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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Stoops, Florida No Longer a Good Fit

Bob Stoops

You know those feel-good holiday movies where all seems lost, but somehow everything works out at the end? The main characters wake up on Christmas morning, there are tons of presents under the tree, all is right with the world and we can finally roll the credits.

With today's news that Urban Meyer is stepping down as head coach at Florida, Gator fans must feel like they're starring in a twisted, bizarro version of a holiday classic.

If you're an Oklahoma Sooners die-hard, you're probably wondering if you've been pegged for the sequel that is slated to shoot in a couple days.

Florida came calling on former defensive coordinator and Steve Spurrier disciple Bob Stoops the last time it had an opening. And the time before that.

Each time, OU fans sweated out the Gators' entreaties. Each time, Stoops stayed put.

It will likely happen again. This time, Sooner Nation should rest easy.

(By the way, appropos of nothing, isn't it odd that an elite coaching job like Florida has had three head coaches in nine years?)

The conventional wisdom has always been that Florida was the college coaching gig with the best chance of stealing Stoops away from OU. In the past, it seemed clear that the lure of Gainesville and The Swamp still held some sway over Stoops.

So what has changed now? Urban Meyer.

After Spurrier ditched the Gators for a chance to test his mettle in the NFL, Ron Zook nearly sank UF back to the level of mediocrity from which it came pre-Ol' Ball Coach. Meyer's monster five-year run ensured Florida's place as one of the top two or three jobs in college football. (Yes, even better than OU.)

After coaching at Oklahoma for 11 seasons, Stoops has grown accustomed to the heightened expectations Meyer has wrought among the Gator faithful. However, the next head coach at Florida will be facing those expectations with a greater degree of difficulty, as Meyer is expected to remain with the program in a "non-coaching" capacity.

What that entails is anyone's guess, but you can be sure Florida's new coach will have Meyer's watchful eye looking over his shoulder in some fashion at all times.

The reality is that the next coach at Florida won't just live in Meyer's shadow; he'll be expected to be Urban 2.0. "What would Urban do?" will be the new catchphrase around Gainesville, especially with Tim Tebow gone. Meyer's presence within the program all but guarantees it.

While Stoops has embraced the tradition behind Sooner football, he has done so on his terms. Mainly, he brought back a winning attitude that had been absent since Barry Switzer was forced out.

At OU, Stoops brings Switzer in for a pep talk. At Florida, Meyer probably will be conducting coaching workshops.

Watch a Bob Stoops press conference for five minutes and then tell me if that sounds like a situation he'd be interested in.

(For the record, my money is on Kyle Whittingham to be Florida's next coach.)