When the Florida Gators chomped the Ohio State Buckeyes by a final score of 41-14 in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, it was hard to fathom Urban Meyer coaching college football anywhere other than Gainesville, Florida. After all, the former Gator head coach had just won his second national championship in a three year span.
Fast forward to 2012. Urban Meyer has had two “retirements” due to a weak heart muscle, and now finds himself about three and a half months away from his first game as the head football coach at The Ohio State University. As for Meyer’s old team, the Gators are about to begin their second season under Will Muschamp. Muschamp is a Georgia Bulldog alum, and he was deemed the head coach in waiting at the University of Texas where he served as defensive coordinator before the Gators came calling. Florida finished 7-6 in Muschamp’s first season. Conditions in the swamp are expected to improve, but even the most staunch Gator supporters must have trouble believing that Muschamp will surpass the success of his predecessor.
One has to wonder how UF fans feel about the turn of events in Gainesville since 2010. Urban Meyer achieved monumental success as the Florida football coach, but he left the cupboard relatively bare. Health issues aside, the timing of Meyer’s decision to step down was a little suspicious. Maybe he was heartbroken over losing Tim Tebow? Kidding aside, does Gator Nation have a right to feel betrayed by a man they erected a statue of for coaching elsewhere so quickly?
In a word, no. I am certainly not a fan of Urban Meyer and his arrogant attitude toward people who are not directly involved with his football program. However, college football is becoming more about business with each passing year, and according to Meyer, Ohio State was the one job in the country that he would come out of retirement for. Once he retired for a second time it should have been painfully obvious to the Gator faithful that Urban Meyer had coached his last game in orange and blue. To again come out of retirement in any given year down the road only back to coaching at the University of Florida would have been beyond foolish. There is no way Meyer could have replicated his success at the same university. Unless of course he secretly cloned Tim Tebow, because let’s face it, Tebow was the prototypical quarterback for Urban Meyer’s offense.