Even after a couple of years into Urban Meyer's "retirement,'' he remains one of the most alluring coaching names in college football. And with Tom Herman on the University of Texas hot seat—and with the Longhorns never shy about puffing out their chests at the attractiveness of Austin—it seems like Meyer may find the idea "alluring'' in return.
The buzz, per two sources close to the Longhorns/Meyer situation, is this: Meyer is putting in the work to assemble a "what-if'' staff should he decide to leave his FOX analyst job and re-enter the NCAA grind.
For UT, it would register as one of the greatest "gets'' of its kind; Meyer built an incredible legacy at Ohio State, left the game due to his health concerns, but is still viewed as so relentlessly talented that the Longhorns' return to prominence would be almost inevitable.
Meyer has a masterful talent for building programs, and for pushing the envelope (and even the rules) to achieve that goal. Star players in Texas and beyond would likely realize that and be magnetized to it.
As we've chronicled above, there is a certain entitlement at Texas that causes supporters of the program to assume that because it spends so much money, and because of its storied history, and because, well, "It's Texas!,'' that national-championship contention is a birthright.
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That's now how sports work.
Putting Urban Meyer in charge of all that financing, putting him in charge of the sales pitch of the tradition and the city and the rest ... that's what works.
Meyer's search for a "what-if'' coaching staff would allow him to pluck some of his proteges from Ohio State and elsewhere. It would allow Meyer and that staff to flex its recruiting muscle in one of the most fertile regions in America. And it would do this: Assistant coaches would see being a Meyer assistant at a successful Texas program as their own fast road to success.
And the recruits? As was the case at Ohio State, kids would see being a Meyer Longhorn as a fast road to NFL riches.
It so happens that Herman once traveled that fast road as a Meyer assistant at Ohio State; it's part of the reason he arrived in Austin. But that arrangement hasn't worked to the satisfaction of Longhorns Nation ... and even if it was working OK, Herman is no Meyer.
There's another wrinkle to the Meyer/Herman intersection worth noting: Privately, Herman thinks Meyer has used his catbird seat at FOX to take potshots at Herman's Austin regime. More damning: Privately, Meyer thinks Herman was the "tattletale'' who told damaging truths about the underbelly of the Buckeyes program.
The rumor of Mr. and Mrs. Meyer house-shopping in the vicinity of The Forty Acres? We don't know about that one. But the buzz about Urban Meyer being serious enough about coaching the Longhorns to be kicking it around with prospective assistants? That buzz is real.