Turns out Urban Meyer also is ranked No. 1 in excuses

If only Urban Meyer had shook hands and kept his mouth shut, he woudn't look like a tool.

If only Urban Meyer had shook hands and kept his mouth shut, he woudn't look like a tool.

Let me be the first to congratulate Florida coach Urban Meyer. He’s already won two national championships and two SEC titles in Gainesville, but he just pulled off something that I never imagined was possible: He turned Lane Kiffin into a sympathetic figure.

Most of us who watched the Florida-Tennessee game were amazed how the Gators were relatively held in check by the Tennessee defense. It made anybody who screamed, “They’ll cover the 29 points!” look like a complete idiot, and I should know, because my throat still hurts. Florida won only, 23-13.

Why did this happen? Three reasons: 1) The Vols were able to run the ball early and used a conservative game plan to limit Florida’s offensive snaps; 2) Monte Kiffin, Lane’s  father, proved again he’s one of the greatest defensive coordinators ever; 3) Florida, which lost Percy Harvin to the NFL, was exposed as not having nearly as much downfield speed as we thought, shortening their passing attack.

We all know about the buildup to the game. We all know what Kiffin said and what Meyer thought of it. We all know how Meyer can hold a grudge and how he will rub his opponent’s face in it if given a chance (see: timeouts vs. Georgia).

But what did Meyer say Monday when he met with the media? Here’s excerpts on the subject of his own conservative play-calling: “When I saw [Tennessee] start handing the ball off, I didn’t feel like they were going after the win. The way we lose a game there is throw an interception. Why put yourself in that position? We’re not trying to impress the pollsters. We’re trying to win the game.”

So, basically Meyer: 1) Ripped Tennessee’s game plan, which actually gave Tennessee the best chance to win; 2) Claimed he’s not trying to impress pollsters, this from someone whose team since 2007 has had point totals of 62, 56, 56, 51, 63, 49, 56, 70, 49, 59, 59,49, 51 and 59.

Meyer looks like a tool. How about just say, “The other team played great and it turns out the other coach is not a moron.” Instead, he alibied that several of his players had the flu.

To Kiffin’s credit,  he didn’t fire back much, at least not beyond this crack: “I guess we’ll wait, and after [the next game], if we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.”

♦ ♦ ♦

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This is Mike Bell and those are his evil eyes.

OK, slight exaggeration. But I’ll be back on 790 The Zone again today with the somewhat chemically imbalanced but otherwise nice guy Mike Bell. Show-time: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., assuming I can wade to the studios in time. Bell insists I get there no later than 3:58, so as to give us a solid two minutes of show prep. I once again will be substituting for former Georgia All-American David Pollack, just as I did a few ago. I can only assume Pollack no longer has the conditioning to work five days a week. Maybe all that Twittering has worn him down. Anyway, even if you’ve Twittered, emailed, Facebooked and column-commented me before, you now have another opportunity to actually SPEAK to me. Actual conversation. What a concept.

172 comments Add your comment

Sloan

September 22nd, 2009
7:08 am

Urban Meyer is a tool? Say it ain’t so, Jeff!

Jeff Sanchez

September 22nd, 2009
7:12 am

Meyer is a massive, massive d-bag. Great coach, no doubt…but huge d-bag.

Florida fans, you KNOW this

Bill E. Goat

September 22nd, 2009
7:14 am

Maybe Meyer should have a blackout planned for the next homegame then he’ll be real cool.

Keep up the jealousy, fits perfect for you guys. We’ll enjoy winning titles.

Joe

September 22nd, 2009
7:16 am

Everyone forgot about about Meyer weeping after a loss a couple of years ago.

The guy is just a big, spoiled brat. Now, if we can just get Miami and FSU to actually start recruiting the best players in Florida again, UF may return to its historical place as an SEC also-ran program.

Larry

September 22nd, 2009
7:18 am

I’m a dog fan but I think it best we shut up until we can prove something. Meyer has two titles in four years and the last time we had one Jimmy Carter was in the final month of his Presidency.

Meyer gets the most our of his “jerk” factor, something we could use a little on defense in Athens!

Gern Blanski

September 22nd, 2009
7:25 am

Bill E. Goat – before you chalk up Schultz’s comments to petty jealousy from the SEC, remember that Schultz went to UF.

