The Sunday Blog, week six

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The Sunday Blog wants to extend a shout-out to the great people at LSU’s athletic department who do their best to make visiting sports writers feel welcome.

One suggestion — turn down the volume on the PA system. It’s enough to give you a headache. That and Florida’s performance were the only downers from another weekend on the road.

The Sunday Blog also wants to recommend The Fox and The Hound if you get to Baton Rouge. Great food, cold beverages and incredible scenery plus TVs everywhere.

THE NOT-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25

1. LSU: The Tigers were what we thought they would be.

2. Alabama: The Tide just wore down Vandy’s defense.

3. Oklahoma: What a beatdown the Longhorns took.

4. Wisconsin: I can’t but think what the noise will be like if Wisky goes unbeaten and doesn’t get to the national title game.

5. Stanford: Can the Fins go ahead and draft Andrew Luck now?

6. Oklahoma State: Cowboys could have scored 100 on Kansas if they wanted.

7. Boise State: The Broncos are really good, but …

8. Clemson: Big key is how long Tajh Boyd is out.

9. Oregon: Quietly, the Ducks are now rolling.

10. Arkansas: Total domination of Auburn.

11. Michigan: How good was that Brady Hoke hire?

12. Georgia Tech: May be the best offense in the country.

13. South Carolina: Bad news for the East — Steve Spurrier is calling plays again.

14. Nebraska: Great comeback win for the Huskers.

15. Illinois: The Zooker is now 6-0. How did that happen?

16. Virginia Tech: The Hokies are another tough team to figure.

17. West Virginia: What’s with the slow starts?

18. Michigan State: Sparty playing some defense.

19. Kansas State: Talk about coming out of nowhere.

20. Arizona State: Dennis Erickson is saving his job.

21. Texas: Let’s see how the Longhorns rebound.

22. Georgia: Doggies haven’t beaten anybody but at least they’re winning.

23. Houston: Don’t sleep on Kevin Sumlin’s team.

24. Baylor: I really like this Bears team.

25. Texas A&M: Nice shootout win for Gaggies.

THE SEC FOUR-PACK

1. Both Alabama and LSU have games before Nov. 5 but it has to be hard for Nick Saban and Les Miles to keep their teams from looking ahead. That game was the subject of conversation in both the press box Saturday night and the airport Sunday morning since Florida has served as a measuring stick for both teams the last two weeks. I think Alabama is a little better after seeing both teams in person. But both teams are really good, especially when you don’t have a quarterback.

2. Changing quarterbacks is all the rage in the SEC this season. Some of it has been caused by injury (Florida and now Tennessee because it appears Tyler Bray suffered a broken thumb) but some of it is coaches becoming frustrated with their starters. Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all saw their starters benched. After the day Connor Shaw had for the Gamecocks, you wonder if Stephen Garcia has seen his last meaningful snap.

3. You talk about a change in the climate. Four weeks ago, Georgia fans were tired of Mark Richt. Now he’s won four straight (albeit against four mediocre teams) and people are talking like the Dogs have won the SEC East. Up next — Vandy, open date, mighty Gators.

4. I don’t think there is a whole lot of doubt who the All-SEC quarterback is going to be. Tyler Wilson is putting up amazing numbers at Arkansas. It’s clear Auburn doesn’t have a very good defense which makes the Tigers win over South Carolina that much more puzzling.

25 COMMENTS

  1. The part that confuses me the most is why we are relegated to a choice of two true freshman QB’s when our 5th. year senior QB goes down with an apparent injury. Now I am not questioning the severity of Brantley’s injury, but I wouldn’t have wanted any more of Alabama last week either. If you remember the shot of Driskel on the sideline during the time out for the injury, he looked like he would rather be anywhere else. Brissett looked ok against LSU given the circumstances, but who left us with a four year gap of any QB’s to speak of.

  2. Mighty Gators, NOT so mighty!!! I appreciated the FAKE punt by Coach Muschomp as the GATORS needed a MOMENTUM SWING! I liked the 2 point conversion play-call -where was that play on 3rd down? I know FLA is young and if they can WIN-OUT in the SEC…who knows!?! THE ATL for some more EXPERIENCE for our youth, as it won’t be MORE THAN that…
    LOVED Gillislie’s RUNNING -where has he BEEN? Oh -that’s right …Coach W. ‘forgot’ …Sorry, just tired of KNOWING FlA’s STRENGTHS, as well as the O.C., and then being told we aren’t THAT SMART…
    But this TEAM CAN WIN the REST -if they play harder in the 1st Qtrs….and PLAY UNTIL THE end of the 4th QTR…seems to be a problem- a ‘COMPLETE GAME’ for these young Gators.
    Impressed by Jacoby’s ‘TOUCH’ and STRONG ARM…REED has to be MY BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT -so far!As HE STOPPED his ROUTE-RUN on Jacoby’s BOMB and it got PICKED-OFF…NEVER GIVE UP….Loved Bostic and Matt Elam’s PLAY-some GATORS ARE STILL BULL-GATORS!!! COACH MUSCHOMP is STILL THE MAN!!! WE (GATOR-NATION) need to be “PATIENT”…And-oh- work on SIDE-LINE AWARENESS (Rainey & REED) SOME, TOO!!! Penalties are AALWAYS KILLERS regardless of EXPERIENCE…Other than all THAT -GOOOOO GATORS!!!CHOMP-CHOMP!!!

  3. @Reality
    We have several other QBs, they are of the spread variety. Did you watch the whole game? T. Burton took quite a few snaps. Problem: We have a passing QB in Brantley, but then a huge gap b4 you get to the next pasing QB. Why would Charlie want to play Jordon Reed, T, Burton or Tyler Murphy, when clearly the I ala NFL is where we are headed? I know what you are going to say, then why did Burton take all those snaps v. LSU? two reasons, to gey Jacoby “Smoked” Brissett out to calm down and talk to him, and try, in the words of UM, to go “Plus one” on them and maybe, just maybe, Rainey or Gillislee hit a seam inside for a big run, hey, nothing else was working!
    Hey, we got wipped by two teams in a row that, gasp!, are better than us right now. Give it another year or two, Charlie will get a 6’5″ stud WR in here and a legit 230 bruising every down back, and the D will come along as well. I would not want to play us in 2 years.
    Go Gators!

  4. Mostly agree with your order, but c’mon, GT the best offense in the country? LOL. Yes, they’ve piled up impressive numbers vs. BAD teams, that is, until they almost lost at home to lowly MD yesterday by not producing offensively in the second half. Do you think they could move the ball like they’ve been doing vs. Bama or LSU?

  5. I live and Baton Rouge and I can recommend plenty of places to eat that are better than that Fox & Hound chain. Seriously, the Fox & Hound? It’s about as good as our offense and defense were on Saturday.

  6. On another note, are we all ready to finally admit that this program was left in very bad shape, and it wasn’t the big bad boogie man’s (Steve Addazio’s) fault. I won’t say where the blame should lie, but I was always taught in business, the buck stops at the top. I know that is sacrilege, but let’s face reality.

  7. Will Muschamp takes blame when things don’t go well. You gotta respect that when so often head coaches say “We played well,” in wins and “They couldn’t get it going,” in losses. Might take some time but I believe Fl will be okay. We still need some BIG, Bruising backs to power up the middle! This seems all the rage in college football today. 230+ pounds. Maybe these guys don’t come to Fl because they don’t want to be just another blocking fullback? If Al can get a Trent Richardson… why can’t Fl land a bruiser? We do have the No 1 rated fullback, why not use him more on runs?

  8. muschomp should take the blame, he is after all the top dog and accepting responsibility is his job. i do admire what Wm is doing , you all had to know he knew we were not ready for bama and lsu back to back. those 2 teams are beasts! personally i think the winner of that match up will be the next national champ. ou didn’t look good against a bad Texas team with their Freshman qb. the gators did well except for the mental mistakes but then again if it were any of us we would have done the same, well, maybe worse lol.and i will be the one to say it seeing everyone is skeered to , urban screwed us in several areas and qb’s are one of those areas. still wondering why CW didn’t use reed. but oh well, just hang in there GATORS the youngins are growing every week. remember we control our destiny from here on in! GO GATORS!!!

