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