Michael Cox

September 22nd, 2009
7:31 am

So what….? I wish our Coaching Staff would “let loose” a little more!I’m sick and tired of watching Richt on the sidelines (after the third turnover or 10th offsides penalty) walk around in what looks like a walking Coma!! Kiffy and Meyer atleast have a fire under their buts. UGA has lost the swagger it had under VanG (on D. anyway). Bring back the LIP jar and the KILL SHOT jar!! And someone stop giving Richt the Xanax!!

S.L.

September 22nd, 2009
7:31 am

People in the media love to keep shiggidy going. Everybody made a scene about Kiffen’s “Sing Rocky Top” comment, but they never mentioned the rest of the comment. “AD Mike Hamilton told me to say that”. And he said it to a room full of boosters.
Anybody who saw the game, noticed that no Florida player who was on the field said this year…”they quit!”
Like any of the new coaches in the SEC or not…all of them are a upgrade.

[...] Jeff Schultz of the AJC writes that Meyer is also ranked No. 1 in excuses. [...]

ron mexico

September 22nd, 2009
7:42 am

Dawg fan here, but I was impressed with Tennessee’s defense. Their lack of offense is about the same as our lack of defense…no wait, our lack of defense is worse. Anyway, give Kiffen a break. He’ll probably win a championship before we do if we don’t make some changes. Also, Meyer will probably leave with Wonderboy at the end of this year anyway.

Jeff Schultz

September 22nd, 2009
8:00 am

# BillEGoat — Jealous? It doesn’t affect me if Florida/Meyer wins or loses.

# Gern — Actually I didn’t.

F-105 Thunderchief

September 22nd, 2009
8:04 am

Urban Meyer is a tool
Lane Kiffin’s still a fool
They skip the warm and fuzzle
and both need to wear a muzzle

Gators Rule

September 22nd, 2009
8:04 am

Surprise–more UGA homers in the AJC—the mouthpiece of the University of Georgia!!!! They all hate UF and Urban Meyer!! Who cares—just bring home the big crystal championship ball with a bunch of confetti falling baby!!!

honest_abe

September 22nd, 2009
8:08 am

*”We’re not trying to impress the pollsters. We’re trying to win the game.”*

um ok… how about against miami up 20-3 with under a minute to play and they still kick a field goal? that pompous a-hole tries to run up the score every chance he gets. the only thing urban meyer cares about is urban meyer.

richt on the other hand cares about winning but seems like his ultimate mission is to be a guiding influence in his player’s lives. i’ll take richt and his “sorry” d-fensive coordinator all day.

Texas Dawg

September 22nd, 2009
8:13 am

Much as I Hate the Gators we can’t we really don’t have a leg to stand on until we win a couple of NC….that will never happen with Willie….we need to hire Kirby Smart as the dc….say what you will about Meyer….he is what 4-1 vs the dogs? I know our boys are just as talented….so what gives?

Ali Akbar Allah

September 22nd, 2009
8:19 am

The SEC is way overrated this year. Florida looked like garbage against UT and that is the best SEC has to offer? I can’t wait for Tech to go 3-0 against the almighty SEC this year. Maybe Tech will get lucky and get matched up against one of their teams in a bowl to make it to 4-0.

Are you that Stupid?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

September 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

Yeah playing against the SEC in a bowl game last year worked out great for tech? And leave it to a Tech fan for gloating in advance about beating Mississippi State and Vandy.

Shorty

September 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

abe- that’s a sorry excuse for not winning a championship. That’s the kind of stuff I teach to my 3rd graders. This is major college football. Maybe Richt should quit and be Tony Dungy’s understudy.

FalconUGAFan

September 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

Texas Dawg, Honest_Abe answered your question. Mark Richt is a calm guy that values influencing his player’s and loyalty rather thatn winning a championship at all costs. I happen to think that Meyer is a heck of a coach, but he will move at some point. Richt, on the other hand, will stay at UGA as long as he is having fun and we don’t run him off. I for one hopes he stays.

