Why we should believe Urban Meyer’s latest claim and how it impacts LSU football

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Things aren’t going well for Urban Meyer in his first season as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora surfaced last weekend that suggested Meyer’s reign in Jacksonville isn’t going smoothly.

It’s a tense environment under Meyer, according to La Canfora.

Here’s a snippet of the report:

"There have been repeated issues with other coaches on staff, with Meyer’s temper and lack of familiarity with the ebbs and flows of the NFL calendar rubbing the Jacksonville Jaguars staff and players the wrong way, the sources said. There is a disconnect at times between the members of the staff with extensive pro experience and those who lack it, and morale has suffered as the outbursts have continued. His fiery remarks to players and coaches after games have already struck many as bizarre."

To make matters worse, Meyer lost his NFL head coaching debut. The Jaguars fell 37-21 to the Houston Texans on Sunday.

It didn’t long for folks to start speculating that Meyer’s stint in the NFL could be short-lived (a la Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino).

I tend to agree. Meyer has a history of bolting unexpectedly (just ask Florida and Ohio State).

The assumption is that if Meyer leaves Jacksonville, he’ll return to college football.

That speculation increased after USC fired head coach Clay Helton this week.

USC is one of the top jobs in college football. Would Meyer take the job?

On Wednesday, Meyer was asked about his potential interest in leading the Trojans. And he said, “there’s no chance”.

That sounds a lot like Nick Saban denying he was interested in the Alabama job when he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins (15 years later and Saban is still the head coach at Alabama).

I might be one of the few people who actually believe Meyer. I don’t think he will leave the Jaguars for the USC job.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves for another college football job.

In fact, I think there are two college football jobs that would be of great interest to Meyer.

Where could Urban Meyer coach next?

If Meyer fails in the NFL, he will almost certainly return to college football. Meyer is as competitive as it gets. There’s no way he’s going to let the lasting image of him as a coach be the portrait of a man who failed.

There are two jobs that I think Meyer would take in college football.

The Notre Dame job (which has always been close to his heart) or the LSU job.

Meyer passed on becoming the Notre Dame head coach in 2004, even though it was a “dream job” for him. He passed because he felt like he could have more success at Florida (he was right).

That’s the thing about Meyer — he’s not going to set himself up for failure. The only reason he took the Jaguars job is because he knew he would get Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the draft.

This time around, the Notre Dame job is much more attractive. Brian Kelly has done a great job with the program and there’s plenty of talent on the roster.

Of course, the only problem is that Kelly is still the head coach and he doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. I think the only way the job opens — barring a complete collapse — is if Kelly goes to the NFL (which has been rumored before). If that happens, Meyer to Notre Dame would make as much sense as any coaching hire in recent memory.

As for the LSU job?

It’s not that LSU holds any special meaning to Meyer. It’s simply what Meyer could accomplish in Baton Rouge.

An elite in-state recruiting base and a roster loaded with talent would certainly be attractive.

Then there’s the fact that LSU is in the SEC West — where the bulk of elite college talent often lands.

If Meyer goes back to college football he will go somewhere that’s easy to recruit to, can quickly win a national championship, and competes at the highest level.

LSU has all of that.

The only problem is that Ed Orgeron is still the head coach. But depending on how the 2021 season goes, that could change. Another .500 season or only slightly better and Coach O could receive a pink slip.

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This offseason’s version of the coaching carousel could get wild really quick.