Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/23/11

It was about a year ago that Urban Meyer stepped down for the second time as the head coach of the University of Florida. It wasn’t quite as shocking as that first, which was reported on Christmas Eve-Eve as a certain redheaded Gator fanatic was on his way to pick up some Chinese food. Citing his health and family as his reasons for stepping down again, Urban made his second exit a little less newsworthy. I wasn’t upset, Meyer had been in the hospital less than 24 hours after losing to Alabama in 2009, there were legitimate concerns there. And even though that retirement lasted only for a year, I’m not upset that he’s about the take the Ohio State job.

For a long time, people said Notre Dame was Urban Meyer’s dream job. I’ve never believed that. If it was, he would have told Florida to piss off back in 2004, and jumped at the contract from the Irish. He has always been an Ohio boy at heart. He grew up a Buckeye fan, less than 100 miles from the campus. While head coach at the University of Florida he had a picture of Woody Hayes on his wall. He considered Earle Bruce one of his ultimate mentors. Before thumping the Buckeyes in the 2006 BCS Championship Game he spoke about his admiration and love of the Ohio State program. It was always there.

Flash back to this past spring, Ohio State faces the worst scandal in the school’s history. Jim Tressel is suspended, and eventually forced out. No one saw it coming. An Ohio State job that looked like it was locked up for at least another few years was now open. It’s a once in a lifetime gig, as the job opened for only the fourth time in 60 years.

How can Meyer turn down his dream job? The simple answer is, you can’t. If you don’t take it now, there is a very good chance that it will never open again during your coaching career. If his family is okay with it, and he’s in the right health, whynot? I don’t believe very many of us would say no to not only a dream gig, but also a truckload of money to go with it. If this wasn’t Ohio State he probably would be sticking with ESPN for another year or two. He isn’t running back to coaching for the sake of coaching, he is running back because the Ohio State gig opened.

And I’m not going to “hate” Urban now, I’m not going to curse the guy like some other fans might. It’s ridiculous. For 6 seasons Urban put everything he had on the line at the University of Florida, and it equated into a record of 16-2 against our three biggest rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, and those dirty stinkin’ Noles). Two SEC Championships. Another SEC Championship appearance. And ultimately two crystal footballs (They’re so damn shiny, too).

And for outsiders, this isn’t the first time Gator fans have ever had to deal with this. If you recall, the greatest Gator to ever live, Stephen Orr Spurrier, came back to college coaching in 2004, at a divisional rival nonetheless. We all thought that would change everything and it hasn’t. The fans and Spurrier have been able to separate the job from his legacy. Spurrier has come back to the Swamp on several occasions (during the regular season at that), for reunions and other honors. We still love the guy, and when all is said and done, I hope we name the damn field after him when he retires.

I wish for the same type of relationship with Meyer. I don’t expect him to fly down from Ohio to celebrate the 2006 reunion in 5 years, but when his days are over I know we’ll find a way to celebrate what he’s done for our school. If we face the Buckeyes I hope we beat the piss out of them. It’s as simple as that.

Gator fans have got to put it aside. He didn’t abandon us. He didn’t leave us for Ohio State. He retired, and he took a dream job when it opened.

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