The Sunday Blog, yay, it’s back!

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College football season is back, so that means the Sunday Blog is back as we recap some of the things that happened over a Labor Day weekend that is still going.

As I did last year, I will publish what would be my Top 25 if I was a voter. Why I am not a voter on either AP or the Harris Poll is a mystery. Nobody watches more college football than I do. I had three TVs going at 1:30 this morning watching three different games. But perhaps, there is a fear of a well-informed vote.

Anyway. here we go:

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

1. Alabama: Hey Michigan. How’d you like that venture into big boy football? Didn’t think so.

2. Southern Cal: Matt Barkley took an early step toward the Heisman Trophy against Hawaii.

3. LSU: North Texas made it interesting for awhile, but Tigers are too strong.

4. Oregon: Loved the uniforms. And the offense.

5. Georgia: Bulldogs were not overly impressive, especially on defense.

6. Oklahoma: Why does a program like Oklahoma’s play at UTEP? And why does Oklahoma struggle to beat UTEP? Mystery.

7. Florida State: Next up for the Seminoles is a team that lost 84-0 Saturday. Get your tickets now, because they could score 100.

8. West Virginia: Mountaineers followed up Orange Bowl with a 69-point performance.

9. Arkansas: If opener was any indication, Razorbacks will have to outscore people again this year.

10. South Carolina: Unimpressive in opener, but Vandy is a good team.

11. Michigan State: Sparty always seems to have a tough running back who can carry the load all day.

12. Clemson: No Sammy Watkins, no problem.

13. Texas: Still not sure about the Longhorns.

14. Oklahoma State: Hey, Savannah State. The Cowboys just scored again.

15. Nebraska: Taylor Martinez looks like a much better passer.

16. Ohio State: The Buckeyes may be better than I thought in preseason.

17. Wisconsin: Things got a little dicey in opener.

18. Virginia Tech: Monday Night Football vs. Georgia Tech.

19. Louisville: Pending today’s game against Kentucky.

20. Michigan: I’m sure they aren’t as bad as they looked against the Tide.

21. Kansas State: Bill Snyder has done a great job the second time around.

22. TCU: Waiting to get it started.

23. Notre Dame: Was it me or did Navy’s players look like they were more concerned with containing the runners rather than tackling them?

24. Tennessee: The Vols may have something going.

25. Stanford: No Andrew Luck, 2 o 13 on third downs against San Jose State.

THE SEC FOUR-PACK

1. Alabama’s performance is going to have people ready to proclaim a repeat of a national title. I’m not going to argue. But one thing has to be pointed out and that is that Nick Saban is the best coach in America when he has a lot of prep time. As I predicted, the Tide used the Tim Tebow defense on Denard Robinson — don’t let him beat you scrambling. And Robinson showed he’s still not an accurate passer. Still, nice job by the Tide.

2. Isaiah Crowell? Da’Rick Rogers? Hope you enjoyed the games this weekend. Because if the openers were a sign of things to come, you won’t be missed. Todd Gurley rushed for 100 yards on eight carries and ran back a kickoff for 100 yards for Georgia, while Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson, a JUCO transfer, destroyed N.C. State. Suddenly, the game in two weeks against the Vols looks much tougher for Florida. “I already know you guys (the media) are going to say, ‘We’re there’ or ‘We’re on our way,’ ” Derek Dooley said. “But all that matters is 1-0. We have to clean up a ton of mistakes.”

3. I’ve never been sold on Brian VanGorder as a defensive coordinator. I’m guessing Auburn fans are feeling the same way after Clemson gained 528 yards on the Auburn defense. And no matter how you want to spin it, the truth is that Auburn is 16-11 under Gene Chizik without Cam Newton.

4. LSU coach Les Miles likes his tailbacks. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue each went over 100 yards and the Tigers rushed for 315 yards against North Texas. Miles likened his running backs to the Ricky Bobby-Cal Naughton Jr. combination in “Talladega Nights” referring to them as “Shake and Bake.” Of course, after last year’s national title game, he was probably thinking of another line from the movie — “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

31 COMMENTS

  1. so don’t have FL in your top 25? why do you still write for us? gator fans want to read positive things about gators, yes we know this year will be thought but it’s pretty pathetic you don’t even pick the team you write for in your top 25..good thing you aren’t a voter, get another job, none of us like you.

  2. Tuned into the Gator radio network during the second quarter only to find they were tied with Bowling Green at 7, yikes!!!! Morning box score showed no defensive sacks, 100+ yards in penalties and a terrible 3rd down conversion rate, double yikes!!! Can you say 2-2 going into LSU?
    Hey Auburn fans, can you say 7-5 or 6-6, don’t forget, Gene C. had two losing years before joining the SEC, Dooley is right, without Cam Newton, Auburn is mediocre at best over the past few years.
    Would love to see that Alabama O against the Seminole D.

  3. The lackluster play by florida on yesterday was because of penalties and coaches experimenting with a few things to identify playmakers. A couple of third down conversions and and a couple of stops on third down and this game is easily 40-7. Believe me it wasn’t due to a lack of talent. florida has plenty. one thing is for sure, we have a stable of running backs and will play action when you want to stack the box. Muschamp said that Pease could have gotten way more creative on third and short aswell as with the passing game, but he wanted to send a message that florida is going to run the ball. I’m not one bit worried about the Defense.

