Urban has change of heart; Meyer and his move to Columbus

 “I’m stepping down as the head football coach of the University of Florida to focus on family and my other interests away from the sidelines.”

– Urban Meyer, December 2010

“I’m not going to be the Alabama head coach”

– Nick Saban, December 2006

“I feel like I’m taking crazy pills”

– Jacobim Mugatu , December 2001



I am dumbfounded, confused, bewildered and betrayed.  I am forever Meyer-less.  I am Florida Gator fan.

The college coaching carousel has just been slammed on its head, like the shaking of a Boggle game where the letters don’t end up quite where they belong.

Last week, Sports by Brooks first broke the story that former Florida football coach and current ESPN analyst, Urban Meyer, was about to coach again, this time at Ohio State, where he had long dreamed to.  For days, Brooks was the only outlet to confirm these rumors, with ESPN, who signs Meyer’s paychecks, either lagging behind or intentionally biting their tongue.

Brooks stood by its story, leaving football fans from Columbus to Gainesville on the edge of our seats, with many of us anxiously eyeballing ESPN’s updates awaiting confirmation.  The only bright side is that it got us talking about something other than the abomination that is the BCS.

Meyer headed to Ohio State is not Steve Spurrier going to Florida State but it’s pretty damn close.  Does this mean we’ll soon see the sweater-vested Jim Tressel patrolling the Swamp’s sidelines.  It’d only be fair, right?

The bad blood between Florida and Ohio State began not long ago.  Prior to that, the two schools had never played a football game of any significance.  That all changed in January, 2007.  With Meyer moving to Columbus, it’s safe to say the rivalry has just been kicked up a notch.

Bring on the bias.  Are quitter, turncoat and traitor too strong of words to describe a person who once took your program to unprecedented heights but the left the cupboard bare?  Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?  Or am I just being bitter?  William Shakespeare was never a college football fan.  I refuse to believe telling an Ohio State friend to fuck off for stealing my football coach was a bad thing.  Or maybe it’s just too soon.

Florida fans can’t be the only ones feeling weird about Meyer’s move.  This can’t be easy for Buckeyes either.  Despite landing the best coach (we never knew was) available, how could Buckeyes possibly be comfortable watching him sheriff the Shoe without having 41-14 flashbacks and wincing at the thought?

What does Meyer’s move say about the two programs?  Does Urban taking the Ohio State job mean that it’s more prestigious than Florida, or merely that coaching in the Big Ten isn’t as taxing on one’s health as the weekly grind of the Southeastern Conference?

Was he at all conflicted or was this just another career move?  And what of Luke Fickell?  Isn’t he technically still the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes?  I don’t recall seeing his name come across the fire wire but now he’s dead man walking.

This is all still fresh… and stinging.  Best to you, Coach Meyer, I say clenching my teeth.

Oh, and if we do land Coach Tressel after running Will Muschamp out of town, we look forward to meeting you again one day.

Now, does anyone know a cure for bitterness?

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32 Replies to “Urban has change of heart; Meyer and his move to Columbus”

  1. Chris, as a Big Ten guy, I am delighted Meyer may be coming to Ohio State. Too long, the Big Ten has played bridesmaid to the SEC. In BCS games, the Big Ten is winning at a .455 rate while the SEC is at .715! I want some of that magic in our conference. He’ll bring that type of game. Spread offenses and hard nosed D. Go, Urban. Go, OSU. Go, Big Ten.

  2. Jimmy…

    Great seeing you at Beef’s earlier. Unfortunately it was in the midst of a fifth straight Buccaneer loss.

    Oh well.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree with you that Meyer heading to Columbus is bad for the conference. It couldn’t possibly be. Just be careful how loudly you mention that around town, he he.

    I just wonder if Meyer was at all personally, or even professionally, conflicted by making that move. He had barely been gone from Gainesville a year!

