clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Does Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ‘own’ Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh?

Magic 8-Ball says: ‘Signs point to yes’

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

“I don’t think he’s going to beat Ohio State. I think Urban Meyer owns this guy,” Finebaum said. “If he loses this year, he’s got to go to Columbus next year. What is Jim Harbaugh going to do? Where is he going to go?”

-Paul Finebaum via Tim Bielik,

No one visiting Land-Grant Holy Land is going to be too broken up by people piling on the khaki-wearing coach of That Team Up North. But, I wouldn’t have thought that ESPN’s Paul Finebaum would be the one leading the charge following No. 17 Michigan’s loss to “little brother” Michigan State, 14-10 on Saturday.

Finebaum, one of the Worldwide Leader’s most well-known voices on SEC football, made an interesting point yesterday. In his two and a half seasons in Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh is now 1-4 against his two biggest rivals (MSU and Ohio State) and has yet to finish better than third in the Big Ten Legends East Division.

So, the Mouth from the South posited the question, what will Harbaugh do if he is unable to get the Maize and Blue over the proverbial hump?

“At some point, I think he’ll blow up,” Finnebaum said on ESPN’s “First Take” yesterday. “I think he’ll become frustrated and he’ll go back to where he used to be in the NFL. He left there because he was frustrated, but I think he’ll go back.”

I would venture to guess that Screech Powers’ cousin still has enough patience (or pride) to make it through a few more seasons of mediocrity at Michigan, but the pull of the NFL could become stronger if he’s not able to push his alma mater into relevance.

Now, in all fairness, given Michigan’s recent recruiting successes, Harbaugh’s admirable track record as a head coach, and the law of large numbers, one would have to assume that eventually UM will finish better than third in the division, and might even beat MSU and OSU in the same season.

If/when that happens, will it be enough to keep Harbaugh in the collegiate ranks? Only time will tell.

“I referred to it in the write-up for the players as not a spread offense, I wrote it as the spread offense, and I did that purposefully...”

-Bob Diaco via Parker Gabriel, Lincoln Journal Star

In preparation for Nebraska’s home game against No. 9 Ohio State this weekend, Husker defensive coordinator Bob Diaco laid it on a little thick when it came to praising the offensive prowess of Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer.

While there is no doubt that over the span of his career, Meyer has helped revolutionize how college football teams play offense, in front of the media, and apparently his players, Diaco is hyping up Meyer’s pedigree for one reason and one reason only.

It is not out of respect or admiration, it is to get his defense amped up to take on “the spread offense.” From the invented disrespect of Bill Belichick to the “rat poison” of Nick Saban, coaches will use whatever motivational tool that they can in order to gain an edge for their players.

So, don’t get sucked into Diaco’s phoney, sycophantic praise. Urban Meyer surely won’t.

“After leading his team to last season’s College Football Playoff semifinals, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer received a pay raise that was more than $100,000 above the amount required by his contract and pushes his basic annual compensation from the school for this season to more than $6.4 million.”

-Steve Berkowitz, USA Today Sports

I am normally one that is vehemently bemoaning the cartel stranglehold that the NCAA has over the athletes in relation to the money that member institutions bring in. However, in this case, the fact that Urban Meyer picked up an extra 100k for the season doesn’t bother me.

One of the reasons is that Ohio State continues to be one of the few schools that remain profitable without taking any funds from the university at large. So, if in this current, unfair arrangement, the money isn’t coming out of students’ pockets, more power to the coach.

My contention has always been that even if you want to maintain the illusion of amateurism for the players in relation to the school, their earning potential should not be curtailed when it comes to outside sources. In no other area of collegiate life are students prevented from making money off of their names and skills. If it needs to be regulated like the NCAA’s compliance wing already does, go for it. But there is no reason to stand between players and money that they have every right to earn.

So, if that’s the way I feel about players, I kind of have to feel the same way for coaches, right? Especially when it comes to one who is 66-7 in five+ seasons in Columbus.