It would be hard to argue that two of the top coaches in college football right now are Florida’s Urban Meyer and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel. With that being said, whenever these two BCS championship coaches so much as stub a toe or buy a pack of gum, the headlines will certainly let you know.
So much was the case yesterday.
Meyer, who had flirted with the idea of stepping down as head coach of the Florida Gators leading up to the Sugar Bowl (citing health concerns) took a brief leave of absence from the Gators in the off-season to focus on his health. On Wednesday Meyer returned to the practice field earlier than expected.
According to Peter Kerasotis of The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida, the Gators’ head coach appeared to be in high spirits and was in a relaxed mood. When asked if he was in good health by reporters, Meyer responded with a firm and confident “Yes.”
Meyer was taken to a hospital the day after Florida was defeated in the SEC championship game by Alabama. He was experienced chest pains at the time and it was later revealed that Meyer has a problem dealing with stress. The latest hospital stay for Meyer forced him to take a hard look at his coaching future, which resulted in a leave of absence that started after Florida blew out Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. Meyer monitored the recruiting process and played a reduced role in the process and many felt that Meyer would wait until the opening of summer camps to return to the field. So imagine the surprise when Meyer was blowing the whistle yesterday.
Scenes from Florida’s practice can be viewed in the slide show below. It was also Pro Day for Gators heading to the NFL, but naturally Tim Tebow was the player people were most interested in. Tebow put his new throwing mechanics on display for NFL Scouts and coaches. So what are people saying about the heralded, yet questionable, quarterback?
“He had a very, very good workout,” Carolina Panthers coach John Fox said. “He doesn’t lack in the work ethic department, so whatever needs to be done, he’ll do. I definitely saw some adjustment and I thought he executed very well.”
“I know he’s been working at it, and if anybody can do it, it would be him,” Jacksoville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said. “He certainly has a will to prepare. People say there’s always exceptions to the rule. If there’s going to be one at the quarterback spot, it will be him in terms of going against everything everybody has said negative about him with the long release.
“He’s out to prove everybody he’s certainly capable of competing at our level.”
Jim Tressel gets contract extension
Ohio State looks to once again be the team to beat in the Big Ten in 2010, and the Buckeyes really have no end in sight as long as Tressel is in command. Earlier this week Ohio State added two more years to Tressel’s contract, which now runs through the 2014 season. In addition to the contract extension Tressel was also offered an administrative position for when his coaching days are complete.
The added job security looks to be a bold move by Ohio State. Tressel was brought in from in-state program Youngstown State to restore credibility to a program that had endured too many struggles against rival Michigan. After replacing John Cooper as head coach Tressel has put together an impressive 94-21 record with Ohio State. since 2000 Tressel’s sweater-vest look has been admired and mocked but outright or shares of six Big Ten titles, seven appearances in BCS games, including three for the championship, and one BCS championship tends to speak for itself.
Tressel is the only coach in the Big Ten to claim a BCS Championship (only Penn State’s Joe Paterno has more national championships to his name).
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