FanPost

A downside of the UF job?

I'm offering this not as a belief, but as a theory -- which is a fancy way of saying, I could be wrong.

Here's what I'm wondering ... well, first, I consider it a given that the University of Florida head coaching job has accoutrements that are unmatched by most schools in the country. From money to facilities to a recruiting base to a fan base, the program ranks at or near the top in all.

It's in the highest-profile conference in the country, has a strong brand -- hard to find ANY weaknesses in this overall program.

But here's a real issue, it seems to me, with this program: It devours coaches who have the highest qualifications possible.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of a UF coaching candidate who is analyzing the coaching history at the school over the last 20 or so years.

First, let's look at Steve Spurrier, who inherited a program that was 0 for 57 years on SEC champoinships. Spurrier ended up going 122-27-1 as the Gator's coach. He won 6 SEC titles in 12 years and the schools first national championship. But he quit abruptly after 12 years -- the stated reason was that "12 years was long enough" but there was a widespread belief that Spurrier had grown weary of the unrealistic expectations of Gator Nation.

Then, after the failed Ron Zook experiment, Urban Meyer came to Florida as, literally in many respects, a program savior (a role Meyer clearly embraced).

Meyer's record -- 64-15 with 2 national championships. The circumstances of his departure are unclear, but there was obviously a disconnect between the demands of the job/expectations of the program and his physical and emotional ability to meet those demands

So, if I'm a candidate looking at those two coaches carcasses, I'm asking myself: "If Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer couldn't do it, can I?"

After all, Spurrier was the ultimate Gator -- Heisman winner turned coach. And Meyer had success that as recently as 20 years ago, Gator fans could only dream about.

Could it be that this has become the New York Yankees job of college football -- one that is coveted by some, but eschewed by others who value their OVERALL career and personal health more than claiming they "are at the top of the mountain?"

 




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