The Back Nine: Disgruntled UF fans should let it play out

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Florida coach Jim McElwain celebrates with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, left, after the Tennessee win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 16. The Gators won 26-20. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

The Back Nine comes at you after a lost weekend with football, volleyball and soccer all losing. Those happen. Be thrilled you are in a fan base where it is a rare occurrence.

10. There are two camps in the Gator Nation right now with stragglers drifting into the moat in between. On one side, the glass is half full, but it still seems like there was more in it a couple of weeks ago. On the other side, it’s empty. Not half-empty, but bone dry. I run into the members of the first group casually. The second group is loud, vocal and sometimes spells Jim McElwain’s name correctly.

* Group A: It has been a tough season. But the loss of so many players is the biggest reason. Sure, we wish there was more imagination in the offense, but the playmakers are either sitting on the bench or back in their apartments watching the game on TV. McElwain has done a great job of patching this together and we are only a couple of plays away from being 5-0 in the SEC with as many as 17 scholarship players out. He’s building a roster and it would have been close to ready without the Knucklehead Nine. I sit in the stadium and see receivers running open, but he hasn’t had a quarterback in his three years other than Will Grier who ever sees those open receivers. Hey, let’s go beat Georgia and see what happens.

* Group B: Mac has to go. Now. And if they don’t want to pay his buyout, then Doug Nussmeier has to go now. You can’t blame the players. They do what they are coached to do. He said he could win with his dog, but he can’t win with a 6-foot-5 athletic quarterback? The play-calling has all the imagination of butterless grits. We’re tired of McElwain’s non-answers and stubbornness and nobody really cares that we won the East the last two years. The East was terrible. Let’s go get Chip Kelly. Or Brian Kelly. Or Kelly Ripa. Anybody who can grasp the concept that special teams is a third of the game.

11. So which is it? A little bit of both. McElwain, despite a depleted roster, had Florida in position to beat both LSU and Texas A&M at home and be unbeaten in the SEC and ranked in the top 20. He also had six possessions in the two games in the fourth quarter where — if his team could just move inside the opponents’ 40-yard line — Florida could have won the games on an Eddy Pineiro field goal. Those six drives resulted in two first downs. Florida has a coach with a stubborn streak, but his commitment to what he believes has allowed them to be in these games. At the same time, losing games the way they have is way more infuriating than getting blown out (which most people thought would happen Saturday night). Here’s one thing to consider — you get rid of coaches when they lose their teams, when the players are not playing hard. That certainly is not the case here. Want my advice? No? Well, you’re going to get it anyway. Ride it out. See what happens the rest of the season. If it gets no better, changes have to be made. And one more thing — you don’t have to be a coach to see that whatever Florida is doing with special teams is not working. You have a bye week. Figure it out.

12. Maybe Auburn got what it deserved, to borrow an old phrase that came back to bite Florida’s head coach. Its mascot dressed up as a Troy Trojan at one point to taunt the LSU fans who saw their team lose to Troy at home two weeks ago. Bad karma. And coach Gus Malzahn blew a 20-point lead in a place where Auburn still hasn’t won this century. So now Ed Orgeron is everybody’s crazy, but lovable uncle again and Auburn fans are warming up a seat that had gone cold. Such is college football. You are what your record is and you’re only as good as your last game.

13. I shared some text messages with Will Muschamp after his Gamecocks beat Tennessee and they will remain private. But Muschamp’s 6-0 record against the Vols should go into the Guinness Book of Records. And he won this one despite Tennessee getting off two plays in the final four seconds of the game from the 2-yard line. He sent that video to the SEC office (Muschamp sent so much video to the SEC when he was at Florida they probably have a library devoted to it). One thing I have learned in my many years on this planet is that you have to play around bad officiating. They are going to miss calls (and certainly missed a bunch in Gainesville), but that’s the human element in sports.

14. Which brings me to targeting. We are halfway through this season and have come to the conclusion that we have no idea what targeting is after what I saw in the FSU-Duke game and several other games this year. In my opinion, they can stick that rule where the sun dares not shine because fans are left in a state of total confusion. It’s like the whole “what is a catch?” in the NFL. Our sport deserves better.

15. I attended the Florida-Kentucky volleyball match and it didn’t go well for the Gators so I guess I am the jinx. But what I saw was a Florida team that was erratic and a Kentucky team that played like a Final Four team. Give the Wildcats credit. It was a nice crowd and they played with their hair on fire. It was a good lesson for Mary Wise’s team and illustrated something she already knew — that it’s not easy being the target no matter where you are playing.

16. We lost a real character this weekend when former Gainesville Sun employee Fred Roush passed away. If you ever met Fred you would not forget him. He was different, to say the least. He wrote a million headlines and cutlines that you read in the Sun back when there was no Internet. He loved his Chicago Cubs, his daily routine of lunch counter to-go sandwiches and razors over electric shavers even though he always seemed to miss a spot. When I came to the Sun 30 years ago, we couldn’t get a paper out without him because he knew every code for box scores and golf agate. More than anything, he was a sweet guy and we always hate to see those leave us.

17. The Tweet of the Week comes from former Florida baseball player Nolan Fontana — “Disappointed in the Gator fans that are tweeting 18-21 year old football players hateful things. No one cares more than the player himself.” No excuses for that kind of behavior. Twitter needs a commissioner.

18. It is bye week, which means some down time for yours truly so there are no excuses for not getting into the gym and working out to this playlist:

* “Sorry Is Gone” by Jessica Lea Mayfield.

* “My Mind Is For Sale” by Jack Johnson.

* “Whole Wild World” by Cage The Elephant.

* “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish.

* And for an old one, “Goodbye” by Mary Hopkin and written by Sir Paul McCartney.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

 

 

 

 

73 COMMENTS

  1. I blame the coaches, surely our opponents have a true freshman who can and does exercise their offense, we should as well. If it is too complex for our players it needs to change. Use the talent not insist it conform to your desires.

    • Not all players the same they develop at different rates and some never develop at all there are no sure things. I would compare franks progress to the greshman UGA gad past year. If you watch UGA they dominate with a plethora od NFL caliber runningbacs and great defense. Their QB obly has t throw about 15 passes a game. He has looked good thus far this season, but to say he carried the team would be an overstatement. Most 1st year starting QB’s struggle that a fact like it or not
      Yhe OC has not assisted his young QB with his play calling and we need to fix that. We need calm down and work the problem not run from it. Gators fans have crappy reputation with HC’s. What quality HC would want to come here if we fired Mac after year 3. When he was the first SEC Coach to get to ATL in his first two years. Squeky wheels use the excuse it was a water downed SEC East pn pne hand then say you can use excuses when analyzing the impact of suspensions and injuries.
      I’m not saying we should be happy but we should not be rash because we are unhappy.

  2. I go from Fan A to Fan B and back. But watching Clemson lose because they lost ONE skill player made me realize how hard Coach Mac’s job is this season. Same with FSU. They imploded because they lost their quarter back. We started our season without two of our best skill players, then lost probably our best quarterback (Del Rio) and have played the last couple games without several other impact players. Everyone has injuries, etc. but its hard to judge this team based on those losses. But seeing other teams fail with the loss of just one player is sobering. I am not dismissing our other flaws but it made me realize how big of a handicap Coach Mac is having to deal with. One that he can’t be held accountable for. And, no, I don’t think those suspended players are his fault.

    • I wouldn’t say that we lost our best QB, but we did lose our most experienced QB, which with the missing players, could’ve have been a difference. Was at the game Sat., and it’s amazing how much more you see when you’re there than watching on TV. I saw Franks really trying to keep the offense moving at times, and then at times not. There were some moments that I saw him asking for a play that wasn’t coming in quick enough. The more he plays and gets the game slower in front of him, the less he’ll actually wait before just going. I still completely believe in him as our QB of the future. Now if Corral comes in here and beats him out for the job, then that will just make our QB play that much better, and if he just comes in and pushes everyone else to work even harder than they are, then that’s going to work as well. I will have to say that I am very much a group A Gator.

  3. ”He said he could win with his dog, but he can’t win with a 6-foot-5 athletic quarterback. The play-calling has all the imagination of butterless grits.” ~Pat Dooley.

    ”They got a name for the winners in the world. I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama ‘the Crimson Tide’, then call me Gator Blue. Our backs to the wall. We’re victims of laughing chance…”
    ~Steely Dan -with a Gator slant.

    • The play-calling has all the imagination of butterless grits.” ~Pat Dooley
      That says it all right there. Both of the last 2 games would have been won had there been some imagination in the play calling. Specifically in this game when they got the ball with 5 minutes and leading by one point they desperately needed to keep the drive alive and NUSS called 3 straight dive plays with the running back, the last 2 failed, they gave the ball back to A&M and they went down and took the lead! Even A&M’s defense could see the same play the last 2 times and snuffed it out. We need a new play caller period, its not the players fault, they played their hearts out! All players make some mistakes in a game but they did more than enough to win this one and would have if the play calling were more imaginative!

  4. Pat, excellent points. I think this one is what is driving most of us batty: “He also had six possessions in the two games in the fourth quarter where — if his team could just move inside the opponents’ 40-yard line — Florida could have won the games on an Eddy Pineiro field goal.” So close but yet so far……
    Coach Mac is playing with one arm tied behind his back. He’s gotten good at it which has made us forget that he still has one arm tied behind his back.

  5. Let it play out? Why? What will further examples of futility show us that the already-adequate sample size of terrible offensive games hasn’t somehow revealed by now?

    The Knucklehead Nine had negligible impact on terrible clock management, zero-dimensional offensive play calling, being dominated physically on the line, and failing to develop at the QB position over the past half-season plus last off-season. The SYSTEM and the COACHING are the problems.

  6. If Will Grier were on this roster right now, the Gators would likely be 7 and 0 and getting ready to face a 7-0 Georgia team in Jacksonville. And the game likely would be being billed at the biggest game in the history of that cocktail party between the two schools. And who’s fault is it that the above scenario is not the case? Well, it would be the fault of both Will Grier and Coach McElwain. Both should have been smarter. Neither were, unfortunately. But one thing is for sure, Feliepe Franks does not have that “it” that it takes to be a really good SEC QB. And Will Grier did have “it” to be really good as a QB. And, hopefully, Matt Corral will have that “it” as well. Here is to “next year.” Go Gators.

    • Can’t help but get your point, Rick. But as I recall, Will Grier’s father had something to do c the outcome as well. In over 30 years in the Army, I never did well being nice either when some other commander walked into my office c the intent to piss on my boots. Not that any of it makes any difference at this point, it is what it is now just as much as it was what it was then, if it ever was. (One of those esoteric musings that one must ponder while the world goes on)

    • 7-0? Joe Montana could’ve been our QB and we weren’t beating Michigan with the way the OL played. Not that it would’ve mattered, but I’m still trying to figure out how Mac couldn’t figure out that LDR was our best QB.

      • Reminds me of Brantley. He obviously played great in practice only to flounder in the spread on Saturdays in front of 90K. We can’t see practices now. Who knows what the QB’s were doing during 2 a days in the summer. Coaches had to of seen something we couldn’t. Then again, with what we’re seeing in the coaches now, who the heck knows what they’re thinking.

  7. I agree with Nolan Fontana. For you Gator “fans” who have tweeted hateful comments to the players, do ya feel better now? Why not put the blame on the coaches where it belongs! I hope the players realize there are still many of us Gator fans who are pulling for them and are aware no one wants to win each game more than our team does. Go Gators!!!

    • Agree strongly Carolyn. Bad form, not the way Gators behave. May be acceptable at LSU, but not here. Put a cork in it you boneheads!

  8. So sad to hear about Fred Roush. He was a great guy who loved making the sports pages the best they could be. And quite the character, as you note. Thanks for posting the news.

  9. Fair points all. So here’s a question for Dooley to pose to Mac & Nuss: When it’s 3-1, and a decent drive can ice the game, why do you hand off to a single back that lines up 5 yards deep?

    No, I don’t know X’s and O’s, and no I don’t do this for a living. But maybe someone can explain to us mere fans the sophisticated offensive mindset that turned in that drive ending play against a box loaded with Aggies.

    • If there’s one thing about Nuss’ play calling that drives me insane, that’s it! Why does he insist on throwing behind the first down marker on 3rd and anything and expecting the receiver to make up the difference? It really seems quite simple. Just throw one yard past the first down marker and any extra yardage is a bonus. Might just keep a 4th quarter drive going.

      • dont think coach wants to throw behind the first down marker on 3rd and anything ever. think that’s all that franks is seeing at this point, as a matter of fact couldnt help but notice there were open receivers that could have made first downs that were missed more than once vs A&M…

  10. Pat: go back and see how many times we’ve run the ball out of the endzone this year on kickoffs, and how many times we’ve gotten past the 25 (or even the 20). Very, very few; so much so that it’s predictable. Yet, we continue to allow players – game after game – to return kicks. It’s not just bad coaching – it’s just plain dumb, to the point of being mind-numbing. This isn’t complicated x’s and o’s, heavy-duty game strategy, or a tough decision made on the fly. It’s indicative of extremely poor decision making and leadership. We may get to “good” with this guy – can you say Mark Richt at Georgia? – but we will never, ever return to elite status with this guy. He doesn’t have it. The sooner our AD figures that out, the better. Or, are we just satisfied with “good,” e.g., Citrus Bowl, Outback Bowl, and the rare SEC championship?

    • I’ve never heard a Gator fan whine about a coach allowing kick returns. That’s a first. I’m dying to see someone break one for a touchdown. Just got to be smart about when’s a good time to run it out of the end zone (Lemons).

  11. I heard Gene Chizak say this on SEC Now on Sunday. This is the SEC. No one cares about suspensions. All they care about is wins and losses. And Pat, you say we are a couple of plays from being 5-0 in the SEC. Actually, we are a couple of plays from being 1 and 5 overall. Mac and his crew gotta go. Now.

  12. Muschamp again….hummmm…you sure like him mention him a lot…I discern no body else in Gainesville cares what he thinks. I don’t know if I would keep bringing him up, unless you like South Carolina better than Florida.

  13. The lack of imagination on offense and mounting injuries has been a problem the past 5-6 years. Florida football has become another Nebraska, a once dominant program that has settled deep into mediocrity with no end in sight.

  14. I guess I’m group C. I don’t think Mac has done a great job an average job. I don”t think any coach in America including Saban could do a great job given the obstacles. Play calling is awful and i’ve never been a fan of avid losing ar all cost pholosophy. I place a high value on sequence of play calling and using plays and formations to set up other plays. I also believe if you know your QB can’t see the field you need help him out by using more timing eoutes and roll outs where he doesn’t have to trad the field. Assistant coaches mainly Special Teams and Offensice Cord, need to go. I don’t see the benefit of a mid g season change. I would not be opossed to Mac taking over play calling during the by. I do think Mac has dne some really good things off field such as inproved infastructure and creating a recruiting buzz for future recruits.
    I think its best for the program to stand pat because I don’t see a coach out there that blows me away. If we are going t change coaches I want to know we are making a change for the better. If Mac refuses to make the necesary changes to improve the product on the field then he needs to move on. It will be the AD’s job to handle that situation ensure he makes it clear that some changes will be required.
    I know as of late many fans feel FSU as are biggest rivalry and it is a big one, but for me my hated for Ga Bulldogs was fosted by Voodoo Dooley utter dominance of the Gators. Lindsy Scott ugh!! Bloody Mary Saturday is upon us. The Bulldogs are flying high and feeling good. It would give me great pleasure to pull off the upset and wipe that smug grin off of the Bulldogs and their fans. Go Gators and support the players regardless of your opinion of their coaches or their skillset they do not deserve anything less.

    • Right on Glen. I like it. David beats Goliath (#3 Ga) in Jacksonville. Ruin that bulldawg grin. Two weeks to prepare. You never know. Stranger things have happened in college football. Lot of fans expected us to get routed by A&M. Maybe we’ll get some players back. Glass half full. Gooooo Gators!

  15. This is all on Mac. Suspended guys are his guys. Awful offense/QB play is his offense/his QBs.
    This team does play hard. So that’s a positive.
    But, it’s not the defense’s fault. It’s not the special team’s fault. It’s the offense’s fault. And it has been for the entire Mac tenure.
    It would be nice to, I don’t know, try to block a punt at some point, or maybe try something different with special teams defense or offense. But, I’ll be damned if we blame ANY of our failures on Johnny Townsend or the defense which Mac has failed to rebuild or coach. I personally think Shannon is doing great things with our defense. Once again, Mac plays 100% not to lose, and with his QB, that has been here for almost 2 years now, he refuses to take the training wheels off.
    And the lies are annoying me, and the blame game by the head coach is annoying me. This whole dumpster fire is on Mac, and he needs to take responsibility for it…instead of blaming a top 5 national punter. The punter shouldn’t be on the field one fifth the time he is during Mac’s tenure.
    I love my Gators, and I love how hard these guys play, and keep their frustration in house…especially after the weekly ineptitude of the coaching in all phases.

    • Michael-you are absolutely correct. The performance of the team and coaching staff lies with the head coach. And he has not done a good job. As a result, it is time for him to go.

