GAINESVILLE -- And those two words are "fine job!"
Whoever you are, nice work on Sunday night keeping everyone on topic and running a streamlined teleconference with Florida coach Urban Meyer and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. When three reporters strayed off topic and, you know, asked questions people actually care about, you were there to keep everyone focused on the meaningless Sugar Bowl match up of Florida vs. Cincinnati. If ever there was an award for teleconference moderators going beyond the call of duty, you would win it.
First, Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel tried to ask Meyer about his health and his hospital visit on Sunday morning. The teleconference moderator cut Fowler off before Meyer could answer, reminding Fowler that only questions pertaining to the Sugar Bowl could be asked. Before the teleconference began Mr. No Fun informed reporters they could only ask questions about the Sugar Bowl. Then it was the Miami Herald's turn to get shot down. I asked Meyer, "Going into the Sugar Bowl, how is your health?" Cheeky, I know. Again, no dice. The all-time MVP of teleconference tyranny spiked the question.
Later, another reporter asked Kelly how rumors regarding the open coaching position at Notre Dame might affect his team's preparation for the Sugar Bowl -- a valid question if there ever was one. Once again, the teleconference cop was on the case. Kelly didn't have an opportunity to answer the question.
Luckily for everyone involved, some important questions were allowed. Will Carlos Dunlap be available for the bowl game? Meyer said that a decision hasn't been made. He indicated that UF athletics director Jeremy Foley would have to make the final call. Foley will likely be under direct orders from UF president Bernie Machen, who has a strict no-tolerance policy for Florida students who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. In many cases, Florida students are kicked out of school for a semester for a DUI.
Another important question: Will UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong be around to coach the bowl game? Strong interviewed for the head coaching position at Louisville on Sunday evening, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Meyer said that Strong will likely not coach in the bowl game if he is hired for the position. Reading between the lines, Strong was not offered the job on Sunday. If Louisville takes its time in hiring a coach, this could be a problem for the Gators. Some could argue that it already has been a major problem. Not me, of course. I think Alabama just got lucky.