Anonymous

September 22nd, 2009
8:24 am

Will someone please explain to me what is “unsportsmanlike” about kicking a field goal on 4th down with 1:30 left to play in the 4th quarter? Why would you turn the ball over on downs, thereby giving the ball back to the other team’s offense, especially after a great performance by your defense? I thought Randy Shannon’s comments sounded whiny and frustrated in September 2008, and I think fans attempting make hay out of it in September 2009 sound just the same.

And, no, I’m not a Gator fan. Just a voice of objectivity and reason.

orangeade

September 22nd, 2009
8:25 am

Jeff, I remember reading a comment you made to the effect “if Tennessee wins I’ll sing Rocky Top in 12 languages and shave my head.” I was just wondering if you were practicing there in the 4th quarter. Hope you hadn’t shaved that head already!

Mikey

September 22nd, 2009
8:27 am

UT exposed the UF weaknesses and a good team will capitalize on them.

Best chance to beat them:
LSU
UGA
Arky

Maybe:
FSU

No chance:
Kentucky
Miss St
Vandy
SC
Florida Intl- what ? another JV team?

Shorty

September 22nd, 2009
8:29 am

Arkansas has a chance at beating UF? UGA has a chance? Will both teams borrow the Ravens defense for the day?

Chris

September 22nd, 2009
8:31 am

Jeff, how does Lane Kiffin gain any leeway or credibility from what Urban Meyer says in a press conference? His only accomplishment is beating Western Kentucky High School.

The phrase “moral victory” has come up to describe Tennessee’s big-time, run-down-the-clock strategy to offset a 29-point spread.

Uh, this is college football, not Catholicism. You go for the win.

The Vols got their wish to lose, and they were close to losing big. They have a couple of guys who can run the ball, a decent defense, and no quarterback. I’ll say that again: no quarterback. That’s quite a handicap when you’re playing in a conference in which three teams are in the Top 5.

Tennessee hasn’t done a thing. We learned that Florida is overrated, but they were two yards away from being up 30-6. Who knows what would have happened after that?

You probably would have seen timeouts with 30 seconds left on the clock. You probably would have seen a final of 44-6. You didn’t, though. You saw a fluke fumble that helped Lane Kiffin out – not any real sort of functionality from his team. (Remember? They couldn’t even punch it in from the 10 after Eric Berry’s interception.)

Dad can’t save Lane from a flat team, folks. Not for a while.

honest_abe

September 22nd, 2009
8:32 am

anonymous: with a 17 point lead? it’s rubbing it in against a bunch of 18 year old kids. thats whats wrong with it. if he just gives the ball over on downs. that other coach simply runs out the clock. that’s what coaches with class do. that’s what mark richt has done on multiple occasions.

shorty: i never mentioned anything about a natl championship. so wth are you talking about? the excuse which is more like sound reasoning as to why cmr hasn’t won a championships is simple. the bcs is a bunch of bull. georgia had two chances but the it simply didn’t work out in the polls. georgia was the best team at the end of the season in 2007 but didn’t get a chance to go to the championship game. same can be said for 2002. those are my reasons. not only do you have to be good in college football but you also have to have a lot of luck.

SimpleDawg

September 22nd, 2009
8:33 am

The Urbane Crier wouldn’t have put his meal ticket in harm’s way so many times, if he truly thought the game was well in hand. Having Teblow run 24 times – some from scrambles – is asking for trouble. Lil’ Lane scared the Gators with the Vowels intensity and brutish style of play.

Frankly, I’d love to see both of them lose every game, but I stiil get the feeling that a little of the shine is off the Gators’ season already. It will be interesting to see how this game affects both teams.

Of course, for any team playing Tennysee…..Crompton is always a 12th man….a Reggie Ball type without the foot speed.

JB

September 22nd, 2009
8:36 am

Ok, let’s start with the important stuff. Google Layla Kiffin, his wife and check her out in the Orange sun dress. Holy Moly. With our D, we better stay out of ANY conversation about Florida, We better worry about ASU AND Tennessee. We’ll have our hands full with them, and really ANYBODY we play.

GetOverIt

September 22nd, 2009
8:36 am

Stupid, its so convenient to not include Miss. St. and Vandy when talking about the mighty SEC but there is no problem including UF and LSU (notice I didnt include UGA)

gdawginkalamazoo

September 22nd, 2009
8:42 am

Uh, Meyer would have made this a statement game if he could have. Flu, no flu, game plan was to run the score up. It just didn’t happen with that UT defense. Good smack talk though.

