Urban Meyer is a very good coach. We all know that. OSU fans are giddy about the possibility of him being the next coach. That seems very likely. But lets dig into his career to see how good he actually was at Florida.
From '05-'10 when Meyer was coach at UF, his career record was 65-15, with 2 NCs. That's a stellar record. In the 4 years from '06-'09, he went 48-7 with 2 NCs. But during those 4 years, he had arguably the greatest college QB ever on his team, Tim Tebow. Tebow was the starter 3 of those years and contributed the one year he wasn't a starter. And that one year he wasn't a starter, 22 of the 24 starters were recruited by Ron Zook.
In his 2 years w/out Tebow, he went 16-8. If you include this year's team which is mostly his team as well, the record is 22-14, not as good as with Tebow.
Obviously it makes sense. When you have a great QB, you win lots of games. Urban was the one who recruited Tebow and also the one who developed him, so he gets all the credit in the world for that. But if you look at OSU now, Miller is good, but he's no Tebow. The current OSU teams aren't nearly as talented as his UF teams. If Meyer were to take over, the smart money would be on his record being more towards the middle but overall closer towards w/out Tebow than with.
So lets look at his offense's with and without Tebow.
From '06-'09, his offenses scored 36.5 PPG with Tebow. In the two years without Tebow, his offenses scored 29.4 PPG. That's a 7 point drop. To put it in perspective, this years Michigan team averaged 34.2 points a game, good for 23rd in the nation. If Urban were to coach a team that averaged 29.4 PPG this year, that would be good for 53rd, right in between South Florida and SDSU. So unless there's a Tebow on OSU's roster, the offense won't be as great as everyone hopes.
Now lets look at his co-ordinators. From 2005-2008, Dan Mullen was Urban's offensive co-ordinator. In that time, Meyer's teams averaged 36.2 points per game. The two years after, they averaged 31 points per game. That's a 5.2 PPG drop. While 31 is still a significant amount, if you look at the indvidual games, it looks worse. Against crappy teams they scored sometimes as much as 62, while being held to 7 against teams like Mississippi State at some times. 31 PPG would be good for 37th, in between Washington and Nevada.
(Keep in mind that I'm not including this years offensive numbers in either of the two above include this years team. If you wanted to include those, I'm sure those numbers would drop even further.)
I was going to do defensive numbers as well, but since Urban is an offensice coach, I am ignoring those. Those have more to do with the co-ordinators and the players. I will focus on one former D Co-ordinator in particular for a bit though. Greg Mattison. I'm doing so for two reasons. One is the fact that he used to work for Meyer at Florida and thus knows his offense, giving us some more ammo to use against Meyer. The second is the fact that Meyer called him "The best recruiter on the planet."
Mattison worked at Florida from '05-'07. Thus, the 3 years he would have an impact on recruiting would be the '06-'08 recruiting classes. Those three years, Florida's recruiting classes were 2nd, 1st, and 3rd respectively according to Rivals, and 2nd, 1st, and 12th according to Scout.. The next year in '09, after Mattison left, Florida fell out of the top 10 on Rivals and top 20 on Scout. Meyer still managed to recruit extremely well without Mattison, but with Mattison the classes were extraordinary. Meyer will be able to recruit well in Ohio, but odds are we don't see his classes rival the ones he had with Mattison.
This is a long-winded post. It all essentially comes down to this. Meyer, if hired, will be an upgrade over Fickell. But he won't be as effective at OSU as he was at Florida because A) he won't have a QB like Tebow; B) He won't have an offensive genius like Dan Mullen; and C) He won't be able to recruit as effectively without Mattison. Add that to the fact he has health issues and might not be as fiery as before, the fact that OSU has sanctions from the NCAA coming soon, and Urban's players were arrested everyday at UF and OSU has compliance and legal issues already, and I'm not buying into the hype. Also, we're 1-0 against him in his career.
Meyer will be better than Fickell. But will he be as good as he was at Florida? Probably not. Will he be as good as Tressel was at OSU? Once again, I'd bet no.