Florida Coach Urban Meyer Steps Down: "It's" Hit the Fan!

Larry SnarkvilleAnalyst IDecember 26, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 18: Coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida directs the spring football orange and blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium April 18, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Gator head football coach Urban Meyer is stepping down. Citing "health and family" issues as the reason, Florida's coach is resigning. The move will take effect after the Gators play Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.

Something's up.

I feel it.

The week after the Gator's crushing loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, a long-time friend of mine called me.

Rich and I went to UF together in the '80s. He wanted to vent about the Gator loss with "someone who'd understand. Someone as intense about the Florida Gators" as he was.

So he picked up the phone.

"Mike, the sh%$ is going to hit the fan. I don't know exactly how or when but something's not right. I cannot get that game (SEC Championship) out of my head. I've been going over it over and over. In the shower, at work. It's non-stop," he said.

We spent the greater part of two hours dissecting the game and the events leading up to the loss.

And we were at a loss to explain it.

That conversation motivated me to write on December 23, 2009, a piece titled, "Florida Gators: Are We the New 'U?'"

In that piece, I reflected upon my gut feelings about Coach Meyer.

And I felt then, as I do now, that "something was up."

Tonight, my phone rang off the hook with calls from friends of mine who are all long-time Florida Gator fans. The overwhelming feeling is that, like Rich would tell me, "the sh$# has begun to hit the fan."

I haven't felt this much anxiety coming from my Gator Nation associates since the program was put on probation back during the Charley Pell era in the mid-1980's.

This current story has that same feel.

Why now?

Why couldn't this move been announced after the Sugar Bowl instead of the day after Christmas?

Moves like this don't happen overnight. I have no doubt that this has been in the works for awhile.

I can already hear the cheers coming out of Athens and Knoxville and Tallahassee.

And I don't like it.