Gen Neyland

September 22nd, 2009
8:44 am

JS : Where do I send you a box of chocolates for this stellar peice of journalism..? Meyer knows there is now a fox in his hen house dressed in Orange and White. If Meyer would use his Gator brain he’d let the W speak for itself but the guy has a tendency to politic for poll position. I did like Kiffin telling the postgame lady on the field, “We’ll see them next year.”

Eric

September 22nd, 2009
8:52 am

AUBURN Tiger here. We’ve NEVER been beaten by Urban or Tim (Jesus Jr.) Tebow and I hate ‘em just as much as the rest of you. War Eagle!!

Pi$$onaDawg

September 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

Mark RICHT could score that many points if he wanted to. I mean Mark Richt would only score that many points because he had too in order to try to beat somebody. Willie’s D will keep it close. If close is 45-42. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Paddy

September 22nd, 2009
8:58 am

Anonymous…there is absolutly nothing wrong with kicking a field goal at that particular time in the game. Only people that say it is unsportsmanlike, never played the game. Sportsmanship is playing by and within the rules. It is not unsportsmanlike to kick field goals. Thank goodness that stupid handshake deal before the game didn’t continue. Is it not the idea to beat a team so bad that they never look forward to playing you again. And if you make them cry, so much the better.

tim

September 22nd, 2009
8:58 am

Enter your comments here Hey puppies have you won anything lately with your great coach? No, I didn’t think so…

UGASlobberknocker

September 22nd, 2009
8:59 am

Meyer is a bit chippy..however that isnt always a bad thing.. showing a little pissy attitude every now and then would serve Richt well IMO

Topp Dogg

September 22nd, 2009
9:00 am

URBAN IS A STOOL, LOOK IN THE TOILET AND YOU WILL SEE HIM SMILE!

MiltonDawg

September 22nd, 2009
9:00 am

that game gave some SEC teams some hope, only time will tell
JS- when’s the countdown coming? i need my fix. can you add a topic about our beloved ex-braves pitcher mike hampton going in for another surgery and missing all of next year or have we played that card too much?

PMC

September 22nd, 2009
9:02 am

This is new Jeff? He’s been like this his entire career. That’s just who he is. To his credit at least Steve Spurrier was funny. Urban Meyer is a hell of a football coach… I’m sure he gives plenty of money to charity…. he’s also a megalomaniac. That’s probably one reason he’s such a good coach. It just doesn’t change the fact that he’s a douche. He gets butt hurt over the slightest thing.

Bama Aaron

September 22nd, 2009
9:03 am

Maybe he wouldn’t have to make excuses if the media didn’t over-hype these things? UT had the 3rd ranked defense in the country last year, still has plenty of talent and now has the elder Kiffen drawing up the defense. So maybe, just maybe it was unreasonable to expect a 30 point blow-out?
Now having said that Meyer is a jerk and needed to just say “yep, they’re a better team than we expected”. But after all the back & forth during the off-season he really couldn’t say that.
That & his team has been exposed. You don’t think every coach from here on is going to be watching how Monte contained them? I know Saban will!

lojak

September 22nd, 2009
9:04 am

CHRIS, guys like you are going to continue to attack Lane Kiffen as Tennessee plays in an SEC Championship in a couple of years. We are currently number 4 nationaly in recruiting and the hottest team in the country according to Jamie Newburg at Rivals. The performance against florida was outstanding-the players played their butts off–as a national media pundit put it after the game “Tennessee is one quarterback away from playing with anyone in the country” Chris, you better wake up, quite calling Kiffen names and realize the BIG ORANGE IS ON THE WAY BACK…deal with it

PTC DAWG

September 22nd, 2009
9:07 am

Apparently, Urban is also a sore winner, on top of being a sore loser.

But really, he’s just upset about the $$$ his fanbase lost on the game Saturday. I’m guessing they are letting him know about it.

