If Urban Meyer wants to clear the air again about rumors that he’ll become Notre Dame’s next football coach after the upcoming season, he’ll have an opportunity this week at SEC media days in Alabama.
Will it make a difference? No. But at least everybody will have something on tape for reference, just like all those clips of Nick Saban saying: “I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”
I know. Meyer is different, right? That’s what Florida fans say. That’s what Meyer suggests. So when he all but slammed his fist on the table the other day and said, “I’m not going to Notre Dame. Ever. I’m going to be the coach at Florida for a long time, as long as they want me,” we had to believe him right?
I don’t know Meyer but I know coaches. Never met one — in any sport on any level — who didn’t at some point need a new challenge. This isn’t to say Florida isn’t one of the best college football jobs going right now and possibly even a better job than Notre Dame (the name still has cache even if the current edition doesn’t). But at some point, after another championship and another multi-million-dollar raise, it’s only natural for a coach to think, “What next?” and look around.
Fact is, compared to other coaches, there’s twice the reason to think Meyer’s gone after one more season. He has two things tempting him: 1) We know what the Notre Dame job means to him because he has said it; 2) We can guess what the NFL means. With some teams now using a form of the spread offense, it would be easy for Meyer to convince himself of a smoother transition to the NFL than Saban and Steve Spurrier had.
Personally, I think Meyer’s gone. Gator fanboy needs to understand something: Coaches lie. They do it because they think they have to. They do it to keep recruits from getting cold feet and to keep their players focused. They do it because they think it’s none of your business whether they take that next job or not.
And, yes, Meyer has done it. The Orlando Sentinel dug up a couple of quotes from the Gators’ sainted coach.
♦ “I was contacted by one, but I’m not interested. I love it here. We have a lot of work to do. That’s the bottom line.” — That was Meyer in 2002 when he was the Bowling Green coach. Six days later, he took the Utah job.
♦ “All I keep saying is I plan on being the coach here at Utah.” — That was Meyer in 2004. Five days later, he took the Florida job.
Still feel the same about Meyer?
Get ready for a season of denials. But they mean nothing.