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"Covering College Football Coaching from Miami to Honolulu"







Age:  44

School:  Florida

Alma Mater:  Cincinnati, 1986

Conference:  SEC

Salary:  $3,400,000

Official Bio:

Years Coaching:  7

Career Record:  70 - 16  .814

Years at School:  3

Record at Florida:  31 - 8   .795

2007 Record:  9 - 4   .692

2007 Cost per Win:  $376,000




December 2008 Buyout:  $3,000,000


Year School Record Bowl
2001 Bowling Green 8-3  
2002 Bowling Green 9-3  
2003 Utah 10-2 Liberty
2004 Utah 12-0 Fiesta
2005 Florida 9-3 Outback
2006 Florida 13-1 BCS Nat'l Champ.
2007 Florida 9-4 Capital One
Career   70-16 .814
  Florida 31-8 .795


Date Opponent Location 2008 CHS Prediction Result
8/30/08 Hawaii Gainesville, FL W  
9/06/08 Miami Gainesville, FL W  
9/20/08 at Tennessee Knoxville, TN W  
9/27/08 Ole Miss Gainesville, FL W  
10/04/08 at Arkansas Fayetteville, AR W  
10/11/08 LSU Gainesville, FL W  
10/25/08 Kentucky Gainesville, FL W  
11/01/08 Georgia Jacksonville, FL L  
11/08/08 at Vanderbilt Nashville, TN W  
11/15/08 South Carolina Gainesville, FL W  
11/22/08 Citadel Gainesville, FL W  
11/29/08 at Florida State Tallahassee, FL W  
   Coaches Hot Seat Prediction   11-1  


Coaches Hot Seat Analysis

Urban Meyer has been on a rocket ship to the top of the college football since he took over at Bowling Green in 2001, but before he was ever a head coach, Meyer spent 13 years as an assistant and during that time he laid the groundwork and prepared himself well for the whirlwind that he has now created.  One of the most important things for young coaches that have the goal of being a head coach on the I-A level is to make sure they are prepared for the opportunity when it arrives.  Ronald Shapiro in his great book Dare to Prepare lays out in a series of stories with high achievers the importance of preparing in every important facet of our lives, and that Senaca (1st AD Roman philosopher) was very right when he said, "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."  Urban Meyer was certainly prepared to be a head coach when he took over at Bowling Green, but a very personal experience by a couple of us here at Coaches Hot Seat really brought home what a different coach Meyer really is.  Two of us were in Salt Lake City on business in early September of 2004 and we decided to catch the opening game of Utah's second year under Meyer, which was against a Texas A&M team coached by Dennis Franchione.  In '03 Meyer took Utah to College Station and almost beat A&M on one of the last plays of the game, and we were interested to see how much Meyer had improved the Utes and if Franchione had righted the ship at A&M.  We had very good seats near the field, and almost from the opening kickoff Utah dominated Texas A&M and made the Aggies look like they had not even bothered to have a fall practice.  We left that stadium that night convinced that Urban Meyer was for real and that Franchione was in deep trouble at A&M.  Of course, Meyer would lead Utah to a 12-0 record in 2004 with a whipping of Big East champion Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, and only a few days later he started his next job in Gainesville.  It was quite a climb from the receivers coach at Notre Dame in 2000 to the head coach at Florida in 2004, but Urban Meyer was prepared for that huge jump, and at 44 years of age his head coaching career is really just getting started.


The challenge for Urban Meyer and Florida going forward will be dealing with the incredible difficulty that now faces all coaches in the SEC.  If Meyer had taken the Notre Dame job in 2004, he would only have Southern Cal, Michigan, and Michigan State to deal with on a yearly basis, and with the talent that the Irish can recruit, the landscape of college football would probably look a lot different right now if Urban Meyer was living in South Bend.  Just getting to the Championship Game in the SEC is tremendously difficult now and Florida is going to have to play much better in the coming years than they did in 2007 to meet the challenges that only get more difficult each day, as every SEC coach continues to build his football program.  We would guess that if Meyer is able to take Florida to 3 SEC Championship Games in the next 7 years he will have done a very good job, and as we now know if you can win the SEC you have a very good chance at winning the National Title.  As far as beyond the next 7 seasons, after the 2014 season when Meyer will only be 50 years of age, we fully expect Meyer to move onto the last phase of his head coaching career which will almost certainly be a move back to the Midwest to coach at Notre Dame or Ohio State.  No one can predict what is going to happen at Notre Dame over the next few years, and Jim Tressel will only be 62 in 2014, but we do seem to recall a statement by Meyer just after he took the Florida job that (paraphrasing) "This is not the last job of my life."  Wherever Urban Meyer is the head coach at 7 years from now, we are certain that he will be having a dynamic impact upon that football program, but for the meantime it is going to great fun to watch Meyer and the Gators play against all these other great coaches and teams in the SEC. 


Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line

We predict that Urban Meyer and Florida will have a 11-1 record in 2008.  With seven games in The Swamp in '08 and only 3 trips out of the state of Florida, 2008 is setting up to be a big year for the Gators and Urban Meyer.  The opening game should be a fascinating one with Hawaii traveling to Gainesville to take their second straight beating from a SEC team.  This is not one of those pitiful I-AA matchups to open the season, and the Gators will be fired up to lay another whipping on the Warriors.  With Greg McMackin taking over at Hawaii, we will be interested to see the changes in the Warriors, but whatever they do, this game is going to be a win for Florida.  The Gators are 1-0 after one.  Week 2 is another interesting game as Randy Shannon brings the Miami Hurricanes to The Swamp.  To us this looks like a repeat of Miami's trip to Oklahoma in '07, and we see the Gators getting a solid win to run their record to 2-0.  Game 3 is annually one of the best games in the SEC, as Florida travels to Knoxville to play the Vols.  This will be a huge game for Phil Fulmer to get Tennessee off to a good start in the SEC, and Fulmer will know that a loss to the Gators will only turn the heat up a little more, as if it could get any hotter!  We see a very close game with Tebow's experience and Florida's speed being the difference, and the Gators get the win and take their record to 3-0.  In week 4 Houston Nutt brings his Ole Miss Rebels to Gainesville and this is the type of game where Meyer's teams usually struggle (against SEC teams with less talent), but the crowd and the talent at Florida will just be to much for the Rebels.  Florida is 4-0 after four games.  Week 5 is a very interesting game with a trip to Fayetteville to play Arkansas and Bobby Petrino.  By game five we believe Petrino will have the Razorbacks playing some pretty good football, but they won't have enough for the Gators.  Florida beats Arkansas by about 10 points, and they run their record to 5-0.  A monster game is next in week 6 as the defending National Champions LSU visit Gainesville for a must win game for both teams.  LSU has a lot of talent back on both sides of the ball, but experience and the home field should give the Gators just enough of an advantage to get the win.  In a thriller, Florida beats LSU to take their record to 6-0.  Rich Brooks and Kentucky visit Gainesville for game 7, and this will probably be a lackluster and sloppy win for Meyer and the Gators as they try to recover from their battle with LSU.  After seven games, the Gators are 7-0.  Week 8 against Georgia is the game of the year for Florida, and probably for the Bulldogs as well.  Urban Meyer is 2-1 against Mark Richt and Georgia, but the Bulldogs will need this game to keep their conference and national title hopes alive, and in a very close game we see Georgia getting the win.  After eight games, Florida is 7-1.  A very tough trip to Nashville to play Vanderbilt is up next and Meyer will need to get his Gators up after a devastating loss to Georgia.  In a very close game through three quarters, the Gators pull away in the 4th to get the win and run their record to 8-1.  Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks come calling in Gainesville in week 10, and the talent level between these two teams will be the difference maker.  The Gators should beat South Carolina pretty good, and Steve Spurrier will no doubt be wondering if he is now at place where even he cannot win the SEC title (and Spurrier is one of the greatest coaches in the game in the last 50 years).  After ten games, Florida is 9-1.  The Citadel is up next for the Gators and Florida beats the hell out of the Citadel to run their record to 10-1.  The final game of the season against FSU is an interesting one, because we believe this will be Bobby Bowden's last regular season game as a head coach.  In a great game, we see Florida and Tebow getting the win in the 4th quarter to take their 2008 regular season record to 11-1.


Whether 11-1, and only 1 SEC loss, will be good enough to win the SEC East is still to be determined by the folks here at Coaches Hot Seat that cover the SEC, but we have to believe that Georgia will have least one SEC loss when they play Florida in early November.  If both Georgia and Florida leave the "Cocktail Party" in Jacksonville with only one loss, then Georgia's win in that game would almost certainly send the Bulldogs to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.  11-1 would be a great season, but with the bogus BCS, Florida would probably be locked out of the National Title game, and we will just have another reason to put the BCS on the trash heap of history.


2008 Coaches Hot Seat Prediction:        11-1


Will Urban Meyer be back for the 2009 season?      YES








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