Back on October 10th of last year, exactly forty-nine days before Urban Meyer became the 24th head football coach in the history of The Ohio State University, I got a burr in my ass and started daydreaming.
I thought of the feeling I had sitting in Tempe, AZ in January of 2003 celebrating the only Buckeyes national championship of my lifetime. I thought about all the joy and excitement, in his own way, that Jim Tressel brought to the Buckeye faithful in his ten years under the headset.
I thought about the struggles interim head coach Luke Fickell was enduring, and the way he held his head high through the turmoil and the mountain he had to climb as the leader of a team who was so negatively impacted by things they had no control over.
I also wondered, like the rest of you, who could possibly take over the program and have half the success that Tress brought to Columbus. Names like Tim Brewster and Glen Mason made me cringe. The thought of Tony Dungy in Scarlet and Gray just didn’t fit. Dreams of landing a Jon Gruden left my mind as quickly as they entered.
Rumors were flying about Coach Fick taking a back seat to a name like Urban Meyer and, despite the hatred toward his 41-14 shellacking of the Buckeyes in Glendale, I became hooked as quickly as the rumor mill spun. That prompted me to look far into the future, with more visions of non-conference light shows, late-season gold pants and dethroning the SEC in short order, so I drew up an imaginary letter that night, a mere 49 days ahead of Urban coming out of the shadows, and posted it at my former blogging home…
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
A.D. Gene Smith
Mr. Archie Griffin
OSU Alumni Association
The Office of the Head Football Coach
THE Ohio State University
I first want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity to lead this goliath we call a “football program” here at The Ohio State University. I’m honored, humbled, and consider myself very fortunate to hold the position of Head Football Coach. I’ve been a Buckeye my entire life and the last couple of years has simply been a dream come true for me and my family.
As we all know the last handful of years have been very difficult on our institution, our faculty, our alumni, our students, the student-athletes, and our massive fan base. It’s hard for the outside world to imagine everyone sticking together through such difficult times but we’ve done just that and last night we were rewarded for it. This experience has made us stronger, more aware, more driven, and ultimately a better University and a stronger football program.
I am writing today to simply thank you for allowing me to guide us back to the peak of college football. Last night’s Rose Bowl victory should come as no surprise to the nation as we’ve worked very hard to get back to being the national powerhouse we were meant to be. The fact that we capped it in “The Grand Daddy of Them All,” against an SEC foe no less, is very fitting. This National Championship is something nobody, not even the NCAA, can take away from us. We did it right. We did it clean. We did it for the fans and alumni.
These young men stuck together, bonded as a brotherhood, and made this happen. With that being said, I would be remissed if I didn’t recognize and pay proper respect to the fact that these juniors and seniors were born into our program through Coach Jim Tressel. Believe me when I say that this group has not forgotten that, nor will we. This National Championship, our eighth as an institution, should be shared by Jim. He played as much of a roll as anyone in building this program over the last decade-plus, and these young men have officially closed that chapter of Ohio State history in a fitting manner.
Through the storms, the troubled times, and the adversity that this program has endured we have fought back to regain our pride, our honor, and now a National Championship. But we are not finished. We have not lost our vision. The future is bright. GO BUCKS.
Head Football Coach Urban Meyer
THE Ohio State University
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Obviously I didn’t have any idea that seven weeks later Meyer would be named our next head coach and that a few weeks after that we would learn that a 2013 bowl game was out the window, nor did I realize what firestorm would occur even if Urban came on board, but damn am I happy he’s “ours.”
If you’re counting at home, the Urban Meyer Era begins just three short days from today. It marks the beginning of the career of our 24th head football coach, the start of the final season for a group of seniors being punished for something they didn’t do…
…..and the beginning of Urban’s stampede toward making the above, dreamed up letter become reality just sixteen months and eleven days from right this very moment.
Be patient, Buckeye Nation. It’s coming.