When Urban Meyer's name is mentioned in college football circles, the emotions and comments that follow typically hang out on the far left or the far right end of the spectrum. There isn't a lot of gray area with that man. You love him or you hate him, kind of like that Old Ball Coach who used to roam the Gator sidelines. Maybe he beat your team. Maybe he stole one of your recruits. Maybe he spoke to a blue chipper's girlfriend before your coach thought to do the same thing. There are so many reasons to choose from!
But regardless of the crimes against your alma mater, you can't help but admire what he's about to do with the annual Orange & Blue spring football game.
ESPN has not only announced plans to televise the April 12th event, but also to send their Gameday crew down as well. I guess the chance to broadcast the defending champs wasn't as enticing as the chance to aim a few hundred cameras at Tim Tebow.
When Meyer is given an opportunity like this, you get a funny feeling that he's going to run as fast as he can with it. On top of the game itself which, like any spring game, is usually more interesting in theory than it is in reality, Meyer is adding some special touches for the fans. He wants the student body involved with the game, including the chance for a select few of them to compete in a 40-yard dash against some of the fastest players on the team.
Though details aren't certain yet, he's announced the opportunity for a makeshift tryout among student non-athletes which will produce a lucky few who will line up against the likes of Percy Harvin, already clocked in the 4.3 40 range. Meyer quipped that if a student is able to beat him, there would be a scholarship with his name on it.
"We have the best student body, 27,000 strong every home game, and I want to give back to our students," Meyer said at Wednesday's pre-spring news conference. "Whether they're catching a pass from (Tim) Tebow; whether they're catching a punt from our punter. It's going to be a great afternoon. I want to sell our campus."
So what does this mean to you, Gator Hater Nation? Well, probably nothing right now. But you know ESPN won't be in Gainesville this time next year. They could be on your campus and it will be up to your coach to put on a show. Instead of the same old stripped down scrimmage, you just might witness something exciting thanks to the New Ball Coach in Gainesville.