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How Urban Meyer's flop compares to other college coaches in the NFL

·4 min read
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No coach in NFL history has flamed out quite as spectacularly as Urban Meyer, who concludes his less-than-one-and-done year with the Jacksonville Jaguars with fewer wins in the NFL (two) than Football Bowl Subdivision national championships (three).

Meyer isn't the first former college coach to flop in the transition to the next level. While none have approached Meyer's spectacular disaster, the list of names to get chewed up by the NFL includes some of the most successful head coaches in the modern era of college football.

Lou Holtz, New York Jets (1976)

Holtz led Notre Dame to the national championship in 1988 and another five programs to the postseason. But he lasted just 13 games in the NFL, resigning from his spot with the Jets with one game left in the regular season. His one team tossed 28 interceptions, scored 17 offensive touchdowns and ranked 26th in the league in offense and defense.

JARRETT BELL: Urban Meyer's NFL tenure was an embarrassment — and Jimmy Johnson can explain how it all went wrong

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Bud Wilkinson, St. Louis Cardinals (1978-79)

Wilkinson was the architect of one of the great dynasties in college football history at Oklahoma, winning 13 straight conference championships (1947-59) and three national championships (1954-55, 1959) in a run highlighted by a record 47-game winning streak from 1953-57. After trying his hand in politics and spending 13 years as a broadcaster for ABC, Wilkinson returned to coaching with the St. Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals and went 9-20 before being fired late in the 1979 season.

Steve Spurrier, Washington Football Team (2002-03)

Spurrier's pitch-and-catch offense revolutionized the SEC and all of college football, creating a decade-long dynasty at Florida and paving the way for the high-scoring schemes that now dominate the sport. Ready for another challenge, Spurrier accepted Washington's five-year, $25 million deal — making him then the highest-paid coach in the NFL — and put together two losing seasons before resigning, leaving three years and $15 million on the table.

Nick Saban, Miami Dolphins (2005-06)

The greatest coach in college football history had only an average run in his two seasons as an NFL head coach. After winning one national championship at LSU but before adding another six with Alabama, Saban seemed on the verge of a breakthrough with the Dolphins — his first team won six straight to end 2005 at 9-7, and Miami was listed as a possible breakout team in 2006. But that team slumped to 6-10, no doubt impacted at least somewhat by the will-he-or-won't-he drama over Saban's connection to the Alabama job.

On Dec. 21, 2006, Saban addressed the rumors by saying, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." He would be introduced as the Tide's savior on Jan. 3.

Bobby Petrino, Atlanta Falcons (2007)

The offensive mastermind who brought Louisville to the Orange Bowl didn't even last an entire season with the Falcons before slipping away to take the job at Arkansas. Famously, Petrino let players know he was leaving with a terse, 78-word statement left inside lockers explaining that he was resigning "with a heavy heart."

Lane Kiffin, Oakland Raiders (2007-08)

While seen as a future college head coach, Kiffin hadn't been more than an offensive coordinator when he was plucked away from Southern California at just 31, then the youngest head coach in NFL history. Never afraid of taking fliers on outside-the-box candidates, longtime owner Al Davis thought Kiffin could find the same success as other young coaches in franchise history, including Jon Gruden and John Madden.

Instead, Kiffin's team went 4-12 in his first year and started 1-3 in 2008 before the Raiders made a coaching change, as Davis called Kiffin a "flat-out liar" and fought to terminate his contract without paying the $2.6 million remaining on his deal. There was more drama just around the corner: Kiffin's next job would be at Tennessee, where he'd spend just one season before leaving Knoxville for the opening at USC.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Urban Meyer's flop compared to other college coaches in the NFL