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 the goal is the same—get away from the Beast you have built long enough to learn how to control it without killing yourself in the process.

 

2. In the absence of information, speculation will fill the vacuum. And speculation is not good. I’m not sure Florida didn’t do more harm than good with its strange press conference in New Orleans on Sunday. There weren’t a lot of answers forthcoming because, Meyer and AD Jeremy Foley said, the decision was so fresh. I’ll take the two men at their word. But Meyer’s uncertain status (Will he be involved in recruiting? Will he run spring practice? Will he do this or that? Will he really be back for the 2010 season?) is going to hang over this program until this is resolved. The cynics out there believe that this whole thing is just a ploy to salvage this recruiting class and get Florida through national signing day in February. In the absence of answers, that kind of cynicism will thrive until it is proven wrong—or confirmed. It is a risky place for the Florida program to be.

 

3. Georgia cannot get embarrassed in Shreveport. It would be a mistake to read too much into the importance of today’s Independence Bowl game between Georgia and Texas A&M. The idea that these games serve has a spring board for next season is overstated. Having said that Georgia needs to look like a well-coached football team despite the fact that three defensive assistants are gone. An eighth win in what is perceived to be a disastrous season would not hurt either.

By the way, did you notice this chart that was floated around when it looked like Meyer was stepping down at Florida? It is the top five active coaches in college football by winning percentage:

Coach———————Record—————Win pct.

Urban Meyer————95-18—————-.841

Pete Carroll————–96-19—————-.835

Bob Stoops—————116-29—————.800

Mark Richt—————-89-27—————-.767

Gary Patterson———–85-27—————-.759

 

I just found it interesting that Richt was fourth on the list but to read some folks on this blog and others you would think the guy can’t coach a lick. This was a lousy season at Georgia, no doubt about it. But numbers don’t lie. Richt has averaged 9.88 wins per year in nine seasons. He must be doing something right.

I’m not saying that Georgia fans are wrong to complain about this season. Georgia was not a well-coached football team in 2009 because of the penalties and turnovers. But all criticism should be tempered with some kind of perspective. It’s not, of course, but it should be.

 

4. C.J. Spiller should have been in New York: The Clemson running back/kick returner showed again last night why he was one of the top five football players in the country and certainly the most explosive player in the game. He had 172 all-purpose yards in the 21-13 win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. If Clemson had won the ACC championship game over Georgia Tech on Dec. 5, I think Spiller would have gotten an invitation for the Heisman Trophy ceremonies. By the way, the ACC really needed that win over an SEC team after two straight bowl losses.

 

5. A class act by the Gator Bowl: The Gator Bowl has decided to give tickets to any former Bobby Bowden player who would like to see his last game as a head coach. Over 300 former players have signed up for the tickets and will lead the Florida State coach onto the field on Jan. 1 against West Virginia. It is a fitting tribute to the man who will retire as the No. 2 winner in Division I-A football history. The Gator Bowl ruffled some feathers in the ACC when it took Florida State at 6-6 and let teams with better records (ACC championship loser, Miami) fall down the bowl list. But this was a class act by Executive Director Rick Catlett and that organization.

 

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179 comments Add your comment

Mike Lum

December 28th, 2009
9:57 am

Here’s wishing Coach Meyer well.

Atlanta Nole

December 28th, 2009
9:59 am

It was nice to see Clemson beat Kentucky last night. I am looking forward to being in J-Vill on thew 1st day of 2010 to watch Coach Bowden’s last game. Win or lose it will be great to see the place packed with garnet and gold fans. Go Noles!

Colo. SEC Fan

December 28th, 2009
10:00 am

Welcome back Mr. Barnhart. Hope you and the family had a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for bring up the stats about Coach Richt. Can’t wait to see how the Dawgs perform tonight.

Monticello Dawg

December 28th, 2009
10:02 am

Public service announcement to all Georgians:
5:00 today Your STATE CHAMPION Georgia Bulldogs will be in action. Don’t miss it.

John

December 28th, 2009
10:04 am

Wasn’t the ACC championship loser Clemson?

