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What they're saying on Meyer

Published: Friday, July 3 2015 2:44 p.m. MDT

A look at what sports writers and columnists are saying about Tyrone Willingham's firing and Utah's Urban Meyer as a possible replacement:

"It's a job where Bob Stoops could leave the monster he has built at Oklahoma to walk beneath Touchdown Jesus. Where Jeff Tedford, a self-proclaimed 'West Coast guy,' could ditch his flip-flops for snow boots to touch 'Play Like Champions Today' every fall Saturday. And where Urban Meyer, the nation's hottest coach, shouldn't be the top candidate because there are a few other guys on the planet with a better resume.
"It's time for Notre Dame to realize it's Notre Dame. The Irish are what college sports is all about. It is what coaching is all about — for any coach at any level. The first call Irish athletic director Kevin White makes goes to Stoops. The next, if Stoops declines, goes to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick."
Matt Hayes, The Sporting News

"Let's start with the game of 'follow the bouncing ball,' coaching-style: Utah coach Urban Meyer has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave immediately for Notre Dame without substantial penalty. This was not the case for any other school (namely, Florida), only Notre Dame — the place where Meyer used to work on Lou Holtz's and Bob Davie's staff as wide receiver coach from 1996-2000. Notre Dame wants Meyer and knows the coaching calculus.
"If Meyer goes to Notre Dame, he obviously won't join former Utah president Bernie Machen at Florida. (Just think of what might have been had Willingham been sacked oh, a few days after Ron Zook got fired in Gainesville . . . would a certain Ol' Ball Coach be wearing Garnet and Black right now?) This means that — presto, change-o — Butch Davis, the man who was pushed out of the Cleveland Browns' coaching job just hours before Willingham got axed, is now an overwhelming and easy choice to be hired by Florida within the next week . . .
"And in the midst of all this — assuming Meyer does indeed leave for Notre Dame — one wonders how Utah's Fiesta Bowl performance will be affected, not to mention the future of the program. Now that the Utes have shattered the BCS' glass ceiling, one can't help but wonder if coaches will look at the job in Salt Lake City with newfound interest and desire."
Matthew Zemek, CollegeFootballNews.com

"Ty Willingham was not fired because he failed to win a national championship. Ty Willingham, who by every account is a man of impeccable integrity and character, a man possessed of both wisdom and intellect, was fired because 1) under him the Irish no longer had any fight and 2) Notre Dame did not want to miss out on a chance to hire Urban Meyer." John Walters, SI.com

"So it's simple, right? Notre Dame fires Tyrone Willingham on Tuesday and quickly makes Meyer's dream job a reality.
"I doubt it will be that easy. I think Notre Dame still has a lot of selling to do.
"Consider something else Meyer said: 'It's not so much where you work. It's who you work for and who you work with.'
"At Notre Dame, Meyer would be working with an athletic director, Kevin White, who didn't appear to have the final say in dismissing Willingham. Will White choose to stay if his authority was undermined?
"And Meyer would be working for trustees who decided three seasons were enough to decide that Willingham, a respected member of the coaching fraternity, had failed.
"Sure, a provision in Meyer's contract at Utah allows him to leave for three schools — Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan — without having to pay a $250,000 buyout.
"But given what transpired Tuesday in South Bend, perhaps Notre Dame is no longer Meyer's dream destination, his vision of NCAA purity."
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

"Notre Dame fired a preemptive shot across Florida's bow in the potential battle for the nation's hottest coaching candidate." Wendell Barnhouse, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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