J. Brady McCollough looks at the 25 biggest storylines in college football heading into the 2019 season. Urban Meyer will be everyone’s radar this year.
On Aug. 31 at around 4 p.m. the Florida State Seminoles will take the field in Jacksonville, Fla., against Boise State.
Half an hour later, the Auburn Tigers will meet Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Three hours after that, USC will open at the renovated Coliseum against Fresno State.
So how long into the 2019 season will it take before some desperate fan base starts salivating for Urban Meyer and his ridiculous 85% winning percentage, despite all the baggage and negative publicity the hire would bring initially?
No retired coach in the history of college football will have received as much attention as Meyer will this fall. First off, he’s going to be holding court each week on Fox’s new “Big Noon Kickoff” show that is the network’s latest attempt at rivaling ESPN’s “College GameDay.”
That show will be broadcast from the network’s studios in Los Angeles.
Can you imagine USC athletic director Lynn Swann speeding over there at halftime of the USC-Fresno State game if Clay Helton’s Trojans look like the same befuddled outfit from 2018? (Judging by Swann’s inactivity last year, something that drastic seems unlikely, but even Swann will run out of patience at some point.)
Meyer has said he doesn’t “think” he will coach again. Don’t believe that for a second. He’s too young — just 55 — and we know the guy can’t live with himself for long without blowing a whistle or sending disgruntled text messages about how it’s always something.
Will Auburn donors tolerate a loss to Oregon, or any loss for that matter, knowing that Meyer could be their next coach? Will Florida State fans, who are coming off their first season without a bowl game since 1981, have perspective about 8-4 or 7-5 when they could stick it to Florida by hiring Meyer?
USC, Auburn and Florida State are the most obvious landing places, but it could be anybody. The fact that Meyer is potentially in play for athletic directors raises the stakes for most coaches of high-profile programs who haven’t won a national championship.
Oklahoma could lose Lincoln Riley to the NFL. Notre Dame could suddenly look mediocre again, and the Fighting Irish certainly know how much they could tug at Meyer’s lifelong yearning to coach in South Bend.
Urban Meyer will coach major college football again. Where? When? Let the games begin.