After failing to land Gruden and O'Leary in 2001, the Administration and the AD were flummoxed. If Meyer had been a reasonably successful OC to that point, his qualifications for the job might well have been evident if not obvious. Certainly he did not lack self-confidence but he would have come cheaper than Willingham.
In December 2001, Meyer would have been at ND for six years and OC for three. As it turned out, Davie alienated him and he took a different path. Meyer was destined to be a head coach sooner or later in that time frame.