by Tom Stosberg
Okay, so Urban Meyer gave University of Louisville football fans a scare. He also gave us a boost.
â€œNot so fast, my friend.â€ (Whereâ€™s Corso when you need him?) Hold everything! Meyer checks the call at the podium and he decides to stay. Kind of.Â So, Strong stays, Stoops stays, Butch Jones stays, Favre stays (ooops, sorry).
Florida president, Bernie Machen talks Meyer into calling an audible at the last second by convincing him that a leave of absence might be a better solution than chucking the $4 million-a-year-best-college-head-coaching-job in America. Yes, even better than at that school often referred to as, â€œDidnâ€™t you used to be Notre Dame?â€
But letâ€™s be fair to Meyer. Heâ€™s had health issues. Headaches – perhaps of the migraine variety. Some chest pains after the Alabama game. Though Iâ€™m sure Nick Saban and the Tide can have that effect on opposing coaches. Itâ€™s true that Steve Spurrier set the bar pretty high in Gatorland increasing the pressure. So high in fact, that Ron Zook couldnâ€™t reach high enough, fast enough. Then, when Urban Meyer won his own 2 National championships, he set the bar even higher for himself.
So how does Strong fare in all of this? He comes out smelling like a rose.Â For over 24 hours all the national sports talking heads were sounding like Charlie has a shot at the Florida job! So, once again, Strongâ€™s name was all over ESPN, Fox Sports, SB Nation, CBS Sportline.com and all the major sports websites. Some top recruits in the country were once again hearing the name Charlie Strong mentioned in very favorable terms.
What looked like a liability actually became an asset for U of L recruiting. Again, it appears that Tom Jurich made a terrific hire. It makes no difference whether Strong would actually have been on Floridaâ€™s short list. The big media made it APPEAR that he might be and that served only to increase his stature with recruits and their parents. It was a plus for Strong and a plus for the U of L football future.
And weâ€™ll take it.