  9. oh by the way , what happened to that loud mouth jack guy that was boasting about fsu. actually had nerve to compare fsu’s D to Bama’s. rofl guess he’s still crying after that wake forest loss. sorry dude but your in for a 5 loss season ….AGAIN! but hey you might make a bowl game so keep your chin up 🙂 God Bless

  10. We are spoiled as Gator fans!! We have won a lot of championships the last 20 years. We are young and rebuilding. I would hate to be Alabama or Lsu when they play us in 2 years down the road as our young players mature> The seson looks like we are headed to Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl at 7-5 or 8-4. Go Gators!!

  11. I would like to see Easley and Floyd switch positions. Floyd could give us better run support and Easily could use his quick step and strength on the edge. The 3-4 can only be effective when you have the personell for it…. meaning stout Line backers who can shed O-line blocks and are good tacklers. I would run a base 4-3 man pressing D w/ multiple bitz packages unitl we get the right personell to do other things we want to do.

    Offensively we are running too many east west plays that never work against the athletes we have in this league on defence. You gotta run right at em as teams have done against us and it doesn’t take a bruiser to do that. He just has to be fearless. I would like to see more of Gillislee and Brown. We could really benefit from running out of a two TE set w/ a full back. This keeps us from being outmanned as we have been in the box and it also keeps us in max protection at all times even on pass plays. Two tights w/ debose and Hammonds and we could really do some damage no matter who is at qb. Tyler Murphy also deserves a shot especially after the strong showing at spring and commitment to the program. He could have left and been the guaranteed starter at Temple w/ Addazio. How do you go from that performance to fourth or fifth on the depth chart? Something must be going on that we are not aware of behind the scenes. Hopefully we can get it together because I still have confidence in this team and the talent we have as well as the coaches. They just need to realize what league you are in and the history of it. Go Gators!!!

  12. Boys, boys, we play in the TOUGHEST league in America, with the BADDEST defenses, some that even our NFL teams offenses in Florida would have a tough time scoring on. You can talk about the big bruising backs, big WR’s, whatever, but in this league, you better start recruiting BIG offensive linemen. It all starts up front. Look at Wisconsin. They consistently recruit big corn fed belly busting bruisers on the offensive line, and year in and year out, they make 2 and 3 star runningbacks look like All-Americans. You give UF and the guys in the backfield and bruising 300+ lb offensive line, and we’ll get our up the middle yards no matter WHO the RB’s are, GUARANTEED!

  13. Are we really on here talking about how Urban Meyer left the cupboard bare after we’ve lost games to the #2 and #1 teams in the country?!?! REALLY?!?! C’mon….this is a young team, and the cupboard was NOT left bare. Like a post above me stated, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed were recruited as QB’s in Urban’s spread offense…specifically Burton. We have significant talent on both sides of the ball, that was evidenced in all of the games previous to the Alabama and LSU games. This is a young team, and if you really expected us to go undefeated or be a 1 loss team this year…I’m sorry, but you weren’t being realistic. Now, with that said, we could have a legitimate shot at only losing 2 games this year (running the table the rest of the schedule). If we get destroyed like we have the past 2 games to Auburn or Georgia, then I’ll be very concerned. But for now, I think we’re right where I expected. Now it’s time to get back to winning football and take back the East. The future is very bright for these Gators and I encourage everyone to stay calm, be patient, and realize that this team will be a National Title contender within 2 years. Go Gators!

  14. I agree with someone’s comment about switching Easley and Floyd. Why is Floyd playing the end when he’s bigger and stronger and played well as an interior lineman last year. Easley is faster and would be more likely to bring pressure from the outside. Powell has been a disappointment!
    My next person, who I have to trust b/c of his track record, I have been disappointed in is Weis. I understand this week was a tough situation. However, we want to get our play makers in space. So, why haven’t we gotten Rainey or Demps the ball in space, rather than running them in to the line? Yes the defenses were awesome and our line has displayed putrid run blocking, but where’s the offensive genius hiding? I’ve been a huge fan of Gillislee since he was a freshman, and he proves himself every time he’s on the field, yet he rarely gets the touches. Why? Also, get our shifty WRs catching the ball on the move over the middle. Let them MAKE plays happen. And lastly, I know he tried to protect a newbie QB this weekend, but you just gave him the Brantley treatment from last year for a lot of the game: run the wildcat with someone else, then bring you in to pass on 3rd and long. Review the tapes from last year; it doesn’t work so well. The defenses know what’s coming, and the QB cannot get in to any kind of rhythm. Brissett looked much more accurate early when he was playing more consecutive snaps.
    We can still win it all, but both lines have to come to smash someone in the mouth, and our LBs have to get off blocks and meet people head on in the hole. When you’re trying to tackle while still getting blocked, anyone is going to run through those tackles. Pathetic display of any desire to win in the front 7.

