Published December 12, 2010 - 10:24am
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As soon as Urban Meyer stepped down, everyone at Florida was calling for Bob Stoops to be the next head coach at Florida. GatorCountry.com reported that Stoops was 98% a done deal on Saturday, and he had an offer in hand. Then, they retracted on the 98% and said the percentage was based on a personal feeling and that it was not supposed to be mentioned in the post. The Gators fully expected Stoops to take the offer Monday or Tuesday. He didn’t show up for pressers, and he would not return anyone’s phone calls. Gators think they have their man.
Chris Petersen was also mentioned as to being the possible head coach if Stoops turned the job down. Contingency plans were thought to run through Boise, Idaho.
Yesterday afternoon, there was a report from TulsaWorld.com about Bob Stoops denying the contract negotiations with Florida via text.
“Not true, whatsoever,” Stoops replied in a text to the Tulsa World when informed of the online story that originated in Florida. “Wow, they have a bad informant.”
There was another report that Chris Petersen and Boise had shot down rumors about accepting the job at Florida.
So, Florida’s top two coaches were out, it seemed.
Enter Will Muschamp – the Gators made things interesting with the hire. Debating whether he’s qualified or not, that will be for a different time. However, Foley said Muschamp was the targeted guy the whole time, and the guy he wanted from the beginning.
I will bet my boots that Gator AD Jeremy Foley made his first call to Stoops to gauge interest. Stoops either said he wasn’t interested in the job right off or he mulled over it a day or two. Either way, Stoops garnered all the attention in Norman – and on “Gator insider” message boards – taking the pressure and the nation’s eyes off Florida and Jeremy Foley. Then, Stoops, when appropriate, shot down the rumors via text to TulsaWorld.com that he is not coming to Florida. Was it strategic timing? Was Stoops creating a smoke screen for the country and his archenemy Texas, allowing Florida to steal their coach in waiting inconspicuously and create a massive meltdown in Austin? I think so – talk about kicking them while down!
No one saw this coming, not even Texas. The Gators just messed with Texas and won!