  4. Was surprised at the boos Saturday (but not at the booze). Nice breakout game for Gilli. Poor Brent Pease looked like he just had root canal surgery in those 2nd half ESPN cutaway shots. Think the Aggies not playing Saturday is a big edge for Florida. Enjoy your chili and a cold one today, Patrick!

  5. Wow, never thought I would defend Dooley, but to be mad at Dooley for NOT being a homer is absurd. It is obvious that Blah watches the game thru Orange and Blue glasses, which is fine. Anyone who watched UF play knows that they are nowhere near top 25 right now and that the head coach is awful. Most of us and Dooley in this case watch the games closely with our own eyes and try to form objective opinions.

  6. Offense for Florida was pretty vanilla. What concerned me was the line play of both offense and defense. The whole team looked tentative and flat. I sure hope Muschamp has the team ready to play next week. We don’t want to be the answer to the trivia question: What team did Texas A&M beat for their first SEC win?

  7. WM is a coaching genius. WM has the SEC just where he wants them. Other coaches in the SEC think he is a dope. Wrong. All of this the past two years is part of the the Master Plan. The fans, the other coaches think Pease is the offensive coordinator. Wrong. Capt. Boom is the OC. Pease is not even employed by the UF. If fact, there may be some in college football who may now think that Pease should never again be employed in football. Capt. Boom has manipulated the SEC into thinking he is a loser. Wrong, again!! We are all thankful that AD Foley hired the Boomer!! Future success is assured with Capt. Boomer in charge!!

  8. This performance looked a little too much like last year for me. We haven’t had any semblance of offensive identity since Larry Fedora. I’ve been attending Gator football games since our Gators beat Tulane 34-14 in 1958 and I have always loved sitting in the stands at Florida Field until the last two years. Hard to watch this bunch. Maybe it will get better.
    Orange and Blue Gator

  9. Let’s all move forward to the Aggies and congratulate College Station on getting their first Arby’s! But be careful if you’re heading out for the game.
    They’ve had three more serious Tumbleweed accidents this week. Plus the OK Corral has been downgraded to the Pretty Good Corral by AAA….

  10. “so don’t have FL in your top 25? why do you still write for us? gator fans want to read positive things about gators, yes we know this year will be thought but it’s pretty pathetic you don’t even pick the team you write for in your top 25..good thing you aren’t a voter, get another job, none of us like you.”

    What kind of nonsense is this? Do you think the beat writers for UTEP or Akron put them in the top 25? Gator fans want to read positive things about the Gators…when there’s positive things to write about. I completely fail to see how covering a team means being an unabashed, unrealistic homer. I’d rather read *accurate* reports than lyingly positive ones.

  11. Florida is NOT a Top 25 team presently, and I totally agree with Pat! I have to see Florida play better than the oppenent’s talent…it seems Florida still plays to the OTHER TEAMS talent-level…WHY? The tlaent at FLORIDA should be head and ahoulders above the Bowling Green, and Furman, etc… I will wait for my analysis with the Coaching for now…but this is a movie (so far) that I’ve seen before! To blame Pat for being HONEST with his rankings IS WRONG! He is doing something many today won’t…BEING TRUTHFUL!

  12. Couldn’t agree more, Florida is NOT presently a top 25 program, they do have top 25 talent, but until it gels on the practice field and in the Swamp, not there yet. Texas A&M can put points on the board, if Gators don’t do a better job at pressuring their QB and the secondary play some hard nose D, Saturday could be ugly, and a fired up TN team follows.
    Gator fans still haven’t gotten over the Urban M./Tim Tebow era when Florida would have pummeled Bowling Green; this is a whole new breed; remember when Alabama went from 1993 to 2008 without a national title? Gator fans, you too may have to wait until 2030 or beyond for your next title.

  13. The only thing tougher to watch on Saturday after being in the Swamp was the Alabama/Michigan game on TV at The Ale House. The Tide didn’t feel the need to “hold back” anything as it completely dismantled the Wolverines with precision, smash-mouth football. Watching McCarron run that offense reminded me that he is just like Wilson and McElroy before him – a good, not great and overhyped QB – who manages the game and doesn’t make mistakes. That’s how a program stays on top year after year, without the disruption of a Teabow or a Newton.

  14. Blah,
    People like you are why everybody thinks Gator fans are stupid. We don’t want some homer putting the team he writes for in the top 25 just because “people want to hear positive things”. Pat is giving an objective and unbiased opinion which he is paid to do. Did you happen to see the game on Saturday? Tied in the 4th quarter against a team that went 3-5 in the MAC last year? The truth is this team is pathetic and they have no business anywhere close to the top 25. We will be fortunate to go .500 this year and that’s no hyperbole- A&m, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Florida State all look to be more talented than we are. We have no QB and the defense got pushed around by Bowling Green. Wake up bro.. nothing to be positive about after that crap I saw Saturday and Pat is right on in recognizing that theres no way this team is a top 25 team.

