Ohio State Suspends Urban Meyer for 3 Games – What Games Will He Miss?
On Wednesday, August 22nd, Ohio State officially announced that head football coach Urban Meyer will be suspended for the first 3 games of the season. In addition to Meyer’s suspension, the university also suspended athletic director Gene Smith without pay from August 31st until September 16th.
Meyer has been on administrative leave since August 1st and prohibited from being with the football team. He will be allowed to rejoin the team after September 2nd, when his suspension is lifted. However, even though he can rejoin the team, he is still prohibited from coaching the program in games until after they play TCU on September 15th. According to ESPN, Ohio State released the following official statement:
“Although neither Urban Meyer nor Gene Smith condoned or covered up the alleged domestic abuse by Zach Smith, they failed to take sufficient management action relating to Zach Smith’s misconduct and retained an Assistant Coach who was not performing as an appropriate role model for OSU student-athletes. Permitting such misconduct to continue is not consistent with the values of the University and reflects poorly on Coach Meyer, Athletic Director Smith, and the University. Their handling of this matter did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards that we expect of our Athletic Director, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and all on the football staff.”
Basically, the university felt that Meyer and Smith did not display the type of leadership that the school wants. Although the two men didn’t do anything illegal or negligently ignore these serious abuse allegations, they still didn’t exhibit the type of management skills needed when dealing with staff members that aren’t living up to the school’s high standard of conduct.
A Look at Meyer’s Suspension in Regards to Football
Meyer’s suspension will keep him out of the first 3 games, which include two home contests against Oregon State and Rutgers, and an away game against the preseason #16 ranked TCU Horned Frogs. The first two games are basically warm-ups as the Oregon State Beavers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights combined to win 5 games last year.
The Beavers went 1-11 in 2017 and were one of the worst football teams in the country. The Buckeyes and Beavers have only ever played each other twice and Ohio State won both games, which happened to both be in Columbus.
Rutgers is winless against Ohio State (0-4) and hasn’t even scored points against the Buckeyes in their last two meetings: 56-0 last year and 58-0 in 2016. The two times Rutgers played at Ohio State saw the Buckeyes win by a combined score of 114 to 17.
The tough test will be when the preseason #5 ranked Buckeyes head to Texas to take on the Horned Frogs. TCU could prove to be too tough for the Meyer-less Buckeyes. Or, Ohio State could continue their historic trend of defeating TCU. In the 6 head-to-head all-time meetings, Ohio State is 4-1-1. These two teams haven’t played since 1973 and TCU hasn’t defeated Ohio State since 1957.
Urban Meyer will conveniently return from suspension when they take on Tulane in the 4th game of the season. This will be just in time for Meyer to get the team ready before hitting the road and taking on the Penn State Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.
Final Words on Meyer’s Suspension
I don’t think anyone is surprised that Meyer was suspended. Oddsmakers listed Meyer as -2000 odds for suspension. However, the debate was over how many games he would be suspended. In my article on Urban Meyer’s prop bets, I told bettors to wager on Urban getting suspended and to take the Under 4.5 games. I firmly believed he would be back in time for the crucial Big 10 portion of the schedule. And, sure enough, Meyer will be back before Ohio State heads to State College, PA, in Week 5 of the NCAAF regular season.
The Buckeyes were correct in suspending Meyer, in my opinion, but 3 games really means nothing in the grand scheme of this season. They will most likely go 3-0 while he’s gone and, once he returns, will probably win out or lose maybe one game. However, that won’t stop them from winning the Big 10 and making the Playoffs. Football politics at its finest!
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