Ohio State officially introduced Urban Meyer on Monday as their new head coach, in a move that I highly doubt surprised anyone (not me, at the very least).
Meyer had stepped down from coaching citing health reasons, as well as a desire to spend some more time with his family. It had long been speculated however, that should the Ohio State job become available, he would jump at the offer in a heartbeat (no pun intended).
And so it came to pass, that the job did become open; even though the circumstances leading to the vacancy were a little different from regular protocol; y'know, a coach has been at school for a while, has won a bunch of games, then decides to cash in his chips and hit the road (See "Jim Tressel"). All things considered, I can't blame Meyer for taking the job if he felt that the "coaching itch" was too strong to be ignored.
An Ohio native, it was at Columbus that Meyer cut his teeth, serving as a Tight End/Wide Receivers coach for two seasons. He moved on to 3 other schools in a similar capacity - most notably at Notre Dame - before landing his first head coaching gig at Bowling Green in 2001. That led to the gig at Utah, which then led him to Florida; and after 5 seasons and 2 national championships later - a stop as an analyst at ESPN - back to Columbus.
Even with the looming sanctions, Ohio State is still a premier program, and Urban Meyer is a premier coach. His record speaks for itself. Even if the Buckeyes hadn't come calling, Meyer still remained the biggest name out there. Factor in just how many jobs became available: UCLA, Arizona State and Kansas, just to name a few. No disrespect to those programs, but none of them could make Meyer flinch.
Ohio State had started off at 6-3, before dropping their final 3 contests to end the season at 6-6. The Buckeyes lost some really close games, and you could make a valid argument that they could have won more games had they not been rocked by an off-season scandal.
The revelation of the team (at least in my opinion) is QB Braxton Miller. Only a freshman, he's made quite an impact on this team, similar to when Troy Smith took over the reins. It's hard to overlook his importance to the team; for instance, when he helped build a 21 point lead against Nebraska, only to leave the game injured during the third quarter, and the Buckeyes wound up losing. Who can also forget his late game prayer that condemned Wisconsin to their second consecutive defeat; only a week after suffering a similar fate against Michigan State?
Miller may not be the passer that Smith was, but will most certainly flourish under Meyer's version of the "spread offense", which is tailored around the quarterback's stronger abilities. If it worked for Alex Smith (Heisman Trophy finalist, 2005 #1 overall pick), or Tim Tebow (Heisman Trophy winner, 2010 1st round pick), and Cam Newton (to an extent), then the QB position should be the least of Ohio State's concerns.
Meyer has been able to recruit with the best of them, plus it's not like the State of Ohio is deprived of talent. Therefore it won't be long before the Buckeyes are back contending for national championships.
After the resignation of Tressel, and an off-season that threatened a future of uncertainty, it seems that at least with the hiring of Urban Meyer, the Buck stops here.