User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Urban Meyer concedes he's 'awful loser'

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Losing has never come easy for Urban Meyer.

Advertisement
Since he was a kid playing baseball, football and basketball back in Ashtabula, Ohio, Meyer could handle the pain, the long workouts and the criticism.

But the losses lingered and hurt.

Now that he's the head football coach at Ohio State, things haven't changed.

''I've never, no, I've never handled it well. Awful loser,'' he said recently in his quiet, paneled office inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. ''I guess I'd rather be known as that than as a good loser.''

He knows that much of the country views him as less than a gracious loser. Maybe that comes from having so little practice at it - his teams have only lost 24 times in his 12 years and 152 games as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and with the Buckeyes.

Fact is, he doesn't care what others think about him, or his program. He either ignores or isn't even aware of the opinions of those outside of the bubble he's built around his team.

''Once again, perception isn't something that drives me, it's obvious,'' he said.

All of that is important because the Buckeyes are dealing with defeat for the first time in two years.

The 49-year-old Meyer's Buckeyes are coming off a 34-24 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 7. The setback not only cost Ohio State the conference crown, it dropped it out of the running for a spot in the BCS national title game (Auburn took the Buckeyes' spot against Florida State) and also ended Meyer's and the program's record winning streak at 24 in a row.

Afterward, a photo taken inside the stadium showed a dejected Meyer eating pizza, glumly, while sitting in a golf cart. It went viral on the internet. Indeed, the loss - and all that went with it - was a punch in the gut for the Buckeyes, who had almost forgotten what it felt like to lose.

''Coach Meyer, I could tell it was kind of tough for him because we all were expecting to go to the national championship game,'' linebacker Ryan Shazier said.

Meyer said a few things to his players in the locker room after the defeat to Michigan State. Then everybody - players, coaches, staff members - took a few days away from each other. They reconvened late last week to begin practice for a date with Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Meyer, who when younger would withdraw after a loss, appeared at least to his players to have accepted the defeat. After their first workout, Meyer pulled his players around him and bared his emotions.

It was clear that the loss still burned in him, but Meyer knew the Buckeyes were watching him to see how to react to it. Meyer called it ''a cathartic moment.''

''He's obviously the guy we look at as a template for how to handle things like this,'' offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said. ''He came back from a recruiting trip and came to the middle of the huddle at the end of practice. He was telling us how much he loves us and everything. That meant a lot to us. When you hear a guy like that come in and say things like that, it motivates you to move forward and win another game.''

As difficult as the losses have always been for Meyer to swallow, he's made an effort to at least appreciate the wins more.

''We went on a nice run and I kept reminding myself through the journey to enjoy this thing, man. Keep drinking that Kool-Aid (because) someday you might have an empty glass,'' Meyer said while seated in a comfortable, leather sofa, taking a break from drawing up a practice schedule. ''You don't want to live your life always knowing that some pin is going to pop the balloon. But I did enjoy every one of those wins.''

Meyer's resume marks him as one of the most successful coaches ever. He won national titles at Florida in 2006 and 2008. He has a career record of 128-24, is 7-1 in bowl games, 11-5 against Top-10 teams and is 4-0 in BCS bowl games.

When he walked away from Florida after the 2010 season and walked into the ESPN booth as a college analyst, he could have avoided all the pressures and stomach ulcers that seem to come with the job of big-time college coaching. But he missed the competition and the kids.

Keep in mind, he left the Gators twice in less than a year. The first exit, though, lasted just a day, and was for health reasons. The second was to be with the family more. So, wrestling with these decisions - obviously - is not easy.

Finally, he came back to Ohio State - a program coming off a 6-7 record and covered in mud after a year of NCAA investigations and sanctions thanks to the ugly end of Jim Tressel's tenure - and almost immediately turned things around.

So those who mock the Big Ten and the Buckeyes, or chide him for abandoning Florida, don't bother him. He likes his players, he likes his program and he says he's in good health. He's heard angry critics call him Urban Liar.

And he doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

''I don't listen a lot. I used to all the time,'' he said. ''And I heard some of the most incredible things and I was, like, `What was that?'''

Next to the computer monitor behind his oak desk in his office sits a framed quote. It was taken from a letter he got at Bowling Green during his first head-coaching stint. After a defeat.

It reads: ''Don't fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.''

Asked whose words those are, Meyer shakes his head.

''It was an anonymous letter,'' he said. ''It's been on my desk ever since.''

---

Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
David: College Bowl Pick 'em
Rose: Bowl Breakdown - Part 1
Marshall: College Notebook
Edwards: College Playoff Outlook
SportsBoss: SBPI - Final Rankings
Wisconsin looks ready to pick Chryst
WVU athletic director Luck joining NCAA
Pelini takes over at Youngstown State
Sooners get back 3 key players for bowl
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
3-0 L3, 62% +1,965 This Year
12-4 L16 Guarantees, +2,131 TY
59%, +1,923 Net Profits TY
8-1 L9, 13-3 Guarantees This Year
7-3 Last 10 Over/Unders
13-6 L19, 38-21 L59 Selections
7-2 Last 9 Guaranteed Plays
29-16, +1,147 CFB Totals TY
12-5 Guaranteed Play Record
8-3 Record L3 Saturdays
8-4 L12 Guaranteed Plays
3-0 L3 NCAA FB Guarantees
3-0 L3 Picks, 11-5 Totals TY
15-7 Record L5 Saturdays
7-2 L9 Guarantee Streak
NCAAFB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Idaho Potato Bowl- Air Force Falcons at Western Michigan Broncos
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 2131
Dave Cokin + 1965
Kevin Rogers + 1923
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 200
Scott Pritchard + 100
Jimmy Boyd + 100
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 62 %
Kevin Rogers 59 %
Michael Black 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 965
Jimmy Boyd + 680
Michael Black + 570
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1147
Kyle Hunter + 1108
Tony Stoffo + 707
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1650
Kevin Rogers + 895
Mark Franco + 461
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide