More of same produces 10-1 for Gators


Florida running back Mike Gillislee rushes during the first half of the Gators' 23-0 win against Jacksonville State November 17, 2012 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville Fla. (Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 6:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 6:36 p.m.

Will Muschamp knows exactly what people think of his team — opponents and boosters and media types and casual observers.

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Florida running back Mike Gillislee rushes during the first half of the Gators' 23-0 win against Jacksonville State November 17, 2012 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville Fla. (Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun

His team is the opposite of sexy. It wears baggy sweatpants and T-shirts with holes and sweat stains. It is a team that over the last four weeks has not been worthy of your DVR space or, in the case of Saturday for many of you, the effort and money it takes to attend the games.

The highlight package of Saturday’s win over Jacksonville State won’t take long for you to watch, unless you like short gains and punts. It was a win like so many others this season, a win that doesn’t look that impressive until you start stacking them all on top of each other.

“Win 10 games and we can all be happy,” Muschamp said, “and have something to complain about.”

It has been going on all season (remember his rant after the Texas A&M win?) and you know that he’s hearing it when he talks about how people “are very bored in their lives.”

On Saturday, it was more of the same.

Florida won.

It was hardly must-see-TV, even if you paid for the right to yell at your TV screen.

But Florida won.

The Gators have now won 10 games in a season. Only six UF teams before them have been 10-1. Four of them played for national championships.

That’s pretty heady company.

You don’t like how Florida got to 10-1? It beats the alternative. And for the last two years, you lived the alternative.

I know, I’ve written all of this before. I’ve written this all season. But as this season has rolled through September and October and is now one game away from closing out November, nothing has changed.

It’s an offensively-challenged club that plays great defense and makes just enough plays to win. It plays to the level of its competition whether it’s the Louisiana team in Baton Rouge or the one in Lafayette.

The one time this team deviated from the norm, it lost six turnovers and one football game.

Nobody has said it has been fun to watch, but you know what’s really not fun to watch? Losing. Ask them in Auburn or Knoxville or Fayetteville how much they’d love to trade places.

“We just find a way,” said wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. “We put up more points than the other team.”

If you remember before the season, I suggested that Florida’s motto should be the same one I gave to the basketball team when they were trying to get into the NCAA Tournament three seasons ago — Win By One.

I didn’t think they’d take it this seriously.

But this is a bottom line sport and the bottom line is 10-1.

It’s an offense that we keep thinking will improve, but never does.

“It’s been this way all season,” said senior guard James Wilson.

And if it’s that way again in Tallahassee, well, a Florida team that has scored 14 points in its last two games against the Seminoles has to know that won’t be enough next week.

Or will it?

“We have to get better. We have to get more consistent on offense,” Muschamp said. “I know it’s a broken record.”

That’s the thing. Not much has changed since that opening day when the Gators looked pedestrian in beating Bowling Green. But they won that day and they have kept winning and now they are one win away from probably playing in a BCS bowl game.

A year ago, they were fighting for bowl eligibility on this weekend.

If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.

The record keeps going round and round and skipping in the same spots. On Saturday, it was a song you have heard so many times before. Try not to be offended if you hear it again.

It’s the new normal for Florida football. At least for two more games.

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

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