First, it doesn't mean much if Georgia doesn't get their crap together. For all of the bluster about what needs to happen, if Georgia still can't keep teams from domintating them in the second half and on racking up long, soul crushing drives, nothing Florida (or Vandy) does will matter.
Second, it only means as much as what happens with the coaching dominoes that will inevitably fall. Jimmy Crackedcorndawg threw his list out there, so I will too:
- Dan Mullen. No way he isn't considered. He is an Urban protege, can coach up talent and is a solid recruiter.
- Gus Malzahn. I am not sure an offensive coordinator who has had the talent he has had (Newton at Auburn and the running game he had at Arkansas and the lack of competition and QB he had at Tulsa) would be the best pick. I'd want to see him coach up some guys first.
- Charlie Strong. If he hadn't left, I'd say he is the coach already. Bringing him back? Don't know.
- Bobby Petrino. His non-compete clause expempts the SEC East. Getting Arky to their first BCS game might be enough. Plus, he can flat out recruit. How much of his offensive genus went to Illinois with his brother?
- Steve Spurrier. Don't laugh. No, I'm serious. He'd be the sentimental choice and a rock solid move to reignite their diva fan base. Does he have gas in the tank for another ride there?
- Bob Stoops. Not sure if he'd consider it.
- Houston Nutt. That is just how good Jimmy Sexton is.
Third, this does effect what Georgia does next, if Richt leaves or is let go. Let me be clear, I don't think Richt will be gone or should be fired, but there is a lot to happen between now and December 10,2011 that could change my mind or the minds of those that could make that decision. What Florida does now will necessarily set both the market and expectations of the next hires in the SEC, particularly the SEC East. What Vandy does might, especially if they go after one of their own from another SEC team's staff (Warren Belin in particular).
It is harder to say what the long term recruiting impact is. Too much of that is dependent on what the next Florida coach does, what staff he brings to Gainesville and what offenses and defenses they run. In the short term, it looks like some ripe picking for FSU and Georgia, particularly. However, the longer this thing drags out, the better it is for this year's recruiting. You better believe whatever happened last year with Urban and George Edwards is going to be thrown around when kids start hearing 'you can trust us, the next coach is going to want you and we have been assured we're staying' from Florida's staff.
For now, I am personally in a wait and see mode. However, no matter what happens with either of those hires, unless Georgia gets it's house in order, we'll be having the same discussion next year, but about who is coming to Athens.