PMC

September 22nd, 2009
9:07 am

Urban was wrong about that anyway, Tennessee was running because that is the strongest point of thier offense not because they were trying to shorten the game and keep it close. They don’t have a passing game, many of thier receivers were lost before the season started and thier QB is a head case. (as nice as I can put it really sorry) I wouldn’t criticise Meyer for running Tebow up the middle because he’s also thier best inside runner and I wouldn’t criticise Kiffin for running the ball when they are behind… because that’s the best they can do this year.

Jason

September 22nd, 2009
9:09 am

Hmm. I bet Georgia fans would love to be making excuses after 2 national championships and a win over a solid Tennessee team. Lets see how many excuses Georgia fans will be making after they lose to Florida again.

UT96

September 22nd, 2009
9:09 am

Chris, I see you’re into making excuses just like your bed buddy Urban. The fumble was forced (ball was stripped, watch the replay). The reason Florida wasn’t throwing the ball was because they weren’t able to throw the ball on a consistent basis. We dialed up the pressure and blanketed your sorry azz receivers the entire game. Anyhow, see you chumps in Knoxville next year.

BullGator

September 22nd, 2009
9:21 am

“Lame Kitten” is right about 1 thing after saying he wishes there was a chance he could get another shot at playing against Tebow again this year. It’s unlikely Florida will be playing in the CiTrUs bowl.Enter your comments here

Gator Mike

September 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

It is early in the season for everyone, and we will see how it unfolds for all teams. Yes, the Gators need work, but UT is the first SEC Team I have heard of which has their fans touting a “Moral Victory”. Personally, I am embarassed that a SEC Team which is so rich in history, tradition and pride as UT is relishing the insipid “moral victory” slogan. The UT players gave everything they had to win the game, and they never gave up.
I firmly believe that the UGA DAWGS and Tide will clobber UT.
As for all of this Meyer vs kiffin nonsense, I am sick of it. Had Phil Fulmer played a conservative game plan in G’Ville, the Vols Fans would be raising h##. The spread for the game was ridiculous, and most Gator Fans know it. The game may have been a clunker from a lot of Gator fans perspective, but UF won, and that is all that counts in the SEC. As for all of the so called expert sports writers constantly hammering on what Meyer says, they should be ashamed of themselves. They hammer on Meyer because he wins, and most writers hammer at winners. Were UF in the middle of the pack, little would be made of Meyer’s comments.
The UT game plan for the Gators gave them their moral victory, but it will not work against the DAWGS and TIDE (even Spurrier’s game chickens). UT had a good defense last year and nearly every year that Chavis was Fulmer’s coordinator. Sound defense at UT is nothing new, but lousy offense has been the norm in Knoxville for the past few years, and that is not the UT norm. Kiffin has not yet fixed it. Until the Vols get a productive offense, they will remain in the middle of the pack in the SEC.
Go Gators!

Ed-Covington

September 22nd, 2009
9:25 am

…and I guess Duh “U” fans would have rather had Pope Urban go for it on 4th down and try to score another td? They would have griped if he did anything but take a knee and give the ball back, which he wasn’t going to do!

Pago Flyer

September 22nd, 2009
9:26 am

Not so sure if the DAWGS really want the Gators/Vols this year!

awwesome o'radical

September 22nd, 2009
9:28 am

I think being a tool is a requirement to be Florida’s coach.

RandyBogartGA

September 22nd, 2009
9:39 am

UT96 Do you really believe “The reason Florida wasn’t throwing the ball was because they weren’t able to throw the ball on a consistent basis. “????????? If so you don’t understand football. Why should Meyer run up points on UT when he doesn’t have to risk getting players hurt? If you knew anything about Florida’s team you would know that Hernandez has no backup. Letting UT run the clock out for themselves was to me a good game plan. I will not deny UT has a good defense but your quarterback stinks and there was no way he was going to win the game for you by throwing. UT is set for next year and probably the next couple of years if they find a quarterback. You have the #3 ranked recruiting class in the country and it seems Meyer is not concerned about this and I will admit that bothers me greatly. Florida has a lot of catching up to do but is hampered by the playing time these guys want right away. I see the SEC East evening out for the next few years between Florida and UT. Georgia however has issues, they recruit but those recruits are not coached up, there is no fire or desire to their program and that comes from coaching. You can have all the players you want in your program but until someone instills discipline and desire you aren’t going anywhere. Sorry Georgia just stating what I see.