The first College Football Playoff showed us that Urban Meyer is the best coach in college football today, consistently getting the most from his talent. But the recent NFL Draft showed us that he’s going to be even more of a pain in the long term.
For all the attention given to Jimbo Fisher’s 39-3 record at FSU over the last three years, and it is well deserved, Meyer is 38-3 in his three seasons at Ohio State and likely would have gotten even more done if his opening 12-0 team in 2012 wasn’t on NCAA probation and ineligible for the postseason.
Wait, it gets worse with data from the draft.
Jimbo, a spectacular recruiter, led the nation with 11 players selected in the 2015 NFL draft. Included in that was the No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Jameis Winston.
Urban, on the other hand, got shut out altogether in the first round and had only five players drafted from his Buckeyes team. He was down to his third quarterback by the end of the season and won the national championship anyway.
Conclusion: Meyer already has piled up enormous depth and will continue to develop young players at a rate far beyond most coaches. This is cumulative Nick Saban stuff, but not even Alabama could do anything with Ohio State when they met in the national semifinals on New Year’s Day. No reason to think that Jim Harbaugh will be able to catch up to Urban in the Big Ten anytime soon either.
If any of this makes you cringe, better not read on. The NFL draft has some ugly stuff to say about Florida and Miami.
Here is a chart showing the total number of overall draft picks selected from some prominent schools over the last two years.
In the opinion of NFL personnel pros, Florida’s Will Muschamp had more potential professional-quality talent among his upperclassmen than Meyer did, yet still managed to go 11-13 in his last two seasons with the Gators. If anything, Jeremy Foley should have pulled the rug out from under Muschamp sooner.
Also, Miami is in a class with Ohio State and Oregon when it comes to potential pros on its roster. Problem is, those other two teams played in January’s National Championship Game.
Miami’s Al Golden, meanwhile, is losing steam with two minor bowl losses and a 6-7 record last year. Looks like Al is getting the minimum from his guys. Anything less than an ACC title game appearance in 2015 and he should be gone, too.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an overachiever, it’s Mark Helfrich, who got an in-house promotion when Chip Kelly left Oregon for the NFL. Hasn’t done much wrong since, going 24-4 and doing it without the advantage of an abundant Florida recruiting harvest in his own backyard.
Would Florida have done better hiring Helfrich instead of Jim McElwain? Could be, but it’s a moot point. The Gators program has dipped to a point where a guy like Helfrich, supported by Phil Knight’s Nike money, is out of reach.