  16. Pat, a lot of fans are not calling for Mac’s head however the OC yes. Most I believe are willing to ride it out since this year is lost, but as you pointed out, Mac has a stubborn streak and it is not a forgone conclusion that Mac will make such a change. I believe Mac will get the same length of time to prove himself as WM. Funny how both are so very similar and who would thought? The thing is, WM is a D guy and the D was good. Mac on the other hand is an O guy and the O stinks. Going on 3 do you hear me 3 years of literal crap. No improvement. Are you listening Pat? No improvement. He is the head guy, and so it’s up to him to make the necessary changes next year otherwise the noise gets louder if that’s possible.
    Yes the team loves Mac, he’s like a buddy to them. It reminds me of some parent/kids relationship when the mom tries to be the best friend of the daughter and how does that usually turn out? I think you know. It seems great coaches like Saban, SOS, Meyer, and even Fisher hold players accountable and in not so nice of terms. But for me, yes let it ride out, I seriously doubt we go bowling this year and if we have 5 wins I hope we decline. My concern at this point isn’t so much about wins/loses but holding on top recruits. You do remember how WM recruiting fell off after year 3. Truth is right now UF is so easy to recruit against it isn’t funny. But we’ll see. I’m hoping certain asst coaches leave after the season and for goodness sakes assign someone to special teams.

    Pat I’m not sure you’ve addressed time management. We have a great fg kicker, yet Mac squanders a potential fg by his antics. Furthermore, doesn’t even challenge a key spot, burns a stupid timeout, its stuff like this that you know the small details that he talks about that makes me wonder is coaching IQ.

  17. Great comments Pat, with the struggles at QB it’s to bad Trask had to have surgery, otherwise maybe he could’ve pushed the QB position…was as good or better than Franks in spring – game when playing first unit. imho
    GO GATORS!!!

  18. People keep using the knucklehead nine and injuries as an excuse. This wasnt the issue last year or the one before offensively so what was that reason for incompetence? I like Mac but he is not showing leadership by keeping offensive coaches on staff.

  19. This hucklebery is not the right fit for Florida Football, and it’s Steve Spurrier’s fault. He set the bar for what this fan base wants. Strike that: For what we NEED. Attitude, swagger, wit, gamesmanship, passion, creativity, enthusiasm, and the cojones the size of Texas. Oh yeah, that sucker could coach ’em up, too. Urban had most of these traits, and low and behold lightning struck twice!

    Who among you doesn’t cringe when Mac is interviewed at halftime or after the game? Who among you is inspired, even a little bit, when he speaks at Gator gatherings? Who among you is entertained, even a little bit, by the anemic and boring offense he was brought here to fix? This guy is not the answer, and we all know it. We do! So why drag the inevitable out? The sooner we get someone in here with the fire and passion and coaching ability we NEED, the sooner Gator Football returns to it’s rightful place among the elite programs. #FireMcElwain

    • The jury is still out. At this point you’re not speaking for all Gator fans. Pat is right. Some changes may be in order at the end of the season (like specials teams and offensive coaches) but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  20. Why wait to fire him? Coach Mac is a terrible coach. All he has proven is that he can’t get the job done. All waiting will do is prolong our suffering. Will waiting make him a better coach? Will waiting make him an innovator on offence? Will waiting help him to figure out how to call plays that get our play makers the ball? Will he lean how to call defense? Fire him now and start the search early. Before every one else who fires their coach starts looking.

  21. TO: ALL BULL GATOR BOOSTERS
    FROM: Future of Gator Football
    It is imperative that the Gator Football Program move into the 21st Century now, and the only solution that make’s, “any sound since”, to me, is two cut all tie’s, ASAP, to the current coaching administration led by Jim McElwain………..
    The best young blood coach for this program that know’s what to do in the S.E.C is former Gator Quarterback and Indianapolis Colts QB Coach and Offence Coordinator BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER.
    We need a innovative young new mind that learned from the old ball coach himself.
    THIS IS YOUR HIRE CHOICE .GO GET HIM BULL GATOR’S
    ,

    • Brian Schottenheimer? Seriously? The former UGA offensive coordinator? The former Jets offensive coordinator? How is one season at UGA and holding the clipboard for SOS make him qualified to be the head coach here? Talk about a guy with an offensive mentality that will put you right to sleep. He is not the answer and neither is another assistant trying to make a splash. Florida needs a proven coach with a proven track record and not another experiment. Brian Schottenheimer? No thanks!

  22. Sorry Gator fans,
    but (and it’s a big but), we have to stick together in all kinds of weather….
    The weather, this year, has been, well stinky – and loaded with danger.
    I know, you, like me, are trying hard to bury it from your psyche, but, as you know, it includes, but is not limited to:
    an unimpressive Orange and Blue Game, more Summer trouble, another graduate transfer QB? this one whose very recruitment undermined your proclaimed end of Spring starter QB’s confidence – and then proceeds to not play and expresses their dismay publicly, nationally attention garnering suspension numbers, a severe beat-down by a rebuilding UM in a highly nationally watched Jerry World spectacle, hurricanes, power outages, and a canceled game, luck @ UK (Yo, anyone know is the starting QB is?), Hail Mary’s vs UT, Vandy, (well I love Vandy and would love to send my two sons there), but it’s Vandy! Next, we hosted “THE WHO IS MORE INEPT BOWL? vs. our tug-o-war, band-blaring, hurricane tradin’ nemesis – the Bengal Tigers from LSwho? at the SWAMP for HOMECOMING!!!!! We even kicked it off with the Doggy Dog as in Snoop Master Dog! and get this: we lose uninspiringly?

