One has to feel for Luke Fickell.
The interim Ohio State football coach has had fans gunning for him since the moment he replaced Jim Tressel.
Twitter and other social media were abuzz with criticisms about the way Fickell coached Saturday at Michigan, a 40-34 Wolverines' victory.
Never mind that Michigan is No. 17 in the country.
Never mind the game was on the road.
Never mind Ohio State was a seven-point underdog.
And never mind that, from the moment he took the job, people have been asking when he'd lose it.
Rumors are one thing. Seeing just about every news organization report you've been replaced by Urban Meyer is quite another.
Ohio State finishes the regular season 6-6. It's hard to defend all the playcalling, the personnel decisions and the frustrating losses. And no one can argue Fickell's a better coach than Meyer, who has won two national championships and been a huge success everywhere he's been.
But Fickell, a standout nose guard for the school in the 1990s, deserved better than having to answer questions about Meyer as he was preparing for Michigan week. He likely won't have to answer them much longer. Meyer is expected to be announced as the new coach within a few days.
Though, with Meyer, you never know. I was working for Bowling Green's student newspaper back in 2002, when then-Falcon coach Meyer told my friend and BG News sports editor Joel Hammond he had "unfinished business" at BGSU.
A few days later he was gone to Utah. He was at BG all of two seasons, turned the program around with a 17-6 record, and set up success for the next few years.
But many friends from my college days still hold a grudge.
Meyer has a history of changing his mind. He left Florida briefly after the 2009 season, citing health concerns. He returned (sort of; how can you return when you don't leave?) for 2010, but left the Gators again, this time for good. People at Florida have to be amused, since he signed a six-year extension back in 2009, then when he resigned last year, sounded like he was done coaching.
I'm just guessing, but I doubt the Gators thought Meyer was leaving so that, a year later, he could take over a school they recently competed against for a national title.
The point is, history tells us that while Meyer is a great coach, any decision he makes or claims to have made can be undone quickly.
That's why, even if Meyer is announced as OSU's coach, I won't fully believe it until he coaches a regular season game.
All the while, here's Fickell, a true Buckeye who didn't make excuses and didn't complain after being told he'd coach two games, then five, then all this season. He didn't have many of the players he thought he would, but for the most part, made the team competitive.
Fickell may be asked to stay on Meyer's staff. He may even get vague promises about the future.
No matter what he does, Fickell deserves credit. He had his dream job, yes, but it came with so many restrictions one had to wonder if it ever felt like it.
Dreams rarely match reality.
Buckeye fans should keep that in mind if Meyer is hired.