Tressel Out, Meyer In?

The long anticipated axe finally fell on Ohio State Football Coach Jim Tressel on Sunday night when school officials demanded and received his resignation. Tressel's days were numbered the moment it became clear that he had lied about his knowledge of illegal activity by his players and played guys who he knew should have been ineligible.

Of course the firing of Tressel will cause reverberations throughout college football, but the aftershocks will be most dramatic in Gainesville. Ohio State's list of replacements for Tressel begins and ends with Ohio native son Urban Meyer.

Only Meyer knows how he feels physically and emotionally. Only he knows if the fire burning within is a desire to coach or a time bomb with regards to his health. One thing we know is that the Ohio State job is one of two that Meyer would consider; the other being Notre Dame. Meyer's resume is impeccable and his Ohio roots, including his first coaching job with the Buckeyes make him a perfect fit.

Meyer and Tressel have remarkably similar records. Meyer (104-23) has two BCS Titles to his credit while Tressel (106-22 @ OSU) has one.

One thing for sure is that Urban Meyer in his role with ESPN can not and should not let this linger. If he wants the job, he should make it clear he feels that returning to the sidelines in 2011 is of great interest. If not, he should make that equally clear.

If I were advising Meyer, I would tell him to stay away from Columbus for the time being. First of all, this might not be a very good job for a few years. Ohio State should be facing more significant sanctions than what USC just got and those are debilitating to a program. Secondly, I believe it's too soon to jump back into that pressure cooker. I know that's impossible to tell from the outside looking in, but it just seems like he's enjoying life and his semi-retirement and he owes it to himself to give it more than five months before returning to coaching.

If Meyer does not take on the challenge of restoring integrity to the Ohio State program, the Buckeyes could have a tough time filling the job. Bob Stoops isn't leaving Oklahoma for that mess. Gary Patterson (TCU) and Chip Kelly (Oregon) are two guys I'd call. I also like Ken Niumatalolo at Navy and Kyle Whittingham at Utah.

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