Florida fans: Stop whining about Meyer going to Ohio State

Before Florida fans complain, they should remember Urban Meyer won this for them -- twice. (AP photo)

Before Florida fans complain, they should remember Urban Meyer won this thing for them -- twice. (AP photo)

(Updated: 10:35 a.m.)

Urban Meyer just went from savior to Satan in Gainesville. Sorry, but did Florida fans really expect he was going to spend the rest of his life sitting in a climate-controlled studio and planting pansies?

Welcome to reality, Gator fans. You’re apparently the last one to figure out that Meyer is no less disingenuous than any other college coach, and he might be worse.

The former Florida coach reportedly has taken the head coaching job at Ohio State, confirming the worst kept secret in sports. Kudos to the blog sites ElevenWarriors and SportsByBrooks, which were way ahead of this story on Nov. 18.

(For what it’s worth: Meyer’s agent denied to cbssports.com’s Dennis Dodd that Meyer has accepted the job. But at this point, we’re probably talking semantics.)

Gator fans are upset. They believe Meyer betrayed them, and, well, maybe he did just a little. They believe he was dishonest, and, well, maybe he was just a little.

But Meyer won two BCS and two SEC championships. He went 65-15 in six seasons, resuscitating a program that had slipped under Ron Zook following Steve Spurrier’s departure. Urban Meyer owes Florida fans nothing.

My pal, George Diaz, of the Orlando Sentinel had  an excellent column on this and he was right on point when he wrote: “In Columbus and other Ohio outposts, Urban is a saint. In Gainesville and neighboring communities, he is a sinner. Labels are funny. If Meyer had quit on Ohio State and was returning to coach at Florida, the sentiments would be flip-flopped.”

Now, about Meyer: My belief is that the health scare he suffered nearly two years ago was legit. It probably freaked out his family more than him but that’s the way most coaches are wired. He resigned one day and un-resigned the next, saying he would take only a leave of absence.

The 2010 season was a mess. Meyer couldn’t be as driven (psychotic?) as he wanted to be. The fact Florida slipped (4-4 in the SEC after going 32-9 in the previous nine years) didn’t help. He was worn down. He wasn’t having fun. He needed a break. So he quit. That’s what I believe.

One popular conspiracy theory: Meyer left because he realized he had made some recruiting mistakes and the Gators would be mediocre this season. That could’ve played a role. But if Florida had been better in 2010, maybe he wouldn’t have seemed as worn down, either.

Regardless, the “I just want to spend more time with my family” excuse never washed with anybody. That’s not to say Meyer doesn’t love his wife and children but that never seemed the No. 1  motivating factor in him quitting.

If he really felt that, he wouldn’t be back now. What, after 12 months, he got all of the hugs out of his system?

Meyer just needed a break. Now he returns to Ohio State, where he was a grad assistant for two years. He is a Ohio native. This is as close to a dream job as he will get. (My guess is “dream job” will be mentioned at his introductory news conference.)

None of this means he is making the right decision. If he starts suffering from chest pains again, you will have your answer.

As far as how this affects his family, that’s between them. But nobody should be stunned that Meyer is going to be back on a sideline next season. And if any Florida fans have hard feelings about it, maybe they should take a walk past the trophy case.

By Jeff Schultz

401 comments Add your comment

St. Simons

November 28th, 2011
10:04 am

(((((31-17))))) hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

hank

November 28th, 2011
10:04 am

hank

November 28th, 2011
10:05 am

When GA beats LSU who will play in the Capital One bowl, bama or lsu?

WDE

November 28th, 2011
10:06 am

Great article the Urban era at OSU has begun!

Matt Collins

November 28th, 2011
10:08 am

figured he would go to Denver!

John

November 28th, 2011
10:09 am

Jeff-

While you clearly are abreast of the drama that has struck the University of Florida, please refrain from being so bold as to tell avid fans how to deal with this.

Frank Lane

November 28th, 2011
10:09 am

No surprise here.

Matt Collins

November 28th, 2011
10:10 am

what about Denver?!!!!!

ATLien

November 28th, 2011
10:11 am

31-17

UF Fans should feel angry at Meyer. He lied his way out of UF because he knew that the post-Tebow Gators were in serious trouble. He left that program in shambles. Yea, he won 2 very mythical national titles, but like anything else it’s what have you done for me lately. And lately he’s exposed himself as a liar and as a terrible recruiter that somehow managed to hit the lottery with Tebow.

