- Kirk Herbstreit, College Football analyst
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Steve Spurrier obviously did a lot of soul-searching over the last two weeks, and his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the Florida job comes down to the fact that Florida would like a coach who can give the school 10-15 years of his life. Spurrier sees himself as a quick fix, not necessarily the 12-year man he was in his first stint with the Gators, and the headaches of dealing with academics and recruiting definitely play a part in that.
Being the coach at a major program like Florida is a year-round job, and at the end of the day Spurrier wisely felt he couldn't attack the job in the right way and that it would be in the best interests of everyone if he passed on the job.
That being the case, conventional wisdom says that if Spurrier is not going to come back to Florida, he's not going to come back to college football at all. Still, this is Steve Spurrier we're talking about, and just when we think we have him figured out he goes and changes his mind.
So it wouldn't surprise me to see him back in college if the right situation presents itself, but it would have to be with a program that would offer him the chance to compete for the national championship as soon as possible. But that kind of job doesn't seem to be out there right now, and we will not see Spurrier join a program that is trying to build a championship contender.
So Florida is left to find someone else to replace Ron Zook. Oklahoma coach and former Florida assistant Bob Stoops has already said he is happy at OU and the timing is not right for him to leave the Sooners. Stoops has made it clear that he would one day like to return to Gainesville and perhaps even finish his career there, but why leave right now when his team is at or near the top of the BCS Standings every season? He would be crazy to walk away from a school that has been so dedicated to his program and his family.
The next names on the list to be considered are probably Urban Meyer of Utah and Jeff Tedford of California. Because of the uproar when Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley hired an unknown Ron Zook, the administration in Gainesville is under a lot of pressure to hire a coach whose name alone will get the Gator Nation excited. They will not hire an NFL or college assistant. Florida must land a current head coach people have heard of and respect.
Kirk Herbstreit is an analyst for ESPN's College GameDay and a regular contributor to ESPN.com during the college football season.
Steve Spurrier would be a great quick-fix for any program, but Florida is looking for a long-term solution.