Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer Announces Retirement, Career Record Against the Spread One of College Football’s Best

Posted on: December 4, 2018, 08:28h. 

Last updated on: December 4, 2018, 08:28h.

Urban Meyer will retire from football after coaching his No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl when they play No. 9 Washington on January 1 in Pasadena, California. Ryan Day, OSU’s offensive coordinator, is set to replace Meyer as head coach.

Urban Meyer Ohio State football odds
After a trying 2018 season that included being put on administrative leave for knowing about spousal abuse allegations against one of his assistant coaches, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is departing the program. (Image: AP)

Meyer began his OSU tenure in 2012 by leading the Buckeyes to an undefeated 12-0 season. However, they were ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions earlier imposed by the NCAA against his predecessor Jim Tressel and the program.

Two years later, Meyer’s Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship over Oregon. The Buckeyes entered the game as six-point underdogs, but won convincingly 42-20.

Overcoming the odds was a common theme during Meyer’s coaching career.

ESPN’s David Purdum reports that Meyer’s head coaching career against the spread (ATS) is 123-89, “one of the best in the modern era,” the sports betting journalist declares. Perhaps even more shocking: when an underdog, his teams are 21-5 ATS.

As for the Rose Bowl against Washington, Meyer’s Buckeyes are favored by four points.

Betting Against Urban

Since Meyer first became a head coach at Bowling Green in 2001, and his subsequent success at Utah (2003-2004), Florida (2005-2010), and Ohio State (2012-2018), oddsmakers have learned setting lines that spot his opponents points are usually losing endeavors. It’s why Ohio State didn’t enter a game as an underdog in Las Vegas for 51 straight games.

The streak ended last month when then-No. 4 Michigan arrived at the Horseshoe to play then-No. 10 OSU. The Wolverines were spotting the Buckeyes five points at kickoff, but Ohio State won 62-39.

Meyer’s retirement won’t be publicly celebrated by rival Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, but it very well might keep the Wolverines coach his job. When it comes to football in Ann Arbor, the only thing that matters is beating Ohio State, and Harbaugh hasn’t done it once in the four years he’s led the Maize and Blue.

College Football Landscape

Meyer’s resignation presumably won’t help Ohio State’s National Championship odds for next year. After missing out on this year’s CFP due to a bad loss at unranked Purdue, the Buckeyes are already looking to next year, and without Meyer, Day and his staff will go to work on making sure their 2019 commits remain on board.

According to 247Sports, an online sports outlet focused on college football recruiting, Ohio State has the 12th-best recruiting class for 2019. It has two 5-star and nine 4-star commits.

247Sports has rival Michigan at No. 8, and Big Ten challengers Penn State at No. 13.

Alabama, the No. 1 ranked team in the College Football Playoff and defending national champs, also has the best 2019 recruiting class. Coach Nick Saban’s program has been in a league of their own over the past decade, as the Crimson Tide have won five national titles since 2009, and look to make it six in the coming weeks.