Links at Lunch: Urban Meyer to Ohio State; Championship Week Begins

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Speculation turned to anticipation turned to frustration finally results in confirmation today, whenOhio State introduces Urban Meyer as its new head coach, per Crystal Ball Run’s Aaron Torres. CBSSports.com’s Tony Barnhart broke down the biggest hire of the last calendar year.

Meyer will replace interim Luke Fickell, who faced an arduous task. Fickell’s sacrifices don’t go unappreciated — ScarletAndGame.com bid Fickell a farewell and thank you.

Wisconsin heads into the inaugural Big Ten Championship fresh off a 45-7 rout of Penn State, and

up to No. 15 in the BCS ratings

. That’s one below the necessary mark for an at-large berth to one of the four prestigious, and most lucrative bowl games. Jack Moore at BadgerOfHonor.com explains it’s avenge the Badgers’ earlier, last second defeat to Michigan State or go to a lower tier bowl.

BCS ratings woes aren’t exclusive to Wisconsin’s aspirations though. Michigan State needs to beat UW a second time to earn a BCS bid. Michigan, which has the same record as but a loss to Michigan State, is off and needs only wait it out to potentially play in the Sugar Bowl. Detroit Jock City broke down the madness.

The Pac-12 title game also has its inaugural edition, but certainly lacks punch. The game appears to be more of a coronation than a competition. UCLA is limping into the match-up off a 50-0 beatdown against USC that

GoJoeBruin.com’s Derek Hart writes could mark the end of the Crosstown Showdown

. At the very least, it was the end of Rick Neuheisel’s ill-fated tenure as Bruin head coach —

the fourth year sideline general was given his walking papers today

, writes Bob Condotta of The

Seattle Times

.

UCLA joins Arizona State in the coaching search. Dennis Erickson was released on Sunday, the victim of what PacificTakes.com’s Avinash Kunnath calls “the devilish side” of ASU football.

While the 64-year-old Erickson could have made his final head coaching stop, Neuheisel could land at Kansas if SBNation.com’s Matt Conner’s theory comes to fruition.

Ken Goe of The Oregonian suggests Oregon hosting this game is a boon for everyone involved. I tend to agree.

  • Alabama is out of the conference championship picture, but the Crimson Tide’s Iron Bowl romp against rival Auburn has Nick Saban’s squad in prime position for a national title shot. BamaHammer.com examines the highs and lows of the Tide’s 11th win.