The Urban Meyer to Ohio State reports really kicked into high gear when Buckeye blog Eleven Warriors sent out this tweet eleven days ago, saying ESPN analyst Urban Meyer was 99.7% sure to take the Ohio State head coaching job. As much as Sports by Brooks wants to take credit for breaking the story, it seems like Eleven Warriors had the reports first. (Which has developed an interesting case of blogger on blogger violence in its own right.) Since then, what has evolved is a quagmire of reports, sources, and denials that makes Baghdad Bob look like a public relations savant. I've lived through 62 Brett Favre retirements and comebacks and this is by far the messiest story I can ever remember. Hopefully it ends today and Urban Meyer is FINALLY announced publicly as Ohio State head coach. But that doesn't mean there haven't been nauseating twists and turns along the way. Let's take a look back, shall we?
*Urban Meyer's First Denial, November 19th
After the initial Eleven Warriors report, the question had to be put directly to Urban Meyer with regards to him becoming the next coach at Ohio State. At least ESPN had him address it publicly (not so on the next Saturday as you'll see later). Broadcast partner Dave Pasch asked Meyer about the OSU reports during the Michigan/Nebraska game. Here's what Urban had to say via SBNation:
"Well there's no truth to that," Meyer said of the rumors. "I know it's that time of year, but I have not been offered any job and I have certainly not accepted any job."
After that first denial we learned one thing, Urban Meyer isn't a good actor. Immediately, top college football writers questioned Urban's denial...
*More reports keep pouring in, November 22-23
There were some rumblings that Scout had the Urban to OSU story as early as Eleven Warriors, but the first word on Twitter from Scout's Ohio State writer Bill Greene on November 22nd called Meyer to OSU a done deal.
It was also at this time that more traditional media piled on the story and issued their own reports. Tim May and the Columbus Dispatch confirmed reports of a done deal on November 23rd. The Cleveland Plain Dealer also issued their own report that same day. From an ESPN search, it appears they issued their first story on Meyer actually accepting the job on the ESPN Big Ten blog only after the Dispatch and Plain Dealer reports. For what it's worth, CBS also had their own source that said a deal wasn't done yet.
Meyer, stubbornly sticking to his guns, denied the story AGAIN:
"I have not been offered any job nor is there a deal in place," Meyer said in a statement. "I plan on spending Thanksgiving with my family and will not comment on this any further."
Hopefully Urban and his family (ya know, the one that he left coaching for) enjoyed a peaceful Thanksgiving. If you're still following along, I'm going to warn you, here's where things get difficult...