Posts Tagged ‘Urban Meyer’

With Meyer gone, Florida in flux, Dogs need to make move

Once certainty about next year's Georgia-Florida game: Mark Richt won't lose to Urban Meyer.

One certainty about next year's Georgia-Florida game: Mark Richt won't lose to Urban Meyer.

Urban Meyer says the Florida football program is “broken.”

He admits he did a poor job with the team last season and, in so many words, that the health scare of a year ago changed him: “Florida deserves the best. I’m not sure we gave them our best.”

So here’s the question: If the Gators are that far down, is this an an opening for Georgia?

This is not to suggest the Bulldogs project to be on the cusp of greatness. They just finished the regular season at 6-6 (3-5 in the SEC), which is worse than the “broken” Gators (7-5, 4-4). Nor is this to suggest that Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will make a bad hire (although it should be noted that when Steve Spurrier left for the NFL, Foley hired Ron Zook).

But hear me out: No matter who Florida hires, there is going to be a transition period. The coach who probably could best minimize that transition period is Dan Mullen, the former …

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Urban Meyer retires — and this time he means it

Urban Meyer had been contemplating retirement since the weekend.

Urban Meyer had been contemplating retirement since the weekend.

(UPDATED: 6:53 p.m.)

For the second time in as many Decembers, Urban Meyer is retiring.

The hope is that this one lasts more than 24 hours.

He says it’s not about health but rather family. He says it’s not about suddenly losing but rather spending time with his wife and trying to catch up with children, after missing too many of their birthdays and sports events.

“At the end of the day, I feel we’re judged by how you are as a husband and a father,” the outgoing Florida coach said.

Nobody would dispute that. But he had similar words a year ago, as well as a health scare, and pulled a U-turn the next day. That was a mistake.

He says now that his previous retirement was “a knee-jerk reaction” and it came because there was “a lot of emotion in the family.”

Chest pains will do that.

Last December, word leaked out that he had to be hospitalized with chest pains and severe dehydration. On the day after Christmas, he …

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Gruden to Miami would be manna for starving ACC

Jon Gruden would instantly become the biggest personality in the ACC at Miami.

If Miami hires Jon Gruden, he would instantly become the biggest personality in the ACC.

Let me start by saying I’m just not convinced Jon Gruden will take the University of Miami coaching job. He probably can have any vacant NFL job he wants and the thought of  him hitting the recruiting trail and begging some 18-year-old kid to come to his school just doesn’t register.

But you know what? Every ACC school should help pay Gruden’s salary to get him to Coral Gables.

John Swofford, the conference commissioner, should throw in a log cabin.

Butch Davis should loan him his personal tutor.

The SEC championship is this week. Everybody cares. The ACC championship is this week. Nobody cares.

Do you know why? Coaches.

Yes, the SEC is the annual college football behemoth and the conference title game has been the gateway for the BCS champion in the last four years (Auburn could make it five). But one of the major reasons the conference garners so much attention during the season — and …

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Mark Richt will be back next season — and he deserves to be

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eighth. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

The sideline hasn't been as enjoyable a place for Mark Richt the last two seasons as during his first eight. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – It’s probably best that we start with the latest indication of Mark Richt’s future employment.

“Mark’s going to be our coach in 2011,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. “I haven’t seen anything in 11 games that would lead me to any other decision. I’d be stunned.”

The thinking is, it’s always best to end such declarations with even the smallest of escape routes. Because if for some reason Georgia were to lose to Tech 42-10 Saturday, finish the season 5-7, not go to a bowl game and later that evening 17 players find themselves in handcuffs for whatever reason – well, let’s just say you want the escape route.

But Richt will be back. And he should be back.

Let’s be clear about something. There are significant problems at Georgia. There are problems that may not go away under Richt.

The team has …

Continue reading Mark Richt will be back next season — and he deserves to be »

Weekend Predictions: Sources say Newton over Georgia

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Before we get to this week’s hallucinations from Auburn, we have this important farming update: A man in Iowa was found with 800 pounds of marijuana, which probably led Shoeless Joe Jackson to show up out of nowhere and ask: “Dude. Is this heaven? Because I swear my bat is starting to look like a 42-inch Zinger.”

So, true story: The guy’s arrested and in addition to being charged with, like, possession of a banned substance that could prompt Des Moines residents to declare, “I’m so done with cream corn,”  the government slaps him with “failure to affix a drug tax stamp.”

I'm pretty sure these folks think he's innocent.

I took a poll. All of these folks believe he's innocent.

Really? Ganja is taxed? And if so, is that deductible because I’m guessing guys who have 800 pounds of marijuana aren’t real good at saving receipts or Turbo Tax.

This leads me to the world of high finance in the SEC (the conference, not the other one).

