Archive for December, 2009

Uncertainty about Meyer, Florida program, is just beginning


Some unsolicited advice for Florida coach Urban Meyer: Coach, make sure you enjoy Friday night’s Sugar Bowl because as soon as the game is over you, sir, are on the clock.

I know you told everybody that you’re going to get away from the job and battle some of those inner demons that made you decide to resign for about 12 hours last weekend. In your own mind that may be exactly what you intend to do.

But fair or not, and many in the Gator Nation will say it’s not fair, life is about to get even more complicated for you.

Why? Because from this point forward there will be only one story written about football at the University of Florida: What is Urban Meyer is doing or not doing and when will he return or not return?

 What about recruiting? Is he involved or not? How much is he involved? Are opposing schools hammering Florida because of the uncertainty? (Yes). Will Lane Kiffin bring it up when he’s in somebody’s living room? (A most certain yes.)

What about spring …

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Survey says most fans want a playoff. So?


Nobody asked me but:


This just in: A new poll says that 63 percent of college football fans want to scrap the BCS system and institute a playoff system like college basketball.

Well, duh!!!!!!!

This same polling group found that 95 percent of the people surveyed believe that the sun rises in the East. Okay, I made that up.

I’m not trying to be a smart aleck here but what exactly is the purpose of such a survey? So 63 percent of the 1,849 people surveyed by Quinnipiac University want to have some kind of college football playoff. They are not asked how to accomplish it, who gets to play in it, where the games will be played and when the games are played. They just know that they want it.

I don’t understand the point of such a survey. If 63 percent of the people want something, does that mean it is supposed to happen? What are we supposed to do with that information?

I imagine 100 percent of those same people surveyed would like to buy a Cadillac for $10,000. But I …

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Breaking down the SEC Bowls



Let’s give Urban Meyer a day off and look at nine of the SEC bowl games. We’re not going to include the BCS championship game between Alabama and Texas today. We’ll have plenty of time to write about that later.

Clemson 21, Kentucky 13 (Music City): We may have seen Kentucky’s Rich Brooks coach his last game. If so, that will be a shame because Brooks has done one of the great coaching jobs in this league, getting the Wildcats to four straight bowls, winning three. With QB Morgan Newton, WR Randall Cobb, and TB Derrick Locke all returning, there is a future if Joker Phillips takes over.


Georgia 44, Texas A&M 20 (Independence): Mark Richt has now won 90 games in nine years as Georgia’s head coach. Now he faces the biggest offseason of his time in Athens as he must hire a new defensive coordinator and develop a starting quarterback for 2010. This was a very good win to start that process.


Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech (Chick-fil-A, Thursday): Both teams will …

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Can Urban Meyer make a Coach K comeback?



Thanks to Urban Meyer, we had to say goodbye to our Christmas holiday a couple of days early and jump back in the saddle. That’s okay because it was a fun, but sometimes confusing, ride with the head Gator over the past 48 hours.

So it’s Monday, Dec. 28, and it’s finally time to get serious about the bowl season. What have we learned and what do we still hope to learn?


1. Urban Meyer is channeling Mike Krzyzewski. At least that’s what the Gators hope. Coach K will be the first to tell you that he was in bad shape in 1994. He came back too early from back surgery and would not back away from a ridiculous schedule. Micki Krzyzewski, his wife, finally put her foot down and the Duke coach walked away and left the reigns of the powerhouse program to assistant Pete Gaudet. Duke went 13-18 but the following season Krzyzewski returned rested and with a little more perspective. The ailments, of course, are different because we’re talking about Meyer’s heart. But …

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Will Meyer be Florida’s head coach for the 2010 season?

As expected, Urban Meyer  announced Sunday afternoon that he has changed his mind and will not resign as Florida’s head coach after Friday’s Sugar Bowl game with Cincinnati.

Meyer will take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his duties as head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will serve as interim head coach. Meyer will not put a timetable on his return as head coach but he did indicate that believed he would be the head coach when the 2010 season rolls around.

Based on conversations I’ve had today with people close to the situation, Meyer told his family on Christmas night that he was going to resign as coach. The school put out a press release on Saturday that Meyer would be stepping down for the sake of his health. But things really changed in the next 24 hours.

