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John Raoux, Associated Press
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley speaks to reporters after football coach Urban Meyer talks about his resignation during a news conference in Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. Meyer is leaving one of the premier jobs in college football for the second time to spend more time with his family.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida and Miami used to play annually, a once-heated rivalry that made other series look tame, and they still vie for top recruits every year.

Now, they could be competing for a football coach, too.

The Hurricanes fired Randy Shannon on Nov. 28 and got a head start on the replacement process. The Gators lost Urban Meyer on Wednesday when he resigned for the second time in less than a year, saying he wanted to "focus on family and other interests away from the sidelines."

It's the first time since 1978 that the two Sunshine State rivals were looking for head coaches at the same time. As both schools can attest, finding the right guy can be the difference between mediocrity and superiority.