Even if you’re a Gator hater, there is no joy in Meyer’s departure

It’s a tough business. I get that. And over the course of six seasons a head football coach in the SEC can rub a lot of people the wrong way, especially the people he beats.

But if you’re a Bulldog or a Volunteer for a Gamecock or a member of the Crimson Tide Nation, you really shouldn’t be celebrating today over the news that Urban Meyer is leaving as the head coach at Florida.

I’ve had my own issues Meyer.

 He was flat wrong when he suspended linebacker Brandon Spikes for only one-half game after Spikes clearly tried to hurt Georgia’s Washaun Ealey (sticking his fingers in the facemask). Only after the public outcry did Spikes “suddenly” decide that his suspension should be for one game.

He was wrong when he dressed down a reporter in practice in front of cell phone cameras. If he had an issue with the reporter, then there is a right way–a professional way–to address the concern. He chose the wrong way. I don’t know if Meyer was trying to put on a show for his players but it was unprofessional behavior. You don’t use people as props because you want to win football games.

He was flat wrong when he allowed Chris Rainey to return to the team and I said so. There are certain lines in life that you do not cross and threats against women is one of those lines. The rationalizations about who Rainey was and his background, etc., may have all been true. But all that pales in comparison to a text message that said “Time to die, ——-.”

The more success Meyer and the Florida program had, the more withdrawn and insular it became. They became like rock stars who once basked in the attention that brought them fame and fortune but ultimately found it suffocating and just tried to block it all out.

But instead of managing the media  and managing the very high expectations,  which successful people do every day, Meyer chose to throw up walls and pull in the ranks and adopt this silly “us agains the world” mentality. Coaches do that because it’s easy and the players will easily buy into it. It’s much easier for a coach to tell a player “they are all out to get us” instead of “dealing with the media–good and bad–is part of growing up. If you want to play at the next level you need to learn how to deal with these people and be smart about it. We will teach you how to do that.” But that takes work and, in some coaches’ narrow view of the world, it has nothing to do with winning and losing and so it should simply be eliminated as a factor. It is short sighted but if you win enough games, being short sighted eventually becomes a virtue.

Having said all that, Meyer is/was a helluva coach and the record certainly proves that. He won two national championships in three seasons (2006, 2008) and was certainly good enough in 2009 to win a third but for Alabama. For five years at Florida his star burned as brightly as any I’ve ever seen. But on Wednesday he announced, in so many words, that he was burned out.

I know you love your school but most of you I hear from also love your conference and college football as a whole. And so there is no reason to celebrate when the sport burns out a talented coach. You would rather he stay so that when you finally beat him it is all the more sweet.

Florida will find another talented coach. Frankly, I’m going to be surprised if its not Dan Mullen. Whoever it is will be very successful. Steve Spurrier forever changed Florida’s football program in his 12 years (1990-2001) at the school. Before Spurrier arrived Florida had never won 10 games in a season and had never won an SEC championship. Spurrier raised the bar and so Florida will never go back for more than a year or two.

And for Urban Meyer? I predict that he will be out of coaching for only one year and will surface again. This year he got caught in the perfect storm of talent losses and coaching losses and the inability to summon up the fire in the belly that had burned white hot for five seasons. We were all guilty of thinking that Florida could just reload after four years of Tim Tebow. The Florida program took a dip as all programs do (see Texas). The Gators will be back sooner rather than later but Urban Meyer will no longer be their coach.

If you love the game, there is no reason to celebrate that.

 And one last thing: If Urban Meyer goes to the Denver Broncos in the next two months, I take it all back.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

621 comments Add your comment

The Truth

December 9th, 2010
10:12 am

@ Atlanta Gator

Thats the most idiotic thing I’ve ever read. Go ahead and rationalize the truth. The “boy” wrote “Time 2 Die” to a girl.

Dreyphus

December 9th, 2010
10:12 am

The dawgs will continue to suck.

William Buckley

December 9th, 2010
10:14 am

Blaze,

I believe you grammar is in need of some help, however you are 100% Correct !

Garrard

December 9th, 2010
10:14 am

I’ve never understood how anyone – even an alumnus – could support and take pride in UGA’s football team. When you look at their history for the past forty years, how can anyone ignore Jan Kemp and the “remedial studies” scam, the Jim Harrick fiasco, the DUIs in the athletic office, the DUIs and other arrests of players, the #1 party school tag (i.e., the most drunk students), the suspensions and outright dismissals, the Fulmer Cup, and on and on?

As disgraceful and humiliating as it is, I don’t see many alums and fans demanding an end to this sordid activity. It sets UGA apart as the kind of school most people abhor, and it’s become an embarrassment to the whole state of Georgia.