  15. They certainly didn’t over power bowling green at the line scrimmage.

    Also, you’ve had enough time to pick a QB. One is better and by now I expect they should be able to figure which one. The starter needs reps. Also it might cut down on penalties.

  16. Bowling Green game will be remembered at the start of the downfall of Muschamp, and when all gator fans realized that WM is not the man to get FLA back to elite status. Sad, but true. I really wanted WM to succeed and gave him benefit of doubt until Bowling Green game. Problems for WM:
    *2-4 vs equal talent teams (beat TN & OSU, lost to Aub, GA, SC, fsu)
    *almost lost to two vastly inferior teams (Furman & Bowling Green)
    *questionable hiring of Charlie Weiss and Aubrey Hill
    *Penalties over two years show disastrous trend, lack of team discipline and most important, no answers by WM as he admits he has no clue how to fix.

    Future predict:
    *FLA will lose to Tx A&M 33-13 (heat will start to simmer over WM)
    *FLA will lose to TENN (with 2 SEC losses in a row and with FLA out of the SEC East 2 SEC games into the season and losing to TENN for 1st time in 7 years, WM will enveloped in controversy and lists of replacements will start to circulate.
    *FLA will lose to LSU, GA, SC & fsu and maybe Vandy.

    That means a 6-6 record at best and maybe a 5-7 record. Lets be honest, can WM survive this scenario. I say no. And the burning questions become, who will replace him and when will Foley see the light to announce that WM is no longer the FLA FB coach.

  17. I am so disgusted at the following thoughts:
    * FLA will be the first SEC team to lose to the new SEC member this year
    *FLA will lose to TN for first time in 7 years
    *FLA will lose first 2 SEC games and be out of the SEC East race before Oct
    *FLA will lose to LSU 3 years in a row
    *FLA will lose to GA 2 years in a row (after dominance for 20 years, this worm has turned and I hate it)
    *FLA will lose to SC 3 years in a row (Spurrier’s revenge – and remember we could have hired Spurrier back if not for Bernie Machen, who ironically will be gone from FLA in less than a year)
    *FLA will lose to fsu for 3 years in a row (after 6 straight wins, this hurts)
    *FLA may lose to Vandy for first time in a couple of decades
    *FLA may even lose to KY for first time in a generation
    Put it all on Foley. He could have hired Spurrier back or a proven, young head coach.

  18. Back away from the ledge Gator Nation! What you saw saturday was a watered down and vanilla O and D against a pretty decent team. All a part of Coach’s genius plan to lull the competion into complacancy by appearing to be inept and clueless. ( executed to near perfection, I might add! ) I hear that A&M has already canceled their scheduled practices this week after watching the game film on FLA vs BG, so it obviously worked. After seeing the look on coach Pease’s face in the 4th qtr, and coach boom for most of the game, I’m wondering if they forgot that was the plan for a while in the 2nd half. I got a feeling somebody may be running some gassers down in hogtown this week over all those yellow birds on the field all afternoon. Lets rally behind our boys and give those aggies a real SEC welcome this weekend for college game day. Go Gators

  19. The real question is “what does UF have to do to get better?” Then second, “Does Muschamp know how?”
    After 14 games, Muschamp has not done much to impress especially on game day. Great coaches get great results.
    Can someone provide an example of a “great result” from Will Muschamp?
    I am afraid he is a product of Georgia mediocrity from the 1990’s.
    Let’s hope there is more to WM than we have seen so far!

  20. I agree Pat until they play MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better they are definitely not top 25. Game plan was Vanilla but we were pushed around at times by an undersized BG on the Offensive and Defensive lines. So you are on point with your rankings…Go Gators!!!

  21. Does anyone besides me HATE the new kickoff rule?? It just doesn’t look like football anymore. The kickoff was one of the most exciting plays in the game–now it’s gone. we’re getting
    one step closer to flag football!
    RTP

  22. Alabama looks scary good – National Champions again. This team reminds me of Nebraska 1995 – insane OL and DL line play, just incredible.
    Also they have monster backs. Alabama always recruited for size and coached them with impeccable technique. They are well disciplined, not many penalties, no excessive showboating or talk, rarely hear of any getting in trouble with the law. All professional, very businesslike.
    I sincerely doubt any team in the country can block these guys, and will not be able to throw/run against them either.
    No one can stop them. I foresee 5 or more National Championships for Saban, after this year (assuming he continues to coach) and he will go down as the greatest coach in modern college football history.

    On the other hand, Florida was depressing, barely could beat a team from the MAC conference. With all the hype of the “great progress” made in the offseason and the wide open playbook of Pease, watching last week’s game was like being told your kid is ugly again and again. Can’t convert 3rd and 2 against Bowling Green? How many times were the Gators stuffed at the line? Downhill running game? How about the passing game? No wonder top receiver recruits stay away from the Gators like the plague.

    Along with Texas, the Gators are probably the most underperforming group of 4 and 5 star recruits I have ever seen. My prediction – Gators finish 6-7 or 7-6 this season.