For Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer, many forks in the road six years later
Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow were the hottest couple in college football for four years. Together, they made Florida football transcend sports, almost a pop culture phenomenon.
On Jan. 8, 2009, that reached a peak when the Gators downed Oklahoma, 24-14 in the BCS National Championship Game in Dolphins Stadium.
The victory marked Florida’s second championship in three seasons and everything seemed to point toward a rosy future.
The ensuing six years, however, have seen marked changes in the lives of the coach and quarterback.
Coincidentally, they wound up in the same place at different times: working as announcers for ESPN.
Tebow’s road to broadcasting saw him become a controversial first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2010.
That started a short and stumbling NFL career that saw him lead the Broncos to an overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011 before being shipped to the New York Jets for the 2012 season.
That move proved to be futile, as Tebow was caught up in the circus that has become Woody Johnson, Rex Ryan and the Jets. He then signed a two-year contract with the New England Patriots in June of 2013, lasting until August before being cut.
And that ended the playing days of the 2007 Heisman Trophy recipient.
His coach, meanwhile, didn’t have a much smoother ride.
Meyer appeared to be atop the coaching mountain with Tebow. However, that crashed in December 2009, when he revealed a health scare that led to him assessing his priorities, and a short leave of absence. Meyer coached the Gators through the following season before announcing his retirement on Dec. 8, 2010, again citing health reasons.
That led to a short stint in the broadcast booth before being offered the opportunity to become head coach at Ohio State on Nov. 28, 2011.
Six years later, Meyer is back in the National Championship, leading the Buckeyes against Oregon on Jan. 12. Meanwhile, Tebow is out of football, interviewing his former coach.