The Dan Mullen era in Gainesville appears to be nearing its end.

Mullen is 12-9 since the start of the 2020 season and his Florida Gators squad lost badly to South Carolina on Saturday night in Columbia.

The Gamecocks boat raced the Gators, winning 40-17 in a game that was seemingly over by halftime.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine Mullen back in Gainesville next season. It’s clear he doesn’t understand that coaching at Florida is a lot different than coaching at Mississippi State.

If Mullen is fired — or if he leaves for another job — it will give Florida an opportunity to hire a coach that could turn the program around.

And it opens the door for a wild scenario that could be absolutely disastrous for the Tennessee Vols.

With Urban Meyer struggling as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, I think there’s a legitimate possibility that he could return to the college game in 2022.

And if the Florida job is open, would Meyer pass it up?

Meyer isn’t going to let the lasting image of himself as a head coach be as a failure in the NFL. He’s going to eventually return to college football to cement his legacy as an elite head coach.

He already knows he can win national championships at Florida. He knows the landscape of Gainesville and what it takes to win.

If Meyer were to return to Florida, the Gators would instantly be a threat to win a national championship every year. And he would likely be a thorn in the side of the Vols.

It’s likely a longshot that this scenario plays out this way. But it’s a scenario that I certainly think is possible. And Vol fans should hope it doesn’t happen. Because the last thing Josh Heupel and Tennessee needs right now is to face an Urban Meyer-led Florida team every September.

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