Throughout his college football coaching career, Urban Meyer won many games, including two national championships—one at Florida and one at Ohio State—so he knows a thing or two about coaching at the college level. Earlier this week, Meyer revealed who he thinks the best coach in the country is right now, and it happens to be someone from a school he used to be the head coach of.
Who did Meyer choose? None other than Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham.
Urban Meyer believes Kyle Whittingham is the best coach in college football:
?I?ve said many times Kyle Whittingham?s one of the best coaches in college football. Now he?s the best. He?s the best coach in college football.?
— On3 (@On3sports) October 25, 2023
"I've said many times Kyle Whittingham's ones of the best coaches in college football," Meyer said on a recent episode of Urban's Take with Tim May. "Now he's the best. He's the best coach in college football."
Meyer was the head coach for the Utes in 2003 and 2004 before going to Florida in 2005. During that time, Whittingham was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He took over as head coach for the program in 2005 after Meyer left and has been there since.
Whittingham has a 160-75 record with the program, which is the most all-time wins by a coach in program history. The Utes are 6-1 this season despite quarterback Cam Rising having yet to play. Their only loss came on the road against Oregon State, where they lost 21-7. Last week, they beat the USC Trojans on the road 34-32, with some late-game play from Bryson Barnes. Barnes started the year as the third-string quarterback.
"It's a third string quarterback in Bryson Barnes that, if you watch that drive, he threw a pick six in the fourth quarter," he said. "They didn't score a couple of times. USC takes the lead and this guy takes 'em on a two-minute drive. He runs over a safety. He scrambles and puts them in field goal range after a penalty. It's really why you watch college football.
"Kyle's comment about Caleb Williams is a Heisman, which he is. Caleb Williams is an incredible player. 'They have their Heisman, we have a pig farmer from Utah.' I wish we were doing that game because I wanted to go watch 'em and shake his hand at quarterback because you know how I love toughness. Go back and watch that last drive. He ran over the safety, but the last one he runs 30 yards on a play that's dead and they kick a field goal and beat USC."
Interestingly, Meyer also mentioned that he almost didn't keep Whittingham on the staff when he became head coach in 2003.
"I got hired there and Kyle interviewed for the job when I did," Meyer said. "Everybody told me, 'don't hire him.' He's kind of a unique personality and I had no plan of hiring him. Then once I got hired and I settled down, I realized how good they were on defense. I went to dinner with him and his wife and I'm sitting there looking like, 'what am I stupid?'
"This guy knows the conference. He knows the personnel on our team. He's a good person. Yeah, he's a little different personality, but so am I. The two of us, I can't imagine a better working relationship even to this day. That's how close I am with him. That's the respect the respect I have for him."
The Utes look to maintain their 6-1 record in Week 9 as they host the Oregon Ducks. They also play Arizona State, Washington, Arizona, and Colorado to round out the year.
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