The Gators will try to maintain their high level of play as they embark on the post-Tim Tebow era. John Brantley becomes the starting quarterback and he's a better passer than Tebow, but there is no replacing Tebow's leadership ability. The schedule, which features seven home games, is favorable, but there are troublesome road games against Alabama (Oct. 2) and Florida State (Nov. 27). Florida is favored to win the East Division of the Southeastern Conference, but after going 26-2 the past two seasons, an unexpected loss could turn 2010 into the ultimate test of character for Urban Meyer's team.
As a run-up to the start of the season, the Wiz will display one poster each day until our supply is exhausted. Last year, the site displayed 69 posters.
Then we turn it over to readers, who will vote on the poster of the year. In the meantime, send your team's poster schedule to jayzuma (at) gmail.com.
Florida's Urban Meyer apologized to Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler over the weekend. That's a good first step, but Meyer took the chicken salad approach by doing it in private and not in public.
Meyer publicly threatened Fowler last week and, in fairness to Fowler, the Florida coach needs to apologize in front of the other reporters who watched the coach bully the reporter. Anything less is unacceptable. Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union shares this opinion.
Then there is the case of the spineless reporters stood up for Meyer, and Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi writes that those members of the "media" also should tell Fowler they were wrong. I couldn't agree more.
Jeremy Fowler, a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, was in the line of fire Wednesday at the close of a Florida spring practice session.
Fowler was among two dozen reporters watching coaches and players exit the field when coach Urban Meyer approached the group and went after Fowler for a story he filed Monday. Fowler's story contained a quote from Deonte Thompson suggesting the receiver was happy to be playing with a quarterback not named Tim Tebow.
"You never know with Tim," Thompson said. "You can bolt, you think he's running but he'll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With [John] Brantley, everything's with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback."
Meyer, who claimed Fowler misrepresented Thompson's comments, ripped into the reporter, with the exchange videotaped by Steve Johnson of Gator Bait.
Meyer: "You’ll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again. I told you five years ago: Don't mess with our players. Don't do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel's not welcome here ever again. Is that clear? It's yes or no."
Fowler: "Urban, come on. Don't make any threats. That’s fine. I'll play by rules. But all I was doing is quoting the guy. I don't think I was the only one."
Meyer: "You're a bad guy, man. You’re a bad guy."
Fowler: "Thanks Urban, I appreciate that."
Meyer: "Maybe when you get a chance, call his family and all that and help them out with it [the controversy Fowler's blog post created]. The kid has never been in trouble one time. He's a great student, a great kid and you're going to do that [to him]?"
Meyer then issued his threats: "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now."
As he walked away, Meyer told Fowler to "be very careful."
Less than 24 hours after Urban Meyer announced that he was stepping down as Florida coach, officials have found his replacement.
A press conference has been scheduled for Sunday afternoon to announce that Urban Meyer has been rehired to coach the team. Reports indicate that Meyer will first coach the team in Friday's Sugar Bowl, then take an indefinite leave of absence before returning. Steve Addazio, Florida's offensive coordinator, will guide the team in Meyer's absence.
"Our exhaustive search led us back to where we started," athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "There were many qualified candidates, but we were pleased to attract a coach of Urban's caliber."