If Urban Meyer thought the coaching job at Florida was stressful, he may need to take another leave of absence after this season, as he is under the most pressure to win in his coaching career.
While the gap between Alabama and the rest of the country is quite large, Ohio State is the closest threat to taking away Nick Saban’s crystal football. The Buckeyes were one of three teams in the AP Poll to receive a first-place vote, and the three first-place votes in the USA Today football coaches poll were the second-most received.
Nobody cares that this is only Meyer’s second season—folks believe he has the goods to win a national championship right now.
And why wouldn’t they?
Ohio State has a Heisman candidate in junior quarterback Braxton Miller, who Meyer’s said has more talent than Tim Tebow. Yup, the same quarterback who won two national championships at Florida and made Meyer glow from ear-to-ear every time his name was mentioned.
With a second season in Meyer’s spread offense, Miller should have no problem being a top-tier quarterback and somebody who consistently scores touchdowns. He’ll also have more playmakers around him with nine offensive starters returning and a 2013 recruiting class that includes many players who will make an immediate impact.
The defense is also loaded with young stars, particularly on the defensive line with Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington all expected to play big roles. Ohio State has more than enough talent to win games, but that’s not going to be enough for Meyer or his critics.
It’s national championship or bust, and that means enormous pressure and a few more gray hairs. Meyer will sleep many nights in his office preparing for games, and that is when he’s lucky. Some nights he may not sleep at all. It’s a constant grind to make sure your team is in the best position to win every game, and that’s what it will take for this season to be considered a success.
Continue Reading: Why Urban Meyer Is Under More Pressure Than Ever to Win Now