Urban Meyer Screen grab: Big Noon Kickoff

Consider Urban Meyer among those surprised that Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord elected to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. In fact, the former Ohio State, Florida and Utah head coach turned Fox Sports analyst is struggling to make sense of the entire ordeal.

Time and time again, Meyer’s name has been floated for head coaching openings. Before Michigan State hired Jonathan Smith as its next head coach, Meyer’s name was floated as a potential candidate, but he quickly shot it down. Whether Meyer was truly a candidate is unknown, but he felt the need to remove himself from consideration before there was any traction of consideration.

Perhaps Meyer’s comments about McCord’s decision to enter the transfer portal show why he’s comfortable with his current gig at Fox. Surely, he’s one of the greatest — and most controversial — head coaches of the modern college football landscape, but that doesn’t mean he has to agree with the transformation of the sport wholeheartedly.

Meyer recently spoke with On3’s Tim May. He shared an interesting reaction to McCord’s decision to leave the program, considering his place as a media personality and being the former head coach at the school in question.

“That made no sense,” Meyer said of McCord’s entrance into the transfer portal via On3. “I’m still trying to comprehend it. I tried to take a position of Kyle or even Ohio State, and it just doesn’t compute.”

Maybe it doesn’t for Meyer, but that’s just the nature of the beast that is the transfer portal. You learn to stop asking questions once you’ve seen a few too many names say goodbye to their original program.

With McCord under center, Ohio State lost its third straight matchup to Michigan, which has placed the team and head coach Ryan Day — Meyer’s successor — under further scrutiny. Perhaps McCord decided against playing under that microscope despite putting together a nice year in his first full season as the starter.

It also doesn’t appear that the Mount Laurel, New Jersey native is looking to return closer to home, as he’s reportedly been in discussions with Nebraska and Matt Rhule.

McCord completed 66 percent of his passes and threw for 3,170 yards with 24 touchdowns against six interceptions.

“He had a good year,” Meyer said. “I mean, they beat Notre Dame as a first-time starter, three new offensive linemen. You know, he’s on the 37-yard line. He threw two interceptions in the Wolverine game that weren’t his fault. Marvin’s (Harrison Jr.) got to finish the route. And then, on the other one, he got hit. He got to his third read on the play, so it took him all the way back to the backside route. I’m talking about the final play against the Wolverines.”

While Meyer tries to make sense of the situation, he firmly believes that each side would have continued benefitting from the other. McCord didn’t feel that to be the case; otherwise, he wouldn’t have entered the portal.

“I’m trying to make it compute because I want to be empathetic, and I want to say, ‘OK, I understand.’ There’s no place better for Kyle than Ohio State. That place does not exist unless he’s being guaranteed a starting spot,” Meyer said. “But once again, I don’t agree with that’s the best place. I think iron sharpens iron; steel sharpens steel. The best thing that anybody can ever do is go and compete your tail off, get better, and maximize who you are as a player.

“I’m not ripping Kyle at all because I don’t know him. I admire him and think he was in a tough situation all year. But yeah, I didn’t dig in too hard because I don’t want to. But it does not compute with me. I guess I love Ohio State, and I think competition brings out the best in you.”

“If he goes to a better place than Ohio State, I’ll be the first one to say he went to a better place. I don’t know.”

Meyer seems to struggle to comprehend McCord’s decision to leave Ohio State. Still, ultimately, he has a lot of respect for the choice and believes that the competition will only benefit the young quarterback in the long run.

It’s an interesting piece of commentary from a current Fox Sports pundit who is not afraid to wear his past coaching experience at the university on his sleeve. Only time will tell if this was the right move, and at this point, it’s hard to say for sure. Meyer is left trying to make sense of it all.

The grass isn’t always greener, but that isn’t for Meyer to decide.


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.