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Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer says he's not a candidate for Notre Dame job

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  • Jacksonville Jaguars
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Urban Meyer
    Urban Meyer
    College football coach

When former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly left to take the LSU job, the move sent shockwaves through the college football world.

It also touched pretty high up in the NFL, too.

Many have believed that Urban Meyer long has eyed Notre Dame as a destination job one day. Meyer has always spoken with reverence for the Irish program, more than once calling it a "dream job."

Meyer coached there for five years as an assistant in the late 1990s, which helped land him his first head-coaching job at Bowling Green in 2001.

After the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Meyer as head coach in a stunning move this offseason, any Notre Dame conjecture was pushed aside. But with Kelly out now, and with the Jaguars struggling badly in Meyer's first NFL season at 2-9, there was plenty of speculation that Meyer might be headed back to college after only one year in the league.

On Tuesday, Meyer appeared to put that notion to bed.

Meyer's NFL future might remain murky, but this feels definitive — for that particular job. And who knows what Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick (who never worked there with Meyer) thinks about him as a prospective candidate. 

And Meyer's wording is interesting: "I'm not a candidate" isn't the same as "I am not interested." Maybe he got wind through breezy back channels that he wouldn't be considered for the job. 

Meyer caught some heat in October following a loss to the Bengals when he was captured on video getting cozy with a woman in an Ohio bar, which led to Jaguars owner Shad Khan saying that Meyer needed to "regain our trust and respect.” There also have been plenty of past controversies tied to Meyer from his stays at Ohio State and Florida that have sullied the reputation of a coach who won three national titles and more than 85 percent of his games in college football.

Urban Meyer said he's not a candidate for the Notre Dame head coaching job. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Urban Meyer said he's not a candidate for the Notre Dame head coaching job. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

What this means for Urban Meyer 

His recommitment to "turning around" the Jaguars is a nice gesture for the team, its fans and players. But it also goes back to the old idea of ... one cannot be rejected if they do the rejecting first. Is that the case? Only Meyer, Swarbrick and others might truly know.

It will be fascinating to see how engaged Meyer is following this season, assuming he's not fired or doesn't resign at some point down the road. He's never had a losing record as a coach at any level, so one might reasonably think Meyer would want to do what he can to change that after what's guaranteed to be a sub-.500 mark after his first season.

Meyer earned his first victory with the Jaguars over the Miami Dolphins in Week 6 and delivered one of the more shocking results of the 2021 NFL season with a 9-6 upset over the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. In the Jaguars' past three games, all losses, they've been outscored 74-41. They have the fourth-worst point differential in the league this season at minus-110.

Until the results change dramatically, Meyer could be connected with other future college openings — fairly or not. 

Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel has compiled a list of possible Kelly replacements at Notre Dame, and Meyer's name is nowhere to be found in the story. (No other NFL coaches were listed either, for what it's worth.)

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