    Snoop must have left some spliffs and bottles of Tanqueray & Tonic behind at the swamp (this used to be spelled in all caps) because many of you, including the talking heads, are swimming in a powerfully toxic glass of Denial!

    We’ve seen this rodeo before and relevancy has a slick way of leaving you for your closest relatives: FSU, MIAMI, CLEMSON (who has built a better brand and beat UF in recruiting with some sunshine state stars dating back to CJ Spiller), UGA is turning into a powerhouse, now we must worry about former UF DC – coached USF (undefeated, ranked) and UCF (undefeated, ranked). Coached by former studs and/or formidable coaches.

    Gator fans: you have two choices:

    1. accept mediocrity (based on the extensions for winning the incredibly weak SEC east back 2 back with the back seven (7) to ever don the Orange and Blue (go ahead, debate it!), buyout due to the previous HC, and the fact that mudchump was given 4 years, well what can I say, the trend is your friend

    2. for the rest of us who didn’t hit the spliffs and canon-ball the leftover Tanqueray: we are not accepting of, but not limited to: first there’s the Grier debacle (and face it – he wasn’t exactly begged to come back!) And now he’s only the next in a long line of new QB phenoms! – he only throws for like 350/ game! Is that good? Oh well, darn schucks! Hey I got it! ” What about playing Clarabelle at QB?!
    anyway, being unranked mid-season with UCF and USF undefeated, losing Homecoming, and the “THE SAVE HIS JOB BOWL” really isn’t “pretty cool”

    Well at least we can look forward to O for October! That’s a standard that probably hasn’t been set in a long, long time!! Hey, hey – I got it! We can bring back the Halloween Ball! Yes, remember we went 0-10-1 or something! But we were the TOP Party school! So we got that going for us! No?

    Maybe Cris Collinsworth can play QB! HE once threw a 99 yd TD! Record! If we had #21 we would have beat LSU this year – b/c last year, remember – we needed a 97 yd TD to Cleveland to win!

    Here’s the deal: if you are in #2 camp – you believe your team should be a perennial top 10 team /program right now. Florida does not have a recruiting problem, UF does not have a support problem, UF does not have a talent or $ problem. I have listened patiently to the talky-talky and it’s just that! Talky-talky!

    Here is the real talky-talky. It came from the head master highlander and it is not going to fly:

    of course, there’s Clarabelle

    one sensational frosh RB singled out about scoring, you remember

    one All American Punter singled out for punting to the great Christian of the Kirk!
    really dude? really? most gators can remember the best special teams units in the nation a few years back – (well at least back when we were relevant) – so undermine your punter, punt coverage studs, and ST coach! I get it, any strategist would say don’t kick it to him, but it declares that we suck or, at minimum, we play scared! It says we aren’t formidable ‘Fightin’ Gators! Have some confidence in the 11 on the field!

    The undeniable truth is we have sunk as program. Some radio gurus blame players and support the over paid coaches because they have to cross paths and that ain’t easy. The truth bares out that we don’t have a recruiting problem (see NFL by college #’s), we don’t have a talent problem (see MK, KT,), we have a coaching problem (lack of oversight / mishandled Grier situation, repeated AC troubles, and 9 suspensions). Where’s the direction of the team? the program? the QB situation?

    Blames players! UF is not where coaches come to earn big bucks and cut their teeth! The truth bare, time and again, that great coaches positively impact their program in Year 2! We have some overpaid, journeymen, cutting their teeth and/or clockin’ big $, for a bad product while blaming players!

    We tried folk icon farewells to a home town hero – a legendary salute to our own! We blared “WE WON’T BACK DOWN” over the P!!!

    We even hung up of our true colors to wear a terribly ugly version of green to become monster-like!!!

    None of it worked!

    I wrote it last week – prior to the “COACH MUST WIN BOWL GAME vs A&M – time to put up or shut up!
    Time has run out!
    Too much talky-talky
    Help us SS!
    Nothing personal. Strictly business.
    Passion and leadership are key!
    Denial wastes long periods of time
    Haven’t been relevant since ’09
    No more risky gambles on coaches
    Go pick a winner! Spend the $ on a winner!

