The clock is ticking?

By By Tom Quinn

By Tom Quinn

Thanks to Urban Meyer, all is right in Gainesville, Fla. In only his second season with the program, Meyer turned the Gators into national champions, effectively returning them to the ranks of college football’s elite.

While the Gators’ well-deserved victory party will likely last until sometime next week, eventually someone will sober up, break through the post-hangover haze and wonder aloud, “How much longer will Coach Meyer stay at Florida?”

Although the University of Florida seems like a perfect fit for Meyer and his spread offense, Gators fans need to understand that Meyer goes through football teams faster than Hugh Hefner goes through girlfriends. In just six years as a head coach, he’s had one-night stands with three different Division I schools.

Granted, neither Bowling Green nor Utah has the financial resources or the national prominence necessary to keep a rising star like Meyer content. On some level, fans at both schools must have known that his stay would be temporary. The fact that he never even bothered to unpack his suitcases after arriving in Salt Lake City might have been a clue.

Florida fans, on the other hand, would love to believe that the school’s deep pockets and coast-to-coast influence will convince Meyer to stay in Gainesville long enough to join Penn State’s Joe Paterno as the only cadavers to coach in the NCAA.

In spite of the numerous perks that come with Meyer’s job, I highly doubt that he will lead the Gator Nation for much longer. After a few more years and a few more titles, he’ll go looking for a new challenge.

Meyer conquered the world of college football in just six years, which is about the same amount of time it takes most SEC athletes to earn a four-year degree. With nothing else to prove in the college arena, what’s to stop Meyer from bolting to the NFL as soon as the Redskins’ Dan Snyder throws a $25 million contract at him?

Also, Meyer is still young. At 42, he has plenty of time to chase other dreams before becoming the next great coach to continue the Cleveland Browns’ proud legacy of mediocrity.

He could join NASCAR like the Redskins’ Joe Gibbs or gain weight like Bill Parcells did after leaving the Jets. Meyer could even take a three-year walking tour of the Jerusalem area, healing lepers and restoring sight to the blind before dying for the sins of mankind.

Furthermore, Meyer is not only a great coach, but he is also an amazing politician. After his two years in Utah, he could have been elected to any of the major positions in the state government, except for president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Very few things prevent him from leaving his position as president of the Gator Nation to become president of an actual nation.

While Florida fans are likely to dismiss any talk of Meyer’s departure as speculation, they should know that he’s done it before and he will likely do it again. Also, they should know that denial is only the first of many steps to deal with while grieving for the loss of a loved one.