There has been a lot of talk lately about the possibility of Urban Meyer heading to Notre Dame, especially since Steve Spurrier stirred that pot a few weeks back. Most of this talk has come from Georgia fans who are anxious to see the Urban Meyer era at Florida come to its conclusion as quickly as possible.
Heads up, people: Not gonna happen.
Of course, Florida was ahead of Notre Dame at every step of the way in the process of clearing the decks for Urban Meyer–courtesy of the surprise midseason firing of Ron Zook which was clearly calculated to put them out in front of Notre Dame in the Urban Meyer sweepstakes back in 2004.
But don’t think for a minute that Urban Meyer didn’t have his own reasons for choosing Florida over Notre Dame.
You see, Urban Meyer knew that Notre Dame is no longer relevant on the national football scene, and will never again be relevant in the way that they were back in the days when Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz were winning national championships there. (My apologies to all you Notre Dame fans out there. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?)
Why? Because the game of college football has changed significantly over the course of the last few years. Whereas the game used to favor bigger athletes who didn’t necessarily have a lot of speed–the kind that the Midwestern states produce in abundance–nowadays, the game favors smaller, faster athletes, who tend mainly to be from the South. Thus, schools located here in the South have greater access to these athletes, and in turn have a greater competitive advantage. This has been borne out over the course of the last decade whenever SEC and Big 10 schools have played each other; the SEC team’s advantage in speed has proven to be the deciding factor in these contests.
The advantage which SEC teams have in speed translates into a disadvantage for the Big 10. Notre Dame feels the full force of this disadvantage as well (even though they are an independent), because they are located in the same part of the country as the Big 10.
What this all adds up to is that anyone who accepts the assignment to coach at Notre Dame had better be able to recruit nationally–just for his team to be able to have a chance. Notre Dame’s exclusive deal with NBC used to give them an advantage here; this advantage has been diluted significantly by the fact that there are a lot more college football games on TV now than there were just a decade ago.
Urban Meyer knew all this. He also knew that at Florida, he would have access to an abundant supply of the finest high school football talent in the country. And he would not have to do nearly as much to keep this abundance of talent headed toward Gainesville–just keep winning consistently.
Urban Meyer knew that compared to Notre Dame, he would have a much cushier deal at Florida. Do you think in a million years that he is about to give that up? No indeed!!!!!
My fellow Georgia fans: I very much hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is perfectly clear that Florida owns Georgia and will continue to do so for years–perhaps decades–to come. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?