  23. A question about our punt coverage … Since we never go for a block anymore, we must be setting up for a return each time. Yet by the time the ball gets to Brandon Powell, he’s always surrounded by defensive players and has to fair catch every time. So why don’t we send the house after the punter, especially if he’s punting out of his own end zone instead of setting up for a return that won’t happen?

  24. Chip Kelly would be on speed dial if I were Scott Stricklin. That’s the guy that can turn the program around for the next 10-15 years. If we wait around like we did with Chump, we’ll likely be stuck with another Mac or Chump instead of Kelly or James Franklin. When guys like that come available, you’ve got to jump on them.

  25. Rookie Coach Kirby Smart seems be doing just find at UGA. How many games did he win as a coach before his hire. Youth loves youth. GO GET HIM WHILE YOU CAN. GET THE OLD BALL COACH TO TALK SHOTT IN TWO TAKING THE JOB PLEASE…

  26. I have come to the conclusion that in the end, Mac won’t pan out. However this is a time that requires strategy and patience. First, he is going to finish out the year, and I think get another season. Two SEC East Championships pretty much guarantee that, right or wrong. Next year he will be on the super hot seat, and likely not have another year after that. But who to replace him? People talk about Chip Kelly, and that would be great, but I don’t know if that will happen. So what after that? I would rather keep Mac a little longer and get a good hire rather than settling for whatever is out there. Another bad hire, and we are looking at least another 3-4 years of sucking.

  27. Zaire has to be disappointed/frustrated in his choice of grad schools to attend, hoping to get a chance to showcase his talents to NFL scouts one more time, he’s been relegated to the clip board, he’ll have to wait until the combine.

  28. Put me down for Column A. I think attrition from injuries and especially (unfortunately) suspensions has this team as a shell of itself. I have no real idea what it could/would be. And I don’t want to hear about how we’re a play or two away from 5-0 in SEC play. We’re also a play or 2 away from 1-4 (and passing out torches and pitchforks).

    I am incensed that we fans were lied to in the off-season about the “strength” of the offensive line. That is why I don’t think missing Jordan Scarlett is a big deal and I have no idea if Feleipe Franks is any good or not. I am willing to keep riding with Coach Mac. But Mac needs to fire Nuss and replace him in the coming off-season – then recruit, recruit, recruit offensive line help – settle on a qb and keep him healthy (and coach him up!). In the meantime, remember that Dawg Scum routinely chokes (like dogs) when they see the Gators. Use that. Beat Dawg Scum.

    • The running game is the most productive part of the offense, and that doesn’t happen without the O-line opening up holes. Scarlett would certainly make a big difference. Having a 3 headed monster at RB where none of them ever get tired would completely wear teams down. The line has performed better than they have since Mac took over and have given Franks plenty of time to make throws. Granted they do have a few breakdowns throughout the game, but every line does. Franks actually scrambles a lot from clean pockets making the line look worse than they are. They’re proving they’re the strength of the offense by the fact that they’re producing very well running the ball. Franks is the weakness on offense and being that he’s in the most important position on the field, it brings the whole team down. Again look no further than FSU and Clemson.

  29. I told my cronies before the season that we would play a ton of close games. We were fortunate to win two (UK & UT) and that we wouldn’t beat anyone worthwhile. Some say we should be 5-1. I would argue we are much closer to 1-5 with all due respect. We should be squashing some teams. I can not believe people believe this will turn around into an elite program. And yes, there are many reasons why UF should be an elite program. Imagine if we didn’t have All American PK and P. We play scared with razor thin margins of error (see mishandled XP) against LSU and unplanned hail mary vs UT. It’s a recipe for close games. When you play close games, you win some, you lose some. I keep hearing how unlucky we’ve been with suspensions. How about accountability?, doesn’t that start from the top? How about maybe we’re really lucky to be 3-3? Any kook off the street can win 7 games at UF! I’ll do it for a third of the money and the buyout! What’s to lose? A program that is fading from relevancy? Have to laugh to stop from crying!

    • We should be smashing teams with 20% of the team out with injury or suspended, including the top 4 offensive playmakers? Meanwhile FSU, who was preseason #2 and picked to win the title loses one player and proceeds to lose 3 games, and Clemson being #2 in the polls last week loses one player in the second qtr and proceeds to get beat by a sorry Syracuse team, but we should be smashing teams with almost a quarter of the team out? You’re one of the delusional, unrealistic Gator fans that doesn’t live in reality.

