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Urban Meyer Fired by Jaguars; Is Return to College Football a Possibility?

The Jacksonville Jaguars pulled the trigger on releasing Urban Meyer late Wednesday evening. Now, with Meyer on the market right as bowl season begins, is he a likely candidate for any college football program?

For weeks, the status of Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was debated. 

The string of events since Meyer took the job was often jarring and sometimes disturbing, from the bar incident involving a young woman to perhaps the last straw coming in the form of former kicker Josh Lambo accusing Meyer of kicking him prior to a game.

Yet on Wednesday evening (actually Thursday morning on the east coast), NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Meyer had been booted from his position. 

An hour later, Jaguars owner Shad Khan released the following statement:

Now, with four weeks left in the NFL season, Meyer had his bags sent packing likely before his alarm clock even went off to begin a new day. 

Meyer, a quite successful head coach at the college level, will likely hear his name in plenty of coaching searches with bowls set to begin and the early national signing period already underway. 

Winning three national championships (two at Florida in 2006 and 2008 and one at Ohio State in 2014) while recruiting and sending limitless talent to the NFL, many believed Meyer's stint at the NFL level wouldn't last long, as he was much better suited for the collegiate level.

A 2-11 record, along with a variety of other reasons, now likely sends Meyer searching for a new job. 

There's two questions that require answers: Will Meyer have any interest in coaching in the short term, and will any teams have interest? 

While Meyer's future will be at home, coaching or sitting at a desk as an analyst is to be determined. However, there's no denying interest will come from several programs for Meyer to lead the way after a tumultuous start in the NFL will likely scare away teams across the league. 

However, would Meyer be wise to take a season off? 

Top openings such as USC, Notre Dame, Oregon, Miami, Oklahoma and plenty of others have already been filled. Meyer, who would likely take only a high profile job, doesn't have many options left. 

Of course, a school could perhaps cut ties with their current coach and bring Meyer on, which seems like a likely scenario should Meyer want to return immediately.

Yet with the 2022 class already signing letters of intent, Meyer may feel discouraged from leading a group of kids that he didn't have a hand in recruiting, ultimately putting his shiny college football record of 187-32 (.854) in jeopardy of being tarnished. 

The best course of action may be for Meyer to wait until next season to find a big-name job opening (perhaps returning to Ohio State?) while letting the current climate surrounding his name clear. 

Of course, Meyer could easily turn around and immediately take a job, using 2022 as a building year while hitting the recruiting trail hard for the following years. That would require at least a few years of job security wherever Meyer lands, something not exactly afforded to Meyer in Jacksonville.

However, as time has proved again and again, there's no telling what's going through Meyer's head. 

At least now he has plenty of time to think about his next move.