Dooley: Saturday’s failure not reason UF will part with McElwain

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Former Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain talks to players on the sideline during the Florida-Georgia Game in Jacksonville. He was hired on Tuesday by Michigan. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

JACKSONVILLE — A strange week in a strange season received a moment of clarity Saturday night.

Jim McElwain came clean.

He probably knows what is coming and in an effort to head off possible Florida efforts to fire him with cause over the “death threats” flap, McElwain basically said what a lot of Gator fans have been thinking, tweeting and shouting from the ledges of tall buildings.

That he has done a lousy job of coaching this football team.

“We were all brought here to win and we haven’t done it,” McElwain said in a post-slaughter news conference where he was the most candid he has been at UF.

“We haven’t been good on offense and I get it. We’ve won some, but we haven’t won enough. I take full responsibility for all of it.”

That may have been an effort by McElwain to make the decision on his future all about football or it could have been his awakening to the reality of the situation.

Or it could just be that this pummeling administered by Georgia knocked something loose in his noggin.

But after watching his team get destroyed by a bunch of Bulldogs, McElwain looked like a defeated coach walking off the field holding his wife Karen’s hand for what was possibly his final Florida-Georgia game as a Gator.

There are a handful of reports out there, enough of them that some of them are probably correct. I know this — McElwain could be fired today or he could be fired next week or he could be fired when the season is over.

But the chances of him being retained past this season have dropped dramatically and it has nothing to do with last night’s result.

This isn’t about football even though this season is heading in such a bad direction I’m not sure anyone WANTS Florida to reach bowl eligibility because it would mean having to watch this offense for an extra game.

It’s about everything I wrote about Thursday involving culture, stubbornness and doing things the right way.

The football part is just making it easier to shovel more dung on an ever-growing pile.

I could talk about the football part of this awful display, but it’s almost too easy to point out how badly outplayed and outcoached this team was Saturday.

So I’m not going to bore you with the details of brain-dead play calling at the goal line in the second quarter when Florida still had a chance.

Or the Gators’ inability to stop one simple isolation play that Georgia used to run for a big chunk of its 292 rushing yards.

Or Feleipe Franks having his worst game as a Gator (and that’s saying something) and then snapping at a reporter who asked why the offense hasn’t improved this season. (It hasn’t).

You saw it, saw all of the numbing penalties (14) and all of the pathetic passing plays (most of them) and all of the differences between the two programs, a gap that escalated almost as quickly as McElwain’s fall from Gator grace.

You saw it, those of you who didn’t turn it to another game or go outside and wash the car.

The football part was the least surprising part of the day. Georgia is really good. The Bulldogs have better players and coaches than Florida. A program that came in with 20 knots on its head in the last 26 games made up for about half of them in one game.

Instead, let’s talk about the way the day began. After a trying week where the noise got so loud it could not be ignored, McElwain delivered some more to his team at pre-game meal.

Florida AD Scott Stricklin met with the coach to tell him that a Saturday morning report that Florida was negotiating a buyout with McElwain’s agent Jimmy Sexton was false.

“First I had heard of it,” McElwain said. “My eggs didn’t taste real good.”

But he told his team about it anyway. For all of the things that have been said about McElwain, his players love him. So right before they board a bus to play in a season-saving game, he puts that in their heads.

Just another bad decision that isn’t about X’s and O’s.

“What he told us stays in that room,” cornerback Duke Dawson said.

He didn’t need to tell us what effect it had on the team.

We saw it right from the start.

Georgia ran eight plays from scrimmage and it was 21-0.

Game.

Over.

The players who spoke to the media after it was over had a standard reply when asked about McElwain’s future.

“Next question.”

Now we brace for the biggest question.

When?

When will the plug be pulled? It seems inevitable and McElwain’s demeanor said a lot about where this thing is heading. He went from the usual evasive guy talking in circles to a coach who seems resigned to what is going to happen next.

So he was candid.

And the truth was painful.

