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Sugar Bowl now an interesting game

NEW ORLEANS -- Just when you thought a week in New Orleans was going to be nice and quiet ... Urban Meyer is gone!

Do you remember where you were when Urban Meyer announced his resignation? I was sitting in my New Orleans hotel room in front of my laptop and nearly swallowed my tongue. Some of you guys might recall that I asked Meyer on Dec. 6 during a Sugar Bowl teleconference about his health entering the Sugar Bowl. The teleconference moderator (a Sugar Bowl guy) would not let Meyer answer the question because, according to the moderator, only questions could be asked about the Sugar Bowl. Looking back, that was a pretty important question.

Meyer's health since the Gators' loss to Alabama has been a major concern to the Meyer family. He has had chest pains, reportedly, and the cyst on his brain needs to addressed. If Meyer has brain surgery at Shands, he would be in recovery for several months. Here's hoping everything turns out OK with Meyer. I can't imagine what he's going through right now.

I've spoken with about a dozen people in the last three hours about the state of UF football. I'll have two stories in tomorrow's paper. One will be about Meyer sudden resignation and another story will be about recruits and the coaching search. Here's what I know right now...

1. UF's South Florida recruits told me on Saturday that they are still committed to Florida but will wait and see who athletics director Jeremy Foley hires before signing with Florida on Feb. 4. Miami Booker T. Washington receiver Quinton Dunbar said that he will probably de-commit if UF hires a run-oriented coach. Dunbar said if UF hires Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech then he's gone. That made me laugh.

2. UF quarterback recruit Trey Burton of Venice High is already text messaging UF commitments in the hopes of reassuring recruits. One UF commitment received a text from Burton that read, "Everything is going to be OK."

3. One source close to Foley told me that Charlie Strong might have been a candidate had he not left for Louisville. Another coach who would have been at the top of Foley's wish list had he not already been hired: Brian Kelly.

4. Dan Mullen's name has already surfaced as a possible replacement for Meyer but Mullen only has one year of head coaching experience.

5. Is Meyer basically taking extended sick leave? Does this mean UF is still on the hook for $4 million a year? This is an important question that needs answering on Sunday. UF officials would not return phone messages on Saturday.

6. Steve Spurrier? Not a chance.

-jo-

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