely to be-- and neither side has told me this-- but there's likely to be mutual interest from both sides in reviving that. But Urban is a college coach in modern days. The level of partnership it takes with the players right now-- and that's really what it is because, look, he wasn't around for the transfer portal in any function that it is now. He was not around for name, image, and likeness in any way that it is now.
It is just a radically, drastically different world than when he walked away from Ohio State. And because of that, I just think there would be an uncomfortable adjustment period with a huge sharing spotlight on everything that happens that obviously followed him through the NFL. And I just think it would be uncomfortable if he went back in this modern paradigm.