Is Urban Meyer the Best Florida Gators Football Coach Ever? We May Find Out Soon!

by Pete
(Gainesville, Florida)

Heeeeerrrrreeeee COME THE GATORS!!! Our Coach he has a first name, its U-R-B-A-N, our coach he has a second name it’s M-E-Y-E-R, We love to watch him coach all day, and if you ask us why we’ll say…Cause Urban Meyer has a way with F-L-O-R-I-D-A!!!

I never thought I’d see the day when a man would come to Gainesville and come anywhere near rivaling the popularity of Steve Spurrier. After all, Spurrier put the University of Florida football program on the proverbial map during his tenure. That day has come however, and now there is a man who has the chance to usurp Spurrier’s place on Florida’s football program pedestal.

See, Steve Spurrier was not only a Hall of Fame caliber coach here in Gainesville, but he was also a Heisman trophy winning quarterback as a Gator as well. He brought in 6 SEC Championships, and/but just one national championship.

Enter Urban Meyer; Meyer, in just his second season, led the Gators to the promised land, showing versatility as a coach by phasing his offensive in doses, rather than revamping it immediately and throwing the incumbent players from the Zook regime out of whack. He used his recruit, Tim Tebow as a tool to work in elements of his preferable style of offense, but kept Chris Leak in his comfort zone, allowing him to play his best season as a Gator. Urban Meyer is quickly becoming much more than an Urban Legend here in Gainesville—can he possibly leapfrog Steve Spurrier as the most popular figure in Gator Nation?

Well, for one, consider the state of our program when Spurrier took over in 1990—still reeling from the scandal that ended with the program vacating it’s only National Title in 1981—Spurrier took a struggling, defamed program, restored its integrity (running up the score excepted), and helped vault it into prominence. Also, though he only won 1 championship in his tenure, it WAS the first, and it DID come at the expense of our favorite team to beat not named Tennessee. Needless to say, it will take more than 1 national title for Meyer to surpass Spurrier.

That being said, consider the here and now for Meyer; he has already won a national title, after a decade of sub par seasons (by our standards), and in the midst of an ever-growing disillusionment with the direction of the program. This year, with many experts putting the Gators square on the BCS Championship Game radar, is the year for Urban Meyer to seize the throne.

The first championship had many recruits from the Ron Zook era—even though the general sentiment was that Zook was a poor X-and-O’s guy, he was never criticized for his recruiting, so being that many of his recruits helped win that title, it can be somewhat diminished, objectively speaking. This year is different; Meyer’s prized recruit Tim Tebow, along with guys who he alone has developed, will run down that tunnel and take the field for the Gators. This year, Meyer’s full vision, his system, his players, will be there for all to see—no more question marks or asterisks.

If Urban Meyer can lead the Gators back to the BCS championship game, or at minimum win the SEC Championship, talks of a statue, Ring of Honor space, a street named, ALL of it will commence, and rightfully so. Steve Spurrier laid the foundation for a top tier program; he ingrained a tradition of winning. Urban Meyer has begun the process of building up from that foundation. I think I speak for Gator Nation when I say, Gator Walk is as excellent a tradition as any we’ve ever had in Gainesville—of course the Gator Chomp, Gator Growl, and Mr. Two Bits are right up there!

Every legendary program has needed more than one man to sustain a winning tradition, even if the program experienced a period of mediocrity. In Michigan, Bo Schembechler, then Lloyd Carr….Woody Hayes and now Jim Tressel in Columbus…John McKay to Pete Carroll in Southern California…the list goes on. Florida has yet to become a program of legendary status as that is something that requires decades of sustained success; however, the future starts NOW! It is not to say that less than a championship this season or the next would be a failure, after all winning a championship in the current format is no easy task.

All I am saying is that from 8/30/08 on…we will know for sure if Urban Meyer is the real deal—I tend to think so.

Comments for Is Urban Meyer the Best Florida Gators Football Coach Ever? We May Find Out Soon!

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Aug 26, 2008
You think
by: Shane

Urban is the best coach you guys have in my honest opinion. This is a very good post Pete and I laughed my butt off at the beginning. Goodluck to your Gators.

