Posted 12/27/2009 at 03:49 AM
Allright, Jeremy. You're on the clock.
Of course, Jeremy has the last name of Foley. He's the long-time Florida AD who has made three important coaching hires during his tenure. He blasted a pair of grand slams when he brought Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan to Gainesville. However, he made one of the most perplexing hires of my lifetime when he had the audacity to hire Ron Zook.
To this minute, I still can't believe Foley hired Zook. I'll never forget the moment ESPN's Chris Fowler uttered the words "Ron Zook is the new head coach of the University of Florida."
I literally fell to my knees in head-to-toe agony. Going from Spurrier to Zook was like going from Marisa Miller to Tonya Harding.
And yes, despite the unprecedented success my alma mater has enjoyed in recent years, I still don't like Foley. Never have, never will.
And that's why I'm nervous. I have no idea what Foley is going to do.
What should he do? That's why we're here.
First, I think you throw out Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan. Let's don't even go there.
Next, I think you take a hard look at North Carolina's Butch Davis. If you want him, he'd have a hard time saying no to Florida.
But he might. Make no mistake, the UF job is a pressure cooker. A boiling hot pressure cooker. (Now is not the time to expand on that issue in relation to Urban Myer's stunning resignation the day after Christmas, so we move on with the point being this: the next hire has to be someone who can handle the spotlight of being what Spurrier once described as "the captain of this big ol' battleship that we call Gator football.")
To me, Davis is the safest hire -- the solid hire. He's an RBI double with two outs at crunch time.
The fit might not be right and I would be concerned about his lack of connections to the South, but I sure do enjoy watching Boise State's Chris Petersen call 'ball plays.' I think you do your homework there.
I saw where Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel threw out the name Larry Fedora, current head coach at So. Miss who spent three years at UF under Zook. The Gators led the SEC in total offense in 2004, the year Fedora was promoted to offensive coordinator.
I like the Fedora idea. He's got moxy. But does he have enough experience?
Bianchi and Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun have reported that Charlie Strong is not a possibility after taking the Louisville job a few weeks ago.
Dooley threw out the name of Houston's Kevin Sumlin, but that seems like a reach to me. For now, I'm most bullish on Davis. Be sure to check back later as I'll be all over this 24/7 in the coming days.
UPDATE: Meyer "pulling a Donovan" and having second thoughts (as of Sunday afternoon).
UPDATE II: Meyer taking leave of absence but has "a gut" he'll be on the sidelines for UF in Week 1 of 2010.