Land of 10/file photo
Ohio State would love to have Greg Schiano back for another season, but it can survive without him.

Ohio State football: Losing Greg Schiano would hurt, but Buckeyes have options

Austin Ward

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With the Super Bowl in the books, decision time has arrived for Greg Schiano. His options for next season always looked like they would be remaining at Ohio State for another year or joining the staff in New England, which certainly looked lost at times in the shootout loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night. That could be a tough decision for Schiano, who is friends with both Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick and would almost certainly be setting the course for his future by either staying in the college ranks or returning to the NFL.

His impact in hanging around with the Buckeyes is fairly obvious given his impressive work coordinating the Silver Bullets and helping clean up on the recruiting trail, so let’s look at what might happen if Schiano chooses the Patriots. That would present a challenge for Ohio State at this point since it already needs to hire a replacement for invaluable cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, so seeing a second defensive assistant head elsewhere wouldn’t be ideal for Meyer. But it could also be viewed as something of a unique opportunity, both for Ohio State to revamp that unit and for coaches who would jump at the chance to work with all the talent the program has returning.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Kerry Coombs-Tennessee Titans-coaching staff
Ohio State already needs to replace cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs this offseason. (Land of 10/file photo)

Looking back, it already seems clear that Meyer was bracing for a loss in the secondary when he landed Alex Grinch from Washington State. Whether that was truly just an aggressive move to fill out the new No. 10 spot on the coaching staff or a proactive step in case of defections, either way it positioned the Buckeyes well for any transition defensively. Grinch has been a rising star in the profession and specializes in the secondary. With his experience as a coordinator, the Buckeyes have a ready-made option to call the shots. Who would join Grinch?

That’s where it gets tricky, because Meyer has shown a knack for home-run hires that nobody can sees coming. Schiano was a prime example. Ohio State has so much to offer, from the roster to the chance to compete for championships to increasingly top-of-the-market salaries. Meyer should be able to get just about anybody he decides he wants when (or if) the time comes. And on top of that, the real draw for coaches working through the ranks is the opportunity to join Meyer’s staff and learn from one of the all-time greats, which tends to be a rocket-ship springboard for aspiring head coaches.

Perhaps that seems like a cop-out to not put together a list of candidates. Or maybe it’s giving Ohio State too much credit to assume it would simply be able to move on without missing a step despite potentially losing two defensive assistants within a couple weeks of each other. But Meyer has clearly earned the benefit of the doubt, and it’s a safe bet that everything is going to work out just fine for him and a possibly retooled defensive staff.

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