Urban Meyer might not last the season for the Jaguars

Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Urban Meyer’s disastrous NFL debut as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach makes it easy to harken back to Bobby Petrino, Steve Spurrier, Chip Kelly and other failed college coaches.

Urban Meyer has to already be pining for the days he got to face Michigan and Rutgers each season, after an embarrassing NFL head coaching debut Sunday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, taking the road against one of the least-talented rosters in the NFL, were thoroughly overmatched and outclassed by the Houston Texans in a 37-21 loss.

Not only did the Texans thoroughly dominate the Jaguars Sunday afternoon, but NFL-lifer turned rookie head coach David Culley coached circles around Meyer.

Houston intercepted Trevor Lawrence three times. The Texans held the Jaguars to two third down conversations. With six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville had just 70 rushing yards.

Meyer’s Jaguars limped into the locker room trailing 27-7, and showed little fight against the Texans.

After Sunday’s performance, It is fair to wonder if Meyer’s temperament and history of health issues will allow him to withstand what has the chance to be a disastrous NFL season.

Prior to arriving in Jacksonville, Meyer lost only 32 of his 219 career games at Ohio State, University of Florida, Utah, and Bowling Green, while winning three National Championships.

Unlike his time at Ohio State, where Meyer was able to stack elite recruiting classes for seven seasons, the Jaguars are going to be underdogs most weeks after dropping No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence into a full-fledged rebuild, with Meyer learning on the fly how to coach NFL players.

If Sunday is any indication, Meyer might not make it through this season.

Coaching professional athletes who are financially invested in their own success and, at least for some, have tasted success at this level, is significantly different than imposing your will as a college coach with a locker room full of blue chip recruits.

Sunday was an inauspicious start, to say the least.

Steve Spurrior arrived in Washington with the same fanfare Meyer was greeted by in Jacksonville, only to flame out with a 12-20 record through two seasons.

Will Meyer even last that long?

Is it entirely out of the realm of possibility if Florida State continues to struggle, or USC fails to compete in the Pac 12, that Meyer won’t reach for the golden parachute and land in Tallahassee or Los Angeles, similarly to Bobby Petrino leaving goodbye letters to his players at halftime of a Monday Night Football game for the Atlanta Falcons and being introduced as Arkansas’ head coach hours later?

Unlike his track record and reputation preceding him in Columbus or Gainesville, Meyer might have a very limited window to establish a winning culture in Jacksonville, before his players tune him out.

After Sunday, it’s fair to wonder if they’ll even have to.

Meyer never lost to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines, or to Rutgers. But, he found out just how difficult it is to win in the NFL, while playing one of the league’s worst in his professional coaching debut.

Meyer hasn’t lost more than two games in a season since 2010.

With home games the next two weeks against the Broncos and Cardinals, Meyer may lose three straight to open his NFL career. It’s fair to wonder when Jacksonville’s first win will come this season, and if Meyer will be there to lead it.

Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com.