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Urban Meyer to Ohio State? Florida Gators aren't sure

Speculation has Urban Meyer, last on Florida’s sideline at the Outback Bowl, going to Ohio State.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Speculation has Urban Meyer, last on Florida’s sideline at the Outback Bowl, going to Ohio State.

GAINESVILLE — If former Florida coach Urban Meyer plans on taking the Ohio State head coaching job, he's not letting on right now.

Meyer, an analyst for ESPN, said during the network's broadcast of the Nebraska-Michigan game Saturday afternoon that he has neither been offered nor has he accepted any job.

Former Buckeye and current ESPN analyst Chris Spielman said as far as he knows, talk of Meyer being offered and ready to accept the Ohio State job is strictly rumor at this point.

Contacted last week by the Associated Press, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said no deal had been struck with Meyer.

Meyer, 47, a native of Ohio, has been rumored to be heading for Columbus since Jim Tressel resigned almost six months ago over a scandal involving impermissible benefits and players exchanging tattoos for memorabilia. (Interim coach Luke Fickell is signed only through this season.) Meyer began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Buckeyes in 1986.

Meyer resigned as Florida's coach on Dec. 8, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and later citing health reasons. He won 104 games and two national championships over 10 years with the Gators, Utah and Bowling Green.

Florida coach Will Muschamp, who replaced Meyer in December, said he isn't buying the Ohio State rumors.

"Yeah, it would," Muschamp said when asked if Meyer taking the job would surprise him. "I think it would be great for college football. Urban is an outstanding football coach. He does it the right way. He did a phenomenal job at Bowling Green and Utah and then, obviously, here at Florida. He's a first-class guy. But with his deteriorating health and his family, as important as that is to him, I wouldn't think he would. That's just my opinion."

Florida junior NT Omar Hunter wouldn't comment on if he believes Meyer will take the Ohio State job but said he expects him to return to coaching one day.

"I know he loves the game," he said. "I think when it's the right opportunity and the right place for him, he'll come back and coach. Given all his health issues, when he gets that straightened out, he'll be back."

CUNNINGHAM'S BIG DAY: Zephyrhills High alumnus Sederrik Cunningham had a big day for Furman.

The senior's only catch came on a 47-yard touchdown from TE Colin Anderson (who had taken a lateral from QB Jeff Forcier). He recorded a game-high 234 all-purpose yards, including 170 on kick returns and 17 yards on his only carry.

"I'm just blessed to have had this opportunity," Cunningham said.

STURGIS MOVES UP: Caleb Sturgis' 55-yard field goal 1:52 into the fourth gave him five of 50 yards or longer, most in Florida history. He had been tied with Berj Yepremian. He is the only Gator with two 55-yard field goals.

Sturgis went 2-for-4 on the day. His 43-yarder during the third marked the 44th field goal of his career, second in school history to Jeff Chandler's 67.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Urban Meyer to Ohio State? Florida Gators aren't sure 11/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 3:22pm]

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