Urban Meyer's first regular-season game as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars did not go particularly well. They lost 37-21 to the Houston Texans, a team that was widely considered to be the absolute worst in football. (Until they faced the Jaguars, that is.)
Meyer's unfortunate NFL debut happened to roughly coincide with USC firing head coach Clay Helton after an ugly and demoralizing 42-28 loss to Stanford.
You can see where this is going, right?
The rumor mill got humming almost immediately, because Urban Meyer and an open coaching job at a major football school are an irresistible pair. After just one bad game, people were already speculating whether Meyer would leave Jacksonville and the NFL to coach USC.
Meyer shoots down speculation
Meyer got the chance to respond Wednesday. A reporter asked him during his media session if he'd like to take this opportunity to officially quash those rumors, and he did.
— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) September 15, 2021
Meyer looks directly at the reporters in the room when he says there's "no chance" he'd leave the Jags for USC. Very convincing! Then, while looking away, he said “I’m here and committed to try to build an organization.” When you say something like that with the kind of begrudging, resigned attitude Meyer had, it's not quite as convincing! His body language had a distinct I-guess-this-is-the-job-I-chose-and-now-I-have-to-live-with-it vibe. That'll definitely get the locker room fired up for their Week 2 game against the Denver Broncos, where the Jaguars are 6-point underdogs, per BetMGM.
Until Meyer actually wins a few games and looks like a competent NFL head coach, the job chatter is going to persist. Fortunately for Meyer, the NFL season is long and the bar for success in Jacksonville is pretty low. Unfortunately, the college football season is also long, and those coaches get streeted at an alarming rate. The "when will Urban Meyer abandon the NFL for college football" narrative doesn't seem like it's going anywhere.