Urban Meyer may be gone from the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, but Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh had some parting words for his rival head coach.
Speaking with Tim Kawakami on the eve of the Big Ten’s Media Days on The Athletic’s Podcast “The TK Show,” Harbaugh gave praise to Meyer on his college coaching career – Meyer went 4-0 against Harbaugh including last year’s 62-39 demolition of the Wolverines – then tossed in a shot.
“Urban Meyer’s had a winning record. A really phenomenal record everywhere he’s been,” Harbaugh said. “But also, controversy follows everywhere he’s been.”
Harbaugh didn’t dive too deep into Meyer’s controversial times on the sidelines at Ohio State, or even Florida, and came back to Meyer’s life on the field.
“All you can be judged on is your record. What your record is overall. What your record is within your conference. What your record is with head-to-head matchups,” Harbaugh added. “I think you’ll find Ohio State is the only team with a better record, a better conference record than us (since I’ve been there) and has a better head-to-head matchup with us.
“Our goal, we have two. Win multiple championships and run a first-class program. That’s what we aspire to. We’re learning and you take accountability and you learn from it. Hope springs eternal and we’re fired up for this season going forward.”
To Harbaugh’s credit, he’s not entirely wrong in his slight criticism of Meyer.
Meyer was suspended for the first three games of last season following an investigation into domestic violence allegations in 2015 against his former assistant coach Zach Smith. He did give a public apology on the situation.
According to Greg Bishop of the New York Times, while Meyer was the head coach at Florida, 31 different players were arrested from 2005-10 on typical college campus charges – disorderly conduct and under-age drinking, along with the occasional, more serious charges, like aggravated stalking, domestic violence, aggravated assault, and burglary, amongst several others.
Meyer never won fewer than 10 games during his seven-year stint at Ohio State and won the national title in the 2014 season, the first year of the playoff. He went 83-9 with Ohio State, the second-best winning percentage (.902) he recorded at any stop of his coaching career.