Not to sound crass or anything but Urban Meyer pulled an Alex Rodriguez by announcing that he is stepping down as the Florida head coach the day after Christmas. A-Rod announced during game four of the 2007 World Series that he was opting out of his New York Yankees contract, while Urban makes his announcement during ESPN's bowl triple header and just an hour prior to the USC game against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl.
Also, what type of person does it take to send out a press release the day after Christmas. Why not hold off on the info or perhaps tell the players internally (which may have happened) prior to sending out a release, and when did he know this was his choice. Or was Meyer just hoping to make the decision on a Saturday that is the day after Christmas when most of the media is not working. The decision is made and a plausible scenario is that Meyer may want a week of the media bowing down and kissing his ring as if he were the Pope With a week prior to the Sugar Bowl Meyer made the announcement and his plan was to give his players extra motivation to win the Sugar after just missing out on the BCS title game, as he does not want to repeat what Alabama did in last years Sugar Bowl beat down by the hands of Utah.
Apparently his health issues are not serious even though Meyer was hospitalized twice this month for chest pain, nausea, and sickness -- not sure if that includes the post SEC title game hospitalization. There is speculation that his health issues steam back to 1998 when Meyer had a cyst in his brain. The rumor about Meyer having a defective heart valve, and of an unreported heart attack, are incorrect.
The Florida coaching job is easily a top five job and whoever is next will be in one of the biggest shadows in college football history, so this hire needs to be a good one. There have been some names tossed around all ready:
Most certainly, Bob Stoops' name will be tossed out there. Stanford's Jim Harbaugh was connected to both the Notre Dame and Kansas vacancies, and is a mortal lock to have his name attached to this job as well.At first blush, here's the name you should probably in the front of your mind: Boise State's Chris Peterson, if for nothing more than the fact that plucking a coach from a non-BcS automatic qualifier turned out rather well for UF the last time they were in need of a head coach.One thing we would think would be a certainty, though: Charlie Strong is probably kicking himself in the ass right about now.Strong was Meyer's defensive coordinator before leaving for the Louisville head-coaching gig earlier this month. Would he consider doing an about-face and return to Gainesville just weeks after leaving?
Strong has only signed a term sheet and not a contract so it is conciveable for Strong to flip around that U-Haul to Florida for a super pressure cooker situation, or he become a legend in Louisville and come back to Florida later. Murmors have been mentioned of Utah's Kyle Whittingham because of the relationship between former and current Florida president Dr. Bernard Machen.
How soon does Florida buy out a name head coach to hopefully keep the ship on track with national championship and SEC titles as their goals ever year? Bob Stoops will be mentioned as was above, but odds of him leaving are slim because of his dominance in Oklahoma, or Jim Harbaugh since he is a good coach in a smaller school relative to Florida. One bizarre scenario could happen is for Dan Mullen -- former Urban Meyer disciple at Utah and Florida -- ditch is current head job at Mississippi State and return to Florida; that would actually leave some continuity in the program. Or could the unthinkable happen of the Ol' Ball Coach resuming is old gig? Ok that last one is way, way out there.
For what was looking to be a relatively quiet and non-domino effect coaching carousel could now turn into a spiraling roller coaster and could really reopen the recruiting land scape if this hire has a wide ripple effect. Whatever the decision is Urban Meyer will have a say in finding his replacement, and expect to hear more since Urban is scheduled to speak in New Orleans tomorrow. In the mean time the Gators need their recruiting coordinators to get a hold of every recruit, because the Gators top recruit Matt Elam is not happy about Meyer's departure. I can see Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin stroking his chin and cackling about the new recruits he will be trying to switch their verbal commitment to Tennessee.
Besides thinking of the future of Florida, Meyer leaves behind a budding dynasty that was all ready mimicking and passing what Peter Carroll, Bob Stoops, and Mack Brown have done. Urban was a stud at his two previous stops by laying the work for what Central Michigan and Utah are currently today. My best guess on what Urban will do is that he will be in the NFL in 2011; and who knows be the head coach of my Dallas Cowboys. A fan can dream right?
Let's just see how far the tree falls with the impending coaching searches and if they have any affect on the Mountain West.