This man must thrive under surprising pressure.
I've mentioned before about my thoughts for the upcoming season, and how, really, since
nothing much less than we're used to matters, we Buckeye fans get to take a bit of a deep breath and just watch Urban Meyer begin his B1G head coaching career, presumably leading the Scarlet and Gray back from the depths of 6-7 and straight to the promised land. No pressure, right?
Funny thing about Buckeye fans, though. Apparently, even when there's nothing to win, there's still plenty to lose.
I still think we're in the opening stages of the Urban Meyer Honeymoon, but its a more than safe bet to assume that a great number of Buckeye fans across this great Buckeye Nation still expect this team to achieve double digit wins. Cleveland.com hosted a poll examining what Buckeye fans think will be the results for the year. The results really weren't that surprising, when you think about it. The majority of respondents, 36%, had the Buckeyes coming in at 10-2. This is about where most national consensus is, too, with SI.com putting the Buckeyes at 9-3, and Athalon Sports giving the Buckeyes a haughty 11-1 season.
Is this possible? Let us remember, though I'm sure we've all tried to block it out (by blacking out, if you're any Buckeye fan I know) what we saw on the field last year. That wasn't just a 6-7 football team, that was a bad 6-7 football team. There was some glory, to be sure; one need not look any further than Braxton Miller's game-winner against Bucky Badger last year. But after that...meh. Does the addition of a brand new coaching staff really equal three-to-five more wins?
It just might, if you smell what the Urb is cooking.
Meyer wasn't exactly humble at his first ever weekly presser, throwing around bold statements aplenty while at the podium. And not every statement was an edict governing the reporters' twitter feeds! "I can't comment on last year's team," Meyer said, an artful dodge away from comparisons to his own defensive coordinator's squad from a year ago. "[But] I think I've got a team that's chomping at the bit to go play."
Meyer's infatuation with comparing Braxton Miller to Chris Leak, which began in the ESPNU All Access specials, also continued, the coach saying, "Braxton has come a million miles. I think he's fairly comfortable. Our goal is to make him a quarterback that's very athletic." And to sum up, Meyer didn't pull punches, speaking of the pride he hopes to instill in the entire state of Ohio when the Buckeyes win on Saturday. Granted, a win would be against another state school, but you get the picture.
If you go back and compare Meyer's comments today with some of the rhetoric that was floating around in Spring and early summer, it seems this bunch has turned a complete 180 in the eyes of the Head Coach. Is he right? A cynic would think that a coach as tough as Meyer (or at least as tough as Meyer used to be) would shit all over his team, for better or worse, and use that as a motivating factor. An optimist might think that this new coach won't treat the game week presser like his predecessor did, heaping all the praise on every opponent, before announcing who the impact player of the week was, and then giving Lori Schmidt the last question (still love u, tress). Where does Urban Meyer fall after his first go-round with the media?
For me, my expectations were only as high as winning as many games as possible, so long as one of them was against Michigan. But after hearing his thoughts on Monday, I'm starting to raise my personal bar for this team. If they don't get to nine wins, that might be difficult to stomach, honeymoon or not. Thankfully, we get to find out if the first game of the Urban Renewal becomes the first win of many. And we get to find all that out in just a few short days.
What do you think, Land-Granters? Peep the poll and talk amongst yourselves in the comments.
Did Urban Meyer's first press conference change your expectations for the upcoming season?
Yes - for the better (24 votes)
Yes - for the worse (3 votes)
No change (20 votes)
47 total votes