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If Ohio State Offers, Coach Campbell Has To Accept

The operative word being “if”.

Getty Images - Matthew Holst

In the off chance you’ve been without internet for the past few hours, you might have missed that things aren’t okay in Columbus. Brett McMurphy (that guy ESPN is paying not to break college football news for them) reported on Wednesday that there is strong indication Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer knew of the alleged spousal abuse by former receiver’s coach Zach Smith in 2015. Something Meyer claimed he was not aware of during Big Ten Media Days earlier this month.

McMurphy published pictures of injuries Courtney Smith, Zach’s wife, sustained in the 2015 attack along with text messages between her and Urban Meyer’s wife, along with and interview of Courtney that heavily implicated that the head coach knew of the incident at the time, and failed to act.

Violence against women, and the failure to report such incidents has come under heavy scrutiny over the past few years, so it’s no surprise that Meyer’s job has been called into question.

With a potential opening at a top five program looming, speculation has run rampant on who might replace Meyer, and one of the early favorites is Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell.

Campbell has been a hot name in coaching since taking the Cyclones from a 3-win program to eight wins last season, highlighted by wins over third-ranked Oklahoma and fourth-ranked TCU. Part of Campbell’s success, and the reason Ohio State might be interested, is Campbell’s ability to recruit the entire country. Despite being a bottom-tier program in the Big 12, he signed recruits from 11 different state’s in the 2018 class; including California, Florida, Ohio and Texas.

It’s not surprising that Ohio State fans are throwing out Campbell’s name. However, Cyclone Nation, don’t worry about it too much just yet.

Campbell’s resume is impressive, but let’s keep a few things in mind. One, at the time of posting, the position isn’t even available yet. Though, Meyer has been put on leave pending the outcome of an investigation. So, things don’t look great.

Still, while Campbell’s resume is impressive, he won’t be the first name on Ohio State’s list. He lacks sustained success at a Power 5 program. Greg Schiano, Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson are probably the top names at the moment. Day has been named the Buckeye’s head coach in the interim.

And then there’s the buyout. As teams moved to swoop up Campbell during the last coaching carousel, Iowa State locked him down with a 6-year contract extension complete with a $7 million buyout.

If Meyer is fired though, and things go south under Day, and if the Buckeyes miss on some names ahead of Campbell, then Ohio State is one of the few programs that might not blink at Campbell’s buyout.

And if Ohio State does target Campbell, Cyclone fans should support Campbell in the move. Ignoring the money, it would be a chance to coach at a top 5 program. A program that is a title contender. He would owe that opportunity to himself and his family.

On the bright side, the Cyclones would have a little bit of cash to work with in their coaching search.

For now though, it’s way too early for fans to start popping antacids. They might want to drive to the store and pick up a bottle or two to have on hand, but a lot of things have to take place before they should think about breaking the seal.

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