What the hell just happened? The long whip-end of Urban Meyer's retirement drama just cracked a week and a half after Florida's final regular season game, a humiliating 31-7 loss to rival Florida State. Meyer will step down after the Outback Bowl because "it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field."
I'm in a bad art film. Yes you are, and this does seem to keep happening over and over again. Urban Meyer resigned and un-resigned last year, and despite avowals to the contrary Meyer never seemed fully engaged this year on the sidelines as he attempted to adjust to life as a normal coach who didn't obsess himself to the point of illness over his team. The results were only normal in the sense that going 7-5 in the regular season is pretty normal in college football (if not in Gainesville.)
Is he going to have a reunion with Tebow in Denver? I really, really don't think so. From all reports Meyer was burnt out in 2009. A hiatus of some indefinite length is due prior to any engagement with a football team, since what was deemed a physical problem in 2009 is clearly one of the mind in 2010. The brain and the hamstring have one thing in common: their injuries are murky, hard to heal, and take some serious time to rectify.
So who's next as head coach? The first call in 2009 was to Bobby Petrino, but that may not be the case this year after Dan Mullen, former Florida assistant under Meyer, had a watershed year at Mississippi State in leading them to the Gator Bowl and beating Florida in the Swamp. Petrino may still be the second call, and everything after those two is pure speculation.
BUT I LOVE SPECULATION GIMME GIMME. Okay: Charlie Strong, Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin, Jim Harbaugh [entering stupid territory] Jon Gruden, Bill Belichick, the dead carcass of John Heisman, Bob Davie, Steve Winwood, Tony Robbins, Tony Little, Coach Ace Bricka, Scott Bakula, and a very together and charismatic end table I just bought from West Elm.
Time Table For All Of This Happening? A mystery, but Foley likes to move fast. Remember that he outflanked Notre Dame for Meyer in 2005. If his target is known and contested, it's already underway.
Why did he wait a year anyway? A greater mystery, and one we won't know for a long time.