Urban Meyer's Departure is Sending Shockwaves Through the SEC

Kimberley NashSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2009

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 24:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida Gators, during pre game warmup up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, at Davis Wade Stadium on  October 24, 2009 in Starkville, Mississippi  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images

ESPN is reporting that coach Urban Meyer, the genius behind the Florida Gators rise to prominence as one of the best teams in the nation, has resigned. Did you hear me? Resigned!

That's huge for both college football and the SEC as the Florida Gators have been on a run of college football dominance for the last four-years. A run that includes two national titles and a Heisman trophy winner. 

So, the prevailing question amongst all has to be, "Why"?

Some media outlets are stating Meyer's condition is not life-threatening and that is enough of a nugget to start the NFL rumor mill to churning as at least one news outlet is already stating that Meyer could be leaving to become a head coach.

That said, it would be unfair and irresponsible to pin a reason for why a coach of Urban's caliber would suddenly make this decision but the timing of it does indicate that he hasn't made this choice based on anything other than his personal well-being.

If he were self-serving and just hoping to stick it to the rest of the SEC, he could have made this statement after signing day. Save the recruits from bolting to Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

No, personally, I don't think Meyer was trying to make the decision based on anything but what was best for him and his family. That means that his condition is not something to be taken lightly.

However, there is no denying that this will change the landscape of the SEC. Meyer's teams have reigned supreme in the east since his arrival at Florida and the carnage has not been pretty. Just take a look at his win-loss record against his division foes:

Georgia: 4-1

Kentucky: 5-0

South Carolina: 4-1

Tennessee: 5-0

Overall: 18-2 since 2005

So, needless to say, if you live in Athens, Kentucky, Columbia, or Knoxville, this news is shocking but you aren't likely searching for the Kleenex box—the Gators have been a nightmare for every fan in the SEC since Urban's arrival and this news is part 'whoa' and part 'hell yeah'.

There could be some answers to what has overcome the head coach in a profile done by  Sports Illustrated last month. They did a profile on Meyer and, in it, he revealed that his doctor had discovered an arachnoid cyst on his brain. 

The cyst wasn't terminal but was capable of causing head pain if he were placed under too much stress.

Well, needless to say, being a head coach in the SEC is a stressful job but Urban has found a way to deal with it's presence since 1998 without the outside world being the wiser, but shortly after the SEC Championship game he was hospitalized and stayed overnight.

Did that have anything to do with this condition? No idea but here we are just three weeks later and he's no longer a head coach at Florida.

This news has to be a dagger in the heart if you are a fan of the Florida Gators. You have already lost Charlie Strong, one of the best defensive coordinators in the SEC—he's headed to Louisville —Tim Tebow is graduating (leaving a tremendous void both on and off the field), and there is a strong likelihood that the talented defense of this season will find many of its players on NFL rosters next year. 

Add it all up and it's got to be looking a little like a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world in South Florida.

As this situation continues to heat up, there will no doubt be more speculation as to what really went down in Gainesville but, for now, this is not a story to be ridiculed or taken lightly. Urban Meyer is still a man with a family and deserves his respect as such in this situation. 

But, as an SEC fan, you have to admit you are feeling a little like 'Aladdin' because his departure, no matter the circumstances, has truly opened a whole new world for you and your chosen SEC team.