    Again, it’s not like the Ohio State-Florida rivalry is all that deep-rooted, but over the past few years, the programs have developed a healthy dislike towards one another. This should only stir the pot.

    I say fire Muschamp, hire Tressel and seal the deal.

  3. Dude, there is no question that Urban Meyer wanted to get out of the toughest conference in college football to compete and go someplace that he could yet again be a hero. Meyer proves that when it’s tough to win because of the work and effort that has to go into it, these coaches either quit or move on to an easier job. Meyer did well at Florida,but he wasn’t a well respected coach. See ya Urban Meyer!

  4. Pope Urban I at Ohio State…seems like a confluence of all the good stories.

    Soon, he’ll get caught butt-fucking tattooed kids who stole lap-tops.

  5. Ron Zook is now available. How did this guy last so long with the Illini? Well the axe finally fell today.

  6. Gentlemen…

    I think Brotha E’s sentiments represent the what the majority of Gator fans are going through right now.

    E’s right. Despite what he did at Florida, and managing to emerge from Spurrier’s shadows, which wasn’t easy to do, Spurrier was still the more “liked” coach.

  7. J-Dub…

    Think of how we’re progressing as a society.

    In five to ten years time, we’ll have college athletes (and their coaches) coming up with all new rancid offenses.

  8. RB…

    Brotha E texted me about Zook.

    I jokingly said to bring him back to Gainesville, that we don’t know how good we had it.

    I say that jokingly, sort of, but at least the Zooker never went 6-6.

  9. I think Urban will be a great addition for Ohio. As a Michigan fan I’m kinda excited seeing a new rivalry between him and Hoke. Could be the next Woody vs. Bo

  10. Gotta hand it to D for wanting Michigan to compete against the best of the best although I think it’s a little too early to throw around Woody and Bo comparisons, no?

  11. Dub…

    Just like they told him in his game would work in high school, then college and then the pros, critics will blast Tebow for bringing his own personal brand of smash-mouth football to the Florida sidelines, until he wins thirty-seven straight games and three consecutive national championships.

    Ah, I love happy endings.

  12. So, Urban Meyer takes the Ohio State job not 12 hours after we put Luke Fickell on the Coaches’ Death Watch. Coincidence?

  13. Chris Humpherys

    I voted for it before I voted against it ! The words of John Kerry (D-Ma) . Now Urban Meyer . Please what else is there to say ?

    So Jim Boeheim is now embarrassed in the aftermath of the Bernie Fine firing ? Why couldn’t he have simply shut the f_ck up instead of jumping to Fine’s defense from the outset ? Not only that but we’re now finding out that Fine’s wife may well have been involved with some of these victims . Never mind that LEO (law enforcement officers ) themselves shied away from doing an in depth investigation of the original incident . And people are griping about the whole intolerable situation . It’s now open season on women and kids in terms of sexual attack and that is a fact no one can deny !

    tophatal ………

  14. Dub…

    Who else did you do that with? I don’t recall, oh wait, was it Tressel?

    Wasn’t it on the podcast where you said he’d be fired and not 12 hours later… BAM!

    Remind me to always stay on your good side.

  15. Did anyone believe that Urb was not coming back to coach…. sooner rather than later?

    He had an amazing run at UF… mainly with someone else’s recruits… just like everywhere else he coached. He can’t come close to matching that again in the SEC, so he’s off to the Big 10, 12? whatever.

    He’ll have to face only one team that is strong every year, Wisconsin. The writers will shit all over themselves putting OSU in the BCS title game any season that Urb loses no more than 1 game.

  16. Han…

    Forty mil buys a lot of heart medication.

    And you might be right about giving a one-loss Urb team the nod.

    With Paterno gone, we can only assume Penn State is about to have its troubles, leaving Wisconsin, as you suggested, Michigan and Michigan State.

    If you ask me, the whole thing sucks.

  17. Chris the cupboard was bare at Florida… Time to pull out!

    Then what luck! Tressel (the supposed epitome of college coaches no less)screwed the pooch and walla! Heeeerrrrrreee’s Urban!