Really

December 28th, 2009
10:06 am

(ACC championship loser, Miami) ???…
Didn’t Clemson snub FSU last year and now FSU is returning the favor?

BG

December 28th, 2009
10:15 am

Something fishy is going on down in Gainesville. The gator recruits better pay close attention to all this drama going on.

Coach Cool

December 28th, 2009
10:15 am

My wife, a casual college football fan, thinks (sub)Urban is stepping down/taking a vaca because #15 is leaving Gainesville.

Synicism or Genius?

Where's my crack pipe?

December 28th, 2009
10:16 am

Will Tebow and Meyer just have sex and get it over with already!

Calico Cat

December 28th, 2009
10:16 am

Glad to hear that UGA won’t have any kids in the slammer at game time. Funny that the only thing that makes UGA fans happy these days is when something bad happens to a rival.

Freehawk

December 28th, 2009
10:17 am

CJ Spiller – media boys love having someone to hype. Won’t play hurt, is always hurt. Takes plays off, runs out of bounds. ACC special teams POTY is all he deserves.

KJ

December 28th, 2009
10:17 am

“to read some folks on this blog and others you would think [Richt] can’t coach a lick”

To be fair, the coaching criticisms amongst UGA fans are almost always directed at Bobo, Martinez and Fabris.

The posts that attempt to degrade Richt are largely from jealous gnats who would secretly give up their prized pocket protector to snag him at Tech.

Typical UGA fan

December 28th, 2009
10:17 am

WTH, Tony, you clueless homer!!!!!!!! Richt should be fired IMMEDIATELY for allowing this program to slide into the depths since Jim Donnan’s players ran out of eligibility!!!!!!!!!!! Signs up Tubs or the guy from TCU right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was satire, but it was pretty spot on, n’est pas?

Freehawk

December 28th, 2009
10:17 am

Tebow said he cried when he heard the news about Meyer. Until he heard he was coming back.

TML

December 28th, 2009
10:20 am

Again, I love how beating Tech is now the highpoint of the Buttlickers’ season. Things have definitely changed since preseason 2008. Tech is concerned with championships and B[C]S bowls now, not the “school” in Athens that thinks it’s Florida/Alabama/Texas. Yap all you want about the game this year…I’ll take the conference title and the Orange Bowl any day over a daytime Shreveport kickoff.

“Toe Meets Leather” is available at http://www.stinGTees.com.

Gator Mike

December 28th, 2009
10:22 am

Mr. Barnhart,welcome back and Happy New Year. With all due respect, the situation concerning Urban Meyer, the UF Administration and the UF Program concerns only the Gator Nation. Only the aforementioned and the doctors at Shands know all of the details. Conjecture on the part of biased, but well meaning, Dawg Fans means nothing to the Gator Nation.
Let’s let it play out before we jump to any conclusions. I recommend the naysayers listen to what Coach Mack Brown at Texas said on ESPN concerning the matter.
Go Gators!

Resign or Resign?

December 28th, 2009
10:27 am

How did the bowl schedule work out so that Clemson, who played in the ACC championship game, played Kentucky; while BC played USC? UNC played a Pitt team that lost the Big East championship on the last play to Cincy; while VaTech plays UT? Can’t someone match these teams more equitably?
I think that CJ had about 300 all-purpose yards against GT in the ACC champ. game. Whether Clemson won or lost; he still should have been invited to New York. Nebraska lost to Texas, but Suh still got invited. The South Carolina game was what killed CJ’s Heisman chances. It made everyone think that Spiller’s yards all came against porous ACC defenses; that when he faced a legitimate SEC defense he was controled.

TML

December 28th, 2009
10:27 am

Will somebody please buy one of my crappy tshirts? If I don’t sell 3 of them by the end of the month they’re going to repo my Vespa.

Isn't 4 years about all "Crier"...

December 28th, 2009
10:27 am

…has ever lasted at one school? So, isn’t history repeating itself?

bill

December 28th, 2009
10:27 am

I agree with everything except the last part. Nothing is “classy” about the Gator Bowl. They broke tradition and messed up every other non-BCS Bowl in the process, not to mention sending UGA to Shreveport. The only reason I’m not hysterical about it is because UGA earned Shreveport this year. The Gator Bowl would have almost been a reward to them.

