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Urban Meyer Explains Why He Chose Florida Over Notre Dame In 2004

Urban Meyer talking to Chris Leak during a Florida Gators football game.

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida Gators talks with quarterback Chris Leak #12 on the sideline while taking on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 10, 2005 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Louisiana Tech 41-3. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Coming off of an undefeated season at Utah in 2004, there was a lot of speculation that Urban Meyer could take his "dream job," Notre Dame. In a recent interview, Meyer explained why he ultimately chose the Florida Gators over the Irish.

In a Friday appearance on The Herd, Meyer explained that he was actually very fond of Notre Dame. He was raised Irish-Catholic, grew up as a Notre Dame fan, and had his son baptized at Notre Dame.

But when the time came to sign with a new college, Meyer felt that Florida was a better situation for him. He felt that the roster was better and thought that the Gators gave him a better chance to win.

Meyer asserted that as a coach he wouldn't have been given time to build a program like Notre Dame.

Via FootballScoop:

“The bottom line in the coaching profession is you don’t have time to build programs anymore. You better get it going right now..."

“I felt Florida had the better roster... They had [quarterback] Chris Leak coming back, they had [wideout] Chad Jackson, they had [wideout] Bubba Caldwell. I did my homework and I thought, ‘You know what? You get one swing and I think the best chance to win is going to be at the University of Florida.'”

Urban Meyer's gut ended up being correct.

After going 9-3 in 2005, Meyer's Gators went 13-1 and won the BCS National Championship Game in 2006. Two years later, he added a second national title to his collection.

As for Notre Dame, they ultimately signed Charlie Weis in 2005, who went 35-27 in five years.

Brian Kelly has righted the ship in South Bend, but that still hasn't shut down the Meyer to Notre Dame rumors, 15 years later.