The Sunday Blog, Week 11

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The Sunday Blog is on I-95 as this is written. Another long trip back from another Gator loss. Been there before.

Florida may be the perfect example of the cyclical world of college football. It doesn’t happen at every program, but it happens at a lot of them.

The Gators were 26-2 in 2008 and ‘09 and are 13-10 the last two years.

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

1. LSU: Amazing that Western Kentucky could do what Alabama could not — score a touchdown against LSU.

2. Oklahoma State: Cowboys let off the gas or they might have scored 100.

3. Alabama: Tide survived a trap game in Starkville.

4. Oregon: Are we headed for a rematch in the national title game?

5. Arkansas: Razorbacks put it on the mighty Vols.

6. Oklahoma: How did Texas Tech beat these guys?

7. Clemson: Headed to the ACC title game.

8. Virginia Tech: Hokies have regrouped to have another good season.

9. Houston: It would be interesting to see Coogs vs. BCS team in a bowl.

10. Stanford: Cardinal couldn’t handle the hype.

11. South Carolina: Gamies aren’t fun to watch, but they keep winning.

12. Boise State: Boise is the new FSU when it comes to missed field goals.

13. Georgia: Dogs are heading to Atlanta once they handle awful Kentucky.

14. Southern Miss: Nine wins for Larry Fedora’s team.

15. Kansas State: Is Bill Snyder the Big XII coach of the year?

16. Michigan State: Sparty heading south for the holidays.

17. Wisconsin: Give the Badgers credit for recovering from two tough losses.

18. Nebraska: Huskers dealt with distractions in Happy Valley.

19. Michigan: Impressive win over Illinois.

20. Penn State: Tough finish for a devastated team.

21. TCU: Maybe Frogs should be ranked higher just for saving us from Boise.

22. Notre Dame: Is the Irish schedule really easy?

23. Southern Cal: Nice season for a team that cannot bowl.

24. Florida State: Miami dominated game but Semis got the win.

25. Arkansas State: Why not?

THE SEC FOUR-PACK

1. Vanderbilt appears headed for a bowl game if it can beat Tennessee this week and considering how poorly the Vols are playing that looks like a sure thing. Who had Vandy in a bowl before this season? There was something about James Franklin when we talked to him in Birmingham that told you he was something special. Sometimes coaches just have that “It” factor.

2. Franklin vs. Joker Phillips was historic in that it was the first-ever SEC meeting of two black head coaches. I’m not sure how many more we’ll have between those two. Kentucky is really awful and they looked unprepared in a game that could have helped them salvage a season.

3. For all of Steve Spurrier’s giddiness over his win over the Gators on Saturday, it’s important to remember that while he has indeed beaten Florida, Tennessee and Georgia for two straight years, the only significant of those wins was this year’s over Georgia. Those three teams are 19-27 in conference play over that two-year stretch.

4. We’re still not sure if the SEC will fill all nine of its bowl slots, but it’s looking more and more like Florida is headed to the Gator Bowl if it beats Furman. The good news is it’s a cheap trip for Gator fans.

30 COMMENTS

  1. I saw Charlie Weis walking (very infrequently thank goodness) the sideline with a cane. Rumor has it that his left knee was tired of being abused for years, and finally had enough. His right knee, who was actually in charge at the time, had the abuse reported to him by his nuts (who actually witnessed the abuse firsthand) and chose to do nothing about it. As for the rest of the game, the “Gimp” hobbled around admirably during the game, and only had to go into the fetal position a couple of times to avoid oncoming contact. My favorite play of the game was in the 4th quarter when Jordan Reed tripped over his own feet in the end zone, and started eagerly, repeatedly pulling his own flag. When he realized no one was within 10 yards of him, he dropped his head and went back to the huddle. Smart, smart, smart.

  2. Pat, I know you have EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCES (LIKE WEISS) that far exceed any of my attributes…BUT I HAVE a few myself and one IS HONESTY…and I try to fight off PRIDE when OTHERS ‘WELCOME IT’…and IN MY SIMPLE-MIND …I can honestly say, WEISS IS OBSSESED with BEING RIGHT!!! HE is OBSSESED WITH Rainey (who GOD KNOWS HAS TALENT) but to give him the ball over and over and over SO WEISS can say ‘WOW…LOOK AT THAT SPEED’ evry 1-2 times a game…while the other TEAMS just POUND THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD AND WIN!!! AND TO THOSE WHO SAY “WAIT FOR WEISS TO GET HIS PLAYERS” WHY!?!?! I know they got a 230+ lb RB (Joyer)…that could of POUNDED his way into the END ZONE yesterday…BUT …I WON’T EVER CALL WHAT I am SEEING FROM WEISS “CYCLICAL”…I CALL IT -‘STUBBORNESS” -and IF YOU COULD HONESTLY PRINT ‘TRUTH’ INSTEAD OF UAA COMPANY LINES-YOU WOULD SAY IT ,TOO!!! I LOVE YOUR STORYS- I GREW-UP WITH THE GAINESVILLE SUN WRITERS EVERY MORNING WITH MY COFFE AND EGGS BUT ‘COME ON, MAN!!!”

