It's a disgrace to marketers everywhere. People are paid to come up with ideas like the brilliant one Urban Meyer just hatched sitting around a table with some staffers.
|Percy Harvin runs the 40 in 4.28. (US Presswire)|
You'd pay to see it, right?
At Florida, it has evolved into the Urban Jungle -- at least that's what I'm calling it. All the details haven't been worked out, but Meyer plans to allow a few students to come in, train and race some of his players every Thursday during the spring. Spring practice begins Wednesday. The competition will culminate on April 12 when the annual spring scrimmage is nationally televised.
C'mon, Urban, a scholarship for someone who beats the fastest Gators?
"I'm not immune (to it) if I find a guy," Meyer said.
The Ol' (Barnum and Bailey) Ball Coach has hit on something. The idea incorporates three of the most attractive things about SEC football -- speed, spring and hype. There are no ulterior motives except giving back to the students and getting Florida football in the headlines. Beats the heck out of the news coming out of, say, Penn State or Tennessee these days.
"The first thing we want to do it for is recruiting, it's something to showcase," Meyer said. "In the South I've kind of learned it's that time of year. It's a celebration of the university. People take it real seriously."
This is really no different than the 12th-man tryouts at Texas A&M. Meyer held tryouts himself for the kickoff team at Bowling Green. Students get the glory of attempting to become part of the team, and hey, if they get a date out of it, all the better.
"When they had the press conference on March 5, I got 10 e-mails immediately," said Mike McCall, sports editor of the student newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator.
"As many rabid fans as we have here, they'll be lining up around the block."
McCall had the idea of doing a participatory piece, without the delusions of snagging that scholarship.
"If I really go all out and train and everything, I might run a 4.8," he said.
Florida fans need drool bibs anyway. This is real reality television. The plan is for the top student(s) to run against the fastest of Gators: probably receivers Deonte Thompson (4.40, 40), Percy Harvin (4.28) and Louis Murphy (4.25) and tailback Chris Rainey (4.33).
The students will sign waivers. Hopefully, the players don't pull a hammy.
"If they beat Percy Harvin, there's a good chance (that student will) be returning kicks next year," Meyer said.
Yeah, if ...
For the rest of the national college football notes read Dennis Dodd's blog Dodds and Ends