Aug 27, 2008
Meyer/Spurrier Tied for MOST CLASSLESS COACH EVER!
by: Neal

Greatest my ass! He is a crybaby, and has no class. He runs the score up on teams just like his predecessor, who is equally classless.
When Meyer doesn't get his way, he wets his pants. I am glad that he is pissed about My Dawgs celebration last year. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, and he knows it. The idea was brilliant on Richt's part. Meyer can talk about revenge all that he wants to. I am sure that he has another classless stunt to pull this year. It would be great to see an opposing player come toward Meyer on the sidelines, and knock his ass into next week! For a Bulldog to do it would be even better.
F--- Meyer!

Aug 27, 2008
by: Pete

Do you find the irony in how ignorant and classless YOU sound? See, we are not the only ones in the nation who run up the score...there is a system in place (which is irrelevant in Georgia since your Dawgs are usually irrelevant by the end of the season) that pretty much requires it if you want to maximize your chances at the title. Our players, coaches, and fans are infinitely more classy than punks like you who's intellect only allows for a profanity laced tirade, rather than a coherent productive rebuttal. Thanks for showing how much better our fan base is, you represent well.

Aug 28, 2008
Maybe, But It'll Take Longer Than That
by: David

I don't understand where you're getting "vacating it’s only National Title in 1981". What national title?
Regardless, I don't think you can crown him as best at Florida until he's demonstrated sustained success for several years. Many coaches have started strong but have been unable to sustain success. Spurrier is among the best all-time SEC coaches if you consider winning percentage over a substantial length of time (82% over 12 years at Florida). Anyway, I'll agree that Meyer shows the potential to be among the best but he's not been around long enough to prove it. Also, though we all want them for our teams, national championships are a poor metric. Look at LSU last year. There's a lot of dependency on what everyone else in the country does.
I'll also disagree with you in the respect that, despite the scandal, I think the program was in pretty decent shape when Spurrier took over. He continued an ascent that had already been started. He took it to the next level with 4 straight SEC championships. (Look up the records for the prior years).

Aug 28, 2008
by: Pete

I meant SEC title in 1984...and there was no ascent before Spurrier, the previous two coaches BOTH had NCAA violations, and the few years prior to Spurrier they didn't finish above 7-5. The '84 one-loss season is a wash because of the violations. Anytime a program is in the midst of NCAA violations, it is tough to build a winner, especially as fast as Spurrier did.

For you to say national titles are a poor metric is foolish...why do they play each season? What is the ultimate goal? National Championship, period. It only depends on the rest of the nation if you don't seize control of your own destiny, Auburn was a rare exception, but if you go undefeated, you're probably gonna be in.

As for Urban Meyer, of course it's going to take time, perhaps you did not comprehend what I wrote...I did not say he IS better than Spurrier, I am contending that he is definitely in position to make that happen, especially considering Spurrier is now an intra-divisional enemy.

Sep 08, 2008
by: David

I’ll retract the ascension comment. I actually meant it more generally than just the preceding 4 years but I’ll stand by that the program was in decent shape despite the scandal. That’s subjective I guess, but technically 7-5 (58.3%) in 1989 was better than Florida’s all-time percentage to that point (451-326-39, 57.7%) so they were ascending ;). It’s not worth debating further, though. In case you missed it, I commended Spurrier as one of the best (and I’m a Tennessee fan).

“For you to say national titles are a poor metric is foolish” – No. The statement was made in context of evaluating coaching success, for which there are many metrics. Les Miles could only control what his team did. To elevate Miles (who has no one-loss or better seasons) above all the coaches who’ve had one-loss, no loss seasons, and even unscored upon seasons, but with no NC, ONLY because of an incredible chain of events over which Miles had no control would be “foolish”. I’m not saying NCs are totally irrelevant, just not at the top of the list. You want your coach to put you in position to win the championship (which is done by winning) and perform when he gets that opportunity. If Nebraska(?) hadn’t of lost in 96 and Spurrier hadn’t of gotten the NC, would that make him less of a coach. BTW, Florida hasn’t gone undefeated since 1911 and never perfect ;) They were fortunate to be in position to get the titles in both 96 and 06. IMO, both were deserved, though.

“why do they play each season?” – Why do Vandy, Kentucky, etc. play each season with little chance to win the NC? There must be some other value.

“perhaps you did not comprehend what I wrote” – You wrote “We May Find Out Soon!” and “This year … is the year for Urban Meyer to seize the throne.” - leading to my comment that it will take time (more than one year, which is what you wrote). Again, I believe that if Meyer stays long enough, he has a good chance, thus agreeing with your main point. I base my opinion upon the similarity of Meyer’s record to other good coaches who have been able to have sustained success at a high level.

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