  3. If we don’t want to see a rematch between Bama and LSU, then we don’t want to see Oregon either; until we get a legit playoff system, the regular season is the playoff, so Bama and Oregon are out, it’s down to the winner of OK and OK St.
    Let’s not forget history, Arkansas went into Baton Rouge 4 years ago and won 50-48 against then #1 LSU.
    It’ll be interesting to see who will be the next Gator to transfer for lack of playing time/touches, the list is a long one. Jordan Reed is too talented/athletic to be used only as a blocking TE.

  4. Pat, I am writing this to you because Jeff is leaving the recruiting desk, and I don’t know to whom I should pass this along. I’m a UF alumnus (Ph.D. 75) and an avid Gator fan. I now live in the mountains in what is known locally as the tri-state area where TN, GA and NC all come together. There is a HS place kicker in the Chatanooga area who should be on UF’s 2012 recruiting radar but probably isn’t because he is a soccer player from Brazil, and this is his first year playing high school football. He hasn’t been to any camps and thus hasn’t been seen by college coaches. He is kicking 50 yard field goals in HS and is very consistent. His name is Henrique Ribeiro. Here’s a link to a story in the Chatanooga Times Free Press about him: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/nov/11/soccer-star-ribeiro-could-be-a-mr-football/

    Best regards,

    Tim Ackley

  5. Gatornation: Mack Brown was the big back get of last season and we have two more coming on board with the current group of recruits but unless we increase the quality and quanity of our offensive line, it just does not matter!! Emmit, Herschel, Tony D and any other Hall of Fame calibar back could not gain a yard on their own without a consistent, quality offensive line – end of story!! This is the case in the SEC and the NFL!! Then there is the “rest of the story” – rarely do even the best of offensive linemen come to college ready to compete consistently at a high level. Exceptions such as the Pouncys are rare and we were spoiled!! Thus the bottom line is that there is no quick fix, it will be a two to three year project for which Wil has made a great start with this year’s class. If you want to slow this process down, change coaches every couple of years and watch how fast we can revert to the pre-old ball coach era!! Have faith, have patience – it will pay off in the long run!!

  6. Pat, I noted your tweet about paying a high dollar price for four-yard passes on third-and-seven. I know our OL isn’t very proficient, that Brantley often has little time to set and throw. But what has happened to our wide receivers? It appears none of them know how to break coverage, get open, gain a step on a DB. Down close, we throw little passes that defenders are happy to concede so long as we don’t make touchdowns or first-and-goal. There’s gotta be someone who can get behind a defender, right? Er, right, Pat?

  7. Bottom line is we have some discipline issues that fall squarelybon the coaches shoulders. The offsides and false start penalties are killing us. We also are missing assign ments along the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I think we will be a little more experienced and a little more physicall on the o-line and d-line next year. We willneed to get those two top flight receivers to stretch the field in Diggs and Algholor. I think we got a real shot at both of them. Folks mark my words Brissette will be special next year with his ability to extend plays and his poise and the addition w/all those other backs and the ones that will be returning this team could easily contend for the east next year. Year two will be different. These guys never got time to jell with each other not even in the spring with all the injuries that continued early in the fall. So let’s just be patient. I know its hard. GO GATORS!!!

  8. Pat, did you just say that UF is insignificant? Did you not mean to write down something you were thinking, and it just got out?

    What’s come over you, fussing like an old hen over the USC students giving the poor widdle UF football players the business after the game, and obsessing about Spurrier? OK, I get that last one, but you need to get over it all.

    UF won two championships in football and basketball recently enough for even the attention-span spoiled fan to know that UF is in for about forty years of wandering in the sports desert, just to get close to evening up the karma imbalance. Get used to it.

  9. Bad play, bad coaching, unhappy fans: the Gators have turned into the Jacksonville Jaguars.If Muschamp had a personality he could smooze the fans, at least some of them. Unfortunately, he has about as much personality as Bob Woodruff who us old Gators remember as having the personality of a “blocked punt”.His OC who is paid over a million dollars can’t seem to develop a red zone offense which doesn’t involve a dive into the middle of the line by a 180 lb. scatback. I’m afraid Charlie is making the Daz look like Vince Lombardi. I’m sorry fans, Will Muschamp is an OK DC but he isn’t a head coach.

  10. “I’m sorry fans, Will Muschamp is an OK DC but he isn’t a head coach.”

    He’s coached all of ten games with somebody else’s players. It going to take time. If there’s no improvement in a couple of years then you’ve got a right to complain.

    Until then STFU or go root for another team.

  11. Next Year

    There are a TON of questions that need to be answered before we can say that next year will be any different than the last two.

