Category Archives: Urban Meyer

BREAKING AGAIN: Meyer stays?

Well, this keeps getting stranger. Now, Urban Meyer is staying at Florida and will take a leave of absence?

That’s the latest in the Florida football saga. Thank goodness I don’t cover the Gators or I would have lost my mind already.

Here’s a link to the latest according to the Gainesville Sun and the Miami Herald and the USA Today.

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Saban comments on Meyer resignation

Nothing earth shattering, but Nick Saban just released the following statement on the stunning and sudden resignation of Urban Meyer:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Urban and his family at this time. He is a first class coach and the success he’s had is unmatched in our profession, especially over the last five years at Florida.

We hope he is able to regain his health and have the opportunity to coach again in the future. Urban Meyer is a great person as well as a great coach, and the game of college football is better with him as a part of it.”

BREAKING: Urban Meyer resigns

In case you haven’t heard, here is the first Associated Press story just put out on the breaking news story of the day/year.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was admitted to a hospital because of chest pains following the Southeastern Conference championship game, is stepping down because of health concerns.

Meyer resigned Saturday, calling it quits after five seasons in Gainesville and two national titles. He leaves Florida with a 56-10 record that includes a 32-8 mark in league play and a school-record 22-game winning streak snapped early this month against Alabama.

Meyer says he consulted with his family, his doctors, school president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley before deciding it is in his best interest to focus on his health and family.

Meyer will hold a news conference in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon and will coach his final game in the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati on New Year’s Day.

Good Tuesday (afternoon) update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe on the day before players report for football practice.

  • The trailer for Nick Saban’s film debut was just released. Click here to see the preview of “The Blind Side” but don’t expect to see the Crimson Tide coach wearing his old LSU gear. Saban’s cameo did not make the preview. After watching it, I know where I will be when the movie is released in November. It looks like one of those truly inspiring movies based on a true story only sports can produce.Bold
  • Paul Finebaum and Mike Bianchi continue to disagree over Urban Meyer’s status as the next Bear Bryant. Click here to see how the Orlando Sentinel columnist views Finebaum’s column.
  • New UNA coach Terry Bowden compared his first season with the Lions with Nick Saban’s at Alabama. Click here to read the column from the TimesDaily.
  • If you need any more help getting excited about the season, watch this video.
  • Don’t forget to vote on the poll to the left.

JUST IN: Urban Meyer passes Nick Saban as highest-paid coach

The University of Florida has reached a deal with football coach Urban Meyer that will pay him $4 million a year. That makes him the richest coach in the SEC (for now).

Nick Saban was making $3.9 million this year, but LSU’s Les Miles’ contract calls for him to make $1,000 more per year than the second-highest paid coach.

I almost wish Meyer’s contract included a similar elevator that would cause a never-ending pay-raise contest with Miles.

To read more about Meyer’s deal, click here and here.

And don’t forget to vote on the poll to the left.

Good Monday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe. After skipping the daily ritual at SEC Media Days, it’s back again.

  • Is it blasphemy to suggest any coach is the next Bear Bryant? Well one writer is suggesting it could be Urban Meyer stepping into that role. Read more here.
  • Check out this story (written by my first sports editor at my college paper) about Virginia Tech’s chances of beating Alabama in the season-opener (less than 40 days away). Clemson’s C.J. Spiller apparently likes the Hokies’ odds of winning in the Georgia Dome.
  • According to this writer, Alabama’s Javier Arenas is ready for the big time.
  • Don’t forget to vote on the new poll posted Sunday night.

MEDIA DAY 3: Lane Kiffin steps to the mic, what will he say?

