It’s never been a secret that former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews and ex-Gator coach Urban Meyer weren’t the best of buds. Now, having gone on Jacksonville’s WJXL-AM/FM to talk about the current state of the program, Matthews has opened an old wound and made it very clear that he blames Ohio State’s new coach for what ails Matthews’ alma mater:
“(Will Muschamp) was dealt a bad deck of cards, I don’t think people realize how bad that situation is and was…
We ain’t put anybody in the league the last couple years so that shows you how we were recruiting…they missed big time…we had a track team… track teams don’t play on Sunday…you can be able to run like a track team, but you better be able to play football.”
If Matthews is right — and we think he is — then it further suggests our “Tebow Did It” theory will someday come to be viewed as fact. Regular readers of this site know that this writer in particular believes the Gators’ 2006-09 run was more the result of landing a game-changing player than it was great coaching.
Meyer’s record with Tebow: 48-7 (27-5 in the SEC). Meyer’s record without Tebow: 17-8 (9-7 in the SEC).
Of course, that always draws the obligatory, “But Chris Leak was the starting quarterback during the BCS title season of 2006.” Yes. He was. Tebow — a true freshman — was just the guy who came in and converted all of the third- and fourth-down short yardage plays that UF couldn’t convert the year before. Anyone else remember the “Third-and-Tebow” comments?
Bottom line: No Tebow, no title in 2006.
Meyer recruited a track team, failed to keep up any discipline off the field, and signed two of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history (Cam Newton washed out after a stolen laptop incident and wound up at Auburn, of course). That’s a pretty good recipe for short-term success and there’s no doubting the fact that most Gator fans are A-OK with how Meyer won his two crystal footballs.
But if I were an Ohio State fan — based on what we’ve all seen play out at Florida — I would be praying that there’s another Tebow or Newton floating around out there and that Meyer can sign him. And I wouldn’t be counting on a long run of success.
Ask Shane Matthews.