  15. If we do have a #1 rated fullback on the roster, what a crime not to at least try to use him. But fullbacks and other offensive players don’t play defense. I expected our light weighted speedsters having trouble running thru the middle of any tough DL……especially when our OL can’t seem to block anyone. But the biggest disappoinment has to be our DL. All those 5 star recruits…….my, my!!

  16. That game Saturday was horrible. Charlie has abandoned the swing pass game in favor of Urban’s tired, worn out playbook. Urbbs problem when he was at UF was just that-he forgot he was at UF & not Utah!! He recruited all of these smallish, fast guys to play wide receiver, running back, etc when you need big, stocky guys to be a battering ram. For the life of me I don’t understand why Gillislee and Mack Brown aren’t playing more. Stephen Alli is just what the passing game needs as well-a tall big guy to compete w/ these smallish corners in the league. I think that they can definitely win the rest of their games as Auburn, Georgia, So Carolina, or FSU aren’t that good and they should at least show up and compete. I still think LSU suxx and I hope Bama beats the crap outta them in a few weeks. I especially dislike that Dennis Rodman, wannabe punk Mathieu. Running his frigging trap the whole game. Memo to Coach Muschamp-please revoke the scholarships of Ronald Powell and Earl Okine. Those 2 dudes are horrible!!! Just goes to show that those recruiting ranking aren’t all what they’re cracked up to be now are they?!?! Powell can’t make a play to save his life and Okine is relegated to special teams. What a complete wast of God given talent, size, & speed for both of those chumps. There is absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER why either of those two guys shouldn’t be All SEC caliber players. Both of them stink!! Get back to the swing passes to Rainey & Demps, crossing routes to Reed & Debose, and please stop the running game on defense!!!! C’mon guys-you’re BETTER that what you’ve been showing the past few weeks!!! Get it together!!!!!

  17. I agree with the above comments about the defense. I get the offense is a work in progress and we need certain components that are missing to run it. But the defense is as soft as cool whip. The only time we tackle is when the running back gets tired of dragging five people like a rented mule for nine yards or a linebacker gets tangled up in someone’s feet. Muschamp’s supposed to be a defensive genius, sort of the same way spurrier runs offense, so he should figure it out.

  18. @ John S, you can’t get your speedsters into space if the OL can’t create any. LSU and Bama are just better and bigger on both lines of scrimmage – thats not Weis’ fault. You could have Walsh, Lombardi and Halas coaching this team – they’re still not going to grow any bigger…….. and to the idiot that said Urban “screwed” us – you’ve got to be kidding me. This team has been built around speed over the last several years (and were successful at it) and now that we have a new staff who is throwing the old playbook in the trash and starting over – its Urbans fault. Wow! After 2 NCs and 6 years of SEC dominance, I don’t think Urban owes anyone an apology.

  19. Scooter you get them in space with quick passes: dump it over the middle (which we haven’t done since we had Rhett) or bubble screens (I know we hated them with Zook but it’s okay when it’s not run every single play) or even some of the screens that have worked all year. Put them in the slot and let them drag over the middle. Most of our passing routes have too long in developing which is not a good idea when the line isn’t blocking well. To give the line some credit, though, they have blocked much better for the passing game than the running game. In my opinion, of course 🙂

  20. Hope that Fl stays with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. He wanted to go to Fl and was determined to be a Gator despite some family initial objections. He deserves the start and with Brantley out and Driskell questionable Jacoby can mature into a starter role.