Monday, November 28, 2011

Did Urban Meyer Leave Florida Because He Was Sick, Or He Was Sick Of Losing?

Call me one of the skeptics when it comes to Urban Meyer's sudden return to coaching.  I'm not doubting that Meyer's health was an issue.  I believe the health risks induced by stress/fatigue were real and that they were serious.

I also believe they were induced by a Florida team that just wasn't nearly as good as the ones Meyer had become accustomed to coaching.  In Meyer's 10 years of being a head coach, he had five season where his teams won 10 games or more.  Of the five other seasons, his teams won nine games three times, and eight games twice.

However, he had never lost five games in a season before.  That's what happened to the 8-5 Florida team that  got blown out by Alabama (31-6), South Carolina (36-14), and Florida State (31-7).

For a guy who supposedly hates losing, perhaps he could see the sign of things to come in this 2010 team.  He won two national championships with Tim Tebow at his quarterback, but he knew that John Brantley didn't have that same talent.

He could also see that the SEC and even old rivals were catching up with him.  Alabama was building a dominant team that was going to be very difficult to beat. Florida State was rebuilding the program.  LSU was still very dominant.  Georgia was getting better, and with Florida slipping back to the crowd, victories at the World's Largest Cocktail Party weren't going to be as certain as before.

Witness the 2011 Florida team that has gone 6-6 this season.  Meyer could see the writing on the wall, and he wasn't going to be able to physically tolerate the kind of losing that his teams were going to go through over the next few years.  He missed on recruiting, and his competitors had gotten better.  Of course, his health would suffer.

So he takes a year off, and he just can't not coach.  He knows he's one of the better coaches in college football, and it kills him to not be out there.  Then, a miracle happened.  His "dream" job came open: Ohio State University.  To me, it's a dream job because of the fan base, the recruiting base, being in the Big Ten, the current selection of goes on and on.

Meyer knows he can go into Ohio State right now and contend for Big Ten Championships right now.  There aren't any top tier coaches in the Big Ten.  Bo Pelini? Brady Hoke?  Meyer had to compete against guys like Nick Saban and Les Miles in the SEC.

He has NO PEER in the Big Ten.  It's a no-brainer that he was going to take this job.  I only really feel bad for the Florida kids that he abandoned when things got tough.  I'm sure they feel pretty betrayed right now.

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