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Something new: A columnist hating on Meyer; Guess what, Finebaum, Meyer isn't leaving

GAINESVILLE -- No one will ever accuse Mobile Press-Register hack Paul Finebaum of being original.

Never the contrarian, always the follower, Finebaum is the most recent opinionista to lash out at Florida coach Urban Meyer for, what I like to call, not being Southern enough. Here's a link to Finebaum's column, which postulated today that Meyer will leave Florida after this season for Notre Dame. (Who is Finebaum anyway, you ask? A radio personality in Alabama. Always consider the audience when you read something, including this.)

I have to admit, I've thought about this very same thing a few times over the past month. Will Meyer leave for Notre Dame after Tebow leaves? Admit it, Gators fans. Every single one of you has thought about this scenario. While most believe that Meyer will eventually coach at Notre Dame, I don't think it's going to be next year ... if ever. Here's why:

1. Meyer will be at the height of his powers come January after he has taken yet another team to a national championship game. Meyer's current contract, about $3.5 million per, runs through 2013. Given the current economic climate, there is no hurry to renegotiate that contract, according to people in the know, and the timeline for a new deal likely points to after this season. While nothing is guaranteed in the world of college football, UF's 2009 season is the next best thing. Meyer will have plenty of leverage come the second week of January 2010 (the one-week window Meyer and his agent can talk to other schools, assuming UF plays in the title game). UF might not win the national title, but the Gators will get to Pasadena. What does that mean? A hefty raise for Meyer and iconic job security.

2. Sure, Meyer will lose Tebow and the Gators' cached stockpile of defensive weapons after this season but UF isn't going away and neither is Meyer. The cupboard isn't bare, folks. Far from it. Back-up quarterback John Brantley might be the third best quarterback in the SEC this season. (An idea I first tossed out while watching Brantley this spring.) On defense, there will not be much of a drop off at middle linebacker when Brandon Spikes leaves. Jon Bostic is that good. And, oh yeah, UF might sign one of the best recruiting classes on record in February.

3. Back to job security. From a purely pragmatic perspective, Meyer would be wise to stick around in Gainesville for at least the next four years. Let's pick a number out of the hat. If Meyer receives a $1 million raise after this season, giving him a contract worth about $4.5 million per year (a low estimate, if you ask me), he could stick around in Gainesville for a few more years and then negotiate an enormous college contract with whomever he likes.

4. Meyer and his family like Gainesville and like living in Florida, where recruiting is a regional business. Meyer is a family man. Coaching at Notre Dame, and having to recruit nationally, would limit Meyer's time with his family dramatically.

5. People assume Meyer will eventually coach at Notre Dame. Why? Because Meyer called it his "dream job." Big deal. In observing Meyer for the past three years, I know one thing for sure about the man. He is anything but a dreamer. And, sure, he's got a hefty ego, but what football coach -- from the local Pop Warner league to the NFL -- doesn't? What are the odds of Meyer turning Notre Dame into a national champion? I don't know, but I know the odds are better of Meyer winning future national titles if he sticks around at Florida. That's why he came to UF in the first place, remember? He already turned down Notre Dame once.

6. All this conjecture assumes that Notre Dame wants to fire Charlie Weis. Notre Dame doesn't want to fire Charlie Weis. Not yet, anyway. Weis returns a talented team this season, including a veteran quarterback and a veteran offensive line. The schedule sets up well for the Irish to make a run at the BCS.

-jo-

Comments

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Good post, jo, I totally agree.

**(Who is Finebaum anyway, you ask? A radio personality in Alabama. Always consider the audience when you read something, including this.)**

I read in another blog that not only is this the case as to this particular article, but Finebaum rants about Meyer leaving the Gators all the time on the radio program, especially whenever the Gators are on a roll or are in the news.

Strong Jo, How many times does Urban have to say no?

He'll get richer at UF. He'll win more at UF. He'll get to recruit the fertile south at UF. He'll get exposure in the biggest and richest conference at UF. He won't freeze his nutz off all winter long at UF.

No brainer. Spare me the off the cuff "dream job" comment. Urban's next stop will likely be at the Patriots after BB steps down. That would definitely be the path where the most money and championships lie.

Even when Notre Dame is good, they are bad. Screw ND.

That's ok -JO- and Adam S. when Urban the Prison Warden leaves for South Bend you guys can cry on each others shoulders....hahahahaha.

'87 Canes, the difference between the Us and the Gates is we both want there coach to leave and they want our coaches to stay.

Omeganole:

Good one. Particularly for a Nole!

Well said(written) and spot on argument....sorry Canes, the Gators and Meyer are here to stay....

Great rebuttal! Finebaum is a Vol Grad and lives in Alabama and pretty much hates on everybody at one time or another, but particularly hates UF. He even has a line of books out called " I hate ______(insert one of 40 college teams,) 303 reasons you should to". He is a really nasty person. When he dies they try to bury him, the ground will probably throw him up!

If you can't beat um try to run the coach out of town.....

The biggest factor against Notre Shame is Meyer's son. Meyer does not want to travel to recruit for Notre Dame while his kid is still living with him.

After a few more years in Florida during the winter, Meyer will never wish to live through those midwestern blizzards again anyway (I know -- I'm a UF undergrad; Chicago MBA, and I live in Florida forever now!!).

Who cares anyway? Florida always seems to have a good team no matter who is coaching there. It is a good school with a good football tradition so good coaches will always be in the mix. It is just Jeremy Foley who is the chicken s*** who won't schedule anyone but St. Mary's girls school for a nonconference game. They have to start playing legitimate national nonconference teams to earn real respect. A loss to Ole Miss at home? Give me a break. Can't wait for the Charleston Southern game.

I have never once thought about that scenario until you brought it up. Now that I have, it makes no sense. He turned ND down before, so I really don't understand why anyone would think he would want to go up there now: in the few years in between, UF is even a better job than it was at that time; and ND is a worse one.

Reasons he might want to go to ND:

More money?
Higher profile?
Better chance to win championships?
The weather?

Unlikely, not any more, no, and no.

Nick Saban and Butch Davis enough said. What else is he suppose to say. "I want to leave Florida!" Don't think it can never happen.

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