As Urban Meyer begins his first season as Ohio State coach with an in-state approval rating conservatively estimated at 119.4 percent, the honeymoon was briefly interrupted this week with a public service announcement.
A reporter politely reminded Meyer he will be swimming upriver against history. There are no storybook endings for the men in his seat. Not since Carroll Widdoes strangely volunteered to swap roles with his offensive coordinator in 1945 has a Buckeyes coach left the throne on his own accord.
"What are you getting at?' Meyer said, laughing. "I haven't coached a game yet."
Meyer said he has been fired twice, including when Earle Bruce's staff was booted at OSU. Is a third pink slip fated? Expect Meyer to show he will not be confined by the ghosts of history.
With the exception of Bruce's 11-1 debut season in 1978, OSU coaches since Widdoes went a combined 27-30-6 in Year One. My 2012 prediction: 10-2. OSU has a quarterback suited to run the spread option, the Big Ten's best defensive line, a schedule that aligns kindly, and, yes, a coach out to prove the past is not prologue.
The bigger question is how many years will Meyer be able to give OSU?