Extra preparation time an advantage for Meyer, Ohio State

Kirk Irwin

Watch out, Illinois, because Urban Meyer doesn't typically lose when his teams have had extra time to prepare for opponents.

Urban Meyer's lifetime win/loss record as a head coach is impressive. Since he began his head coaching career at Bowling Green State University in 2001, Meyer's record of 125-23 includes Ohio State's current 21-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in college football. Meyer's overall win percentage of .845 places him fourth all-time in college football history, behind Knute Rockne (.881) and Frank Leahy (.864), and Meyer is very close to overtaking George Woodruff, currently ranked third all-time with a win percentage of .846.

With that in mind, it's no surprise that Meyer's teams have managed a record of 35-2 over the course of his career when given extra time to prepare for an opponent. This scenario includes season openers, games after a bye week, and bowl games.

One of those losses came during Meyer's first season as a head coach, when the Bowling Green State University Falcons came off of a bye week to lose to the Miami Redhawks at home 24-21.

The second loss with additional time to prepare came in 2007, when Meyer was the head coach at the University of Florida. The Gators took on That Team Up North in the Orlando, Florida Citrus Bowl, and lost 35-41.

Other than those two games, Meyer is perfect with additional time to prepare for an opponent, which does not bode well for a struggling Illinois team. The Fighting Illini have a considerable losing streak in conference play, having dropped 19 games to conference opponents since their last conference win. Ohio State was also the team that started the Illini's conference losing streak when these teams met in 2011, in a game where Braxton Miller only managed to complete one pass.

The Buckeyes have been pretty good over time with additional time to prepare for opponents as well. The Buckeyes are 14-9 after a bye week, excluding a 2010 post-bye victory over Penn State that was vacated, and including this season's post-bye victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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