Urban Meyer's Decision: Remain a Florida Gator or Return to Notre Dame?
Now that Charlie Weis has most likely sealed his fate with another mediocre season, the annual rumor mill that has Urban Meyer returning to South Bend is cranking back up.
Before the 2009 season began, Coach Meyer said point-blank that he was not going to leave Florida to take the Notre Dame job if it became available.
Nevertheless, the talk continues, and here is my take on why it makes no sense for Meyer to leave Gainesville for South Bend.
First, Florida is in the top-five of all college football programs, and Urban Meyer has done the impossible by becoming the fan-favorite so soon after Steve Spurrier's departure. The OBC is a beloved figure in Gator lore, but Urban Meyer is the reigning king.
Second, Gainesville is in the epicenter of a recruiting mecca. Florida has always had access to recruits throughout their talent-rich state, but now Florida's reach has extended north and west in other areas of the country.
Notre Dame is still a household name all over the country, but the Irish mystique is not what it was in the 20th century.
Third, the Florida Gators team is almost the weekly showcase on CBS at 3:30pm ET, and if not on CBS, ESPN or one of its networks will pick up their game. Yes, Notre Dame has their own network in NBC, but again, the Florida Gators gets plenty of air time.
Fourth, the Florida Gators are on top of the SEC world, and the SEC is the most respected conference in college football. Notre Dame, on the other hand, is sometimes frowned upon for being their own "conference" and given their own position in the BCS.
Winning and competing in the SEC is much more rewarding, and so far Coach Meyer has done just fine.
Lastly, Coach Meyer has nothing more to prove. Wherever he has gone, he has created a winning program. Why would he risk his reputation and possibly fail in South Bend?
Yes, he may be driven to prove that he could bring the Irish back to the top, but he knows he can continue to win in Gainesville.
Sorry Irish fan, but look elsewhere for Weis' replacement. Urban Meyer has a powerhouse in Gainesville, and the Florida Gators will do whatever it takes to keep him happy.
Remember, he just received another raise, and surely if he brings another national championship back to Gainesville, he will most likely be rewarded once again.
One day, Urban Meyer may decide to head north to Notre Dame, but not now. Touchdown Jesus will stare down upon another head coach while Coach Urban Meyer continues his winning ways with Florida in the SEC.
Besides, everyone knows that God is a Florida Gator: He made the sun orange and the sky blue.
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