Wednesday’s stunning news that Urban Meyer would step down as the University of Florida’s coach following the Gators’ Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Penn State rocked college football.
Of course it was the second December in a row that Meyer said he was resigning as the Gators’ coach. Last year Meyer quit after a health scare, but he returned 24 hours later and said he would trim back his work schedule, although he really didn’t. This year Meyer says his decision is not health-related and that it’s final. He simply wants to spend more time with his family after missing out on most everything in the 24/7 job that is college football. But Meyer is only 46 and even he didn’t rule out coaching again at some point in the future. You can bank on that as he will be in high demand in both college and pro football every offseason.
Now Florida has to find someone to make Gator Nation happy, which won’t be easy considering Meyer’s incredible success in Gainesville – he was the first coach ever to win two BCS national championships in his six seasons. UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said he plans to make a hire in 2-3 weeks, ensuring the Gators have someone in place to recruit before National Signing Day on Feb. 2. Meyer, by the way, said he will continue to help recruit as long as he is with the program.
Bodog offers college football odds on whom the next Florida coach will be and there are clearly three big favorites. The leader in the clubhouse is Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. He was UF’s offensive coordinator under Meyer and has turned the Bulldogs around in his two seasons in Starkville. The school already has offered Mullen a new contract extension but no school in the nation can match money with Florida. It’s probably Mullen’s job if Bob Stoops says no.
Foley’s first call probably will be to Oklahoma’s Stoops, a defensive coordinator at Florida under Steve Spurrier. Foley tried to lure Stoops before he hired Meyer and Stoops did at least listen. He might be ready for a change of scenery at Oklahoma even though he has the Sooners back in a BCS bowl. The job is Stoops’ if he wants it.
Finally, another former Gator coordinator, Charlie Strong, is a bit of a longer shot to get the job. Strong, who coached the defense in Gainesville under Meyer, has been the head coach at Louisville for just one season but the Cards improved dramatically under him in 2010. Strong is known as a terrific recruiter as well. But he is most likely third in line at best behind Stoops and Mullen.
So who gets one of college football’s plum jobs? Bet on it with Bodog’s NCAA football odds.
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About Morris Mohawk Gaming Group
Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) is the exclusive licensee of the “Bodog” brand for online gaming services in the United States and is led by Alwyn Morris, Olympic gold medalist, Order of Canada recipient, noted Canadian sportsman, First Nations leader and former Associate Director for the Mohawk Council of Chiefs in Kahnawake. MMGG is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake – part of the seven communities that make up the Mohawk Nation – just outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to offer gaming services from Kahnawake to users worldwide. For more information, visit www.morrismohawk.com.
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