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Tebow wins second Maxwell Award; Talks about Mullen

LAKE BUENA VISTA-- Tebow became just the second repeat winner of the Maxwell Award on Thursday at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney World's Boardwalk.

Tebow also was given a Spirit Award from Disney for his work as a missionary. Tebow flies to New York City on Friday for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. 

UF linebacker Brandon Spikes was named to the Walter Camp All-America team. FSU coach Bobby Bowden was given a lifetime achievement award from the National College Football Awards Association.

Tebow answered a few questions about UF offensive coordinator Dan Mullen on Thursday. He said that Mullen wants to coach UF in the bowl game but the decision is up to Meyer, who apparently hasn't decided just yet.

"I know he's going to be busy with recruiting and everything," Tebow said.

MEYER NAMES HIS DREAM JOB: NOTRE DAME
UF coach Urban Meyer told Jim Mandich of AM 560 WQAM (Miami radio) on Wednesday that Notre Dame is his dream job. Before you jump off a building, read the transcript of the quote and tell me what you think.

MANDICH: I think a lot of people were fascinated that you were looking at Notre Dame and the University of Florida and you turned down, what at one time was your dream job.  Take us through that again and what was behind your thinking.

MEYER: Well, Florida was already in the 11th hour.  We met twice with Jeremy Foley and my wife, we were very drawn to Florida.  Notre Dame is still my dream job and that hasn't changed.  It's just that the time in my life that, to be the head football coach at Notre Dame, you're on the plane recruiting because you recruit San Diego as hard as you recruit New York as hard as you recruit California, Florida, Texas, Ohio...it's a national recruiting base.  I recruited there for 6 years and I spent every night in a hotel, in an airport and I'm going to be a good father first.

Once my kids are done, maybe some day I'll go coach.  I don't know that, that's way down the road.  Being a father and being able to recruit the best athletes in America within a five-hour radius of my home, that's why I came to Florida and I thought we could have a great chance at success.

-jo-

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I fully expect Urban to go to ND at some point and always have. I actually think it may be as soon as 2010, IF Weis has another bad year and is fired. It would coincide with Tebow graduating. Of course, I pray that Urban never leaves, but it is certainly possible.

ESPN's bottom line, according to Adam M., just said that Mullen has received permission from Miss. St. to participate in the BCS title game and also wants to, but it is up to Urban to decide in what capacity.

While all of what you wrote might be true, it seems a bit odd that Meyer would actually come out and say it.

-jo-

I think the opposite. I think Notre Dame is so far removed from Urban's mind that he doesn't feel the need to be guarded about the topic. He loves the school, loves the football program, loves the tradition, etc, but he's the coach at Florida and he has no plans of leaving any time soon. Notre Dame might happen one day when he's looking for a new challenge, but UF is his past, his present, and his future at the moment.

IMO, barring some major turn of events, he'll be the UF head coach until at least 2019, when his last kid graduates high school. And by then, for all we know, Notre Dame will already have settled on a long-term head coach. Or Urban will have established a legacy and a dynasty at UF and he'll have no interest in leaving. I really think talk about Urban going to ND is silly. It's not happening any time soon.

Urban Meyer's next stop will be in the NFL. All great college coaches believe, in their heart of hearts that they can make their "stuff" work at the highest level of the game and that's the NFL.

Unfortunately, only one coach has been able to make the leap from the college game to the NFL and find great success and that's Jimmy Johnsone. He went to the NFL when there was no salary cap and worked for an owner ready to do three things - spend, spend and then spend some more.

Two of the greatest offensive minds in college football couldn't make it work and that's Steve Spurrier and Dennis Erickson. Surprising that Spurrier failed considering he was a backup QB in the NFL for so many years.

Butch Davis was an oustanding defensive coach at UM before going to Dallas with Johnson where they found great success together. He later returned to Miami and recruited the Hurricanes out of NCAA probation and back to national prominence. Things didn't go well for him with the Cleveland Browns and there were rumors he was stricken with panic attacks during his time there.