StraightJacket

December 28th, 2009
10:28 am

Tony, What the ACC did with the Gator Bowl NECESSARILY harmed other conference teams in the bowl selection process. I’m all for showing Bowden respect upon his retirement, but at the expense of more deserving teams?

The domino effect gave the ACC a lot of bad matchups this bowl season. We SHOULD have Clemson vs. Tenn, VPI&SU vs. WVU, UNC vs. Wisky, Miami vs. Pitt, FSU vs. USC, and BC vs. Kentucky. Yes, I know BC was in Nashville last year. If you HAD to do something special with FSU to keep them in the east, then fine … but not by hurting other teams. Maybe keep UNC vs. Pitt, send Miami to USC, and FSU vs. Wisky. GT is the ONLY ACC team playing in the “right” bowl game. In any event, this just goes to show the weakness of the ACC commish (Swofford) who’s influence is non-existent.

hci

December 28th, 2009
10:28 am

Georgia cannot get embarrassed in Shreveport.

The relatively small percentage of tickets Georgia was able to sell from its allotment –- about 6,800 out of 12,000

JB

December 28th, 2009
10:29 am

This WILL hurt recruiting at Florida….. A commit to the Gators has to ask himself, OK, what about 2010…….how about 2011…………………2012…………………what’s going on ? on the other hand, with the pressure to win and the big money being thrown around, it’s had to think ANY coach would be there all four years………And a side note to my Bama friends……If you guys win it all this year, And I’m hoping you do, don’t think for a moment that several big time AD’s around the country won’t sit up and take Notice of what Saban did so quick. All it would take to land the guy is a big ole check book. I’m telling you, with a National Championship trophy under his belt at Bama, He will consider his work done there. He’s a hired gun, and a good one, not a Alabama homer.

Sorry, bill

December 28th, 2009
10:29 am

…but UGA was NEVER in the running for the Gator Bowl – it was the other ACC schools that got the shaft to make room for FSU.

JJ

December 28th, 2009
10:30 am

What’s up with a game time of 5 pm on a Monday? What a crock. Man we got shafted on this bowl game.

Resign or Resign?

December 28th, 2009
10:32 am

“Georgia was not a well-coached football team in 2009 because of the penalties and turnovers.”

Isn’t that EXACTLY the same thing you said about the 2008 uga team?

What are you STUPID?

December 28th, 2009
10:34 am

TML the Orange bowl will be the least watched game over the holidays because tech is boring and well they are playing Iowa. As for the ACC championship, that’s great but if you only win the thing because everyone else is so bad it is not very impressive. If you can’t win your own state championship which must have been real important last year due to the rings and shirts flaunting the score one can only assume you are downplaying it this year because your team was exposed by a Georgia team that is really pretty good if you take away all the turnovers. I see tech people saying that this years loss was an upset but if you look back over the last 20 years I see a real domination by the Dawgs. Go Iowa!

Nikki Meyer

December 28th, 2009
10:36 am

I want my daddy back.

Georgia Embarrassed in Shreveport

December 28th, 2009
10:37 am

Dogs Fans Travel Well:

The relatively small percentage of tickets Georgia was able to sell from its allotment –- about 6,800 out of 12,000

Elliot Garcia

December 28th, 2009
10:37 am

I love how everybody thinks the cupboard is bare because Tebow is leaving. Johnny Brantley already has the attention of NFL scouts and would be a starter on 90% of Division I programs by now….

Coach Cool

December 28th, 2009
10:38 am

g8 Mike: come on, dude! Are you saying only someone from g8r land can comment on a NATIONAL story?

Mr. CFB, like ALL columnists, can write on ANY subject and give THEIR opinion based on the KNOWN FACTS. That’s J-School 101!!

Str8 Jacket:

Very flawed hypothesis, dude. The bowls don’t care about what’s right. They care about selling ducats, hence one VERY poor traveling fan base (MIA – M-issing I-n A-ction) and one iffy fan base (FSU) must stay close to home.

