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Urban Meyer knew this day would come sooner rather than later

Meyer spent seven years on the sidelines in Columbus.

NCAA Football: Urban Meyer-Press Conference Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Hired as a 47-year-old coming off a year in TV following six seasons of success and burnout at Florida, Meyer in 2011 knew he wasn’t going to spend decades with the Buckeyes.”

- Doug Lesmerises,

When Urban Meyer took over the Ohio State job, he knew that it would be unrealistic to think that he could continue coaching for much longer. In the words of Drake (the rapper, not the university president), he was here for a good time, not a long time. According to Lesmerises, Meyer told AD Gene Smith he believed his tenure with the Buckeyes would last anywhere from six to 10 years. With his health situation worsening year by year, Meyer had begun planning his exit as early as 2014.

Meyer was diagnosed with the brain cyst in 1998, and would require surgery in 2014. He managed the cyst for the next two years until having an incident at the Penn State game in 2017. This year, his problems continued to worsen, with the stress from coaching a team with the highest of expectations causing headaches and other issues for Meyer on the sideline.

The addition of Ryan Day to the coaching staff in 2017 was no coincidence. Ohio State was interested in a coach with a similar style and methods as Meyer but without the worry of health — one that would be able to continue the immense success seen during Meyer’s reign. Both Smith and Meyer felt that Day was a perfect candidate for the role, and so he was hired, with Meyer passing the torch after seven years as the Buckeyes head coach.

“On Wednesday, Spring Valley offensive lineman Doug Nester - an Ohio State commit - said that he will not enroll at Ohio State for the spring semester as originally planned.”

- Grant Taylor, the Herald-Dispatch

One of the biggest worries for Ohio State fans following Urban Meyer’s retirement announcement is not what the product will look like on the field, but how it will affect recruiting. We have already seen the effects rippling through the recruitment trail, with 4-star safety Lejond Cavazos decommitting on Tuesday and most recently 4-star offensive lineman Jake Wray doing the same. Early Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that now Doug Nester, a 4-star prospect in the 2019 class, will not be enrolling early as he had originally planned.

Nester, an offensive lineman from Spring Valley High School, located in West Virginia, is remaining committed to the Buckeyes as of right now, but the retirement of Meyer has made him wish to take a step back and evaluate all of his options before moving forward. While Nester announced he would not be enrolling at Ohio State for the spring semester, he also added that he would not be signing with any school during the December early signing period.

Nester is the 90th-ranked prospect in the country, and second in his home state. He would be Ohio State’s 3rd-highest ranked prospect in the 2019 class as of right now.

“If Jim Harbaugh is fortunate, Tuesday’s news will finally shift the balance of power in one of football’s most storied rivalries.”

- Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press

Among all the accolades Urban Meyer is praised for in his time at Ohio State — the 82-9 record, three Big Ten titles, the 2014 National Championship — there is one that reigns supreme among the Buckeye faithful: a perfect record against Michigan. Meyer went 7-0 against the Team Up North, outscoring the Wolverines 275-189 across seven seasons. Right from the start, he was able to turn one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports to a guaranteed win.

With Meyer no longer at the helm, however, the door has been opened for Michigan to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. For Jim Harbaugh, this opportunity is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the absence of Urban Meyer will give Michigan its best chance to beat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2011. On the other, another loss to Ohio State in 2019 — in Ann Arbor against a first year head coach — would be a devastating blow to both Harbaugh’s career as a coach and the program as a whole.

Around Campus

Men’s Basketball

No. 19 Ohio State will take on Illinois tonight at 7 p.m. ET in their second Big Ten matchup of the season. On Sunday, the Buckeyes knocked off Minnesota 79-59 to open up conference play 1-0. The team had six players score in double figures for the first time since 2016, Chris Holtmann moved to 16-3 in conference play as Ohio State’s head coach.

Women’s Basketball

Ohio State’s women’s hoops squad will travel to Washington to take on the Huskies at 11 p.m. ET. The lady Bucks are 2-2 to begin the year, defeating North Carolina 76-69 in their latest contest. Dorka Juhász has recorded a double-double in four of her first five collegiate games, including an 18-point 16-rebound performance against the Tar Heels.

Men’s Hockey

In their last time out, the No. 5 Buckeyes tied Minnesota 2-2, earning an extra point in the Big Ten standings with an overtime goal. At 9-4-3 on the year, Ohio State will return to Columbus having earned four of six available points in conference. The team will have to wait a long time before returning to the ice, as their next game is not until Dec. 28, when they take on Mercyhurst at Value City Arena.

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