Former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer said that contrary to reports, he has not accepted nor even had an offer to become the Ohio State Buckeyes head coach, saying so while in the booth for ESPN's Nebraska-Michigan game on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, ESPN.com reported that Ohio State had been in touch with Meyer about the position. But, Meyer, 47, who retired in December 2010 to spend time with his family and take care of his health, has seemed satisfied with his current job as an analyst, though he has said before that he will not rule out coaching again.
I know it's that time of year, he said in the booth. I've not been offered any job, and I've certainly not accepted any job.
ESPN.com did not report the deal as finalized, but said there was strong interest on both sides for one to get completed. It estimated an announcement would not come until after the regular season, citing Ohio State's December meeting with the NCAA infractions committee because of violations regarding quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four teammates selling memorabilia to a tattoo parlor.
The scandal forced then coach Jim Tressel to resign six months ago with Luke Fickell taking over in the interim. With Fickell, the Buckeyes have struggled this season (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten) and look like a shadow of their former powerhouse selves.
Meyer, if he decides to return to coaching, has the potential to turn the program around, back to its glory days as a Big Ten force. He, as a former Florida, Utah Utes and Bowling Green Falcons coach has amassed a 104-23 record in 10 years. In 2004, Meyer led the Utes to an undefeated 12-0 record and a Bowl Championship Series bid, the first time a non-automatically qualifying team received a BCS bid since the formation of the BCS in 1998. Most recently and notably, he has won two national championships with Florida, one in 2006 and another in 2008.
Meyer as Ohio State coach would also make sense because he himself is an Ohio native and began his career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State.