The National Championship Implications for Big Ten Conference and Urban Meyer’s Legacy
Just how big was this national championship for Ohio State? Well, they defeated a very strong Ducks team 42-20. The Oregon Ducks who averaged 45.2 points and 547 yards a game were the nation’s number one total offense: and the Buckeyes held them to 465 total yards and their season worst third down percentage and points total.
Best of all, the Ducks were held to the aforementioned season worst 20 points despite four turnovers by Ohio State. And lets not forget the fact that the Oregon defense, which gave up 23.6 points per game, was tarnished: giving up another season worst 42 points in last night’s championship.
— Dick'sSportingGoods (@DICKS) January 13, 2015
In retrospect, this is a great win for Ohio State, who slimly made the college playoffs and would not have even been in the former BCS Championship: showing the flawed nature of the BCS system. At the same time, while Oregon almost came back in the third quarter — even closing the Buckeye’s lead to one point, 21-20 — they proceeded to shutout the Ducks in the fourth: a team that just destroyed the three seed Florida State 59-20 eleven days earlier.
First and foremost, the win is great for the struggling Big Ten, who minus Ohio State went 4-5 in this year’s bowl games: however, even with this record, there were some great conference victories over Auburn, Baylor and Boston College. Meanwhile, many assumed after Michigan State’s loss to Oregon and Ohio State’s loss to Virginia Tech that the Big Ten conference had no chance to actually be in the college playoffs, let alone win the national championship.
And it is only the fourth Big Ten football team in the last 43 years to win the national championship: with the last win coming in 2002 by the Buckeyes. Needless to say, this is not the biggest national championship drought for a conference, but in regards to the power five, the Big Ten really needed this: especially since before 2014, the SEC took the highest honors seven out of the last eight seasons. Is this the end of the SEC dominance: probably not, but it was great for Ohio and their conference to beat one before destroying Oregon.
— TIME.com (@TIME) January 13, 2015
Now, what does this mean for Urban Meyer’s legacy: well he has now matched Saban as being one of only two college coaches to ever win national championships at two different schools. Now, Saban still has four titles to his name — one with LSU and three with Alabama — but this third win for Meyer certainly puts his name in the conversation of greatest current coaches.
As for overall legacy, there is still Bear Bryant who had five with Alabama and Frank Leahy with four and a whole array of coaches with three — Bernie Bierman, John McKay, Barry Switzer and Bud Wilkinson. But Meyer has now turned around two ailing franchises: with Florida being in a rut before and after his tenure and Ohio State receiving sanctions prior to Urban taking the job.
And despite bowl ineligibility and losing scholarships, he obviously still built a championship caliber team: even posting three consecutive twelve win seasons in his short time with Ohio State. This brings his all time record to 141-26 (.844), putting him ninth on the highest winning percentage of all time list. And many people say this could just be the beginning: with many believing that this fairly young Buckeyes team has the ability to become a dynasty.
And if they do win, there will be no arguing about the greatest college football coach of all time: Urban Meyer will jump right to the top of the list. But that will only happen if he wins.
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