New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin is easily the most anticipated speaker of the week. Here’s what he said:

  • He started with a few jokes about the Tebow deal and brought his ballot to prove he was not the one who left the Gator off the first-team.
  • SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is seated at the back of the room (keeping an eye of Kiffin?)
  • There are not a lot of great high school players in Tennessee, so he has to recruit out-of-state players to his program.
  • Do I love every single thing I’ve done? No. … But I had to do it.”
  • He’s about “creating interest.”
  • “We had to create national attention immediately.”
  • Because of not being familiar with conference, staff members helped him fill out his SEC ballot.
  • Number of violations “not crazy” and none gave an advantage in recruiting. He assured the violations would be cut down in future.
  • Head coaches “suffer” because they can’t go out recruiting in the spring.
  • “You have to spend money to make money,” he said about paying assistant coaches.
  • He should have known Tebow was not signing with him while an assistant at USC because he had a Florida Gator mail box.
  • “I don’t know how he isn’t” a top-5 draft pick (on Tebow).
  • At SEC spring meetings, Kiffin said Urban Meyer “was very nice to me.”
  • A recruit’s mother recently said another coach called Tennessee “a renegade program.” He didn’t say which coach said that.
  • Kiffin disagrees.
  • After today, Kiffin said he’s not interested in talking about his comments from the off-season. Now, he said, it’s time to talk about football.

(Photo by the Associated Press)

Good Friday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe.

  • Check out that countdown clock on the left-hand side of the page. There are fewer than 50 days until kickoff now.
  • There may be two fewer Alabama players making the trip to Atlanta for the opener with Virginia Tech. Brandon Faney is thinking about a transfer, the Tuscaloosa News is reporting. Should he follow through, the backup linebacker would join Chris Jackson who wants to transfer to an ACC school.
  • Alabama fans apparently can come from Tennessee too.
  • Stay tuned for a Q & A in tomorrow’s paper with Crimson Tide basketball coach Anthony Grant. I will try and steal a few minutes with the new coach today in Huntsville where he will be speaking at the All-Star Sports Week.
  • That event is where I was able to get a few minutes with Florida coach Urban Meyer along with a few other reporters. Check out the pub the Bama Blog is getting by clicking here.

Urban Meyer: Utah can’t hang with SEC

HUNTSVILLE Read more about this in Friday’s paper, but Florida football coach Urban Meyer weighed in on the national debate about the Bowl Championship series his team has won two of the past three years.

When asked about Utah Senator Orrin Hatch’s problem with his home state team being left out of the national title game despite a perfect regular season record, Meyer gave his take. Meyer coached the Utes before taking over in Gainesville.

“They’re doing what they are supposed to do and fighting for the team in state and I can’t argue with that,” Meyer said to a small group of reporters. “That Utah team this year and the Utah team we had in ’04 — I don’t think they can survive the grind of the SEC, but there are other conferences out there who can’t survive the grind either.

“I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that or not, but I will certainly listen to (Hatch) because I know him and I know their coach Kyle Whittingham, to tell them he isn’t a BCS coach and they aren’t BCS players, it’s not true.”

Utah, you might remember, handled Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to complete its undefeated season last year.

Meyer was in Huntsville talking to high school football coaches at the annual All-Star Sports Week convention.

More to come. Check back later.

On a side note, the preseason All-SEC teams were announced this afternoon. Check out the complete list here:

OFFENSE

First-Team Offense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

TE Richard Dickson, LSU 6-3 246 Sr. Ocean Springs, Miss.

*OL Ciron Black, LSU 6-5 325 Sr. Tyler, Texas

OL Mike Johnson, Alabama 6-6 305 Sr. Pensacola, Fla.

OL Mike Pouncey, Florida 6-5 312 Jr. Lakeland, Fla.

OL John Jerry, Ole Miss 6-5 350 Sr. Batesville, Miss.

C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida 6-5 312 Jr. Lakeland, Fla.

*WR Julio Jones, Alabama 6-4 210 So. Foley, Ala.

WR A.J. Green, Georgia 6-4 207 So. Summerville, S.C.

QB Tim Tebow, Florida 6-3 240 Sr. Jacksonville, Fla.

RB Michael Smith, Arkansas 5-7 176 Sr. Tallahassee, Fla.

RB Charles Scott, LSU 5-11 233 Sr. Saline, La.

Second-Team Offense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas 6-2 251 Jr. Little Rock, Ark.

OL Lee Ziemba, Auburn 6-8 285 Jr. Rogers, Ark.