Will it never end? Apparently not while Mark Richt is at UGA. Richt is perhaps the biggest hypocrite in the United States. But even with all the cheating and lawlessness that he ignores, he still can’t win the SEC.

So you’re paying him to be BCS champions, but he can’t even win his SEC division. So why do you pay him millions of dollars a year?

Just asking.

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:15 am

Tony Barnhart is a Gomer

Urbane Crier. I take no joy in seeing him resign. I’d call him a good coach, not a great coach. That couldn’t be proven until he was around to coach and win at Florida through multiple recruiting classes and endless changes in assistants. Quite often “good” coaches reap the benefits of prior coaches and up and coming assistants. Great coaches keep producing those recruits and great up and coming assistants. Meyer has only completed the first part of that equation.

Besides, his multiple personality disorder is finally taking complete control and he can’t fight it anymore. He is also a drama queen. Take the money and go ya’bum

ALDawg

December 9th, 2010
10:21 am

Florida would be foolish not to make it Mullen. Pieces are in place offensively. The guy can win in the SEC with subpar talent. There is a four-foot ceiling at Miss. State. If that happens, who will UGA hire after next season?

@ BAMA dude:

Just sayin’. Also, do they proofread the stuff that makes it in the paper?

norris

December 9th, 2010
10:25 am

Sadly UF will be just fine. Mullen will come in and will have the same effect Meyer did in his first several years there. This might actually be a blessing in disguise for the Gay-tors.

BobbyDawg

December 9th, 2010
10:26 am

The fact that he didn’t go ahead and leave last year doesn’t set well with me. He played this thing like a middle school kid does when breaking up with a sweetheart — on again off again on again off again. I agree with the term drama queen. Florida would be crazy to let him stay now after all this, even if he DID change his mind like he did last year. Go on back to wherever it is you came from Urban and good luck to you, and good riddance as well. The SEC doesn’t need you!

3rdN8

December 9th, 2010
10:27 am

his assistant coaches are what made Meyer look good…….

This is what good HCs do. They hire the best and brightest…then let them do their stuff.

Bryant had arguably the best staff in college football in the 60s and 70s. Schnellenberger, Dye, Stallings, Bill Oliver, etc…were all on his staff at one time or another.

Meyer was saddled with the task of replacing Charlie Strong, and Dan Mullen. The road was a bit bumpy, but I’m guessing Meyer would have worked it out by next season.

It’s really amazing at how a key assistant influences the results. I thought the loss of James Willis at Bama this past season was a huge part in the three losses. Saban is now tasked with plugging that leak.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:28 am

Actually, the funny thing is that those who want Richt gone should be least excited about this. Let’s say UF does lose a lot of recruits this year. A new coach in transition will probably be vulnerable for a year or two, meaning Richt could be looking at needing only a win in Atlanta over the Chickens for a SECCG berth. A trip to the ATL would get him another three years easily.

Miles

December 9th, 2010
10:29 am

Mr. Barnhart, this was a pretty good piece of writing. The only better article on Meyer’s departure is on ESPN.com, i.e., Pat Forde’s article.

Coach

December 9th, 2010
10:29 am

Meyer allowing Rainey to play was about like, oh,…Richt allowing O’Dell Thurmond to play, maybe? Careful what you say, sports fans.

BobbyDawg

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

Hey Urban! Did you ever consider coaching an elementary school girl’s basketball team?

how2fish

December 9th, 2010
10:30 am

As a life long Gator hater I have taken my shots at Urban..however I wish him and his family the best in the future..flaws he has, who doesn’t but I think he was good for UF,the SEC and college football in general.I just wonder if he takes a couple of years off waits for Tressel to retire and return to Ohio State where I think he was once an assistant coach ?

Lindsey

December 9th, 2010
10:31 am

This Dawg fan just got an early Xmas present, see ya Urban!! After the timeouts called in 2008, the non-punishment for trying to eye gauge, letting Rainey return I find a lot of joy seeing Urban leave, GO DAWGS!!

SoCal Dawg

December 9th, 2010
10:31 am

Hate Meyer but respect him leaving if it is for his family. I think CMR is in the same boat. I love CMR but maybe he needs to follow Meyer’s lead if he can’t balance his family and team.

Blaze = bitter, disgruntled bug fan

December 9th, 2010
10:33 am

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:33 am

Just sayin’. Also, do they proofread the stuff that makes it in the paper?… ALDawg

Don’t know. Haven’t lived in the ATL for some years now so I use this site for my Braves and Falcons news. I just happen to like Mr. Barnhart’s blog.

