Meyer's Retirement Sets Up Battle For B1G Supremacy

Meyer's Retirement Sets Up Battle For B1G Supremacy

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Meyer's Retirement Sets Up Battle For B1G Supremacy

How will Urban Meyer’s retirement announcement impact the balance of power in the Big Ten?  Some programs are walking around in a daze, wondering what to do, what’s next.  Others – one in particular – will calmly and confidently look at the roadmap that’s already led to three Big Ten Championships.

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So, does all of this really just mean that Urban Meyer’s confidant has made clandestine arrangements for him to become the head coach at Notre Dame a year from now?

Or is Meyer’s confidant in the final stages of paving the way for him to become the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in two weeks?

Is it possible that Meyer’s confidant is finalizing the details with the people at Duke and Meyer is going to take over for Coach K just before this year’s NCAA Tournament starts?

No, I think this time it’s all for real and I think Urban Meyer is, indeed, going to sign a family contract that states that he must never coach a football team of any kind ever again.

And while we’ve written a whole lot about Meyer, the role of his confidant –

https://spartanswire.com/2018/08/02/the-urban-meyer-situation-the-role-of-the-confidant/

….and Urban Meyer’s slippery relationship with the truth at times, we’re going to say this right now:

Go relax and enjoy yourself, Coach.

These guys – the ones at the absolute top of their profession – work themselves to the bone and consume their lives and their family’s life with their own obsessive commitment to defeating opponents 26-6, 48-3, and 62-39.

And for this guy – a guy who will go down as one of the all time greatest coaches in the history of college football – he’s come to the end of the line and he deserves to, as Keith Jackson used to say, sit with a glass of lemonade underneath the shady tree.

Now what?

Of course, the immediate narrative in most circles will turn to the big, giant, flashing, loud thing down the street that couldn’t ever beat Urban Meyer and everyone will say, “NOW things are really going to get back to the way they’re supposed to be…”

That narrative will conveniently forget that Urban Meyer hasn’t been the only problem in that whole situation.

The people down the street who are a part of what my friend Jim Comparoni has appropriately tabbed “The Circus” are still punch drunk from that 62-39 thing and they’ve been walking around in their pajamas ever since the Sunday morning after that 62-39 thing.

They’ve been mumbling and stumbling and none of them have eaten a full meal in more than a week.

And just when some of them were starting to maybe awaken from their haze, this happens and now none of the members of The Circus really even know how they’re supposed to act, what they’re supposed to do, or what they’re supposed to say.

Is this a good thing?  Are we supposed to want that guy to stay until we can beat him?  Wait – we can’t beat him so maybe we should just be glad that he’s leaving because maybe that means we might be able to beat that team. Wait – maybe this is actually worse – what if we can’t beat them with the new guy?  That would really kind of suck and it might mean that we just aren’t ever going to win a game that means anything since we have not done so since before most of our current players were born. What are we all supposed to do now??

Meanwhile, what about the normal people who have not only beaten Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes but they’ve beaten them in championship games and with College Football Playoff implications on the line?

While one loud, shirtless, tree-fort sleepover planner, music video-making coach is probably fast-walking up and down the halls shouting things, wondering whether it’s within the rules to ask for his team to play Ohio State this coming Thursday with its new head coach, there is another head coach who is normal, acts like an adult, and has the calm confidence in his program’s ability to succeed at the highest levels since he’s already done that and will always know that he defeated Urban Meyer with all of the marbles at stake multiple times.

The news of Urban Meyer’s retirement really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

This past season has been full of stress, scrutiny, health scares, and pressure for him and his family that none of us can really understand.

Meyer hasn’t been the head coach at Illinois – he’s been at a place where there are probably loud complaints being yelled right now that the score wasn’t 69-0.

Dating back to Meyer’s years at Florida, he’s always had health issues.

The esophageal spasms, the headaches, the rumors that his in-home vegan cook was slipping a medium rare ribeye into the rotation once a week – it all was a little weird but now, years later, it makes a little more sense.

For many of the punditry, there was more than the health stuff to examine – such as the other stuff that might be characterized as the “lying stuff.”

Meyer somehow was able to skate out of Gainesville without much more than a lot of head shaking at the ways in which he led a program that was rife with dysfunction, to be diplomatic about it.

But this past July at Big Ten Media Days, Meyer’s curious relationship with the truth set in motion a strange, awkward, sometimes painful process that really was headed straight to this decision.

Ryan Day will take over.

The 39-year old rising star appears more than ready to take over one of the most powerful college football machines of all time.

I don’t think anyone doubts that Ryan Day will win at Ohio State.

But it’s perfectly legitimate to speculate that the balance of power in the Big Ten may be up for grabs for a period now.

Of course, the members of The Circus have already assumed that Big Ten supremacy belongs to them since, after all, that’s just what is supposed to happen now as a matter of course, per God and all other higher powers.

But what about the normal guy who actually knows how to win the Big Ten Championship?

We’ve said it recently and we’ll say it again many times – Mark Dantonio hasn’t just won a Big Ten Championship in his 12 years as the head coach at Michigan State.

He’s won three Big Ten Championships.

Two of those Big Ten Championships were the result of victories over Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.

And while the 2018 season for Michigan State was certainly disappointing, events of the last week or so have slowly but surely put some things back into some perspective.

When a rival loses 62-39, the ramifications extend beyond just the outcome of that specific game and its result.

Michigan State’s rival will lose more than a couple of key players from this year’s team that was supposed to win the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the Kentucky Derby.

Michigan State’s rival put as much energy, bravado, yelling, stomping, screaming, logo-scuffing, sloganaeering, and weeping in the Spartan Stadium locker room as the Confederate States of America put into their efforts to win The Civil War.

And the results were identical.

Can that group of people shake off the cobwebs and give next year’s Wednesday afternoon matinee audience a repeat performance of all of……THAT?

In more normal environs, coaches and players are taking a look at a season that was disappointing due, in large part, to two very identifiable dynamics:

Offensive woes…

and

Injuries.

Mark Dantonio knows exactly what went wrong this season.

One thing – the offense – he can control.

The other thing – the injuries – he cannot control.

Am I going to be struck by lightning if I speculate that Michigan State will never again suffer through such impactful injuries between now and the next appearance of Haley’s Comet?

Am I allowed to speculate that, one way or another, Mark Dantonio is going to see to it that his offense performs in a way that gets his team right, smack back into the middle of the fight for the Big Ten Championship?

Am I accurate in speculating that the folks over at The Circus have completely and totally dismissed their non-rivals at Lansing Tech since they won one game against them and then wept in the Spartan Stadium locker room?

The Circus considers Lansing Tech dead and gone now.

Good for those guys.

And now, The Circus is drooling and mumbling as they all try to figure out how to recalibrate now that Urban Meyer is no longer around to terrorize them.

Mark Dantonio is calmly, strategically, and confidently planning right now for the next phase of his football program.

Things have changed once again in the Big Ten and there are opportunities for some of the teams to advance up the mountain.

One of those teams knows exactly what it takes to get up that mountain since that team has done it three times already.

Spartan fans – get ready for the next chapter of Mark Dantonio’s Spartan Football Program.

When Dantonio got to the office this morning, I’m guessing that he had a little bit of extra fire and focus.

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