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Urban Meyer stepping down as Florida's coach, sources tell FanHouse. Press conference this evening...

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Urban Meyer stepping down as Florida's coach, sources tell FanHouse. Press conference this evening to announce decision

I absolutely cannot vouch for the validity of this, but it's out there, for what it's worth. Personally, I'll believe it when I see it. Actually, no, after last year, I won't believe it until the new head coach is introduced. Go 'Dawgs!

From the outside, the minor existential crisis at Georgia over last year's descent to 8-5 is a...

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From the outside, the minor existential crisis at Georgia over last year's descent to 8-5 is a classic in the genre of spoiled overreaction: After six 10-win season, five top-10 finishes and two SEC championships, coach Mark Richt has obviously earned a mulligan. On paper, in terms of money, recruiting and wins over any significant portion of the last decade, the Bulldogs are still clearly among the league's elite. But you can't really blame UGA fans for feeling like blowouts at the hands of East Division rivals Florida and Tennessee (in a down year for Tennessee, no less) in between losses to Oklahoma State and Kentucky was less of a mulligan than the beginning of the bottom falling out. Since Urban Meyer's Florida Death Star became fully operational in 2006, there seem to have been a lot of little mulligans. There was the disappointing 4-4 start that year with a rebuilding lineup led by a true freshman quarterback, followed by the lackluster start over the first half of 2007. And even after an emerging group of young stars tore through the second half of that season en route to a No. 2 finish in the final polls, they failed to capitalize on that potential with three ugly loses in their three biggest games – against Alabama, Florida and Georgia Tech – after opening the season atop the mainstream polls in 2008. If you've been strapped in for the long run, then, last year was only worst in a series of disappointments . . .

Dr. Saturday examines this year's Cocktail Party. Go 'Dawgs!

Mark Richt is almost certainly not on any kind of real hot seat at Georgia, and doesn't deserve to...

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Mark Richt is almost certainly not on any kind of real hot seat at Georgia, and doesn't deserve to be: Since 2000, he's ended the Bulldogs' 20-year SEC championship drought in 2002, added another conference title in 2005, led a struggling team out of a midseason slump to a No. 2 finish in the final polls in 2007 and won at least 10 games six times. The Bulldogs finished in the top 10 four years in a row from 2002-2005, the longest streak of the decade in the SEC and matching the Herschel Walker years from 1980-83 as the best run in school history. He's well on his way to becoming the most successful coach Georgia's ever had, and is already the longest-tenured boss in a trigger-happy league. . . . The rational, skeptical half of my brain (the half I tend to trust) dismisses the Fulmer/Tuberville template as a timely but outlying coincidence, and negative recruiting as simply "in the game" – lord knows what the same coaches allegedly undercutting Richt were telling recruits about Urban Meyer's uncertain future at Florida. (And lord knows it didn't work.) At the same time, the credulous, pattern-seeking, "where there's smoke there's fire" half of my brain is thinking the perpetual hot seat is just "in the game" now, too, in a conference whose financial and emotional stockholders demand consistent returns from multimillion-dollar CEO coaches on their increasing investments in tickets, lavish facilities and outsized television contracts. With great salaries come great expectations, etc. Richt is widely perceived as the most decent guy in the business, like Fulmer, a far cry from the burgeoning mercenary model that's paid such dividends for Florida and Alabama. If the defensive overhaul under new DC Todd Grantham doesn't take, or if new quarterback Aaron Murray struggles as a redshirt freshman, this could be the year we find out if nice guys can still afford back-to-back five-loss seasons at places with a bottom line like Georgia's.

Dr. Saturday on Mark Richt. Go 'Dawgs!

You do have to give Richt credit for being standing by his guns on disciplinary issues, as he...

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You do have to give Richt credit for being standing by his guns on disciplinary issues, as he usually does. Mettenberger wouldn't even have been suspended for this if it had happened in Gainesville. OK, maybe that's being a little harsh. I'm sure Urb would have suspended him for the first quarter of the Gators' game against Miami of Ohio.

Garnet and Black Attack offers its take on the Zach Mettenberger dismissal. Go 'Dawgs!

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was a Steve Addazio hire. The two worked together at Syracuse,...

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Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was a Steve Addazio hire. The two worked together at Syracuse, and Austin said Addazio called him a few days before National Signing Day to gauge his interest in the job in case it came open. This means Meyer and Addazio knew George Edwards might be planning to skip town before signing day.

Senator Blutarsky, quoting the Miami Herald. Now, that's just crazy talk!

It's believed an agreement with Edwards has been in place for awhile. The announcement of his...

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It's believed an agreement with Edwards has been in place for awhile. The announcement of his hiring came a day after the college signing day for high school recruits.

Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News. (Hat tip: Buffalo Rumblings.)

A UF spokesman said Edwards' move to Buffalo happened quickly & everyone in UF football office,...

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A UF spokesman said Edwards' move to Buffalo happened quickly & everyone in UF football office, Urban included, is pretty surprised.

Well, I guess that answers that. In a related item, a Florida spokesman also said that Urban Meyer used a golf club to break out the back window of Tiger Woods's SUV and drag him to safety after he wrecked his vehicle.

UF spokesman Steve McClain said interim coach Steve Addazio will "coordinate" the hiring of a new...

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UF spokesman Steve McClain said interim coach Steve Addazio will "coordinate" the hiring of a new defensive coordinator while coach Urban Meyer takes his leave of absence. UF was surprised by a departure that was not orchestrated to secure the recruiting class before he left, McClain said.

Now, why would Steve McClain think we would think that?

This is not complicated. Either Urban Meyer is too sick to coach or he isn't currently sick enough...

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This is not complicated. Either Urban Meyer is too sick to coach or he isn't currently sick enough to deserve your sympathy.

C&F hits the nail on the head. Welcome back, Sprints.

Urban Meyer, still drawing a $4 million salary and being pushed by everyone around him -- including...

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Urban Meyer, still drawing a $4 million salary and being pushed by everyone around him -- including his boss, athletic director Jeremy Foley -- to take a sabbatical, can't even go so much as a weekend without throwing himself back into the grind. This is why he makes $4 million and has two national championships to his name. It's also why he's experienced regular chest pains since arriving at Florida, and occasionally suffers debilitating pain due to a brain cyst triggered by excessive stress. This is a man who literally collapsed from exhaustion following his team's loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game in December, forcing his wife to call 911 to have him carted out of the house by paramedics in the middle of the night, whose grateful daughter allegedly exclaimed "I got my daddy back" when news broke of his short-lived "retirement," and he can barely give up the job long enough for a day trip to the aquarium. He can't live without it. If reports of his persistent health issues are any indication, Meyer may not be able to live long with it, either, which even he conceded Saturday night when he told reporters, "I have to change some things I think, that’s obvious."

Matt Hinton on Urban Meyer. Scary, scary stuff.
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