Thoughts of the Day: May 6, 2020

URBAN MEYER: “I’M THROUGH WITH COACHING”

In an 15-minute interview I did last week with Urban Meyer for an article I wrote for Gator Bait Magazine about Chris Rainey, we talked about coaching, more specifically if he ever gets the urge to coach again.


“I’m in a good place where I am right now,” Meyer said. “My health is good and I don’t have the headaches. I’m enjoying what I get to do on Fox (he works with Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush on a game day show that blows the competition away) and I’m looking forward to doing that again. My family is happy and I’m enjoying the time I get to spend with them.


“So, do I miss coaching? I do sometimes but not enough to come back. I’m through with coaching. I’m comfortable saying that. I like what I’m doing and I’m enjoying this phase of my life.”


I believe Urban when he says he won’t be coaching again. I think he is at a place where he understands he doesn’t have anything more to prove. He’s won three national championships – two at Florida, one at Ohio State – and has coached one of the two or three best players in college football history in Tim Tebow. His career winning percentage of 85.3 (187-32 record) is exceeded among Division I coaches by Knute Rockne (.881, 105-12-5) and Frank Leahy (.864, 107-13-9) and 21 former Meyer assistants are or have been head coaches.


Maybe the only remaining challenge will be a place on Florida’s Ring of Honor. There are still plenty of Gator fans who resent that Meyer ever left Florida, but what he did in six years (65-15 record, national championships in 2006 and 2008) is unprecedented. Personally, I think it’s time for UF fans to bury their grudges and while we hope Dan Mullen will lead the Gators to national championships, nothing is guaranteed. I’m not sure people realize how hard it is to achieve what Urban did in those six years. I think it’s time we recognized him for it by a place in the Ring of Honor.


And while we’re about putting Urban in the Ring of Honor, it’s about time for Lomas Brown to have his name up there now that he’s a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.


HOPE FOR 12 BUT FIGURE IT WILL BE A 10-GAME SCHEDULE

Athletic directors and conference commissioners are planning like there will be a 12-game schedule, the idea being it’s a lot easier to prepare for business as usual and adapt than the other way around. Maybe it’s optimistic to think that a 12-game schedule can be played but general consensus is there will be football in the fall.


On his radio show, Dan Patrick said what he’s hearing is a consensus for a 10-game schedule.

“We’re going to have 10 games with a later start,” Patrick said on his show Monday, adding that games with D1AA schools would be eliminated from the schedules.


The NCAA is already talking about six weeks to get ready for the season. Although some schools might have their campuses open in early July, realistic expectations should be somewhere around the first of August, which would mean a September 19 opener. That would accommodate a 10-game season.


For the SEC and ACC, a 10-game schedule would allow two non-conference games. For the Pac-12, Big 12 and Big 10, which play 9-game conference slates, one non-conference game would work.


For some schools it won’t be that difficult to trim the schedule back, but there will have to be some manipulating to make it work for everyone. Here is a look at the Southeastern Conference and what a 10-game schedule would likely look like for each school.


Alabama: If it’s a 10-game schedule with no D1AA games allowed, Alabama is going to have to find an extra game to replace that November 14 game with UT-Martin. With a September 19 start likely if it’s a 10-game schedule, then Georgia will X out Georgia State on September 12 and open its season with Georgia in Tuscaloosa. Kent State on September 26 will be one of the non-conference games. Alabama has an open date on October 31 and November 14 will also be open.


Arkansas: The trip to Notre Dame on September 12 will be out of the picture and there is no way for Notre Dame to fit that game into its schedule any other date. The Hogs have a D1AA game with Charleston Southern on October 3 and the other non-conference game is Louisiana-Monroe on November 21. There is an open date on October 24, so Arkansas will have to find an opponent to play then or else on October 3.


Auburn: The D1AA game on the schedule is September 5 (Alcorn State) so that’s not going to be a problem. The Tigers have North Carolina on the schedule in Atlanta on September 12 and there is not another date that game can be rescheduled. Southern Miss on September 26 and UMass on November 14 will get their paycheck games.


FLORIDA: Scott Stricklin will have to pay South Alabama some cash to make a 10-game schedule work for the Gators. D1AA Eastern Washington will be dropped on September 5 and the September 12 game with Kentucky will be backed up to September 19, a slot currently occupied by South Alabama. Instead of Florida on September 19, South Alabama can reschedule its September 5 season opener with Southern Miss to the 19th, replacing D1AA Jackson State on the USM schedule. Florida’s non-conference games will be November 21 against New Mexico State and November 28 at Florida State.


Georgia: Georgia’s schedule is easy to fix. Just X out Virginia on September 7 and D1AA East Tennessee on September 12. Of course that means no warmup games to prep for Alabama in Tuscaloosa on September 19 but that’s the cost of doing business this year. The non-conference games are Louisiana-Monroe on September 26 and Georgia Tech on November 28.


Kentucky: This schedule will require a little manipulating but it’s do-able. Eastern Michigan on September 5 will be dropped as will D1AA Eastern Illinois on October 10. The September 12 game with Florida will be backed up to September 19 in Gainesville which will require Kent State to play at UK on October 31 when both teams have an open date. The other non-conference game is the season-ender at Louisville.


LSU: The schedule is a real dilemma for LSU with the first three games UT-San Antonio and Texas in Baton Rouge and then Rice on September 19 in Houston. Then there is D1AA Nicholls State on October 3. The choice for Texas will be simple. Bump UTEP off its September 19 schedule and play LSU in Baton Rouge. Neither UTSA nor Rice have a compatible open date so LSU is going to have to come up with an opponent for October 3 or else October 31. The problem with that October 31 open date is it’s the week before LSU travels to Alabama.