Published December 8, 2010 - 4:53pm
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Well, it’s December, so it’s time for the annual Urban Meyer retirement. Meyer joins Brett Favre and Jay-Z as the most frequent retirees in America. This only fuels the rumors that Meyer actually died after the Alabama game last year and has been replaced by a laid-back lookalike. It’s the exact plot from the movie Dave starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver.
Once again, the most attractive head coaching job in America is available. The new Head Coach at Florida will walk into $4 million a year, the most feared stadium in football, and recruiting backyard more fertile than Kate Gosselin loaded up on pregnancy hormones.
University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley will have no shortage of willing replacements. Here is the short list as I see it…
#1 – Chip Kelly
Kelly is the head coach of Oregon. The offensive genius has made Oregon the top program in the Pac-10 after only 2 seasons. His record as a head coach is 22-3. He’s currently prepping the Ducks for the BCS National Championship game.
Why he should: He’ll get to leave Oregon, which will always have built in difficulties when it comes to recruiting. He’ll get a chance to run his offense with the best athletes in the best conference in college football.
Why he won’t: Timing is a big hurdle. Will Florida be willing to wait mid-January for Kelly? Will the other names on Florida’s list be willing to wait?
#2 – Jon Gruden
This guy has won a Super Bowl in the state of Florida. He has been close with Urban Meyer and the University of Florida since he left Bucs. His name was floated after Meyer’s initial retirement. He brings a large variety of scowls and a surfer’s haircut from 1993. It was rumored that he accepted the Head Coach position at The U, and the other state school immediately got really nervous. He’d be deadly on the recruiting trail.
Why he should: He wouldn’t have to kill himself like he would in the NFL. There is plenty of stress at the college level, ask Meyer, but it’s not like NFL stress. Gruden would do very well at the college level and Florida would be the perfect fit.
Why he won’t: The Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, and Carolina Panthers will likely all be interested in Gruden. The NFL might be where his heart is and he’d have his pick of some nice jobs.
#3 – Chris Petersen
Chris Petersen has been winning games at Boise St, which I think is in Narnia. No coach has done so much with so little since… Urban Meyer. Peterson feels like Urban Meyer, and the rumor is Meyer himself recommended Peterson to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley.
Why he should: Like Kelly, it’s a chance to play with the big boys. He’s proven not to be a fluke by consistently beating more talented teams in bowl games. The idea of Peterson with Florida’s caliber of talent is exciting. It’s also a chance to escape the mythical land of Boise.
Why he won’t: He hasn’t left Boise yet, despite being targeted for other great jobs. Maybe he’s comfortable being the guy on the outside?
#4 – Dan Mullen
Mullen is the current head coach at Mississippi State and the former offensive coordinator at Florida under Meyer. He’s done a great job at arguably the worst job in the SEC including beating Meyer at the Swamp on October 16th. Even if he doesn’t get the Florida job, he won’t be at Mississippi State for long.
Why he should: He’d take the job if offered. He would be the fastest and smoothest transition.
Why he won’t: Somebody higher on the list accepts the job. Mullen would swim across the Gulf of Mexico for this job.
#5 – Bob Stoops
Stoops is the current head coach at Oklahoma and was the defensive coordinator for Florida’s first national championship team in 1996. He’s 128-31 as a head coach including the 2000 National Championship.
Why he should: He was at the top of Florida’s list in 2001 after Steve Spurrier went to the Washington Redskins and again after Ron Zook was fired, so Florida has shown plenty interest in the past. Each time Stoops got a raise from Oklahoma.
Why he won’t: He’s past his prime. I don’t think he’s still the top name on the Florida list.
Others Possible Candidates
Former Florida Head Coach Steve Spurrier, Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, New York Jets Offensive Coordinator and former Florida QB Brian Shottenheimer, Former Defensive Coordinator Charlie Strong, Jacksonville Head Coach and former Florida QB Kerwin Bell and absolute disaster Ron Zook (I’m totally kidding).
What do you think Gator fans? Who do you want to replace Meyer?