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

84 COMMENTS

  1. Could we please get a coach who has had some big boy success, not from a podunk conference or a career assistant? Coaches at TCU, Oklahoma St. and Stanford have all had top success in power 5 conferences and are at programs where it would be a step up to coach UF.

    • Jeff said it right.. This AD must vet his coaches much closer and get someone out of a big boy program. Zook, Muschamp and now Mac have all contributed to running this program down…..way down. Way way down. Please don’t shovel me under the dirt when I say this, but NOBODY wants this dumpster fire now. UF is no longer a desirable job. It is a big step down from the other programs you mentioned, and is a step down from the UCF/USF programs now. Making the death threats public is enough in itself to chase off anyone, including a solid recruiting class.

    • Could we go to Dan Mullen and ask again; Dak Prescott is long gone, and the talent is thinning at MSU. Maybe a good time to call him back with the prospective class – if they are salvageable. At least we know he can coach QBs and run an offense. Seems he can delegate to a good DC, as well. And has some HC success in the SEC.

  2. A telling day of what wasn’t said. First, we get a statement that says there has been no talk of buyouts. Nothing is said about firing for cause. ESPN says nothing during half-time shows despite the enormity of the implications of what has leaked. You can read it on their crawl, but Chip Kelly and company aren’t saying a word.

    He’s out ASAP. Kelly is #1 on the list and everyone and ESPN has to keep its lips buttoned to prevent causing problems with the process.

  3. Pat – you may be disgusted with the offense – and the Gator coaches (as am I), but don’t mischaracterize the Franks’ response to the question – I watched his response, and obviously he wasn’t a happy player, but he definitely did not snap at anyone. I think he kept his cool for a kid after being humiliated.

  4. Good piece, Pat. It is what it is. He had his chance. I’m not gonna pile on the guy, it is what it is. He didn’t get it done in the way that it expected in Gainesville. At the end of the day, I’m having a hard time seeing where he is/was a better coach than Will Muschamp. Two SEC East titles. Yea, OK, but the 4th place team in the West could have won the East prior to this year. Will was one fumble away from having us a contender for the NC game. He did some weird and boneheaded things this week, a lot like a guy who makes stupid decisions when he first begins to realize that maybe his girlfriend is interested in someone else. Work out the terms, cut him loose, and don’t screw this one up Mr. Stricklin, because as great of an Athletic Director as Jeremy Foley was (and he was), he absolutely sucked at hiring head football coaches.

    PS: Don’t give him over the top credit for Urban Meyer. Bernie Machen was UF’s president when we got him, his same boss while he was at Utah.

  5. McElwain could have saved his job at the end of last season by firing Doug Nussmeier and hiring a young, innovative, and aggressive play caller who could have been calling plays well and coaching up the offense well, including Franks and Zaire. But he chose instead to stick with Nussmeier who is obviously not a good play caller (and was not at Alabama or Michigan) or game planner and who obviously cannot coach up QBs. And he could have gone out and hired a top notch OL coach from another Power 5 conference team. But he instead went and got the North Texas OL coach. And he could have gone after a young and aggressive special teams coach, but he stuck with an old and ineffective special teams and TEs coach. And he could have hired a top notch LBs coach, but he stuck with an old friend who moved over from not been a very good RBs coach on this level. Just a lot of bad staff decisions, just like Muschamp. Smart on the other hand at Georgia, has assembled a top notch staff that not only coaches well but recruits extremely well. Deep breath. Sadness. Hopelessness. It has to end sometime. Maybe Monday.

    • Couldnt agree more,especially about McElwains friend Nussmeir. I would also add that he failed in choosing a D.C. That has been our strength since Meyer up until this year, the 1st year of Shannon. I dont want to hear about freshmen either because our guys have been going eary to the NFL for years so we always play freshmen, no excuse. Once McElwain lost his DC he made another bad choice in Shannon who immediately “simplfied” our awesome defense and now it sucks too.

