Urban Meyer, who led the Florida Gators to two national football championships, will indeed be taking the head coaching job at Ohio State, according to reports from The Columbus Dispatch, ESPN and several other news outlets. There's a news conference at the school scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ET.
There had been talk, as we reported, about Meyer possibly taking over the program at Penn State after head coach Joe Paterno lost his job there in the wake of allegations that a former PSU assistant coach had been sexually abusing young boys for more than a decade — sometimes on campus.
But there had also been considerable speculation about Meyer and the Ohio State job. Meyer, 47, is an Ohio native and began his coaching career at Ohio State as a graduate assistant in 1986. And those ties (plus, reportedly, about $6 million a year) likely proved strong.
He'll inherit a program in trouble. As The Associated Press says:
"Meyer takes over a program that has been hit by several suspensions and the forced resignation of coach Jim Tressel. ... Tressel was forced to resign on May 30. Missing several top players because of NCAA suspensions stemming from the tattoo mess, the Buckeyes were hit with more suspensions when three players accepted $200 in cash for attending a charity event and others were forced to sit out or had their existing suspensions extended for being overpaid for summer jobs."
Meyer left Florida after the 2010 season, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and take care of his health. During the 2009 season, he had been hospitalized with chest pains.