The Buckeyes won at least 10 games in each of Meyer's seven seasons with the school, a run that was highlighted by a national championship in 2014 when Ohio State went 14-1 and rolled to the title win over Oregon.
The why of it was evident-health, and perhaps the scandal of this season-and Ohio State quickly made the how of it clear: Ryan Day, the offensive coordinator who coached the team during Meyer's September suspension, will be promoted.
The wild day at Ohio State just got even busier with Cavazos making his surprising announcement. The 54-year-old Meyer has an arachnoid cyst in his brain that causes severe headaches, and had shown obvious effects of being in pain on the sideline this season.
On Sunday, Meyer talked about coaching the Buckeyes at the Rose Bowl, something he has never done before.
He started his head-coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001 and moved on to Utah two seasons later before taking the Florida job in 2005 and rocketing to the top of the college football coaching ranks, a peer of Alabama coach Nick Saban, victor of six national championships.
The timing of the announcement was based on recruiting, he said; it needed to be announced before the early signing period opens December 19. Only three other FBS coaches have a better winning percentage. That led to Florida's worst season under Meyer, a 8-5 (4-4 SEC) mark in 2010. He previously coached at Bowling Green and Utah. Every one of those teams, except the first one which was banned from bowl games, was in the discussion for a national championship at some time in the season and the 2014 team won it all.
There already have been questions about whether Ohio State should have conducted a wider and longer search for Meyer's replacement.
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Meyer's career at Florida ended abruptly as he first made a decision to retire following the 2009 season only to change his mind and announce he would remain with the Gators.
He later issued a statement apologizing directly to Smith's wife, saying, "Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through".
Among coaches who were active in 2018, Meyer ranked No. 3 in wins behind Alabama's Nick Saban and Kansas State's Bill Snyder. It appeared to be a dream job for the Toledo native and success quickly followed.
"You want to hand it off to someone who could make it stronger", Meyer said.
Meyer's salary is $7.6 million in 2018 and he has about $38 million left on his contract. Meyer came under fire for his response - or lack thereof - in regards to allegations of domestic abuse against one of his assistant coaches.
2012: Ohio State 35, Penn State 22: Penn State actually took a 6-0 lead, when Mike Yancich recovered Mike Hull's blocked punt for a touchdown.