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Urban Meyer says he plans on returning to TV

Noting nothing is finalized, Meyer hinted he'll return to Fox this fall.

Yesterday I wrote about why so few coaches get into the TV business. There were two prevailing theories. The first was that coaches these days, at least the high-profile ones the networks would be interested in, have so much money they don't need to work, so taking a TV job would require finding a coach who loves to do TV. The second theory was that networks brought coaches in to analyze (read: criticize) their colleagues decisions, and very few coaches feel comfortable doing so. 

Urban Meyer is that first type of coach.

The man has made more than enough money across an 18-year head coaching career, including 13 at Florida and Ohio State and one ill-fated but profitable year in Jacksonville. 

But he loves doing TV. As for the coach-on-coach part of it? He skirts his way around that.

"I really enjoyed that," Meyer told the Tim May Podcast of his two seasons with Fox. "I enjoyed celebrating those who play it, celebrating those who coach it. Not ripping people to shreds, but celebrating this great game, most importantly the players that do this game."

And so with his fall weekends now free, Meyer told May that, yes, he plans to return to Fox this year.

"I loved Fox. I loved their team. There's nothing been finalized yet, but yeah I plan on going back and doing it."

Complicating matters a bit is that there is not technically an opening on the Fox studio desk at this time. The network hired Bob Stoops to fill Meyer's chair for the 2021 season, but Stoops just took a job coaching an XFL team. That league does not begin play until the spring of 2023, and so it seems possible Stoops could continue working for Fox if he really wanted. But, five years removed from his Oklahoma resignation, Stoops's actions have told us he prefers to work part-time in his semi-retirement. 

From Fox's perspective, Meyer was simply better at the job than Fox. In fact, he was the best studio analyst in the college football TV game from the moment he stepped on set in 2019. His segments explaining the technical aspects of the game were the closest thing you could get to must-see TV on a Saturday morning.

A normal person would step in here and ask: why? Coming off the Jacksonville debacle, why not just lay low, spoil your grandkids, and enjoy the fruits of a long, successful career?

Clearly, Urban is not a normal person. This is a man who nearly quit due to health concerns in 2009, came back, walked away in 2010... and immediately went to work for ESPN. The man has not had an idle fall in his entire life, and clearly doesn't know how to spend a surplus of free time on any pursuit but football.

And so it seems we'll see Urban on our TVs again this fall, likely back at Fox. 

Update: Bob Stoops confirmed his XFL will work will take him away from the Fox TV set, so it looks like this is indeed happening.