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Column: 3 Reasons Why Urban Meyer Wouldn't Leave the Jaguars For Notre Dame

Urban Meyer's name has come up countless times over the last 12+ hours as Notre Dame looks for a new head coach, but there are a few clear reasons why we think there is zero chance the Jaguars' head coach would consider it.

Urban Meyer's name is one of the most popular in all of football when it comes to the coaching ranks, whether it be the pros or college. Meyer cut his teeth at the college level for decades, rebuilding program after program and winning three national titles before taking the leap to the NFL this year. 

As a result, there is little surprise whenever Meyer's name is connected to open jobs in the college scene. Meyer's name was frequently brought up when USC's job opened up just one week into Meyer's NFL career, though Meyer shot down the rumors when asked during an early-week press conference in September. 

Meyer's name has yet again popped up on the college coaching carousel, however, with Notre Dame suddenly having an opening at head coach following Brian Kelly's departure to LSU. Meyer is a former Notre Dame assistant (1996-2000), after all, and once even called Notre Dame his dream job. 

But this too was shot down on Tuesday as ESPN and the Associated Press both reported Meyer was committed to rebuilding the Jaguars and not returning to the college ranks. But even with the report, there are still likely some that will be skeptical until they actually see it. Considering the unpredictability of coaching changes -- just look at Lincoln Riley shooting down LSU and then leaving for USC the next morning.

But when you look at Meyer's place in Jacksonville and this stage of his career, it is clear that there should be no actual thoughts of Meyer leaving for South Bend. In fact, there are three big reasons why the thought of Meyer in Notre Dame is more far-fetched than even your standard college football rumor. 

The changing college football landscape

The biggest reason Meyer wouldn't leave the Jaguars for Notre Dame, even if it was once upon a time his dream job? College football. That is really it. Meyer at this stage of his coaching career isn't the same coach he was when he was dominating the college scene, but college football has changed even more than he has. College football simply isn't the same landscape it was when Meyer was last in it. While it may be the same product on the field each Saturday, everything around the sport has changed, especially since Meyer left college in 2018. 

The biggest part of college football that has shifted since Meyer left the college sidelines is the transfer portal. Meyer got out of college just as the transfer portal was becoming official and lifting off. It has completely changed how teams operate and recruit on every level, with players now able to completely change a team's building process. Meyer has been brutally honest about the transfer portal in the past, pointing to it as an aspect of recruiting he is not particularly fond of. 

Meyer has clearly struggled at times with the transition from being a great recruiter to being a great team-builder in an NFL offseason, but recruiting in college football isn't what it was when Meyer was dominating on the recruiting trails at Florida and Ohio State. 

Then, of course, there are the new name, image, and likeness guidelines that have seeped into every level of college football. The ability for student-athletes to profit off their own likeness is more than just, but it is quite a change from when Meyer was a head coach. Meyer would be able to adjust, but it would be another new wrinkle he would have to learn -- a wrinkle that wasn't there when he succeeded during his first run as a college football head coach.

“I’m very close still to Florida with Danny, I talk to him quite often. And then also Ryan [Day] and my son-in-law, wild stuff, man," Meyer said on Sept. 2. "A guy that has never played a snap, $1.5 million. I imagine getting them to go to Sociology 101 is not easy. Once again, that’s not my issue.”

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Meyer, like any NFL coach, is a creature of habit. In any event he would have ever wanted to go back to coaching college football, recent changes to the college football arena have completely disrupted Meyer's former ways. He would likely still be able to succeed, but he would have to change just as much at Notre Dame as he had to change when he took the Jaguars job. 

Trevor Lawrence

Meyer and the entire Jaguars organization know they were gifted a golden goose in Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence is such a unique talented quarterback from a mental and physical standpoint that any coach would be willing to bet their reputation on his success and development, and that is exactly why Meyer took the Jaguars job in January to begin with. 

So far, though, Meyer and his staff have failed to develop Lawrence. He has improved since Week 1, but he has still thrown for just nine touchdowns in 11 games and the quarterback who was tabbed as generational has been put through weekly tests of his fortitude due to the Jaguars' offensive issues around him. 

As a result of both the value of having Lawrence at his disposal and the pride that goes into developing Lawrence as opposed to failing him, I can't think of any reason Meyer would opt to leave the Jaguars' sideline willingly for Notre Dame. Meyer would have done anything to have a quarterback like Lawrence at the college level, and now he finally has him. Why would Meyer give up on developing Lawrence and riding his success -- or lack thereof -- into the future just one year after committing to him? 

Meyer could also have a chance for redemption when it comes to Lawrence's development. If he sticks in Jacksonville, he can change his approach in the 2022 offseason to actually build a system and supporting cast that would give Lawrence a chance to succeed. Whether Meyer is the right coach for Lawrence is a moot point here, but it is clear Lawrence is the right quarterback for Meyer. Meyer can also assumedly be unlikely to be content with having the stain of Lawrence's rookie issues being the only thing he is associated with at the end of the day when it comes to the No. 1 overall pick. 

Lawrence is the biggest reason Meyer came to Jacksonville, and he is among the biggest reasons Meyer should not be considered a candidate to leave for Notre Dame.

Shad Khan

Is there any job at the college level that presents the same security the Jaguars do? That is highly unlikely considering Shad Khan's past. With colleges quick to pull the rug out from floundering coaches, leaving an NFL job for a college one would be risky at best to begin with. But leaving the employment of Khan would make that decision even more curious.

Simply put, Khan is one of the most patient owners in the entire NFL. He hires people he trusts know what they are doing and he lets them do just that. While some teams and bases have to worry about their owner being too hands-on when it comes to the front office and coaching staff, Khan is just the opposite. He lets his football people handle the football operations, and he always has. 

Khan has also given Meyer a blank check and granted his every wish since becoming the Jaguars' head coach. From plans for a new practice facility to wide-scale changes to the team's sports performance program to one of the largest coaching staffs in the NFL, Khan has given Meyer every possible resource to succeed while also allowing him the authority to do just that. 

Some owners would see 2-9 and Lawrence's early struggles and consider making a change at head coach, but nothing about Khan's past with Gus Bradley, Dave Caldwell, Tom Coughlin, or Doug Marrone suggests that will happen any time soon. Unlike in some roles, the Jaguars' head coach is always allowed the time he needs to either fail or succeed. Few colleges -- even Notre Dame -- can offer that same kind of patience.