      • Defense is an area where the mistakes due to poor coaching just hit you in the face. This team has forgotten how to tackle, almost like they don’t want to make the hit and wrap up. A diving miss at a ball carrier instead of hitting and wrapping with the arms is our norm, good technique is a lost art in this defense. Not coached to do it right. Elsewhere, the O-line still cannot line up without committing stupid false starts. Receivers cannot run routes, and should the ball hit their hands they cannot catch it. And the QB seems incapable of checking down to see a wide-open receiver. I wonder what we do at practice? This is why this staff is out the door. McElwain’s mental meltdown showing the world he makes incredibly bad decisions just accelerated what was coming eventually.

        • I agree Frank, The Defense have given this TEAM respectability for the last seven – eight years. This year LOOK at how many FRESHMEN are called to duty to fill rolls that very good defensive players filled last year. Don’t blame the “D” because the OC and the O-line did not live up to the pre-season lies that we were fed. Those guys made mistakes but always played HARD, they were just worn out do to not having an effective OFFENSE.(not including the running backs).

    • While I agree changes at OC need to be made, so does the talent level/recruiting; Nussmeier is being asked to win with inferior talent, kinda like asking a NASCAR driver to win the Daytona 500 with a 6 cylinder Yugo.

      • Kevin your right most fans forget what McElwain inherited from past coaches on OF side of ball . He also cant be responsible for what Will Greir did or the last 9 players that decided to break the law , I get it but he is not running a baby sitting service for people that new better. He also can’t dismiss players until there court case is resolved. He also can’t help that he lost tons of talent from last years D team to NFL I feel the Mac needs to clean up his coaching staff and bring in some ex Gators as coache s that can recruit and coach and understand what it means to be a Gator. Vince,Steve, Nick,Les,Jimbo all have strong ego but that was what made them winners. They don’t lesson to every fan that wants to run there programs but you can beat the players do and it was evident yesterday.I feel for the players there playing very short handed on deepeth chart . GO GATORS

    • Rick, I’m not sure you are aware but the situation with ST coaching is worse than you think. Mac doesn’t actually have the modern mentality of investing a lot into STs like Meyer did. It is just a title that was given to Nord. Apparently.. everyone coaches the STs. And you know when something is everyone’s responsibility..

  6. So glad he’s leaving. Mac was hired by fooling Foley into thinking he had special Offensive and QB coaching skills. Fraudulent hire because he doesn’t have these skills and hasn’t done one lick of real coaching in 3 years. Foley is the root cause for falling for that hype, Mac the beneficiary of about $14 million dollars he never earned and Gator Nation holding the bag for being stuck in a crashed program now looking to rebuild – again.

    • Mac didn’t fool Foley, Turnabout. He actually had those special skills. Problem is/was, they were achieved in a Non-Power 5 conference, at (obviously at Non-Power 5 school), and I’m convinced now that Foley fooled himself into thinking he was getting another Urban Myer, ready to step up a tier. But that said, I’m with you a 100% now.

  7. Only 1 Gator Head Coach that really loved all the programs and the single reason being is that (UF) SOS’s team is the FLORIDA GATORS his school just like it is MY school. Meyer tried to love all things about UF but flamed out after 5 (or 6) seasons. But Mac and/or Blondie (Facebook name) don’t realize what a POST on Facebook with a family picture of them with corn-on-the-cob (Huskers) and 2 Nebraska hats do to Gator Nation? It was a slap in the face for Gator Nation but we still hate Nebraska for 62-24!!! The reason for the pic may have been that Blondie was in attendance when Big Boosters were cussin’ out loud in the Sky Boxes during either the L$U or Trans A&M games as I had heard . . . but know this, they are NOT a fit at UF. They will never be. They are from the Northwest and from the BAMA tree. Not Gators, like SOS, this was HIS school. Let Steve Spurrier have some input on the next hire and I bet’cha it will be a HR!

  8. There is no “big boy success” coach, there is no big name just waiting to be hired. LSU did not want to keep Ogeron, they just couldn’t find anybody in spite of being a top program.

    We will see if FSU is stupid enough to fire Fisher since they just got blown out by Boston College 35 -3.

