News broke on Monday that Urban Meyer is officially retiring, again. This move leaves a premier program, Ohio State, without a head coach after its Rose Bowl contest. That means the Ohio State job is up for grabs.
I’m doing the righteous thin here. I’m putting my biased opinion to the side, I developed a short list of candidates I would just love to see fill the Ohio State job. Some are just fun thoughts that would make “The Game” even more entertaining, while others are legit options that could happen.
The Ohio State job candidates are:
Thinking about how electric it would be to watch Jim Harbaugh and Lane Kiffin’s Twitter battle throughout the off-season and into the regular season makes me smile. Lane Kiffin is the perfect match to Jim Harbaugh’s bully like bravado because Lane Kiffin is exactly the same way. We all know he would let the entire world know what he thinks about that school up north and Harbaugh. The only coach who could out do the drama that was Harbaugh vs. Meyer is Lane Kiffin.
Lane Kiffin though, has not been overly successful at Florida Atlantic. That may hurt his chances at the Ohio State job. Also, with recent investigations into its athletic program, Ohio State may need an experienced damage controller who will spin a brighter light on the school itself. I do ultimately think Kiffin will have another shot at Power five school before his career is finished, and the College Football world would be a buzz if it was the Ohio State job.
For the people who do not know who I am referring to, please go on Netflix. Spend the next couple of days binge-watching “Last Chance U”. Stephens is the Nick Saban of the Junior College Football world. He is coming off his fifth JUCO National Championship season at East Mississippi State Community College and may be looking for a new challenge.
What makes this thought so polarizing, is that Stephens is a harsh and abrupt human being who would match very well to Ohio State’s winning culture. Stephens loves to go fast, and blow opponents out. He has a certain swagger and demeanor that would be a breath of fresh air and would bring an amazing dynamic to the Michigan rivalry.
Stephens has the highest winning percentage in NJCAA history (98-13 .879%), and as mentioned above, is a five-time national champ. Stephens is used to winning. He is one of the few who can pick up where Meyer left off. That’s on the recruiting trail and winning games.
With everything I have heard, Bob Stoops seems to already be a front-runner for the job. His name was connected to the program while the whole domestic abuse scandal was circling the Columbus campus. The move would make sense for the BCS National Championship winning coach. Him stepping away from Oklahoma was a shocking move. It really still has not made a lot of sense to me, even after a couple of seasons.
With that though, coaches who leave a big program like Oklahoma abruptly as he did usually step right back into the driver’s seat of another once it is available. Stoops is an Ohio born kid, Youngstown, and would bring the same winning culture Meyer brought when he joined back in 2011.
I know I pulled this one out of thin air, but Petersen is one of my favorite coaches in the country. He would be the type of coach Ohio State may be interested in bringing in to help control the damage Meyer did to Ohio State’s reputation. Petersen is a tremendous fundamental’s coach who prides himself on stellar defenses and has won wherever he has gone.
Peterson came to the national spotlight with the work he did in Boise State and the Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. He left the Bronco’s to go to Washington, but it was a move that really never made much sense. I get he does not like the spotlight as much as many might, but the usual MO for coaches in his position usually is to move to a struggling powerhouse program who is looking to reclaim its glory days. That didn’t happen, and though Petersen has seen success in Washington, I do think it is his time to try his hand coaching a prime-time program like Ohio State and see what he can do.
Not going to lie, the job may be too big for the former Wisconsin and Arkansas Head Coach. The former Big Ten Coach of the Year may look for a comeback into the conference where he saw the most success. Bielema had a 62-28 record in seven years at Wisconsin. He also had two Big Ten championships and two appearances in the Rose Bowl. He left the Badgers to challenge himself in the SEC and failed miserably.
Another outspoken, large personality who would bring back that tough blue-collar mentality Ohio State saw under legendary coach Woody Hayes. He doesn’t have the same winning pedigree in recent years as some of the above-mentioned coaches. However, he does have an impressive resume. The Ohio State job could be perfect. He’s a coach who is looking to revitalize his once promising coaching career.