Relax Gators, Meyer's Not Gone Yet

Jay HendryCorrespondent IMay 15, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators gets gatorade dumped on him as Javier Estopinan #93 and Louis Murphy #9 look on towards the end of the game against the Oklahoma Sooners in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  The Gators wons the game by a score of 24-14.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

"Urban Meyer's out, he's moving to South Bend."

That's what the media wishes Steve Spurrier had said. While his antics were definitely aimed at stirring the pot, Spurrier wasn't so brash. Spurrier commented on the rumor that Meyer could leave next year, a rumor that had not surfaced in any immediate capacity here in Gainesville, and let everyone else, including the radio host who was conducting the interview, do the speculating.

Gators fans need not worry however, realistically everyone knew that Meyer would leave eventually, the question is just when.

It's true that winning it all in 2009 may allow for the boredom that comes from complacency to surface. Remember, Meyer is a problem solver, his track record is to turn around programs then move on to a bigger project. Florida's one of the top jobs in nation, that is no question. 

The question is, in 2004 was Meyer looking for a better job, or a tougher challenge?

Turning the Gators around is Meyer's biggest achievement to date. Winning a BCS game at Utah was big, but fan expectations were not. At Florida, Meyer had to win and win quickly. No doubt that was part of the reason why he limited his selection to Florida and Notre Dame. 

Both needed a big turnaround and both expected that to come quick.

Unlike the Irish however, the Gators were still a perennial top 25 team, for at least part of every season and did not have a losing season during Ron Zook's interim tenure. Meyer quickly did what he does best and turned the Gators around, winning two BCS championships and compiling a 45-9 record.

Why then Florida over Notre Dame? 

Was it the sunshine, the recruiting, or did he see something at Notre Dame that pushed him away? 

Perhaps he felt he needed to further prove the spread and Gainesville was more accepting? 

Meyer claims his family played a part in it. It's easier to recruit out of Gainesville; most players come from in state. That means fewer cross country trips and more time spent at home. 

With two of his children still in school and Florida's continued increasing exposure, this advantage remains at Florida. 

What then should Gators make of Spurrier's comments? 

Nothing right now. Spurrier speaks the truth. Inevitably, Meyer will leave. He's made it clear that his heart is with the Irish. However, Meyer has never shown anything but loyalty to Florida. 

While the Notre Dame job looks enticing now, it is no different now than it was in 2004.  South Bend is still in Indiana, and Meyer would still be recruiting out of California, Texas and Florida. 

So relax Gators, he's not gone yet.