Really, this should have been obvious when Urban Meyer agreed to become Ohio State's head coach: Tim Tebow was going to start rooting for Ohio State.
Tebow and Meyer have a very close relationship. Tebow and Meyer did special things together at Florida and the player was going to wish for the best for his old coach. It makes sense.
That doesn't mean Tebow doesn't root for Florida, his alma mater, anymore. But from his remarks to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, it's obvious he has some split loyalties now.
He talked about how he was nervously tracking the Ohio State-Purdue game a couple weeks ago as the Jets were getting ready to leave for a road game:
"I was pretty nervous," Tebow told The Plain Dealer. "We were literally taking off as they were about to score and then go for the two-point conversion, so I didn't know until we landed that they won. So it was pretty cool. And I guess as hard as it is for me to say, I am a pretty big fan now of The Ohio State University."
If it was hard for Tebow to say, imagine how hard it is for Florida fans to hear.
Tebow is the face of the Gators program, and there were some bad feelings in Gainesville when Meyer left to Ohio State after a year off coaching. Tebow also addressed that at length in The Plain Dealer interview, when asked how Florida fans should feel about Meyer's success:
I think they should be proud of Coach Meyer and be thankful for what he did there at Florida," Tebow said. "He was there at the right time, and he had to move on and do what was best for him physically, for his family and for his health. And if they're fans of his, and they care more about him than they did just about the games, then I think they can understand that.
And Coach Meyer gave his heart and soul to Florida and he paid for it a little bit. But I think we have to look at it from a bigger picture than just football. And I think a lot of people can do that. And I know Florida will always have a special place in Coach Meyer's heart, he'll always love it. We talked about it two nights ago, about how proud we are of how everyone is doing there, and their season, so he still roots for the Gators and he'll always be a Gator.
But it was the right time for him to move on, take a year off and decide he wants to get back into coaching. And I think Ohio State was the right fit for him, and I think it was the right fit for his family as well.
Again, Tebow supporting Meyer shouldn't be a huge shock. The relationship between Tebow and Meyer is well documented. Meyer said he still talks to Tebow every week. Tebow said he might come visit Columbus in the offseason. Meyer joked that he thinks he got Tebow an Ohio State shirt.
Yes, Florida fans, you're allowed to vomit a bit now.
The other interesting thing from The Plain Dealer interview was how Meyer hopes that Tebow can mentor Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, who is a Heisman contender and only a sophomore.
"I would love for those guys to get face-to-face, even train a little bit together, work out together," Meyer said. "Tim is so busy, but I'm going to push for that to happen real hard."
Tebow said he has talked to Miller on the phone and has texted him, and thinks Miller is a "good kid" and "has the incredible tools." It's actually a pretty cool story, of a player-coach relationship that has survived a few years apart, and even the coach going to another school.
We don't expect Gators fans to think it's so heartwarming.
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