OL Clint Boling, Georgia 6-5 297 Jr. Alpharetta, Ga.

#OL Chris Scott, Tennessee 6-5 346 Sr. Riverdale, Ga.

#OL Carl Johnson, Florida 6-6 330 Jr. Durham, N.C.

#OL Cordy Glenn, Georgia 6-5 331 So. Riverdale, Ga.

C Josh McNeil, Tennessee 6-4 280 Sr. Collins, Miss.

WR Brandon LaFell, LSU 6-3 209 Sr. Houston, Texas

WR Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss 5-8 165 Sr. Largo, Fla.

QB Jevan Snead, Ole Miss 6-3 215 Jr. Stephenville, Texas

RB Anthony Dixon, Mississippi State 6-1 235 Sr. Jackson, Miss.

RB Jeff Demps, Florida 5-8 176 So. Winter Garden, Fla.

Third-Team Offense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida 6-3 255 Jr. Bristol, Conn.

OL Jacques McClendon, Tennessee 6-3 324 Sr. Cleveland, Tenn.

OL Zipp Duncan, Kentucky 6-5 291 Sr. Magnolia, Ky.

OL Mitch Petrus, Arkansas 6-4 315 Sr. Carlisle, Ark.

OL Trinton Sturdivant, Georgia 6-5 306 So. Wadesboro, N.C.

C Jorge Gonzalez, Kentucky 6-3 300 Sr. Tampa, Fla.

WR Shay Hodge, Ole Miss 6-1 207 Sr. Morton, Miss.

#WR Terrance Tolliver, LSU 6-5 194 Jr. Hempstead, Texas

#WR Gerald Jones, Tennessee 6-0 199 Jr. Oklahoma City, Okla.

#QB Stephen Garcia, South Carolina 6-2 219 So. Lutz, Fla.

#QB Mike Hartline, Kentucky 6-6 206 Jr. Canton, Ohio

RB Mark Ingram, Alabama 5-10 215 So. Flint, Mich.

RB Ben Tate, Auburn 5-11 216 Sr. Newark, Md.

DEFENSE

First-Team Defense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

DL Terrence Cody, Alabama 6-5 365 Sr. Fort Myers, Fla.

DL Greg Hardy, Ole Miss 6-4 265 Sr. Millington, Tenn.

DL Carlos Dunlap, Florida 6-6 290 Jr. North Charleston, S.C.

LB Rolando McClain, Alabama 6-4 249 Jr. Decatur, Ala.

LB Brandon Spikes, Florida 6-3 245 Sr. Shelby, N.C.

LB Rennie Curran, Georgia 5-11 222 Jr. Snellville, Ga.

LB Eric Norwood, South Carolina 6-1 252 Sr. Acworth, Ga.

*DB Eric Berry, Tennessee 5-11 203 Jr. Fairburn, Ga.

DB Javier Arenas, Alabama 5-9 198 Sr. Tampa, Fla.

DB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky 6-0 179 Sr. Hiram, Ga.

DB Joe Haden, Florida 5-11 185 Jr. Ft. Washington, Md.

Second-Team Defense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

DL Charles Alexander, LSU 6-3 310 Sr. Breaux Bridge, La.

DL Antonio Coleman, Auburn 6-3 250 Sr. Mobile, Ala.

#DL Geno Atkins, Georgia 6-1 290 Sr. Pembroke Pines, Fla.

#DL Dan Williams, Tennessee 6-3 327 Sr. Memphis, Tenn.

#DL Malcolm Sheppard, Arkansas 6-2 280 Sr. Bainbridge, Ga.

LB Micah Johnson, Kentucky 6-2 258 Sr. Ft. Campbell, Ky.

LB Patrick Benoist, Vanderbilt 6-0 224 Sr. Southlake, Texas

LB Rico McCoy, Tennessee 6-1 220 Sr. Washington, D.C.

LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama 6-4 250 So. Lewisburg, Tenn.

DB Ahmad Black, Florida 5-9 190 Jr. Lakeland, Fla.

DB Chad Jones, LSU 6-3 214 Jr. New Orleans, La.

