If it all blows up in his face, if the golden boy somehow fails this time, they won't be able to say Urban Meyer didn't cover himself.
Besides the obvious goodwill, there's another reason Florida's new coach has bonded with the sororities and fraternities on campus.
|Florida fans have big expectations for the man who led Utah to an unbeaten season and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. (Getty Images)|
That's a reference to the embarrassing scuffle between football players and Pi Kappa Phis last September. Former coach Ron Zook was summoned by athletic director Jeremy Foley to break up the fight in probably the most embarrassing moment of Zook's tenure.
Besides the obvious transition, there's another reason Meyer has kicked butt in spring drills: a lack of discipline. Meyer won't say it out loud, but there was a general breakdown in that key component before he arrived. Florida led the SEC in penalties last year (106). It lost games late. It lost to Georgia -- and Mississippi State. Most of all, it lost its swagger.
"I don't even know who you are," he told one player early on, "but if you run like that again, you're off the team."
Meyer now knows the player, who is still on the team.
Then there is the obvious comparison to Steve Spurrier. Just as confident, bordering on cocky, Meyer, 40, is almost a younger version of the Ol' Ball Coach without the twang.
But, of course, Meyer has himself covered. He won't buy into the hype surrounding his arrival, not yet. This is the biggest job of his life. One day he might come out in a visor, not-so-subtly run up scores and dominate the SEC with his personality and offense.
"If you hear that about three or four years from now, that's a positive," he said. "Right now, it has no meaning to us."
As with all hot, young coaches, the worst thing Meyer can do right now is coach a game. For fans, Saturday's spring game is as much a coming out as it is about getting a look at Chris Leak in Meyer's unique spread option.
They want to see how Meyer carries himself, how he uses the precious Leak. How he takes the Spurrier legacy from the last coach (Zook) to the next generation.
He's a guy, "you'd love to sit down and have a beer with," Foley told the Tampa Tribune.