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Meyer to Retire From Ohio State After Rose Bowl

Everyone knew that the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl was going to be the last game for Ohio State quarterback and Heisman finalist Dwayne Haskins, who is going to be potentially the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. We also knew it would be the last collegiate game in the stellar careers of Washington quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin, two of the Pac-12’s best ever.

Now we know it will be the last game as Buckeyes coach for Urban Meyer, and frankly, it’s not a huge surprise.

Meyer announced on Tuesday that he would step down and that Ryan Day, who currently is OSU’s offensive coordinator, will take over as the Buckeyes’ head coach on Jan. 2. Day joined the staff before the 2017 season as co-offensive coordinator and QBs coach and became the primary offensive coordinator this season. Day turned down the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator job in January. Some are comparing this situation to Lincoln Riley taking over for Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, and that certainly worked out well.

Why isn’t this surprise? It has been a rough year for Meyer as he had that three-game suspension for the whole Zack Smith mess that sullied Meyer’s reputation a bit. Perhaps more relevant, though, if you have watched any Ohio State games live you can just tell that Meyer physically isn’t 100 percent. Meyer had brain surgery to drain a cyst in the spring of 2014, and another surgery is an option for treatment. Remember, health problems caused his original retirement from Florida after the 2010 season. Some still believe he will coach again after getting his health in order.

Meyer is 82-9 at Ohio State with one national title and a perfect 7-0 vs. blood-rival Michigan (think Jim Harbaugh is happy after this news!?). The seven years were the longest he lasted at any of the four schools where he coached. I promise you that OSU’s utter embarrassment of the Wolverines on Nov. 24 played a bit of a role in this. Now he can walk away having dominated that “school up north” one last time.

What does this mean for the Rose Bowl (which, by the way, Meyer has never coached in)? This writer expects the spread to rise from its current number of Buckeyes -5.5 as the players will want to send their Hall of Fame coach out a winner.

Meyer, incidentally, has the second-best winning percentage (11-3, .786) in bowl games in his career among active coaches, behind only Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (.917). Ironically, those guys were co-coaches for Utah in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl, which naturally the Utes won. Meyer is 4-2 at Ohio State in bowl games.

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