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"We're going to build a program here with men that you'll be proud of on the field, in the classroom, and in the Bowling Green community."

Sound familiar?

Meyer_BGSUIn November of 2000 Bowling Green State University handed over the keys to their 2-9 football team to a 36 year old Notre Dame wide receivers coach named Urban Meyer. Quite a leap of faith for a struggling program who hadn't seen a winning record in six seasons, but Meyer would prove them wise and he didn't waste any time doing it.

Just two short weeks after taking the job, Meyer called all of his new players to the on-campus fieldhouse for a 6 A.M. meeting, one in which they were told that if you didn't show up to not bother to ever come back. It would be known simply as "Black Wednesday."

Sound familiar?

Reports had Meyer carrying a binder with him at all times that he used to keep track of who missed classes or study tables. Those that made the list were put through running drills like no other. From former BGSU running back John Gibson:

"Coach locked the doors, brought out the trash cans for those who had to vomit...and there were plenty, and set the tone for what he would be looking for from us, which was accountability."

When "Black Wednesday" and all of the dust settled from the running drills, approximately 25-30 players or more had left the program. If accountability wasn't your thing, Urban Meyer wasn't your guy. Now with a depleted roster, allbeit the one Meyer preferred, the 3-8 Falcons from a season ago would become the 8-3 Falcons of 2001. It wasn't good enough for a MAC Championship or even a bowl invite, but those eight wins included victories over the BCS's Missouri Tigers and Northwestern Wildcats. Those may not sound "epic" to most, but coming off a season that saw Bowling Green win just 18% of their outings, those two victories meant everything to a football program moving in the right direction.

A year later, with his spread offense now engrained into the minds and bodies of his roster, Bowling Green started 8-0 en route to a 9-2 season that saw them beat the likes of Missouri (again) and Kansas.

 

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