  9. Yes, I saw it, Pat. And no, I didn’t turn to another game or go out and wash the car instead. There wasn’t anything else on that I really cared about, it was too cold outside anyway, and besides, my cigar would have gotten wet. That’s lick on me for lighting up an Oliva Serie-V 6×60 right before kick-off, and for not developing broad enough interests this season in the first damn place.

  10. Coaches get top much blame for losing and way too much credit for winning. As a former coach, I have tried to watch development of O-line, wide receivers, TE’s and Felipe Franks. I have NOT SEEN ANY since last spring’s intrasquad game that shows improvement. I hate to say this but I haven”t seen ANYTHING that resembles aN NFL qb play for the Gators. Zaire did give them the chance to continue the scoring streak at 348, I believe.
    Mac has to win out (Missouri, South Carolina, UAB and Florida State) to see anything besides the Poulan Weedeater Bowl in Shreveport.

    • Maybe it’s time to back off a hair on these exuberant salaries these guys are getting. Start paying them a starting wage, like NFL rookies, and as their performance improves, so does the money. Instead of the crazy millions before we ever know their true worth in this conference.
      Or we can just keep giving them raises and contract extensions no matter what they produce. Uh, kinda like what we saw the last two years. Sure, we won the East two years running, but put your football brain on and look at how we did it. With triple digit worst offenses in the country. Yeah, lets give him another few million and an extension. Sorry, I’m a mad Gator right now.

  11. Yes his players “love” him, that is part or most of the problem. You think that Saban cares if his players “love” him? He cares that they respect him, and play to the standard. That and his ability to develop them for the next phase of their football life is all that matters. I bet he calls out any and every player who does not perform their jobs correctly or at least corrects them. He is not always talking about how he likes this team, but rather how they need to keep focused. No to Gruden, that is just an alternative reality idea. No to Kelly as well same reason.

    • Alex, you are 100% correct.

      Do you think every player ‘Loves” Belichick? Every player that has ever played for Popovich “Loves” him???

      Hell No. But I’ll be damned if they don’t stack their teams with top tier talent willing to take Veteran minimum contracts just for the chance to play.

      This translate’s directly to College. Top recruits flock for a chance to play for Saban.

      Being a good coach isn’t about being buddies with your team. It’s the same thing as a fifth grade teacher being friends with their students. It’s just not relevant.

      We need a coach to put a winning system in place and garner the respect of the team. Period.

      It’s not the Head Coaches job to be friends with the team. That’s the coordinators jobs, and the team managers and the training staff.

      Stop making excuses. This is not some second rate school. There is no room for excuses from these past three coaches we have had. The SEC East has turned into a joke (other than GA) and it’s really not good for the game as a whole. I used to cherish watching bowl games where the SEC Teams would all go in and take care of business. Now any more, bowl season has become a Joke to our beloved conference.

      I’ve been a season ticket holder for almost 20 years now, and have seen some amazing games at the Swamp. But these past 6 seasons are inexcusable. Just about every game we go in with a sense of dread. As team after team after team is paraded across the field every home game, celebrating SEC and NCAA Titles, year after year after year. Baseball, volleyball, track, Lacrosse…..

      UF has one of the best athletic departments in the country!!

      The fact that the football team is in such disarray is a slap in the face to all of the fans and boosters that support these teams.

      Well, here’s to another season down the toilets.

  12. I was a strong supporter of Coach Mac going into this game. However, after watching this debacle, I came to realize that he is not able to coach UF’s football team in any manner whatsoever. He might be able to coach Colorado State (what league are they in), but he is not SEC head coach material. I sent him an email asking him to resign – this would be the right thing for him to do if he has any integrity, but I am not expecting him to do the right thing, because he has not done the right thing from the get-go. For example – all nine players who knowingly stole money from credit card holders should be kicked off the team PERMANENTLY. A good HC would give those scholarships to players who DESERVE to be on our team. This lack of discipline led to the Georgia disaster which shows our HC cannot coach at this level. I will back our HC until he proves he should not be our HC. He proved that yesterday afternoon – there are high school coaches who would have done a better job. as for our OC, he is totally worthless. Get a job at Publix bagging groceries.

