What Will Kevin Wilson Bring to the Buckeyes?

posted by Daveman -

Time will tell if Urban Meyer makes good on his post-Fiesta Bowl promise to Ohio State fans, but even if he doesn't, no one will be able to say he failed to try.

It's been less than two weeks since a 31-0 loss to Clemson prompted Meyer to vow that the Buckeyes would be an excellent passing team next season.

We won't know until at least September whether that actually happens, but if change means improvement, OSU should be a site to behold.

The two offensive coordinators who worked for Meyer this past season now work for someone else.

Tim Beck took a job at the University of Texas and Ed Warinner left OSU this week to work at Minnesota.

I don't know if either man was forced to leave, but you can draw your own conclusions about how quickly Meyer promised changes and how quickly those changes occurred.

The new guys in charge are Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson.

Day is a Chip Kelly protege who coached the quarterbacks for the San Francisco 49ers this past season. You gotta think Day is thrilled to be away from the Colin Kaepernick circus.

Wilson has been the coach at Indiana the last six years.

I don't know much about Day, although he comes highly recommended and he has worked for Meyer before at the University of Florida, so Urban should know what he's getting

There's a lot more known about Wilson, and not all of it is good.

On the field, Ohio State is getting a tremendous coach. Wilson has been an offensive innovator at Northwestern and Oklahoma, where his offenses were ahead of the curve on bringing spread concepts to the sport.

The Sooners won a national championship in 2000 throwing the ball all over the field, with Wilson the architect of that success. Oklahoma also produced Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Jason White and Sam Bradford, with Wilson as the mastermind behind both players' success.

So if you're looking for the man to make J.T. Barrett more like the quarterback he was in 2014 than the player he's been in 2015 and 2016, Wilson is your man.

But if you're looking for someone who's transitioned from the old-school football era to a more enlightened time where player safety matters as much as winning, Wilson may not be your guy.

He was forced to resign at Indiana on Dec. 1 after the school once again connected Wilson to issues with how he treated injured players. His departure came less than two years after the school warned Wilson in writing in April of 2015 that if he demeaned or criticized injured players again, Wilson would face serious consequences.

Indiana said Wilson's exit had nothing to do with his performance on the field. After all, he had coached the Hoosiers to consecutive bowls for the first time in 25 years, and he'd beaten rival Purdue four straight times.

That's not the resume of a football coach who gets forced out for football reasons.

Wilson had five years and around $12 million left on his contract when he agreed to walk away for just $500,000.

Would you take half-a-million dollars and go quietly if you were owed $12 million and believed you'd done nothing wrong?

Meyer hasn't taken questions about Wilson's hiring and how he'll be monitored, or if he'll be monitored at OSU.

It's hard to imagine that Ohio State would hire a tenured professor from another Big Ten school who had been dismissed for mistreating students. It's even harder to believe OSU would do that just 45 days after that professor's unceremonious dismissal.

And it's impossible to believe Ohio State would do so without putting stringent monitoring procedures for that professor in place.

Meyer has often stated his admiration for Wilson as a coach. Right now, it looks like Meyer is bothered more by Ohio State's past offensive failures than Wilson's past offensive behavior.

I have no doubt that Wilson's arrival will solve the first problem.

I'm not as certain it won't create a different set of issues down the road.

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