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Message to Tom Herman: Urban Meyer isn’t your friend or mentor

Ohio State v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Urban Meyer just threw Tom Herman under the treads of an Abrams tank and backed over him twice.

The elite Ohio State coach accused Tom Herman of blaming his players after the loss against Maryland and of refusing the total accountability and extreme ownership required of a head coach at a new program.

And a sports media that isn’t long on analytical ability is running with it without even any surface analysis as to motivation or context.

Urban Meyer lecturing anyone on accountability is amusing, but there are more levels to this.

The money quote:

Meyer pointed to a statement made Saturday by Herman (his former offensive coordinator at Ohio State) not being able to "sprinkle fairy dust" on the Longhorns team he inherited from Charlie Strong (Meyer's former defensive coordinator at Florida) following a loss to Maryland.

Meyer also said Muschamp "blamed us for Florida," referring to a perceived lack of talent left for Muschamp when Meyer departed before the 2011 season.

"C'mon man. I don't know where that came from," Meyer told CBS Sports. "It's like a new generation of excuse. [Herman] said, 'I can't rub pixie dust on this thing.' He got a dose of reality. Maryland just scored 51 points on you."

Urban (knowingly) contorts what Herman meant and ignores the larger context in which Herman and his staff have been nothing but complimentary of these players in recent months and, if anything, may have built them up a bit too much in the minds of fans (and staff) coming into the season opener.

Urban’s motivations in this article are pretty easy to discern:

  1. Legacy. Notoriously thin skinned at any suggestion that he’s anything but an exemplar of Christian leadership, Meyer is protecting his legacy at Florida where he recruited a roster full of criminals and abject assholes (and, you know, an actual murderer) that he shielded and encouraged before growing to despise them so much when the results showed on the field that he fled the job due to “health concerns”, went to television, waited for the next great job to open up, magically healed himself and walked into an Ohio State program that had won six consecutive Big 10 titles under coach Jim Tressel before one bad interim year under Tressel’s replacement.
  2. Recruiting in Texas. In 2017, Ohio State went into Texas and took arguably the three best players in the state. Electric running back JK Dobbins just ran for 181 yards in his Buckeye debut. LB/DE Baron Browning and S Jeffrey Okudah were ranked as two of the Top 5 players in the state and Top 25 in the country. They bluest of blue chips. In 2018, Ohio State is in serious contention for one elite state of Texas recruit in CB Anthony Cook. Texas has done an excellent job of shutting down out-of-state intrusion. Discrediting Meyer’s primary in-state barrier, even if it means putting the screws to a former staff member who helped him win a national title, is incredibly smart, if not transparent opportunism.

Now, Herman losing to Maryland is a good means of discrediting himself, but Urban is happy to deliver the coup de grace through a media populated by useful idiots.

The bigger takeaway for Texas and Tom Herman is that if Tom or any Texas fan were delusional enough to believe that the first year Longhorn head coach has a friend, ally or mentor in Urban Meyer, they don’t understand Meyer’s character or his history. Urban Meyer is a supreme mercenary. He and Herman had their useful collaboration, both benefitted, and now Meyer is going to zealously pursue what’s in his best interests, even if it means kicking his former offensive coordinator while he’s down with a deliberately obfuscatory take.

Get used to it.

The only way you can inoculate yourself is by winning.