  13. Everyone needs to calm down and take a deep breath…turn in the opposite direction of that stink coming from Everbank Field. Time to realize we have two bad choices. Coach Mack or someone else hired in haste that blows up a good recruiting class. Time for the fan base to realize we are not the mighty Gators anymore. We are just a team that might upset a good team on a good day….A NC State or Boston College most years. Point being that with a $13 million buy out and half the team suspended it might be time to let coach Mack fire Coach Nus_abletospellhisname and get an offensive coach in here to take chances…maybe a few new coaches. Florida has been down to long to expect a quick fix, but another year brings some calm recruits like, gives potential new coaches a sense that maybe Florida fans are calm enough to work for, and gives the university a chance to plan for change rather then just make it.

    • Success, or lack thereof, starts with the coach. I’m sure Mac is a nice guy and wouldn’t probably be a good AD but he has done nothing to prove he will ever be a legit big program coach. True, UF is not the mighty Gators anymore, but that is due to two horrible HC hires that never should have happened. It sounds like you are content with being a run influence the mill, middle (or lower) of the pack program but to most Gator fans (all but you) that is unacceptable. Too many resources, history, prestige of the University and in-state talent and the ability to attract out of state talent to accept mediocrity, or less in this case. You are all alone on an island with a tsunami on the way. Florida is worse now than it was three years ago with no evidence of hope under this coach and staff. Mac is gone and the Gators need to and will start another rebuild.

      • Breath through it man… you think we can just spend 12 million and then just get whoever we want to come in and coach, but my point is we are not that team anymore. Who want to come here and have angry fans on them week after week when we will run you out of town after back to back SEC championships. A lot of schools have a lot of money and UCF and USF are better programs right now. Why take a little more money to here people yell at you when you can have any other job? Relax.

  14. Steve Striklin: Enough Already! Fire this buffoon now. Do not make this about your ability to do the right thing. He has embarrassed the University at a national level with his inability to control his mouth by making unproven allegations, has allowed felons to infiltrate the team, and has fielded the worst product imaginable. Your inability to act is seriously jeopardizing the UF franchise. What are you waiting for? Fire him with cause.

  15. Today’s culture is absurd. Yes the product on the filed this year is awful but there are reasons why this years team sucks and everyone knows the reasons.

    Coach Mac is not everyone’s cup of tea but Saban is an a-hole too. The players love him and until yesterday they payed hard for him. He was recruiting well and had the real potential to sign 3 top ten classes in a row.

    Now we’re looking at a desperation hire that will get 2-3 years and then another new hire that’ll need 4-5 years to turn things around.

    What quality coach will take this dumpster fire job?

    With a local media that apparently does not understand when 22% of the roster is gone there might be some performance issues on the field. An administration that fires a guy for winning the East twice and recruiting well against the best competition in the country. Yeah… that’s going to bring in the next best coach out there. Texas did that too last year and they are 4-4.

    The Click- bait reporters that cover UF also just lost 90% of their audience for the near future. Well played you guys… and well played UF administration.

    Firing Coach Mac this way sets UF back 7-10 years and it’s just another sign of the ignorance of our times.

    • Not much of a setback. It does not take a great coach to beat the two cupcakes that are always on the schedule , then look at KY and Vandy. A good HS coach would win 5 games year. The SEC east has only one good team, GA. The running game actually looked pretty good yesterday and probably would be very good if the gators had a decent passing game. A good coach would turn the program around in 3 years.

    • I am tired of hearing that no quality coach would want the Gators. That is just ridiculous and insulting. When Saban took the Bama job that dumpster had been burning a long time. Quality coaches are attracted to big money and the chance to carve an even bigger notch in their pistol grips. Their is little glory in following a highly successful coach. Turning a once successful program back into a contender is the stuff that coaching legends are made of. What quality coaches don’t want are fans who think their program is not attractive enough for them to go there. That attitude will get us exactly what we have gotten the last two coaches. Wannabes who haven’t been.