Also: FSU played Wisconsin last year in Orlando. Rematches are frowned upon.

UGAX

December 28th, 2009
10:39 am

(1&2) Good luck to Urban. Even though he owns us, love to see him stick around- he’s good for the college game.

(3) Texas will hang at least 45 on us tonight; just hope we can outscore. See a big game for AJ Green and Orson Charles.

(4) Spiller, though a great back, probably didn’t deserve to be in the final group in NYC. Unfortunately, he plays in what is probably one of the two weakest conferences in the land and that hurt him. He is fun to watch, though. Was bascially shutdown last night by Kentucky until garbage time.

(5) Free Tickets to the Gator Bow?. I think you meant the Orange Bowl, didn’t you?. Can’t imagine Tech having more than 5,000 or so at the game. Good news is that Iowa travels well. With that being said, hope GT rolls up big yards on Iowa.

D&D fan

December 28th, 2009
10:40 am

Yea John, Clemson lost the game. But to clarify, when you’re talking about the ACC and Losers, you’re talking about Ga Tek. And to say A-She-she and championship in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

Once Paul “I have a tiny” Johnson and a face like a prune gets embarrassed on national TV by bunch of farm boys, the Clearasil club will be screaming for the head of “tiny” Johnson. When the students return back to school from India and China, they will petition the board of trustees for more bomb making materials, a more powerful nuclear reactor, along with more daily rations of Viagra, and palm butter.

And at the end of the game Bey, Bey, aka “Butterfinger baby” will sign his promotional deal with Mars candies.

Overheard at the LaQuinta Inn Orlando; no sir, that’s right sir, if your doll is the only other person, you will not be charged the double occupancy rate; yes sir the concierge has rubber patches and contact cement, uh no, I don’t think the hotel gift store has condoms that small, you could try a thimble sock that might work, yes sir no problem I’m a GT alumni so I understand.

Doh, King just scored again!

Georgia Embarrassed in Shreveport

December 28th, 2009
10:41 am

5:00 p.m. start time!!! 6,800 fans may be? A 7-5 record.

Tim Tebow

December 28th, 2009
10:41 am

Coach gives me the sniffles.

Tech embarrassed by WeedEater participant

December 28th, 2009
10:42 am

<<<<<<>>>>>>!!!!!!!

What are you STUPID?

December 28th, 2009
10:43 am

Tech’s defense could not stop running water. Iowa wins!

DJ

December 28th, 2009
10:43 am

FLUKE!!!! That’s what it was Dawgs. That’s why you’re in Shreveport. The win against Tech did nothing for you. It didn’t improve your lot in the bowl season. It only dropped Tech 3 spots in the rankings. Nobody punted the whole game. It was two very POOR defensive performances. I’ll give it to you, you didn’t play Georgia football that night (see 7-5 and headed to Shreveport), and we couldn’t make a stop the whole night which was at least atypical (see 11-2, Orange Bowl Bound, Conference Champions). It was a FLUKE!!! At least that’s what you said last year after your pre-season #1 ranked boys underachieved and lost to lowly Tech. Your slide continued this year, and it will keep on going. We’re rising. That’s why it’s so damn important all of a sudden for you to beat us. I love it! We were on your minds all year long. If only you could have posted the score of other 2008 losses all over the athletic department, or put a clock counting down to the Oklahoma St, Tennessee, LSU, Florida, Kentucky games on the wall. Maybe you wouldn’t be playing on a Monday afternoon in Northern LA. But you are, because you are on the slide downward. Congrats on beating Tech, since it was the ONLY thing you had to play for (or apparently planned to play for all year). I have to pack for Miami. Now give me your best slide-rule, or pocket protector or Star Trek jokes, LOSERS!

DogGoneGaDawg

December 28th, 2009
10:44 am

I just don’t know what to think. I sincerely hope that coach Meyer will be able to deal with his health problems and if stepping down is the remedy then go for it. But the SEC is a conference of sharks and though they swim together and feed together they have no familial relationship. And if shark blood is in the water they will certainly turn on the wounded. UF may have become that well oiled machine which merely reloads from year to year. But life after Tebow will certainly be stressful and not good for one with a heart condition. And eventually the piper has to be paid for all the dancing.

