Urban Meyer driven 'insane' by Herman, Muschamp blaming inherited players
The Ohio State coach believes, once you take over a team, there's no one to blame but yourself
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer knows a thing or two about respectfully replacing legends.
Twelve years ago, Ohio State's current coach started a successful run at Florida just four seasons after Steve Spurrier left the Gators. In late 2011, he became the first permanent coach following the firing of Jim Tressel.
On Saturday, Meyer will coach against Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley, who himself is three months into taking over for the suddenly retired Bob Stoops.
Meyer said it drives him "insane" when coaches blame players they inherited from a previous staff.
Meyer pointed to a statement made Saturday by Herman (his former offensive coordinator at Ohio State) not being able to "sprinkle fairy dust" on the Longhorns team he inherited from Charlie Strong (Meyer's former defensive coordinator at Florida) following a loss to Maryland.
Meyer also said Muschamp "blamed us for Florida," referring to a perceived lack of talent left for Muschamp when Meyer departed before the 2011 season.
"C'mon man. I don't know where that came from," Meyer told CBS Sports. "It's like a new generation of excuse. [Herman] said, 'I can't rub pixie dust on this thing.' He got a dose of reality. Maryland just scored 51 points on you."
The full quote by Herman in Saturday's postgame: "If we all thought that we were going to come in here and in nine months sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we've arrived then we're wrong."
"Players read that," Meyer continued.
Herman replaced Strong at Texas. Strong was an assistant for four Florida coaches, including Meyer from 2005-09, when he led a dominant defense that helped the program win two national championships.
It's not clear if Muschamp ever directly suggested the cupboard was bare when he took over for Meyer. However, at the time of his Florida firing in 2014, Muschamp told CBS Sports, "[We] changed the culture of the program that was labeled by the previous head coach [Meyer] as 'broken.' He said it. I didn't."
Meyer saw 14 of his recruits selected in the three drafts after his departure following the 2010 season.
"You had Jeff Driskel, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, that whole defense got drafted," Meyer pointed out.
Rainey was selected in the fifth round in 2012. Demps went undrafted but played briefly in the NFL. Both were tailbacks. Seven Meyer-recruited Florida defenders were drafted from 2011-13.
Driskel, a quarterback, was recruited by Meyer and signed in Muschamp's first recruiting class.
"That's like, when I got here, everybody wanted me to say Jim Tressel left the cupboard bare," Meyer continued. "If I heard any assistant coach [say that], they'd be gone. You're done.
"Those are your players. I hear TV guys [say], 'Wait until they get their own players in there.' They're our players. What do you mean 'their players?' The minute you sign a contract, they're your players.
"You didn't choose me, I chose you. You're mine, absolutely. I love you, and I'm going to kick the shit out of you, and we're going to do it right …
"[Blaming players] drives me insane."
In Wednesday's post-practice remarks to the media Meyer reiterated those feelings. In his second year after replacing Florida's Ron Zook in 2006, Meyer won a national championship. In his first season after replacing interim coach Luke Fickell, Ohio State went 12-0 with a large swath of Tressel-recruited players.
"I've advised my coaches when they take new positions [to] always be extremely complimentary. Never talk as if those players aren't your players," he explained. "... When I hear coaches say, 'These aren't my guys. Wait 'til we get some guys in here,' I cringe. Whose guys do you think they are?"
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