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Bama dude

FL won’t lose many if any recruits over this IMHO. At the end of the day who really cares if Meyer goes outside of the FL players on the team now? They are already there and for those being recruited now the HC is only part of the reason they choose Florida. Those that change their mind because Meyer left likely would have changed their mind for some other reason. Florida is going to hire a good coach no matter what, most realize this

hmmm.....

December 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Colin Cowherd just said he knows who it’s going to be and it’s a huge name but no one that anyone is seriously talking about. The only hint he gave was “stab??”

Anybody have any clues?

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
10:36 am

“this gator is rejoicing!!! take Addazzio with you scumbag…give me Mullins or Stoops or Strong..time to get back to where the Gators belong”

Seriously? Are you really a Florida alumnus, or are you just trying embarrass all of us who actually earned a degree from the university? Urban Meyer was the second-best thing that ever happened to the University of Florida’s football program. Most of us are more than a little grateful for what he’s done. If Meyer wants to quit and spend a year or five with his family, coach at Notre Dame, or jump to the NFL, my reaction is still the same:

Thank you, Coach, and best of luck to you in whatever you want to do with the rest of your life.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:38 am

ARDawg, I strongly disagree with that. It’s not just the HC that gets turned over, all of the coaches who have been recruiting these kids will likely be gone as well. If the personal relationship with the recruiter didn’t matter they wouldn’t spend the time and effort to build it in the living rooms.

3rdN8

December 9th, 2010
10:39 am

@ hmmm…..

“stab” as meaning “stab” in the back?

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:40 am

Atlanta Gator

Tis a shining example of class in your last post. Something few of you Gators are known for. A gentleman of the highest order

shankit

December 9th, 2010
10:40 am

Flash – Saban is on campus at Valdosta High School today.
Recruiters from Georgia, Tennesse and Alabama have been
in town all week interviewing.

Notthisyear

December 9th, 2010
10:40 am

10:34 ARdawg At the end of the day who really cares if Meyer goes outside of the FL players on the team now?

Exactly! None of us at UF are talking about him any longer,Why should we?The man is history now at our School.Just tell us who is next,That
is all we are concerned with now.

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Bama dude

It matters, didn’t mean to imply that it didn’t. But more times than not it isn’t the major factor

always a silver lining

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am

He was the perfect coach for Florida- arrogance personified!

404

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am

Meyer retiring really outlines a few things.

First
As a college coach, whats left to accomplish.
He’s made a bunch of mney, he has 2 NC’s, coached a Hesiman trophy winning QB, a long wining record in several places, his offensive model has become a proven winner and is now being replicated at every level.

Second
His “retirement” has certainly made Joe Paterno look
like the mental-health patient JoePa’s sadly become.

Third
He’s certaionly beaten the best
he has faced(Ohio State, Oklahoma, Bama, Auburn, FSU, Miami, etc etc.)

And, he’s repeatedly humiliated his “chief nemesis”
Mark Richt and UGAG in memorable fashion.

I’d say he’s filled out his resume pretty well.

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
10:44 am

” ‘“He was flat wrong when he allowed Chris Rainey to return to the team and I said so. There are certain lines in life that you do not cross and threats against women is one of those lines. The rationalizations about who Rainey was and his background, etc., may have all been true. But all that pales in comparison to a text message that said “Time to die, ——-.’ ”

“Tony, you never said something or wrote something you didn’t really mean and regretted the minute you said it?

“Of course, before you say anything, you want a $1500 honorarium!”

HEY, you “Atlanta Gator” @ 10:09 am, knock it off! There is only one Atlanta Gator on this blog, and you ain’t it, son. Get another handle or get the heck off the blog.

Cretin.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:45 am

I don’t know if it’s the “stab” reference he made earlier, but Cowherd is now saying Chucky to UF. Who knows? I think he’s just being a schmuck.

Joey

December 9th, 2010
10:46 am

I think Richt made this same move (spending more time with the family) about 3 years ago, only he keeps drawing a paycheck . . .

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:47 am

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:42 am
Bama dude

It matters, didn’t mean to imply that it didn’t. But more times than not it isn’t the major factor

As a man who has made his living in big-ticket sales I think you’re grossly undervaluing the presentation.

JdawgT

December 9th, 2010
10:47 am

Shane

December 9th, 2010
10:47 am

I believe Gruden would be a mistake. Would be there 3 years then bolt to the NFL. Gruden is a pro coach. Don’t get me wrong he’s a good coach, but I just don’t believe his heart is in the college game.

