Florida Gator coach Urban Meyer has resigned as the Florida football coach; his last game will be the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati Bearcats. Health issues appear to be the cause of the sudden and unexpected announcement. However, the health excuse is too common for anyone to believe. There is much more to it than what is on the surface of these reports.
To the intelligent football observer, it is clear why Urban Meyer fled Florida. He was afraid.
He was afraid of Lane Kiffin.
Lane Kiffin won so many moral victories in his first season that it struck fear into Meyer and the entire Gator Nation. Doubt that? Kiffin only lost to the Gators by less than two touchdowns! Kiffin only lost to Alabama by less than a field goal! Sure Kiffin lost to the inept 5-19 Auburn coach, but it was a transition year in Knoxville. We have to excuse the Auburn defeat, and considering how improved Cromptonâ€™s play was in the fourth quarterâ€”it was a moral victory too! Even the UCLA disaster, the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations and HOstessgate were good for the Volunteers.
Kiffin has outfoxed Meyer at every turn. Just look at the recruiting success with Nuâ€™Keese Richardson. First, Kiffin insulted the people of Pahokee, Florida, but that was fine as it got Kiffin and Tennessee more attention. Second, incorrectly accusing Meyer of cheating was a ruse; it got Kiffin more attention and let Meyer know that the Vols were back! Third, even though Richardson got booted from the team during the season for committing an alleged felony, that was OK too! The Volunteers got publicity from the alleged attempted armed robbery. How can you beat that? And it was all part of Kiffinâ€™s master plan.
Meyer was upstaged at the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta by Kiffin. The Volunteer coach strutted onto ESPNâ€™s Gameday set, and there was nothing Meyer could do to stop it.
At every turn Meyer was kicked by Kiffin. In recruiting Kiffin was winning by grabbing quality people like Nuâ€™Keese Richardson. In coaching Kiffin was winning so many moral victories there was no hope Meyer could keep up. In public relations Kiffin was getting on talk radio, blogs and television constantly.
Florida must respond by hiring someone capable of keeping up with Lane Kiffin. The names of Houston Nutt, Phil Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville have already been dropped as possible replacements. These men would be undaunted by the specter of facing Lane Kiffin. In fact, Fulmer would be an intriguing choice. No, not because he coached at Tennessee, but because he would server as an extra NCAA monitor to help keep Kiffinâ€™s illegal recruiting activities in check.
Florida must do something to send a message it hasnâ€™t fallen behind the Volunteers in the SEC East. Can they? Or is it too late to catch up to Tennessee?