Top 10 Reasons To Hate Urban Meyer
“Oh, don’t even bring up Bianchi. He’s awful. He’s a hater. He hates Urban for some reason and I don’t know why.”
She went on to go over a list of reasons why Gator fans, and SEC fans in general, are meaner than our Big Ten counterparts. I understand the need for a coach’s wife to stand by her man, so to speak. But, clearly, she’s missing a detail or two in Meyer’s history. She was there when Urban left both Utah and Florida, right?
So, since she’s apparently forgotten, here are my top 10 reasons why it’s OK for Mike Bianchi, a Gator fan or any SEC fan to hate Urban Meyer.
- 10. Because we’ve been conditioned to hate Ohio State. Sure, we are no longer subjected to weekly sweater vests, a la Jim Tressel. But he’s coaching at his conference’s powerhouse institution. To reach the Big Ten championship, he must defeat worthy opponents like Purdue, Illinois and Indiana. Other than OSU vs Michigan this year, his only must-win is Wisconsin, since Penn State remains on a Bowl Ban. This makes us resent them while our teams play games like Florida vs Georgia and Alabama vs Texas A&M, week in and week out.
- 9. Because he left Florida in their greatest time of need. After years of riding high on recruited talent, Urban left Florida as much of their dominant talent was declaring for the NFL draft. The Gators had just lost the SEC Championship to Alabama under Nick Saban. Meyer quietly checked in to a hospital where he was treated for chest pains and dehydration. And three weeks later, he stepped down, citing a need to focus on his faith and health.
- 8. Because, after a year, he came back to coaching. And, instead of returning to Florida, he went to a high profile school in a rival conference. Enough said.
- 7. Because this wasn’t the first time he’s done this. Urban doesn’t exactly have friends in Utah. He may have earned some points while he was taking the non AQ team to a BCS Bowl, but once he’d reached that crest, he was ready to move on when Florida and Notre Dame came courting.
- 6. Because, during his tenure at Florida, 31 players were arrested. Every one of these incidents wasn’t an Aaron Hernandez situation, but it speaks volumes that his recruited talent couldn’t behave themselves off the field. All schools deal with this to some extent, but that’s an excessive arrest record for a football team under one head coach over the course of five years or so.
- 5. Because he’s aloof. It’s one thing for a coach to beat you on the field. It’s completely another thing to beat you on the field while maintaining zero emotion. Gator fans never noticed how detached he was while he was their head coach, but now that he’s moved on to another team, it’s easy to feel discarded. It’s made worse that (with rare exceptions, generally focused on, say, NCAA recruiting violations) rather than making disparaging remarks, he’s not really saying anything at all about Florida.
- 4. Because Will Muschamp. What’s worse than leaving a dominant program? Leaving a dominant program that has reached its peak. Will Muschamp has managed a perfectly acceptable win percentage since 2011, going 22-16. Acceptable unless, of course, you happen to be a Gator fan used to 13 win seasons. Which brings me to my next point.
- 3. Because of his dominance while in the SEC. Statistics don’t lie. Urban’s Gators played in three SEC Championships (2-1), two BCS Championships (2-0). He had three 13 win seasons. Whether you blame it on his assistants or his recruiting, those numbers make any head coach look good. He went 65-15 overall and managed to wrangle National Coach of the Decade in 2009. Gator fans have to watch their coach succeed elsewhere. Fans of other SEC schools got the memo early.
- 2. Because Tim Tebow. I’m talking about Tim Tebow, the celebrity, rather than Tim Tebow, the man. If a head coach’s greatest currency is his ability to recruit, it’s also a hater’s best ammunition. If Urban Meyer hadn’t convinced Tebow to flip to Florida, he might have never been quite the same household name. I admit, he made for a great dual threat college football player. He energized his team when they were winning and, on the rare occasions, when they lost. But, in all likelihood, if not for Meyer, he would have been an average quarterback at Alabama under Mike Shula. No Denver Broncos, no New York Jets, no Patriots and, since we’re speculating, no ESPN.
- 1. Because he may become dominant again in the Big Ten. This is our greatest fear. That one of our own will succeed elsewhere. He’s certainly proven he can win going 22-2 in two years at Utah. And winning two BCS Championships at Florida, in a talent rich state with lots of competition on the recruiting trail. What’s he going to do in Ohio with seemingly less competition for athletic talent?
Did I get the Top 10 right? Wrong? What other perfectly valid reasons do the Gator Nation and SEC fans have to hate on Urban Meyer?