3rdN8

December 9th, 2010
10:48 am

well Cowherd is certainly a schmuck. I had lunch with his mother last week, and that’s what she called him…..actually it was the nicest thing she called him.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 9th, 2010
10:48 am

If i had urban type money banked away, I would probably walk away and Enjoy the rest of my life in high style, too..

Oppulance..I wants it..

Congratulations to the 2010 Lombardi Award winner.. Nick Fairley , Auburn University!!!!

Shouldn’t the Butkus award be a statue of a QB shreiking in terror?

McDawg

December 9th, 2010
10:48 am

maybe the guys family is at risk and that is more important to him-he will be back once his kids are in college

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
10:55 am

“Is Urban Meyer Behind Newton Story?
“by Jay Coulter on Nov 5, 2010 5:29 PM CDT in Football

“Auburn Undercover.com senior editor Phillip Marshall is reporting this afternoon that Florida coach Urban Meyer is the person responsible for the Cam Newton pay-for-play story being leaked to the press over the past few days.”

God, I hate conspiracy freaks. Yeah, Meyer made Cam Newton steal and/or accept a stolen laptop? Meyer leaked Newton’s academic record? Wait, was that Meyer on the Grassy Knoll in Dallas?

The story was reported on a sports blog on November 5, 2010. That was over a month ago. What have we heard since? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Thanks for playing.

Give it a rest.

UGA Dawg 97

December 9th, 2010
10:55 am

Now Florida is forced to go out and hire the coach we should be looking for by choice. Watch they will get Mullin, Gruden, or Harbaugh.

ARdawg

December 9th, 2010
10:55 am

BAMA dude

We’ll have to agree to disagree. It’s a factor but rarely the deciding factor. It’s more of a warm/fuzzy for the parents if the parents are involved in the decision. If a kid grows up a Georgia fan and he gets heavily recruited by Georgia, it really isn’t going to matter who the HC is unless he is someone the kid despises. There are a number of factors that are in play, the HC is but one and not the biggest

david

December 9th, 2010
10:55 am

the mighty gators have struck out

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 9th, 2010
10:58 am

Will UGA ever win in Jax vs a certain coach chuckie?

Will the Zimba and the Auburn O-line grind the much smaller oregon D-line into a fine powder as Cam and Dyer runs thru gaping holes?

Will Michigan state take out their anger on Alabama or will Saban give the spartans coach another heartache?

How large a landslide will Cammie Cam win the Heisman by ? :)

Will CMR pass on another ‘tight end’ prospect this year?

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
10:58 am

If a kid grows up a Georgia fan and he gets heavily recruited by Georgia, it really isn’t going to matter who the HC is unless he is someone the kid despises.

Look at Florida’s list of recruits and tell me how many of them are likely to have grown up as UF fans. They recruit all over the south and even the country.

UGA Dawg 97

December 9th, 2010
10:58 am

We should fire Richt now and beat Florida to Mullin.

Haggerty

December 9th, 2010
11:00 am

John Gruden to Florida. They are finalizing the deal now and it may be official by tomorrow.

Helmand Dawg

December 9th, 2010
11:02 am

Tony, you forgot about the pothead Jarvis Moss, who should have been suspended, blocked a field goal to win the game against South Carolina in 2006 saving Fl’s chances of a trip to the NC game.

UGA Insider

December 9th, 2010
11:02 am

I am about to spill the beans a huge “insiders” rumor. Urban Myer will return to coaching either in 2012 or in 2013. My early prediction………… The University of Georgia! McGarity is absolutely in-love with Urban Myer and his family and if CMR has another down year. McGarity, along with the UGA hierarchy will get the deal done to bring Myer in. You heard it here first…Urban Myer at some point will be the next coach at UGA.

BAMA dude

December 9th, 2010
11:04 am

I’m now seeing Bobby Petrino-to-Florida rumors flying around… would fit the stab reference, no?

Atlanta Gator

December 9th, 2010
11:05 am

“Tis a shining example of class in your last post. Something few of you Gators are known for. A gentleman of the highest order”

ARDawg—-

Thank you for the compliment, but I am far from unique among my clutch of fellow Gators. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the chump who posted above has never set foot on the Florida campus, and is not even a real Gator fan, let alone an alumnus. As you well know, there are plenty of juveniles who assume the stereotypical persona of the opposition fan to stir the pot and get a reaction. This blog has been full of poseurs and imposters for the last four to five years that I have participated, and it will continue to attract that smarmy anonymous element until the AJC finally creates a free email-address-based registration system. As bad as the AJC sports blogs can get, the political blogs are even worse. The AJC should be embarrassed by these posts, but their attitude seems to be “the more website hits, the better.”