What Will Happen To Florida Without Urban Meyer?

It was a shock to all of us at the VFA when we heard that Urban Meyer was retiring from his role as the Florida Gators head coach.

Citing family and faith before football, Meyer decided that a possible heart attack and death on the sideline wasn't worth risking for the Gadzillions and the glory.

And you know what? Good on him.

Driven as he is, Meyer didn't have anything else to prove at the University of Florida. He'd taken Florida from irrelevant to National Champions, helping them to two National Titles in his short stint. People may praise Tim Tebow for his godliness and decency, but I think Urban Meyer's battles over his health put him right up there for a Gator Sainthood. Urban Meyer Field at Tim Tebow Stadium, anybody?

Anyway, the Florida Gators will be in a rebuilding stage this year. Don't expect the Gators to win the SEC East - we'll install Tennessee as favorites for the title, but expect them to be pretty damned handy in years to come. Florida ain't going anywhere, people.

The next stop is the next coach, to take over after the Sugar Bowl. His immediate job will to be try and keep some of the junior talent dashing off to the NFL. Here are some names on our (and many people's) lists:

Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) 

In one season he turned turgid MSU into a bowl team, and battled both Florida and LSU all the way. He celebrated the end of the season by hammering Ole Miss. 

Why would he work for Florida? He knows the pressure, the personnel and he's coached there before as an offensive co-ordinator.

Bob Stoops (Oklahoma)

The State of Texas hasn't been the same since Bobby took over the reigns at Oklahoma. He's one of the best in Sooner history, and his name worked with the Fighting Irish job after Charlie Weis was fired.

Why would he work out for Florida? Because he's a damned good football coach. Needs a good defensive co-ordinator, though. 

Will Muschamp (Defensive co-ordinator, Texas)

Will Muschamp is a coach-in-waiting. And if Mack Brown keeps up the success, he won't be going anywhere anytime soon, which might annoy the highest-octane coach since Bobby Knight left the basketball courts.

Why would he work out for Florida? He knows the SEC, having coached at Auburn. He's a stellar defensive man, and 'big-time' success working under Brown at Texas.

Bobby Petrino (Arkansas)

Petrino isn't the most loyal of coaches, but let's get this out there: he's one hell of a coach. He's great with quarterbacks and wherever he goes, there's a juggernaut offense.

Why would he work out for Florida? He's had success in the SEC and can put points on the board, which will be loved by a crowd spoiled by years of Spurrier and Meyer.

Charlie Weis (Notre Dame)

Probably the best offensive co-ordinator in the nation. Made Tom Brady, Brady Quinn and will make Jimmy Clausen's career. His offenses know how to score points, and he's a master recruiter. Sadly, he was a master at losing close games, but given a good defensive co-ordinator, he could make the Gators frightening.

Why would he work out for Florida? I'm just kidding. There's no way the alumni would have him.

Gary Patterson (TCU)

You probably think I'm joking, but this one of the best coaches in non-BCS football. Under Patterson, TCU has been a year in, year out 'lower conference' juggernaut. Sure, he's just signed a contract. But Florida is rich enough to buy TCU out - and you know what? They've recruited from the small conferences before, and seen success. Remember a guy called Meyer?

Why would he work out for Florida? Patterson's a great coach. Florida need a great coach. Simple, isn't it?