Mark May Speculates Urban Meyer Only Took Job With Fox Sports As A Stepping Stone To Coaching The USC Trojans

Urban Meyer

Getty Image / Meg Oliphant

Urban Meyer is one of the greatest college football coaches in history. He has won three National Championships, two with the University of Florida Gators and one with THE Ohio State University.

Urban Meyer‘s time at UF was a bane on my existence because I was finishing up college 150-miles down the road at FSU while the ‘Noles program was suffering through Bobby Bowden‘s late years and the Gators were surging. Urban hit a rough patch after Tim Tebow graduated and jumped ship with the Gators, citing poor health or some shit like that.

Then he went on to THE Ohio State University from 2012-2018 where he won three Big 10 titles and 1 National Championship before “retiring” out of nowhere and joining Fox Sports as an analyst despite previously working at ESPN between his time at UF and OSU.

Mark May was a colleague of Urban’s during Meyer’s time at ESPN and on The DA Show he speculated the reason that Urban Meyer has chosen to work at Fox Sports instead of ESPN this time around is simply because he’s using it as a stepping stone to the USC Trojans head coaching job.

There is A LOT of speculation that Urban Meyer will come out of “retirement” to take the Trojans job and turn that once-elite program around. This is the first time I can recall a true insider dropping speculation like this that isn’t just a rumor.

Here’s what Mark May had to say on on The DA Show about Urban moves. He had A LOT to say so read on (or you can listen to the segment on CBS Sports):

“His wife has been measuring for drapes with a tape measurer in Clay Helton’s office the last few weeks,” May joked on The DA Show. “Why does a guy, Urban Meyer – where he already worked for us at ESPN when I was at ESPN, he’s been there a couple years, he knows the situation, how to work through ESPN and their policies and procedures, and he knows all the producers and directors and he’s got a familiarity there and he’s only an hour-and-a-half flight from there – and he decides to go a three-hour flight from Columbus to L.A.” (via)

If Urban Meyer wanted to work his way through ESPN he certainly could’ve stayed on or near the East Coast but the Fox job takes him much further away, as Mark May points out above. He then goes on to talk about Urban’s ability to recruit in California:

“He’s coached at Utah, he’s recruited California, he knows how to recruit that area, his studio is less than 40 minutes from USC’s campus and he can go to high school games every Thursday and Friday night when he’s in Southern California,” May said. “The writing is on the wall, unfortunately, for Clay Helton unless they run the table and get to the Rose Bowl this year, and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I can almost guarantee you that’s the job he’s going to take. If you look at his track record, he doesn’t go to a place that doesn’t have a good quarterback that’s already established.” (via)

Clay Helton (current USC coach) will almost certainly NOT run the table even if the Trojans have an easy schedule for the rest of the season. Mostly because it would mean them running up against actually good teams in the College Football Playoffs and/or Bowl season.

Here’s where Mark May really gets into Urban taking the job at Fox Sports:

“Once he took that job (at Fox Sports), that was the first thing that I had in my mind,” May said of Meyer taking over at USC. “Why are you taking that job? Because you know the situation that Clay Helton is under. You know that USC is a great place to coach. You know that they’ve got a great heritage and a great history there, and you know that you can draw players there. They’ve got like four quarterbacks that can play major college football apparently.”

“He’s going to step into a situation where he’s going to be solid at the quarterback position and he’s got some great athletes at the skill positions,” May said. “All he’s got to do is get a good recruiting class under him. It’s the same thing he did at Ohio State. It’s almost a turnkey operation.”

“That’s what coaches do,” May said. “Think about it. If you look at all the good coaches throughout history, that’s kind of what they do. They go around if they’re relieved or out of coaching for a year or two, they find a great place that they would like to be dialed into that they think it could have success at, and they find a way to get in with the alumni or the program or the athletic director. I live in the Southwest in Arizona, where a lot of USC alumni are at. That’s all they’re clamoring about right now is getting Urban Meyer as their head coach.” (via)

Other names being thrown around as the next USC head coach include James Franklin (3.5/1) and Chris Petersen (3/1) but Urban Meyer is the odds favorite to be the next Trojans head coach at 1.5/1 odds as of a four days ago.

The USC Trojans won their last National Championships in 2003 and 2004. They are 7-3 in their past 10 bowl games but aren’t the same Trojans they were back in the Reggie Bush days and it looks like Urban Meyer is the man to change that in a hurry.