But your humble correspondent fails to see any way that this ends well for Florida or for Meyer. ...
Florida doesn't have much time to hire a defensive coordinator, much less decide who is going to hire a defensive coordinator. There are other schools looking for assistants now -- including a certain school in Athens that the Gators compete with on the field -- and moving quickly is the best way to get the person you want.
But the person who wants? If you go with the person that Urban Meyer wants, what happens if he doesn't come back in time for the 2010 season? What if Steve Addazio -- or the next head coach -- doesn't want the same kind of defense Meyer wants? ...
That doesn't even mention the fact that Florida needs to know whether to start searching for a head coach for 2010 -- likely a lost cause now -- or 2011. When your coach leaves after the bowl game, you end up with Ron Zook. When your coach leaves in the spring, you end up with Mike Shula. ...
From a football perspective, this is a colossal wreck with no easy fix.--"Urban Meyer's Detirement: This Will Not End Well," C&F, Dec. 28
In my defense, this is what people who are in the business of writing opinion and analysis -- whether for a blog, a newspaper or anyone else -- do. You try to predict what happens, lay out your case for those predictions and make sure you state them as strongly as you feel about them. Obviously, I felt pretty strongly about this one. And obviously, from all indications, I was dead wrong.
I think it's worth it for people to admit when they were off the mark, particularly when there was no lack of heat for Meyer in that blog post, some of which looks unfair now. (Some of it which doesn't; he still made his wife look clueless, and there's no way of telling whether he's found enough balance in his life to soothe his ailing esophagus.) For those selections that were unfair, I have to say mea culpa. One of the problems I've always had with ESPN is that it allows its panelists to thunder how they are certain that this or that is going to turn out a certain way -- and then walk away like they never said anything when the prediction falls flat.
Part of it, of course, was that at the time, I (and I think most other people) expected the "leave of absence" to be more than a two-month "break." That said, I said nothing about "if Meyer just decides to take it easy for a couple of months, then this is all null and void."
Not that things couldn't still turn out badly for Florida, of course. If Zen Urban Meyer leads Florida to a 5-7 season because Yanni just isn't inspiring enough for a football coach, I reserve the right to pull a Joe Barton and retract this little mea culpa.
But I was wrong, and while I doubt Urban Meyer really cares what this blog (or anyone else) said or says about his quest for balance, it's worth acknowledging it.
We'll see soon enough if there will be reason to issue another "mea culpa" on this post.