DogGoneGaDawg

December 28th, 2009
10:49 am

DJ get a life and go to another blog. Are you aware of the fact that UGA lost 21 roster players to season ending injuries in ‘08 which included both starting offensive tackles? And they still posted 10 wins. Let’s see Tech pull that one offf! And nothing, but nothing will take away from the “sting” of the Dawgs kicking your rear ends. 30-24, 8-1.

robodawg

December 28th, 2009
10:50 am

I’d like to see Meyer get to where he can continue coaching in full health. For one, I’d like to be able to compete against the best. The guy’s a great coach in the best job in the country (recruiting base, facilities, premier conference). You want to find a way to beat the best, not beat your rivals b/c they’ve been weakened. Big fish in a big pond is better than big fish in a little pond.

bill

December 28th, 2009
10:51 am

Never said UGA was supposed to go to the Gator, but an SEC team should have gone, that much is certain. Since they didn’t take an SEC team like they normally do, the dominos fell and ruined the matchups.

Gator Mike

December 28th, 2009
10:55 am

Coach Cool. No, I am not saying that only the Gator Nation can comment. My point is that this entire situation has just started, and everyone should back away from conjecture. Mrs. Meyer, Machen, Foley and the doctors at Shands are the “only” ones who know the facts. Meyer may not be back coaching at UF or anywhere, and the program may slip, but it is too early to make that projection. My point is that were I a UGA Fan, I would be more concerned with the situation in Athens than in G’ville.
You and everyone are entitled to your opinions. Have a great day and a Happy New Year.

UGAX

December 28th, 2009
10:55 am

DJ-
Every game is important- whether we beat you like a drum (which we’ve done 24 out of 32 years) or beat Florida (which we’ve only beaten 3 times in 20 years). We’ve average 9.88 wins under Richt for the past decade, so we’re used to winning unlike your medicore, wannabe program with its high school offense that’s been exposed. Your time is up and CPJ is gone in two years to Georgia Southern. Nice try, though.

BTW- we own you……

bill, since when...

December 28th, 2009
10:57 am

…does the Gator Bowl “usually” take a SEC team? They have a contract to take the ACC team, and then they take anybody BUT a SEC team since the SEC has contracts with many other bowls. Last year was Clemson and Nebraska, etc.

Will

December 28th, 2009
10:57 am

You know by now Big Tone that I am as big a UGA homer as there is. No doubt about it. My opinion on Urban is that if the man has a Dr telling him coaching may take 15 or 20 years off of his life, you have to take that kind of thing seriously. It’s probably no different than a doc telling you to quit smoking or doing drugs. I just hope that this isn’t some kind of ploy to sell tickets which have been lacking to the Sugar Bowl, or some attempt to get a hefty pay raise. Urban reminds me of Obama, they appear to be narcissists.

Devildog

December 28th, 2009
10:59 am

A lot of people said Dooley couldn’t coach a lick during some ’70s seasons. He went 5-6 a couple of times Then he won a National Championship.

Scott

December 28th, 2009
11:00 am

DJ, your right, we obsess about beating Tech because it happens so rarely. Oh wait, that would be the other way around. UGA fans will start worrying about Tech when Tech can win more then one game in decade.

DJ

December 28th, 2009
11:01 am

Still making excuses for 2008……loser. I made no mention of injuries this year (either during or before the game), and they were there. We got beat. Like I said, Georgia didn’t play like Georgia. That’s why you will be watching the back-up network today carrying a game between two teams with combined records of 13 – 11. And sure any loss sucks, especially to a piss-poor group of underachieving one season removed from being top-ranked second tier SEC team. But it simply mattered more to you, didn’t it? We won a champisonship the following week. You guys prepped for a crawfish boil. Enjoy!

John518

December 28th, 2009
11:01 am

Bill, how did the Gator Bowl choosing FSU mess anything up for Georgia? The Gator picks from the ACC & Big East.

Last time I checked, UGA was in the SEC.