USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg previews the two upcoming College Football Playoff matchups and explains why Oklahoma was awarded the final spot.
USA TODAY Sports
Urban Meyer is stepping down as the head coach at Ohio State at the conclusion of the season, the school announced Tuesday morning.
Meyer will coach the team in the Rose Bowl against Washington on Jan. 1. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day will be elevated to head coach the following day.
Day, Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith are scheduled to further discuss the change in a news conference at 2 p.m. ET.
The news marks the end of a tumultuous season for Meyer in Columbus — a year in which he was suspended following an investigation into his handling of domestic violence allegations against his former wide receivers coach, dealt with ongoing health problems and ultimately led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title.
Meyer, 54, currently has a career record of 82-9 in seven seasons at Ohio State, including a national title in 2014. He previously spent six seasons — and won two national championships — at Florida before retiring for health reasons.
Questions about Meyer’s future at Ohio State began to swirl more than four months ago, when he found himself at the center of an investigation related to domestic abuse allegations against his former wide receivers coach, Zach Smith. Meyer fired Smith on July 23 but subsequently dodged questions about the longtime assistant at Big Ten media days. The school proceeded to open an investigation into what Meyer knew about the history of domestic abuse allegations against Smith and how he dealt with them.
As a result of that investigation, Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season but retained his job, to the dismay of critics who said he did not do enough when first confronted with the allegations.
Day, 39, served as Ohio State’s interim coach during Meyer’s absence and led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record.
But when Meyer returned, questions about his health and future in Columbus persisted. He appeared pained on the sidelines at times and later revealed that he’s been dealing with a cyst on his brain, which he said causes severe headaches. A 49-20 loss to Purdue, meanwhile, significantly damaged the Buckeyes’ chances of making the College Football Playoff.
Nonetheless, Ohio State managed to squeak past Maryland and flatten Michigan to reach the Big Ten championship game over the weekend, ultimately beating Northwestern to win its third conference title in five years.
Contact Tom Schad at email@example.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.