    1. Will the Defense be better– Mosy likely bc they will know what they are doing, be more experienced, and have more depth.

    2. Will the o-line be better– One would think so bc 7/8 return and they will also know the offense, be more experienced, and have more depth.

    3. Will The young QB’s play well— Who knows. They will need a strong running game and sound pass protection with some playmakers on the outside. I don’t know if we will have that next year.

  12. continuing that line of thought

    4. Will Gillislee and Brown with the FR backs produce a consistent ground game?– I think they will be behind a better o-line and are a better fit than Rainey/Demps. This area should improve and it’s not like they have to do a whole lot to be better than this year’s group.

    5. Will a WR or three step up?– I think that Andre Debose has shown signs of being electric. Jordan Reed and AC Leonard look like they will be a major factor next year. Other than those 3 players I don’t see anyone with promise. Hammond just can’t get it done and Omarius HInes must have peed in the coached cheerios cuz he isn’t going to see the field apparently. Maybe Stephin Ali and Jawan Story will do something.

    Overall, we were very close to winning 9 games this year even with all of the screw ups, injuries, and hard schedule. Next year should be a much better year in terms of wins. 8 or 9 is realistic bc our schedule will be much easier and the players should be more comfortable on the systems.

  13. What should make us think that the same guys who couldn’t tackle, block, catch the ball or stay on sides this year will all of a sudden do these things well next season? If this team had actually shown progressive improvement over the course of the season, I might buy some of that, but we’ve seen worse play and more mistakes in games 6-10 than we saw in games 1-5. How does this foretell improvement next year? We get lot’s of talk and explanations, but the same old results.

  14. @ Carolina Gator
    The mistakes that have plagued this team is immaturity not lack of talent. The only place we are truly lacking talent is at the receiver position and one recruit can change that. With the insertion of Diggs or Algholor. Just look at Clemsons Sammy Watkins. The offensive line will be deeper and more experienced as well. This team lacked discpline more than it did talent. If you cut out turnovers and stupid penalties this team sits 8-2 before Furman and FSU. The Gators will be fine next year. Let’s be a little more optimistic.

  15. Gatorbread
    I hope you are right in your optimism. I agree that the team does have talent, which is why the inability to execute the basics of football is so alarming. Eliminating turnovers and stupid penalties is a goal of every team that takes the field. The succesful teams are those that accomplish that.

  16. So Carolina Gator, if I read you correctly, you are saying Stefon Diggs, and or Nelson Agholor are coming to UF? I must have missed the press release. Or are we once again assuming that if UF wants em, they get em?

  17. @RealityBites,
    I guess I would be using that word optimistic again. Truthfully I think w/ the product that we have on the field at the positions in question. We have a real shot at one if not both. What teams that are high on eithers list offers more? With the exception of location for Diggs.

    @ Carolina Gator,
    You are right the only difference is. That you ask upperclassmen to do just that not true freshman and true sophmores. these guys are young and immature.

  18. Anyone who understands football knows that there is always a major improvement in the second year because the players finally KNOW what they are doing.

    We almost went 9-3 with us playing undisciplined and pathetic football. What do you think is going to happen when

    1. The players understand the system completely
    2. New depth arrives from this recruiting class.
    3. These young players enter their second year.
    4. Easier schedule.
    5. Coaches adjust as well. Remember its their 1st year versus the SEC. They will be more familiar with their schemes now.

    We win 8-9 at worst next year and show much improvement.

  19. Players always play better when they can just let their talent take over and they aren’t constantly thinking about if they are lined up correctly. Coaches call it “playing slow” bc they are thinking instead of reacting and letting their ability take over.

    Every position will be improved next year except QB. I expect them to be servicable in year 1 and then make that BIG leap in year 2.

  20. Gatorbread,
    You must be confused, because I have never posted about any potential recruits, including the 2 WR’s you mentioned, in anything that I have written. Lord knows that basing one’s hopes on the pernding decisions of 17 and 18 year old kids is akin to herding cats. Keep posting my friend, as you have some good comments.

  21. I’m not sure Charlie’s attitude wasnt well sure will move down to Gville & the family will set up shop, nice setting, damn good pay, what the hell.

    Does anyone think that if Charlie can’t get the offense going by midseason next yr. the Gator Nation will come down on his ….. don’t want to say it b.c it happens to be big.

    Look Charlie knows what he’s doing, but how is it going to come around by next season with a rookie QB and rookie RB’s

    It’s bad timing.

    Go get one of those rocking chairs from Cracker Barrel and pony up on Charilie’s wrap around porch.

    I really like the guy & respect him, the timing is not going to be there for Charlie.

    But keep him around Will

    Dawg pile in the endzone!

  22. The Gators were a .500 team in “89. They hired SOS and we dominated the SEC for the next ten years winning a NC in “96. I believe Urban won the NC two years after the futility of Ron Zook. The right coach can turn chicken s**t into chicken salad. Look what Harbaugh has done with the 49’ers at the pro level.