  30. I love when people always throw the “I can win with my dog at QB” line as if it’s a black eye on Mac. Truth be told what he said was pretty accurate. He’s got 22 wins and 2 division titles in a little over 2 years with absolute dogs at QB. Not a single QB he’s won 22 games with are worth a damn, so just imagine what he’ll do when he finally finds a QB that can see the field and isn’t a mental case.

    • Mac’s had 3 recruiting classes and a couple of transfers to find a QB and hasn’t been able to. At some point you have to think it’s him, not the kids. He’s the coach that chose Franks to start the season against UM when LDR was obviously the better QB at this stage. He’s stuck with his OC who may be the worst in the country; If he’s unwilling to fire him, at a minimum he should be smart enough to take over calling plays. It’s pretty clear to most of us Mac isn’t capable of making smart decisions.

      Urban won a NC with a 3rd string QB a few years ago. The poodles are winning big with 2nd year coach and a true freshman QB only throwing the ball 10x a game. They lost their starting QB to injury, btw, and haven’t missed a beat. Clemson was bound to take a step back after two consecutive appearances in the NC game, yet they’re still a top 10 team. FSU’s losses have come to 3 teams ranked in the top 15. If you’re gonna use those two as barometers, at least tell the whole story.

      Those “mental cases” you speak of are young men trying to do their best with minimal help from the the guy brought on to fix the offense. Unless you’re actually Mac’s wife, I’m pretty sure you’re the delusional, unrealistic Gator fan not living in reality…

  31. Put me down for C,D, E,+ F. There’s more than two camps. There’s many different camps. And some of us go from one to the other and are all over the place. Just like life itself. If we could only fit ourselves into two categories wouldn’t life be so much easier. Well, it’s not! Call Pat Dooley Mr. Generalization!

  32. At the end of the season, if the Gators want to hire a first class offensive minded coach for OC…go get Kerwin Bell. Check out his success. Wide open offenses…Gator brand.

  33. When Mac was hired, a friend of mine, who was a very successful high school football coach in our town – two state championships, told me he was a great hire and a real player’s coach. My friend ran several summer camps with McElwain back when he was an assistant at Eastern Washington. I have a lot of respect for my friend’s football knowledge, so I’m in the “we shall see” camp. But I do know one thing. Even a sports program as rich as Florida’s can only afford so many buyouts. And by the way, before last season there were a lot of people in Seattle who were ready to dump Chris Petersen. College football fans are never happy.

  34. If you don’t know the loss of players is the problem you are living in a fantasy world. We are fortunate that they are even competitive, it shows they are coaching the underclassmen and they are playing hard. Knock out a dozen of Alabama’s starters and they would lose a couple games guaranteed and nobody would blame Saban.

  35. We all see and realize what football team and program is. We see the struggles and issues that exist. But, the worst thing we can do is sound off. Especially against players. It is bad for recruiting, it is bad for our character. The problems are obvious and they need to be addressed. If they are not, the coach will be fired. All the noise that disgruntled fans make allows them to feel better, but it does not expedite the changes and firing of a staff. The people is control can clearly see that there are problems. Keep the faith, they will be addressed.
    Keep your character and preserve the dignity of our great University. Keep it down on social media and things will work out. Perhaps not as fast as we think they should.

  36. regarding the uniforms. only a few people noted this but it sure seemed like a big deal to me. greenish camo on a green field is not the smartest idea in the world, particularly when inability to read down field by the qb is the team’s #1 issue….I know the days of blue and orange seem to coming to an end, which I hate, but it would seem wiser, to go with fluorescent orange to help the qb see better. if you need camo, maybe the letters or the shoes. think about baseball where the catchers use fluorescent nail polish. i vote to do the same , or even flourescent gloves for our receivers, assuming they don’t already. people do so with their bikes and funning shoes, same concept. sounds nutty, but, hey, I didn’t vote for the world we have, I’m just stuck doing my best in it anyway.

  37. Florida, since 1950, has won 539.5 games, and has lost 257.5 games. The .5 comes from counting ties as a half win and a half loss. That is an overall winning percentage of .677, which basically amounts to an 8-4 season under today’s standards. That also includes the ridiculously successful years of both Spurrier and Meyer, both who won at close to an .820 clip. My point. Spurrier and Meyer are arguably 2 of the top 10 coaches of the modern era in College Football. Without them, Florida has been a .600 team since 1950. It gets worse if you go farther back. Maybe we just are who we are, and without that transformational coach, we are just one of the pack trying to get our heads above water in the SEC. I would like to think differently, but it’s hard to argue with the facts of history.

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