Will Tennessee Hire Urban Meyer After Firing Jeremy Pruitt?
Will Tennessee hire Urban Meyer after firing Jeremy Pruitt?
That is the big question in college football this week following Pruitt’s latest collapse and some interesting comments made by Meyer.
Pruitt, 45, lost once again on Saturday when Tennessee fell to BYU 29-26 in overtime.
The loss was Tennessee’s second of the year and dropped Pruitt’s record with the team to 5-9.
Seven days earlier, Tennessee paid Georgia State $950,000 for the privilege of getting embarrassed by them during Week 1 of the college football season.
Pruitt’s days with the Volunteers are numbered.
That much is clear.
But who will ultimately replace him?
Up until this weekend, the most popular conspiracy theory floating around had Phillip Fulmer pegged as his replacement.
It made sense, sort of.
As the theory goes, Fulmer would essentially pull a Barry Alvarez and come in to right the sinking ship.
He certainly has the pedigree to do it.
Prior to becoming the AD, Fulmer served as head coach for 16 years – winning a national championship and two SEC titles.
He would seem to be an upgrade over what Tennessee has now.
That being said, an interesting new name has entered the conversation: Meyer.
While appearing on FOX’s college football show this weekend, the former Ohio State head coach had some very surprising things to say about the Tennessee job.
“They were heads and tails above the other teams in the SEC East,” he said, recounting what the Volunteers were like when he first joined the SEC.
“They were the best team in the SEC East; Phil Fulmer was the coach. They had NFL Draft picks all over their team. They recruited at a high, high level.
“You go in the stadium, and I remember my family told me one time, that’s the hardest stadium to play [in]. And you saw just a steady deterioration.”
Meyer also doesn’t seem to believe that Tennessee should have any problems recruiting.
“And I heard that Tennessee’s not a great state for recruiting; I don’t know if I believe that,” he noted.
“Nashville’s great high school football. Memphis is great high school football,” he continued.
“So I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s been that way for a few years now. So I’m just shocked.
“Because I think Tennessee, you see their facilities, you see the investment in the program and I’m not sure what’s going on.”
Meyer went on to call the Tennessee coaching job one of the best in America.
“You’re talking about one of the top 10 jobs in America, a tradition-rich program,” he noted.
“You’re talking about one of the top 10 jobs in America” – Urban Meyer pic.twitter.com/5Zzgxs99wS
— gmannVOLS (@gmannVOLS) September 8, 2019
Meyer’s keen observations about the state of Tennessee football and his effusive praise of its history bring up an obvious question: would he have any interest in the head coaching job?
Ever since Meyer departed from Ohio State, popular wisdom has indicated that his return to the coaching ranks is something of an inevitability.
Whispers around college football had tapped USC as a potential landing spot, after Clay Helton inevitably gets the boot.
However, with the emergence of Kedon Slovis, Helton could have potentially gotten a temporary reprieve. And Meyer may not want to wait that long.
If he doesn’t, the Tennessee job could be perfect for him.
He would be an instant upgrade to what the Volunteers have now.
Would Meyer have any interest in actually accepting a position with Tennessee?
That remains to be seen, obviously.
But a week ago, the assumption was that he’d never even give the Volunteers the time of day.
Now, at least there’s a chance.