On Friday, a social media post purporting that Urban Meyer had said that next week’s rivalry game against Michigan was a “must-win” for Ohio State head coach Ryan Day went viral.
“I love Ryan Day, I do. But with Jim Harbaugh not coaching, this is a must win game vs. Michigan,”Meyer’s alleged quote, which was posted by James Yoder, read. “You don’t survive as the coach at Ohio State if you lose to an interim coach. That’s just the way it is.”
The post even included a video of Fox and Big Ten Network Meyer having a discussion with his BTN colleague, Gerry DiNardo. But the audio in the video was noticeably absent. And there was probably a reason for that: Meyer never said this.
“Complete nonsense,” Meyer wrote, while quote-tweeting the post from Yoder, who hosts the Michigan Football Report on YouTube. “Never said this, never would. Go Bucks.”
Complete nonsense. Never said this, never would. Go Bucks. https://t.co/BHXh7Cgg5B
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) November 17, 2023
Even before Meyer’s clarification, it was fairly easy to put two and two together.
For one, Yoder — who also founded Chat Sports — is a Michigan fan who has never been shy to troll Ohio State fans. If people wanted to run with this quote, they should have at least found another — or the original — source.
That, of course, would have been impossible to do considering that the quote wasn’t real and the video that Yoder provided contained no audio. Yet, somehow, that didn’t stop the post from being reposted more than 150 times — including by some Ohio State fans — with many discussing the quote as if it were legitimate.
Does Meyer take the Michigan rivalry seriously? Of course. But the idea that he would put that kind of pressure on his former offensive coordinator, Day, who also happens to be the boss of his son-in-law (Ohio State quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis) should have been a major red flag — albeit not as big of a red flag as the post not containing any audio.
A credit to Yoder (I guess) that he did a good enough job of making the post look convincing enough that it took off. But it’s a sad state of affairs that so many were willing to run with it as real when merely clicking on the clip itself should have told them otherwise before Meyer, himself, did so.