    Now you can expect to see Florida high school speed demons of the gridiron showing up with Buckeyes all over their silver and crimson helmets! All for the glory of Ohio State!

    Now back to reality… Will the NCAA bring sanctions against the Columbus crew? If not and I had anything to do with USC I’d raise unholy hell!

    We’ll know soon enough… I guess…

  18. Dwin….

    Here’s what I don’t get.

    How could the cupboard possibly be bare at Florida? Don’t they just reload? Shouldn’t they be able to recruit, or be gift-wrapped, any talent they want? What the hell has happened?

    I don’t know that I’m buying into the whole Urban-heard-Tressel-was-out-and-made-his-decision-from-there theory.

    I’m also assuming Meyer knew exactly what he was getting himself into as far as knowing about upcoming sanctions.

    But if one or two slipped by him without his knowing, I wouldn’t be all that upset.

  19. Chris

    That’s Eli sitting pretty atop of the heap of the so called elite qb’s of which he believes himself to be one ? He can’t lead a horse to water much less this Giants’ team ! And there you were throwing up stats about the guy . I’d rather watch pigs fly than witnessing Eli Manning leading the Giants this season !

    Urb is a lot of things to all people and in some people’s eyes he’s considered a winner . Whilst in others he’s seen as nothing more than someone who’s an invertebrate and a spineless a## wipe !

    But I guess $40 million can give you a spine overnight !


    Not only was the Gators’ cupboard bare but the recruiting was subpar to say the very least ! And that’s borne out with the team stats this season .

    tophatal ………… 😉

  20. Tough break, but in the end you have to like that he’s going to be under some heavy sanctions when he starts that tenure at OSU. If USC ends up with stiffer penalties than OSU, I hope there’s some extra public outcry from you SEC fans that seem to make a lot more of a difference than us PAC-12 fans….

  21. Al…

    The Giants have had a tough stretch of games lately, having to play New England, San Fran, Philly and New Orleans. It won’t get any easier next Sunday as they have Green Bay coming into town and then have to go to Dallas.

    They’re 6-5 and are on the bubble for the playoffs in the NFC. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if they make the playoffs and I wouldn’t be surprised if they miss ’em.

    And I am really not liking Urban Meyer right now.

  22. I hear that Gators’ fans are calling for a burning of effigies of Urban Meyer ? So much so that Gov Rick Scott will declare 29th November 2011 “We Fu##ing Hate Urban Meyer Day ” !

    Bear mind what the Giants have achieved in the last two seasons as its relates to home stretch of the season concerning their record . They are on the way to imploding once again . A minimum of 10 wins will be needed to get them perhaps a playoff berth .

    Del Rio ….. goodbye you are the weakest link ! What the hell is Jags’ owner Wayne Weaver thinking ? He fires his coach but yet offers his imbecillic GM Gene Smith a 3 year contract extension ? Stupid is as stupid does . That team is nowhere near contending for anything but being shat upon by the rest of the NFL .

    So your namesake the ex Mr Kim Kardashian is now said to be on the wish list of the Lakers ? What the Lakers’ front office are of the thinking he and Kim still come as a package deal in spite of the impending divorce . Is everyone within the Buss family on some form of medication ?

    Where have all the good centers gone ? Far , far , far away !

    Digest this little tidbtit concerning Dwight Howard ……. NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets Hinges on Extension

    tophatal …….

  23. Al…

    First of all, I don’t know that anyone in the sunshine state is currently fond of Scott. It’s amazing he got elected into office in the first place.

    The Giants are seven-point underdogs at home this weekend against the Packers and that’s only because Vegas didn’t want to take a bath on making them bigger dogs against the spread.

    I agree that the Jacksonville proceedings are somewhat odd, but considering the team is for sale, that means anything can happen. It’s not like Del Rio had much talent to work with while he was there.