The Gators practiced in Gainesville this morning before getting on the plane to go to New Orleans. Meyer met with athletics director Jeremy Foley after practice and discussed the …

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2009 season took its toll on Meyer


Little surprises me any more but I was stunned tonight to learn that Urban Meyer would resign as the head coach at Florida after the Sugar Bowl.

It was widely known in the football community that this season was a very stressful one for Meyer, who is only 45. The pressure of defending the national championship, being No. 1 for the entire season, and various off the field problems eventually took their toll on Meyer.

There was the Tim Tebow concussion and the constant second-guessing that came with his decision to let Tebow play against LSU.

Then came the Brandon Spikes eye-gouging incident against Georgia. Meyer originally suspended Spikes for only one half and was hit with a storm of national media criticism. Spikes later “asked” that his suspension extended to a full game and even that decision was met with skepticism.

He was fined $30,000 by the SEC office for commenting on officiating.

And finally there was the worst incident of all when defensive end Carlos Dunlap …

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Thanks for a great season!


Wow! It seems like a lifetime ago that Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount threw the right cross to Boise State’s Byron Hout. That’s how our 2009 college football season got started. Here we are, three months later.  So where are we now?

**–Oregon is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since Rich Brooks was head coach (1994).  Blount, who was first kicked off the Oregon team for the season, has been reinstated and will be a force in the game against Ohio State.

**–Georgia Tech has won the ACC championship, its first since 1990, and is headed to the Orange Bowl for the first time since Jan. 1, 1967. It was Bobby Dodd’s last game as head coach.

**–After a 7-5 season, Georgia has fired three assistant coaches. After being ranked No. 1 prior to the 2008 season, Georgia is headed to Shreveport. The Bulldog Nation is a little nervous about the future.

**–Alabama has won its 23rd SEC championship and on Jan. 7 will play for (by its count) the 13th national championship in …

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Some advice to high school recruits: Tell the truth about Tennessee



Nobody asked me but:


1. I have one piece of advice for those high school recruits who will sit down with the NCAA to discuss the recruiting practices of Tennessee: TELL THE TRUTH!!!!!  If Tennessee didn’t do anything wrong, then tell the NCAA investigators that. It could be that this entire investigation comes under a gray area in the NCAA rules and that at the end of this process, some loopholes will be tightened but Tennessee will suffer no consequences. There is always a rush to assume people are guilty when a story like this breaks. You have to let the investigation play its way out.

Having said all that, young recruit, you need to know that Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant was less than forthcoming when asked about his relationship with Deion Sanders and it cost him a big chunk of his senior season. I don’t think the NCAA can punish a high school player who hasn’t signed with a college. In fact, I know it can’t. But you do not want to be on record …

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Alabama DC Smart is the next hot assistant



New York—I was here Tuesday on business and had a chance to attend some functions around the annual College Football Hall of Fame dinner. Just about everybody in the college football world is here to celebrate the end of the season. Here are some tidbits and buzz that might interest you:


**–Last night during ceremonies in Little Rock, Ark.,  Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart won the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. Smart, the former Georgia defensive back, has tutored under Mickey Andrews at Florida State and now Nick Saban at Alabama. Everybody in the college football community agrees that he is ready to move on. He’s got a big-time job at Alabama but he’s not making big-time money (about $400,000) in a marketplace that is paying the top coordinators closer to $1 million a year. He will have to listen to those who come calling for his services.


**–Speaking of defensive coordinators, there was a lot of buzz last about …

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An early look at the five BCS games



Let’s take an early glance at the five BCS games. We’re not going to pick then until later. it’s a long time before they play and much can change. I will give you an early thought of where I’m leaning:


BCS championship: Alabama (13-0) vs. Texas (13-0), Jan. 7:  Based on the last game of the two teams Alabama, the SEC champ, is going to be about a touchdown favorite over the Big 12 champs, who needed some fortune and a 46-yard field goal at the buzzer to beat Nebraska for the Big 12 championship. Alabama was a supremely well-coached and confident team when it beat Florida 32-13 for the SEC title. The game will come down to Alabama’s ability to press and stress Texas QB Colt McCoy. That’s why I’m leaning to the Crimson Tide.


Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech (11-2) vs Iowa (10-2), Jan. 5: This will match an irresistible force, Georgia Tech’s rushing offense, against an immovable object, an Iowa defense that has given opponents problems all season and allows …

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