GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Still smiling Sunday night after hearing the official announcement that his team would face Oklahoma on Jan. 8 for the national title, Florida coach
So how does Meyer handle the fact that as many as four of his assistants -- defensive coordinator
"I take a sleeping pill when I go home," Meyer joked.
Meyer can take solace in the fact that his Oklahoma counterpart,
"He's the kind of guy I would hire as a head coach," Meyer said. "The job he's done with our defensive line speaks for itself. Just watch those kids play."
Mullen spoke only about the Gators in interviews Sunday night. In interviews following Saturday's Big 12 title game, Wilson and Venables spoke only about the Sooners.
While it's highly unlikely all six assistants would land head-coaching jobs this time around, any moves could add wrinkles to an already intriguing matchup. With jobs open at Auburn, Mississippi State, Syracuse, New Mexico, San Diego State and Bowling Green and openings likely at East Carolina and Buffalo -- two reigning conference champs -- the assistants who helped their teams reach the BCS title game should be in high demand.
More than likely, any assistant who lands a job would remain with his current team through the title game. Historically, the results have been mixed when assistants have tried to serve two masters while preparing for the most important game of the season. In January,
"I wouldn't recommend it," Richt told USA Today this past January. "I think I lost some of my ability to be creative as a coach because there were just so many things racing through my mind."
The Sooners have dealt with this issue before heading into the BCS title game. After the 2003 season, defensive coordinator
Florida's Meyer has twice accepted jobs and stayed behind to coach in a bowl game. After Meyer took the head-coaching job at Bowling Green, he asked Notre Dame coach
Meyer and Stoops will have to hope their assistants will feel the same way if they take the next step on the professional ladder in the next few weeks. Sunday, after Meyer addressed a laundry list of questions about his in-demand assistants, someone asked how many he expected to lose. And while he wants his assistants to grow professionally, Meyer couldn't help feeling a little selfish for a moment.
"I'm hoping zero," he joked.