So apparently Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne is not
fu screwing around with this coaching search. The New York Times' Pete Thamel writes that Urban Meyer discussed the opening with Byrne in Miami early last week.
The time stamp on this report is the real surprise. While Meyer turned down the Wildcats' advances reportedly on Monday, that means he took nearly a week to think the offering over. Actually, the mere fact that Meyer met with Byrne at all means that the former Florida Gators head coach isn't nearly finished with college football.
It also might mean Tucson is viewed as a viable location for an elite football team.And from Byrne's perspective, the move means one of two things: either he's really going to do everything to get the best football coach available, or at the very least, his meeting with Meyer -- even if he thought he had no chance of pulling Urban out of retirement -- acts as a marketing ploy to other college coaches.
That ploy says that Arizona isn't a basketball-only school, and there's room for a major college football program to develop in the desert.
Anyway, it sucks from Arizona's end of things that Ohio State and Penn State both will have openings following this season. That's two historically great football programs with enough thrust to pull in pretty much anyone they'd like.
So should Arizona fans still expect Byrne to pick up a coach whose name can stand even close to the Urban Meyers?
Unlikely. Still, there should be confidence that at the very least, Byrne is true to his word in pursuing all options. Whether that be the best coach without a job in Meyer should he change his mind, or interim head coach Tim Kish (I'm kidding), the hire will likely be somewhere in between.
I know, that's about as large of a spectrum as there is.