I have just finished reading the Sun Sports article(link below)on Urban Meyer leaving UF and now taking the Ohio State job. When Urban Meyer announced he was leaving I did not immediately dismiss the possibility that maybe there was in fact something medically wrong with him. However something about the whole situation made me think that even if there was, it wasn't anything life threatening that he couldn't continue coaching. This was confirmed when he took the ESPN job. Now that Urban has taken the Ohio State job and several quotes from him have come out I realized my original instincts on why he decided to quit were correct.
Bottom line is Urban Meyer decided to leave because he did not want to face the music, music that would be blaring from the sound speakers of thousands of gator fans. He had won national championships at UF and was seen as a head coach legend(at least to UF fans), but he knew the truth. The truth that any head coach that has coached long enough knows: All programs have ups and downs, what makes a coach great is being able to handle the lows while rebuilding the program back up in as little time as possible.
Urban Meyer knew that he had reached his high and now after several talented players had left for the NFL, and several of his coaches had moved on to head coaching positions at other universities the program was going to be in a rebuilding phase. A phase that would take a couple of years of recruiting, rebuilding and several seasons of mediocre football by UF standards to be able to get back to where they wanted to be. Meyer could have perhaps rebuilt the program, if he was given time, but he knew yet another truth. Gator fans and administration would not be very patient during this time, he would be put under pressure and his legend status would be questioned. Instead he decided to take the easy way out and just leave, be a coward. That is why he decided to quit the first time after Tim Tebow left, he knew well the following season would not be great, he decided to stay hoping that maybe the season would not be as bad and wanted to gauge the reaction on his public opinion.
What occurred was a year of criticism towards him and his coaches. He, his players, and his OC Steve Addazio were booed by UF fans in their own home stadium(though some say they were just booing the OC). You can read his thoughts straight from the article were he says:
"Meyer expressed concerns over his legacy at Florida. He told me he was amazed at the anger expressed toward him as Florida struggled to a 6-6 season." 'All I did for six years is go into that office every day and work my tail off,' he said. 'And then I go out to get a sandwich and somebody is yelling at me because they[the team] had a bunch of false start penalties'."
So in order to not make this article any longer here is the final conclusion. Urban Meyer, after the terrible year his team had just had knew the following year would not be any better. The criticism from gators would continue to grow and he was unsure of how long it would take for the program to be back up and whether he would even be retained long enough to find out. So instead of sticking it out and possibly getting fired he decided that if gator fans wanted to whine and complain about the job he was doing, they could hire somebody else they thought could do a better job to do it. Of course he knew the next head coach would not succeed, at least not immediately but he was sick of it, he was sick of how spoiled, whiny, and unrealistic Gator fans had become. This is not to excuse Meyer, bottom line he was a coward, somebody who ran away from his problems, he left players he had recruited and made promises to in a ship he knew was headed towards rocks. He didn't care or even think about it, after all he had already jumped off and a nice yacht with the name ESPN was waiting for him... and who knew what else could have been in his sunny future. We now know.
So why should we as Nole fans care what a mess Florida is? The main reason is to make sure we never become like gator fans.
Whether people want to admit it or not Urban Meyer is not a bad coach. Anyone who says Muschamp is a better coach than Meyer doesn’t have any proof yet, maybe he will turn out to be(hopefully not). But I think had Meyer been given time he could have done as good as almost any coach to bring the UF program back up, luckily gator fans suck and ran him off without realizing it.
This applies to Noles more than anything based on how crazy this year was with all the “expectations” FSU had and how quickly we turned around and criticized our coaches. Of course it’s not entirely the same because Urban had already won at UF. But we need to look and make sure we aren't being unrealistic based on circumstances or pulling the trigger too quickly or we might end up becoming like gator fans and regretting it. I'm not saying we should give coaches a free pass and we should accept mediocrity just that we should take everything into account and try to do it in a productive way.
link to Sunsports article: http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20111128/columnists/111129572?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar
If anyone wants to post this at Alligator Army please do so. I don't have an account over there but really wanted to do so.