Saturday, December 26, 2009

Florida's shifting sands . .

Is it . . .

Bob Stoops?

Chris Peterson?

Jon Gruden?

Kyle Whittingham?

Will Muschamp?

Dan Mullen?

Bill Cowher?

Which way will Florida turn to replace Urban Meyer? It won't aim low. Like Alabama, the school has made its 'loyal-assistant" mistake. It won't Ron Zook-it again. So don't look for Charlie Strong to turn the moving van around, or Dan Mullen to bolt Starkville.

Florida needs a big name like Stoops or Peterson or Gruden to rally a shell-shocked fan base, hold together one of the country's best recruiting classes, and successfully launch Gator Nation into the uncertainty of a Post-Tebow World.

Three weeks ago, the Gators had surged to the cusp of a third national championship in four years. Then they lost badly to Alabama. They said goodbye to a century player and team. Now their century coach follows them out the door.

There was something about Meyer's demeanor as the enormity of the Alabama loss bore down that clearly indicated he was struggling terribly with failure. By the end, he looked drained, shrunken. Meyer was hospitalized after the game. Sports Illustrated had earlier revealed the cyst on his brain. At 45, he's walking away from the sport that defined and consumed him, walking away, perhaps, while he still can.

We wish him well. And once again we're reminded that there's very little in life firmly set in stone. Three weeks ago, Meyer was at the controls of college football's burgeoning dynasty. Now, in a manner of days, the team has lost its greatest player and perhaps its greatest coach.

Seldom have the sands shifted so quickly and taken so much.

Michael Gordon


Anonymous said...

Florida will pick up the pieces and move on. Whoever it is will have a loaded ship of talent. Don't worry the Gators will continue their excellence in football. The Gators are not going anywhere.

Peter from Georgia said...

Mike, Despite CUM's turn-about, I think your next to last sentence still holds true. When and if he returns, he won't be the same coach.