Another Reason to Loathe Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer is still a relatively recent addition to the head coaching ranks of the Big Ten. Nevertheless, he seems adept at finding ways to make other fan bases dislike him. Surely, winning is a big part of that. Barry Switzer would not have been so hard to stomach if his shady behavior wasn't paying off on the field. But now he has the audacity to repeat his claim that his 2008 Florida Gator squad was as good or better than any team to ever play college football. He's not just a little wrong about that, he's very wrong.
The Back Door National Championship
In the long history of college football, there are basically two kinds of national champions. Those that went through their season undefeated and those that lost a game along the way but won a beauty contest of one-loss teams. The 2008 Florida Gators are in the latter category. There are dozens of teams over the years in the former category. Yet, for some reason he thinks a team that was beaten is as good or better than all of these great teams that were never beaten. In fact, the 2008 season saw Utah go 13-0 with a win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. That Utes squad won by a greater margin over the Crimson Tide than Florida did. A handful of computers give Utah the nod as the better team for the 2008 season. Are we really going to argue a team that's not even definitively the strongest in its own time is the best of all time?
A Slap In the Face to His Current Employer
Among those undefeated teams is a 14-0 Ohio State squad that defeated another unbeaten team in defending champion Miami. You could also point to three of Woody Hayes' Buckeye teams that did not lose a game that he's pushing aside. Never mind that OSU gave Meyer his start in college coaching, making it possible for him to win titles at Florida in the first place. This guy shows so little respect for his school, you expect to spot him in a Michigan hoodie one of these days.
Some of those Undefeated Teams are WAY Better
If you want to make the claim that one of these back door national champions might be better than an undefeated team, that might be reasonable. But ignoring all of the great undefeated teams is just nonsense. Take the 1995 Nebraska team that steamrolled four top-ten teams, didn't play a game closer than two touchdowns and sat smack dab in the middle of an unprecedented (and yet to be duplicated) 60-3 five year run. Those who prefer teams of a more recent vintage could point to a 2001 Miami team that featured 17 NFL first round draft picks, a number of whom became Pro Bowl or even Hall of Fame caliber talents. The 2005 Texas squad also set an NCAA record for points scored and the only close game was a win over a USC team that people were ready to anoint as the greatest of all time. Even the defending champion Florida State squad managed 14 wins with a quarterback every bit as potent as Tim Tebow.
Only Meyer or a Florida fan would ever suggest that that Gator team could be among the all-time greatest. And most UF fans are probably intellectually honest enough to admit that Meyer has it wrong.
By no means is this the only reason to loathe Meyer (he did recruit a future serial killer while at Florida). Still, it's one that's going to offend anyone with any genuine sense of college football history.