No telling how long Urban Meyer will stay at UF. But there will be a handfull of NFL head coaching vacancies after the season ends and Meyer's phone will ring.

The question is, will he answer? After winning a national title at UF with the team he totally recruited, there will be nothing more to prove at the college level.

Ed

Ed, while I respect your opinion and you make some great points, I disagree. Yes, the NFL is in every coach's mind as a challenge, just like the NBA is in every NCAA basketball coaches' mind.

The difference is now college coaches are making the type of money that a jump to the NFL really is not significant or glamorous anymore. Aside from the salary, these coaches get literally everything else taken care of for them (especially at a school like Florida in a town like Gainesville.) Rather than being just a coach in a city, these guys are the KINGS of the schools they represent.

Furthermore, one of the things Meyer loves most about coaching is the family atmosphere, turning kids' lives around and making these guys into men. That just doesn't happen on the NFL level, it is a completely different ballgame.

Where Meyer also differs, I believe, is while he surely believes he can make his stuff work at the pro level, he doesn't want to. All of his idols have stayed in the college ranks. He is not just a football coach, he is a college football coach. He wants to be like Holtz, Bowden, Paterno, Bryant. And the examples you provided of Spurrier, Davis and Erickson just further my point that he won't make that leap.

The man is from Ohio where college football is, was and always will be king. It is not an accident that so many successful college coaches come out of that state.

To josh's point, I agree with your reasoning about him staying until his last kid graduates high school. But 2019 is a LONG ways away. Plenty can change by then. Good post though.

Simply put, Notre Dame would be downgrade for Meyer regardless of how he feels about Touchdown Jesus. Fewer recruiting prospects, stiffer academic standards that keep out some top talent, no umpteen gazillion dollar football complex, really KRAPPY weather, no conference tie-in.

You can't win at Notre Dame like you can win at Florida. Bottom line.

What does the average NFL head coach pull down in salary these days? If Saban is in the five million dollar range, you'd have to think that Foley is already considering the increase for Meyer. I think the payday is the biggest factor in these coaches decisions. The NFL/college pay disparity is evaporating.

How much will UF pay Meyer to keep him a Gator long term? I think that is the most pertinent question. If he does leave, it won't be for Notre Dame.

Here's what I'm wondering: In Meyer's dream, can he get Torrey Davis into Notre Dame?

-jo-

jo, how bout some more info on Mullen? Since last night's ESPN bottom line thing about him wanting to contribute and Miss. St. giving him permission, what does Urban have to say?

I'm in New York with Tebow. Meyer won't get here until tomorrow.

-jo-

Oh. What is the murmur around the Heisman? Every projection (especially stiffarmtrophy.com) is pointing to Bradford, of course, which is really a shame. He is the least deserving behind Tebow and McCoy, who are equally deserving IMO.

Just got back from the trio's press conferences. Will blog something in a little while after I write my story for tomorrow's paper. Everyone here is assuming the vote will be one of the closest in the history of the award. Colt McCoy is already talking about competing for a national championship next season. It was good to see he wasn't bitter about how the Big 12 South champion was determined.

-jo-

Close vote means Tebow gets screwed as expected.

Late last night, The Blog received a call from The Boss-Man Rusty Hampton, who attended the Dan Mullen event at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. He spoke with Mullen at the event, and Mullen said he'll be coaching through the national championship game.

As of the time I wrote my story earlier that evening, it was still "a fluid situation." I wasn't around my laptop at the time, so Rusty called in and modified my story to reflect the news. Those changes, because of the late nature and our early deadlines because of weather, didn't make the story that went in the statewide edition of the newspaper or clarionledger.com.

Mullen reiterated that earlier this morning on the radio, telling Bo Bounds of SuperSport 930 in Jackson that "the plan is that i'm going to (coach through the national title game)."

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckPersona&U=eb82825636764f4aa16cbf6162c5177d&plckController=PersonaBlog&plckScript=personaScript&plckElementId=personaDest&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3aeb82825636764f4aa16cbf6162c5177dPost%3a5543cc07-a7d8-453a-8031-1338f108f7fe&sid=sitelife.clarionledger.com

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