Mayer has been the subject of speculation all week after Nebraska fired coach Scott Frost. It seems reasonable. While Meyer is the worst coach in NFL history, he remains the most qualified coach in the college game.
I see most ex-coaches now on TV have a competitive itch that needs to be scratched, and I appreciate that. Scratching that itch in the past is what gives the greats the perspective they need to be really good on TV. But this time, it’s in Urban’s best interest that you continue to itch.
No doubt about how I feel about Urban Meyer. I will own it. I think he lost a lot of credibility as a football coach. Jacksonville’s tenure began with arrogance and ended with incompetence. But I think he’s really good at FOX. Whatever you want a coach-turned-analyst to do on TV, do a good job.
What win would he have in going to Lincoln to coach the Cornhuskers? Did you see them on Saturday? Clearly, Scott Frost wasn’t that team’s only problem. There is absolutely no talent on that list.
Urban Meyer has more influence in college football on FOX before the game than as head coach of Nebraska. Furthermore, the FOX chief analyst and his family are not under the microscope as is the case with the Nebraska coach or any other college football program. It doesn’t get scrutinized by fans week in and week out. You don’t have to worry about keeping your reinforcements and their money happy. On top of that, broadcasting isn’t an act that made him sick at all!
How is Mayer’s current lifestyle not better than the one you’re supposed to spend on the phone with high school students trying to trick them into wanting to move to Lincoln, Nebraska?
To be perfectly fair, ESPN’s Tamil House I mentioned on Saturday Mayer is expected to stay at FOX. I’m sure Thamel is well resourced and that’s the coach’s intention, but I bet he had the intention of staying at ESPN before the Ohio State call and his intent to stay at FOX before the Jaguars called.
How many former coaches should be back? How many guys have to leave the studio, go back to the sideline, and fall flat on their faces before Urban Meyer and others like him get it? Broadcasting is a good party. It may be better than training.
Some players are born to compete. I got it. Quote from Nigel the Pelican from Finding Nemo, “The fish must swim, and the birds must eat,” and I will add to that the coach who must be a coach. But there are plenty of cautionary tales.
Look at Jane Chesek. He won a national championship in 2010 as head coach at Auburn. Now, I don’t think you’ll find anyone to tell you that Chase was a great coach. Midfielder Cam Newton was fortunate to have picked up a title. He was separated after two years.
Chizik landed in the SEC network. It was really good on TV. Just like Meyer, he was pretty good at explaining what goes in a coach’s head in specific situations. He can explain the scheme as clearly as he can. It was a pleasure watching.
For whatever reason, he decided to quit television at the end of his last college football season to become the defensive coordinator for Mac Brown at the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels are currently 3-0, but the defense has received some pretty appalling reviews.
This isn’t just a college problem, either. Look at John Gruden. Now, let me be completely honest with you. I am a fan of pirates. I appreciate that Gruden was willing to step in and give the Super Bowl XXXVII episode that rightly belongs to Tony Dungy a good home, but I have no illusions that he was a really good coach.
I also didn’t think much of him as an analyst in Monday Night Football, but it was clear that ESPN did. It wasn’t just the huge salary that showed how much Grid appreciated him. ESPN also set up spots for him on TV and radio where his presence was more dynamic than in the booth.
There was no reason to go back to the sidelines, but he did in 2018. This put him in a position to answer emails from Bruce Allen and now his coaching and broadcasting career is over.
These are two particularly bad cases. I think Urban Meyer and any other former coach on TV are smart enough to resist returning to work as coordinator, and I think Gruden is such a cautionary tale that any of them would be more disciplined by email. But perhaps the message to get rid of is greater than the worst-case scenario.
Mark Jackson’s name was mentioned in connection with some open jobs after the last NBA season. At the time, Andy Masur wrote a great article for the site arguing that none of the jobs Jackson has been associated with has been better than being part of the best by-playing team in the league on TV.
Ego can destroy something good. Success in sport requires sacrifice. Success in broadcasting after succeeding in sports? Not much.
Urban Meyer still has a seven-figure salary. I’m sure he saved a lot of his earlier training gigs too. He and his wife do not “cheat” in any way.
Life must be good for him on Big Nun launch Designation. The sacrifice must be made and he is ready to take advantage of the free time needed to actually enjoy life. I appreciate the competitive spirit, but I don’t understand how taking Nebraska to the Mayo Bowl in Duke is any better than what Urban Meyer has now.