All this week, LGHL writers will be bring you articles with their most unpopular opinions. Check out all of our Unpopular Opinions throughout the week HERE. Whether you disagree, let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter @Landgrant33.
Since it’s unpopular opinions week here at LGHL, we aren’t going to hold back today. We are going to ask the tough question and make you identify the Buckeye that most gets under your skin.
Not every Buckeye can be a fan favorite. There’s always going to be a player or coach that just rubs you the wrong way. As much as it would be nice to support every Ohio State figure 100%, that’s just not the way the world works. Eventually something is going to come up on or off the field that changes the way you feel about someone.
Today’s question: Which Ohio State player/coach/figure do you not care for?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s pick: Former head football coach Urban Meyer
I really should have trusted my first instinct with Urban Meyer. Every Buckeye fan hated Meyer for what his Florida Gators did to Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game. From his politicking to get his team into the game, to the beatdown his Gators put on the Buckeyes, he was Public Enemy No. 1 here in Columbus for a while.
Then “Tatgate” happened and Ohio State found themselves without a permanent fixture at head coach. Of course it was fitting that Meyer had just “retired” from Florida due to health issues and to spend more time with his family. After spending much of the 2011 season at ESPN, Ohio State secured the services of Meyer just a couple days after the Michigan game.
Everything started off like a dream for Meyer and Ohio State, with the Buckeyes reeling off 24 straight wins with Meyer at the helm. After a stretch that saw the Buckeyes lose three out of four games to close out the 2013 season and open up the 2014 season, Meyer led the Buckeyes on an incredible run with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones at quarterback to win a national title in the first year of the College Football Playoff.
Cracks started to show after the national title for Meyer and Ohio State. First the head coach couldn’t decide on a quarterback to open up the 2015 season, which kept Ohio State from being as dominant as they could’ve been. Then for some reason Meyer forgot how to give the ball to Ezekiel Elliott in a loss to Michigan State, which — in all honesty — is the only thing stopped the Buckeyes from securing a second straight national title.
What really ruined my opinion of Meyer was how he handled the Zach Smith situation. I get that Meyer is loyal to his assistants, but he should have cut ties with Smith long before the wide receiver coach’s suspension and eventual dismissal. The only reason that Smith was even on the staff is because Meyer’s mentor was Earle Bruce, Smith’s grandfather. Smith was a subpar coach and he didn’t uphold the values that Meyer expected his players to adhere to.
Ever since then, my opinion of Meyer has severely soured. I’m glad that Meyer didn’t stick around after the 2018 season, and hopefully now that he has moved on to head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, we see even less influence from Meyer at Ohio State and in Columbus.
I’ll be the first to admit that Urban Meyer is a phenomenal head coach. He wins football games and he gets paid really well to do that. He just doesn’t last all that long in his coaching stops. Six years at Florida and seven years at Ohio State. Anybody with as much success as he had at those two stops would have likely been there at least a decade. It’s because he wears on people, and it’s likely his time in Jacksonville will be even shorter because the NFL is a whole different ball game.
It is also my promise to you that I will never patronize Urban Meyer’s Pint House or Urban’s Chophouse.
Meredith’s pick: Former men’s basketball player Bob Knight
Now, I obviously have to caveat this topic by saying that I don’t know this individual personally. That being said, I will absolutely add Bob Knight to this list. It really has very little to do with his time as a player at Ohio State, but rather his antics as head coach at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech.
Why the controversy? Because there are a lot of folks who will say that the ends justify the means, and that Knight’s methods are just “good coaching.” So let’s talk about those methods:
- Knight has been repeatedly praised as one of the most innovative coaches in modern basketball, pioneering the motion offense.
- He is consistently counted among the best coaches of all time, currently ranking fifth in all-time wins.
- He was a four-time National Coach of the Year and was in the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
- He brought Indiana three national titles during his tenure with the Hoosiers.
And the means?
- Physical violence (punching Indiana’s sports information director, hitting Kentucky head coach Joe Hall in the back of the head, assaulting a police officer in Puerto Rico, choking players)
- Throwing chairs
- Screaming expletives at players, press, and administrators
- Throwing potted plants at university administrative assistants
Knight was ultimately fired from Indiana for assaulting a player.
Oh, and there was that time in 1988 that Knight stated, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” I have some expletives I’d like to throw his way.
In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter how many games you win if you are unequivocally unkind to your players and the broader community of administration, press, opposing teams and more. Throwing chairs? Choking players? Is it really worth the cultural hit to your program to have someone like that on your staff?
Knight was quoted in 1994 as saying, “When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass!”