    And NBA centers? There’s basically one and one only these days. And Hakeem Olajuwon could probably still take him to school

  24. Dear Urban Meyer to Ohio State: A Letter from the Florida Gators

    By Eli Marger (Featured Columnist) on November 28, 2011 61,491 reads 150

    Dear Urban Meyer,

    We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? Over half a decade ago, you were the up-and-coming coach that was going to take Florida to new heights. Almost two years ago to the day, you were the toast of college football as the Gators prepared to face Alabama for a shot at a second straight national championship game.

    And then something happened.

    After losing that fateful SEC title game, you decided it was time to move on. Your health and your family were the top priorities. Oh wait, never mind. That changed one day later. And you know what? We were happy. Frankly, we wanted what was best for you, Urban. If you had decided then and there that you would no longer be a coach, we would have accepted it. You won us over.

    Last year was the same story. A 7-5 regular season took a toll on you. So did not having Tim Tebow. So did losing the support of the fans. And when you decided to hang up the headset again last year, we still accepted it. We wanted what was best for you.

    And then something happened.

    You see, Urban, we totally understood that your priorities had shifted from being a coach to being a father, a husband, and a healthy human being. If any of us had been in your shoes, we probably would have made the same decision.

    Heck, we didn’t even find it fishy when you started appearing on ESPN once in a while. Not even when those appearances started getting more regular. You love the sport of football. That’s no secret. “He’s spending time with his family whenever he isn’t on ESPN,” we thought. And you know what? I bet you did.

    Doug Benc/Getty Images
    I bet you got to spend a lot of quality time with your family, and I bet you really did turn around your health. I bet your heart is a lot healthier than it was last year, and I bet that the doctor smiles a little wider when he sees you now.

    You’re a family man. You have a terrific wife and three talented children that you want to enjoy. You don’t want to be the man that missed his children growing up. Coaching at the University of Florida was making you become that person. So that’s when you walked away, and that’s when we, the disappointed fans, still gave you a healthy round of applause.

    And then something happened.

    When did you know you were going to take this job, Urban? Was it when you started hearing about the scandal occurring at Ohio State? Did you see the sweat dripping onto Jim Tressel’s sweater vest and realize that there may be a vacancy soon?

    Did you see the light? The chance to coach in your home state for one of the greatest college football programs in the country is pretty damn attractive, isn’t it? Just think about it, Urban. 106,000 scarlet-clad fans will be chanting your name in just a few months.

    You will have a program tailor-made for success. You will be able to recruit not only from the hotbed of talent in Ohio, but also from the Sunshine State, the one you conquered like Pizarro. You will have an unwavering fan base, one that has expectations of a national championship every single year. You will get to play college football’s most storied rivalry.

    Did you get tired of playing Florida State?

    Marc Serota/Getty Images
    It won’t surprise any of us if you return Ohio State to dominance. In fact, multiple national championships are not out of the question. Just look at what you did for us! Thanks for that, by the way.

    Or should we be thanking the real heroes of those two championship teams? Maybe you should give some royalties to Dan Mullen, Charlie Strong, Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, and the 92,000 Florida fans who packed the Swamp every single weekend knowing that Urban Meyer would do his damnedest to bring glory to Gainesville.

    Maybe you did.

    And then something happened.

    Urban, we wish you the best of luck as a Buckeye.

    Actually, we really don’t. Actually, we hope that the recruits will see the way you stabbed the Florida football program in the back with a scarlet and grey knife. We hope the fans will remain skeptical of you as long as you are there. We hope that Michigan beats you every single year. We hope that every Ohio State Buckeye knows the same pain that we, the Florida Gators, feel right now.

    We loved you, Urban. You had us tied around your finger. You could tell us to jump off a bridge behind you, and we’d do it. You had us thinking that the orange and blue would forever be victorious. You had us thinking that the school actually meant something to you.

    And then something happened.


    The Florida Gators

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