DingleBerry

November 28th, 2011
10:11 am

Hellllooo!! Id like to know what position Kirk Herbstreit plans to coach. Thanks

Lil' Toni

November 28th, 2011
10:12 am

What about T-Bow?

Lil' Toni

November 28th, 2011
10:14 am

He should call G-Tech about info on that awesome awfense they run?

Rick

November 28th, 2011
10:14 am

The other day, a friend of mine called Meyer a short time quitter. I said, if UGA could hire a guy that would come in and win 2 SEC champs and 2 National titles on five years, I say fire CMR, he will never win one, and hire the guy.

UGA has won one Nat title in 120 years with all the mediocre coaches that have been there.

SimpleDawg

November 28th, 2011
10:15 am

From the day the Lil’ General was removed, there was never any doubt as to who would be the next coach at Ohio State.

Now, let’s see if the Urbane Crier can convince all of those black kids from South Florida to go to OSU where the winters are harsher and so are the co-eds.

Lil' Toni

November 28th, 2011
10:15 am

Was that the triple option d-fense the rambolin reck was running saturday?

PMC

November 28th, 2011
10:15 am

What about Urban’s family? Who will watch them play volleyball???

Jim Tressell?

Lil' Toni

November 28th, 2011
10:16 am

Bill Smith should be next D-Coordinator for Tech!!!!!

Meyer Manipulator

November 28th, 2011
10:16 am

Jeff, you forgot to state that Meyer also went immediately to work at ESPN after leaving Florida. How can you spend more time with your family if you are working at ESPN all week (esp. Saturdays) ? Meyer the liar !

NCBravesFan

November 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Urban Meyer is kid’s play compared to what Bobby Petrino did to ATL when he bolted for Arkansas. THAT’S an example of leaving a job in a classless manner.

The frustration some FLA fans feel is understandable, but I take Meyer at his word.

PMC

November 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Gator fans just need to find their Les Miles.

Muschamp is not it.

J-Dawg

November 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Hobnail boot on Bill Smith’s neck? He can’t even fix that tech D!!!1

Stinky

November 28th, 2011
10:18 am

@Rick I say you are a dam idiot.

Meyer Manipulator

November 28th, 2011
10:19 am

Jeff, its totally unfair for Alabama to not win their own conference yet play in the National Championship game. They can’t be rewarded for losing their conference. They didn’t let UGA play in the NC game because they didn’t win the SEC. So neither should Bama.

Stinky

November 28th, 2011
10:19 am

@Rick I say you are a dam idiot. Again.

PMC

November 28th, 2011
10:20 am

As for Florida fans, who cares, good riddance, the guy won you 2 championships. It’s the best job in the SEC east. You’re averaging a NATIONAL TITLE every 5 years in the last 15. You’ll find someone.

ESPN has corrupted NCAA sports

November 28th, 2011
10:20 am

Bama gets to participate in the double-elimination bracket of the mythical national championship. Yet no one else does.

Kyle E

November 28th, 2011
10:20 am

This article is ridiculous. When Urban Meyer first came to Florida, he went around to all of the student organizations (including my fraternity) and proved himself to be a man of his word – which was one of his strongest assets and what rallied everyone behind him. In 2009 among rumors that he would leave Florida for Notre Dame, he said that he would remain at Florida for “as long as they’ll have me.”

This relativistic idea that some say he’s a sinner while others a saint is absurd. To be a traitor, you by definition have to be going over to the other side that will be happy to have you. Look at the trophy case? He doesn’t owe us anything because of past performance? The United States could not have won the Revolutionary War against Great Britain without the amazing leadership of Benedict Arnold; but when he went back to the British several years later Americans didn’t say “well he did a good job for us in the past, so no hard feelings.” For the last 200 years we Americans have held up Benedict Arnold as the very definition of the word “traitor.” It’s really a huge crock to expect Florida fans to get rid of those feelings in about a week.

SawThat1nce

November 28th, 2011
10:21 am

As I said before, Urbane petrinoed the Gators. No big deal.
OSU has always been an overrated, smoke and mirrors, team.

Meyer Liar

November 28th, 2011
10:22 am

What a miraculous recovery from Urban Meyer ! What’s his secret ? Is it shark cartilage or green tea leaves ? My my how his health improved enough to get that $50 million….

A pile of sh!t has 1,000 eyes

November 28th, 2011
10:22 am

Nothing to see here. He’ll win the Big 10 every year and that’s … great? Braxton Miller will be a good fit in his offense. Can’t take anything away from his national championships, but with one of them he had a once-in-a-generation leader/winner. In the other one they beat … Ohio State.