DB Prince Miller, Georgia 5-8 198 Sr. Duncan, S.C.

DB Myron Lewis, Vanderbilt 6-2 205 Sr. Pompano Beach, Fla.

Third-Team Defense

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

DL Jeff Owens, Georgia 6-3 300 Sr. Sunrise, Fla.

DL Marcus Tillman, Ole Miss 6-4 260 Sr. McCall Creek, Miss.

#DL Rahim Alem, LSU 6-3 254 Sr. New Orleans, La.

#DL Corey Peters, Kentucky 6-3 295 Sr. Louisville, Ky.

LB Chris Marve, Vanderbilt 6-0 228 So. Memphis, Tenn.

LB Jamar Chaney, Mississippi State 6-1 245 Sr. Fort Pierce, Fla.

LB Ryan Stamper, Florida 6-2 232 Sr. Jacksonville, Fla.

LB Perry Riley, LSU 6-1 240 Sr. Ellenwood, Ga.

DB Major Wright, Florida 6-0 200 Jr. Miramar, Fla.

DB Janoris Jenkins, Florida 5-10 185 So. Pahokee, Fla.

#DB Ryan Hamilton, Vanderbilt 6-2 210 Sr. Wycombe, Penn.

#DB Chris Culliver, South Carolina 6-0 190 Jr. Garner, N.C.

#DB Reshad Jones, Georgia 6-2 214 Jr. Atlanta, Ga.

SPECIALISTS

First-Team Specialists

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

PK Leigh Tiffin, Alabama 6-1 199 Sr. Muscle Shoals, Ala.

P Chas Henry, Florida 6-4 215 Jr. Dallas, Ga.

RS Brandon James, Florida 5-7 186 Sr. St. Augustine, Fla.

Second-Team Specialists

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

PK Jonathan Phillips, Florida 5-10 210 Sr. Wellington, Fla.

P Brett Upson, Vanderbilt 5-11 185 Sr. Griffin, Ga.

RS Javier Arenas, Alabama 5-9 198 Sr. Tampa, Fla.

Third-Team Specialists

Pos. Name, Team Ht. Wt. Class Hometown

PK Joshua Shene, Ole Miss 5-8 170 Sr. Oklahoma City, Okla.

P Spencer Lanning, South Carolina 5-11 188 Jr. Rock Hill, S.C.

RS Trindon Holliday, LSU 5-5 165 Sr. Zachary, La.

* – Unanimous Selections

# – Ties

Good Wednesday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe.

  • Recruiting update: It turns out Nick Saban doesn’t land every high school player he recruits. Need evidence? Read this.
  • The Sporting News still loves Saban. They ranked him the second-best college football coach in the nation behind Florida’s Urban Meyer. Check out the complete rankings here.
  • Speaking of the head Gator, Meyer will be in Huntsville on Thursday as the keynote speaker at the Alabama All-Star Sports Week. Stay tuned for more since we plan to try and get a word with the defending national champion.
  • This column from the Tennessean of Nashville makes the connection between Meyer’s promise to stay away from Notre Dame to Saban’s 2006 claims that he would not leave the Dolphins for the Tide. When I hear about Meyer’s promise to stay in Gator-land, Saban’s famous South Florida press conference immediately came to mind. We’ll see if Urban is a man of his word when/if that big money offer comes in.

Good Tuesday morning update

It’s that time again to take a daily look at what is making news in the Alabama athletic universe.

  • Don’t forget to watch the Golden Spikes Award ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Alabama’s Kent Matthes is a finalist, but I wouldn’t place your bets on him. Stephen Strasburg is a shoe-in with his 100+ mph fastball. You can watch the award show on the official Web site.
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Tony Barnhart has faith in Alabama returning to his home city for the SEC Championship game. He picks the Crimson Tide to win the West Division in his blog.
  • I guess Florida coach Urban Meyer is tired of all the Notre Dame rumors. His statement about the possibilities were made clear. Read this to see what he said. On a side note, Meyer will be in Huntsville this week to give a talk at the All-Star Sports Week. We’ll see if he’s up to speak with the media.