According to various reports, confirmed by various sources, some of which even have faces — really, …

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Georgia proves only it also can lose a close game to Florida

Aaron Murray led a comeback but had too many mistakes in his first Florida game. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Aaron Murray led rally but had too many mistakes in his first Florida game. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

JACKSONVILLE — It wasn’t humiliating. Is that better? After two mostly miserable decades in this rivalry and consecutive dismemberings of 49-10 and 41-17, should it feel better to know Georgia walked off the field and could have won?

“No — it’s a loss,” Akeem Dent said.

“An L is an L,” A.J. Green said.

“This kind of hurt more,” Washaun Ealey said.

Georgia came close Saturday. That shouldn’t be the objective.

Maybe comebacks say something about a team’s character. Maybe the Bulldogs grew up a little in the second half. Maybe the quarterback won’t have early-game jitters next time. Maybe one year again, they’ll actually beat Florida.

But this program should not be about gauging the degree of severity of losses.

They lost in overtime 34-31. They showed remarkable resolve by rallying from a 21-7 halftime deficit to tie it twice, the last time at 31-31 with …

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LIVE from Dogs-Gators, and everybody’s feeling the heat

Georgia's Mark Richt and Florida's Urban Meyer greet each other before the game (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Georgia's Mark Richt and Florida's Urban Meyer greet each other before the game (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

JACKSONVILLE — Time to play.

Was thinking last night — while Tim Tucker and I strategically avoided “The Landing” area — about the enormous pressure on certain individuals in today’s Georgia-Florida game. It’s odd only in that both teams are unranked going into this contest for the first time since 1979. So much for national ramifications.

But think about the pressure on . . .

Mark Richt: Georgia has won three straight but you can’t just wipe out a 1-4 start. If the Dogs lose, they are absolutely, positively dead in the SEC East (I think) because they would lose tiebreakers with both Florida and South Carolina. They also would need to win two of their final three games (Idaho State, at Auburn, Georgia Tech) just to become bowl eligible.

Urban Meyer: Think he’s not feeling some heat? Here’s a guy who appeared to have a serious health issue, suddenly retired, then even …

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Weekend Predictions: Dogs go down to Gators again

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According to legend, or sources close to legend, the origins of Halloween date back over 2000 years when the summer harvest ended and the weather turned cold and the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead were so narrow that SEC football coaches figured it was safe to start recruiting and NCAA executives and college presidents lounged inside their palatial suites that were paid for by network executives and texted each other, “Time To Close Our Eyes. Hey, are you going to Urban’s pool party later?”

Hello. It’s that time again.

Where are you going this year? St. Simons? Jekyll? Some dark and secluded place, perhaps near the border of the Netherworld, just in case you feel the need to slip into a neighborhood where they don’t get the Georgia-Florida game but still show Lou Holtz career highlights on an endless loop?

It’s the 30th anniversary of Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott. Now let’s advance to more recent decades. The Gators have won 17 of the last 20 meetings. …

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Urban Meyer slammed again for Chris Rainey decision

Chris Rainey (with football, not cellphone).

Chris Rainey (with football, not cellphone).

Urban Meyer is still on a losing streak — on and off the field.

Any hopes the Florida coach had that the backlash over his decision to reinstate wide receiver Chris Rainey would fade pretty much imploded again.

The latest slam comes from Carol Wick, who runs a domestic violence shelter in Orlando. Wick told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “I think somebody in sports has got to take a stand. Given Urban Meyer’s well-known moral values, I think it would do a lot of good if he were the first coach to step up and say, ‘No, this is unacceptable behavior. I wouldn’t tolerate it in my home. I wouldn’t want it to happen to my daughter and I’m not going to tolerate it on my team. Violence and threats against women are not acceptable.’ ”

Urban Meyer: Not making friends.

Urban Meyer: Not making friends.

The background: Rainey, the Gators’ wide receiver, sent a text message to his estranged girlfriend: “Time to die, [bleep].”

When Wick was informed that Rainey has …

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This is the week Georgia’s defense needs to step up

Georgia defensive players tried to psyche themselves up during pregame warmups last year in Jacksonville.  (Bob Andres/AJC)

Georgia defenders tried to psyche themselves up during warm-ups last year but still got rocked.

ATHENS — This isn’t about losses. This is about humiliation.

Losses come by a field goal or a touchdown. Humiliation comes when an opponent regularly rolls up point totals in the 30s and 40s and is so comfortably ahead so early that the opposing quarterback is waving a towel and leading cheers in the third quarter.

The problem with the Georgia-Florida “rivalry” is that scores like 45-13, 52-17 and 49-10 don’t scream rivalry — they just scream, like the creepy Edvard Munch painting of the same name. That pale-looking creature with his hands on his face and his mouth hanging open resembles the average Bulldogs fan traveling home from Jacksonville.

The Bulldogs have a chance to change that this week. They go into the Florida game with the better quarterback, the better running attack and certainly the better recent results. But Saturday may be less about Aaron Murray, Washaun …

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