Yes, he’ll recruit just enough athletes out of warm states to kill all those stuck-in-the-mud Big 10 teams. So what. Give us what we REALLY want, Jeff, and that’s a stupid quote from Gordon Gee.

Mid Town Joe

November 28th, 2011
10:23 am

Who cares about Urban Meyer? Ohio State fans will eat alive up if he doesn’t produce. I doubt if any of his prized Florida recruits will want to spend a Fall in that nasty weather up there. He’ll be under tremendous pressure. I hope if has a good cardiologist.

SawThat1nce

November 28th, 2011
10:23 am

It’s just too nerve racking coaching in the SEC.
It’s a lot easier coaching in OSU’s conference, where the competion is not so strong.

J-Dawg

November 28th, 2011
10:23 am

Meyer should hire Al from the wreck for that D in Ohio State. Bill Ivan could help him there!

ARdawg

November 28th, 2011
10:24 am

Quasimoto could have followed Zook into Florida and been successful. Meyer has been exposed. He had demm good assistants and when they bolted he collapsed. Literally and figuratively (mentally). I hope OSU enjoys him. Seems like just another attempt at buying a championship. They deserve each other. 40 million for 7 years? C’mon

Austin A.

November 28th, 2011
10:25 am

Bill Smith for G-Tech D. He has the hair cut for it too!!!!!!

A pile of sh!t has 1,000 eyes

November 28th, 2011
10:25 am

And stop whinin’ about Bama, you pathetic Bulldogs. The people didn’t think you were one of the top 2. That’s the system. Bitch about the system. Bama is the unanimous #2, and not winning your division or conference doesn’t matter. And be thankful that YET again, you ONLY REACH ATLANTA when programs at Florida and Tennessee are down.

PMC

November 28th, 2011
10:27 am

If I’m a Florida fan I’ll always love the guy who got us there more in Steve Spurrier. Urban is a mercenary, and he did his job really well.

Just wish he would stop trying to sell us on character. It’s all disingenuous.

neal of rohan

November 28th, 2011
10:27 am

At least he’s not going to Tennessee.

Austin A.

November 28th, 2011
10:27 am

Sounds like you are the whiner Bama. Can’t kick a field goal? Take a sleeping pill. You need some rest.

Kyle E

November 28th, 2011
10:27 am

This article is absurd. To be a traitor, you by definition have to be going over to the other side that will be happy to have you. Look at the trophy case? He doesn’t owe us anything because of past performance? The United States could not have won the Revolutionary War without the amazing leadership of Benedict Arnold; but when he went back to the British several years later Americans didn’t say “well he did a good job for us in the past, so no hard feelings.” For the last 200 years we Americans have held up Benedict Arnold as the very definition of the word “traitor.” It’s really a huge crock to expect Florida to get rid of those feelings in about a week.

SawThat1nce

November 28th, 2011
10:29 am

He got tired of his wife nagging him about laying around the house all day.

neal of rohan

November 28th, 2011
10:29 am

Urban Meyer may win more championships than ric flair.

Gdawg

November 28th, 2011
10:29 am

John, loosen up your jorts!!!! this is hilarious, gayters are back to Galen Hall era.

ARdawg

November 28th, 2011
10:30 am

pile of sheeiot

Obviously UGA isn’t number 2 but that isn’t the beef. It’s the manipulation of a flawed system. The BCS is too controlled by the money and power brokers. As for me, I’ve already seen Bama and LSU play. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut choice on #2 other than Bama. I won’t lose any sleep either way but, that isn’t how the systems was designed to work. Bama didn’t win it’s division or conference. It’s record is arguably as weak as UGA’s. Something is bad wrong with college football

Lil' Toni

November 28th, 2011
10:30 am

Chan Gaylee is coming back with Bill Ivan Smith as D-Coordinator.

sam

November 28th, 2011
10:30 am

Dare I point out to Florida fans (or fans of any other school): Spurrier left Duke to come to UF. Did Spurrier betray Duke?

I think there is a different situation when a school hires a coordinator as that is a promotion.

hard kory

November 28th, 2011
10:31 am

I wish urban would coach my tee ball team.

Tyrone Biggums

November 28th, 2011
10:32 am

OSU? That school full of cheaters? Hahaha.

ViningDawg

November 28th, 2011
10:32 am

My nephew went to Michigan… I told him I hope he enjoyed this year’s victory as CUM ( haha – what a bad acronym) will whip UM

J-Dawg

November 28th, 2011
10:33 am

B.I. Smith would be a good fit at Tech. That 2-5 defense would kick A.!!!!!