    • You are totally off base here Bill. You think this program is a dumpster fire job? It is currently in the pits, but this is still a class and top flight university job to coach here, so enough with who would come here crap, please. And thanks for treating all of us with such arrogance, oh high and mighty Bill, we are so beneath you because we are ALL so ignorant, shut up already.

  16. Part of McElwain’s problem is we’re not looking at 3 years of ineffectual offense. We’re looking at 7 years (going back to Urb’s last year). Mac was hired to fix that. He’s an “offense guy”. And the offense continues to be more of the high school hijinx we suffered with Muschamp. Can’t protect the qb, can’t get guys open. That’s a fail. And all these years after Tim Tebow, the Mighty Gators STILL can’t recruit/develop a qb. Of course, based on the sieve pass protection, who wants to sign up for that anyway (Frank’s gets PLENTY of credit for courage/toughness)? Meanwhile, Dawg Scum are sitting there with an NFL caliver qb (Eason – who the Gators tried and failed recruit) and they’re still able to recruit a good enough replacement (Fromm) when Eason gets dinged that Eason only gets on the field in garbage time. And we have to hear the announcers gushing about the next stud qb coming in their next recruiting class. Enough .

  17. And while we look for a new coach, is there anyway to get rid of some our pathetic fan base so our integrity can be restored. I am not so sure Mac gave them this out, why would any real coach want to come here. Maybe they can find another Myer who can use them again for his next career stop.

  18. Bottom line: MacElwain was not a big league program manager! To win like Ole Head Coach and Meyer, you have to have complete management skills like Saban. Last Monday just showed how pressure on a non-skilled-manager causes crazy results. Yes, he was way over his head. Foley came from THE TICKET OFFICE, he had no people discernment management skills and look what you got along the way Zook/Musschamp. At $4-5m/year, I bet/hope our new AD and staff, will try to get the complete package this time. Many of these coaches can coach but have no real idea how to manage a complete program like Saban/Meyer.

    I’m an older Man, but I telling Y’all, don’t hire someone who shows up in FILP-FLOPS…get it!!! Ask some personal questions and get someone with a little WISDOM. I know you over the top secular guys won’t understand.

  19. If you have time, I want EVERYONE ON THIS COMMENT COLUMN, to read the REAL REASON as to why WILL GRIER left Florida. It’s a story for the ages. I want to see how many Mac supporters are out there afterwards. I hated Grier all this time for the wrong reasons and false reasons. It’s on ESPN. COM. I don’t hate Grier anymore. I can’t believe what I read. I never was crazy about Mac n Cheese. I was done with this guy after last year. I never was crazy about him. All i know is Mac n Cheese is not a very honest guy and he can’t be trusted. Very arrogant, no class, unprofessional, and heartless. Here’s the cherry on top, I was done with him after the Kelvin Taylor incident.

    • I read the ESPN article and I also read an article that Will Grier penned last year about what happened. After reading Grier’s take, I apologized on this very site. I thought it was his father’s influence, but after reading the article, I shifted to McElwain. A few people on this site defended McElwain, but I knew in my heart that Grier was telling the truth. Mac never said publicly that Grier asked for a guarantee, but he never refuted that claim. Mac would always speak in vague terms when it would have been just as easy to say Grier never asked for a guarantee.

      Credibility should never come into question when you are responsible for young men and their development. If Mac led others to believe that Grier was looking for a guarantee when the opposite was true, he loses credibility. If one’s integrity comes into question, how can we overlook the death threat comment? If Mac lied about Grier; Mac may be lying about the death threats. I believe Grier was telling the truth. I don’t know what to believe about Mac when it comes to the threats. Is he lying? Is he being truthful? If he is being truthful, why would he not cooperate with the university and the authorities? You can’t say that you care about the well being of the football team and staff; and at the same time, not do everything in your power to ensure their safety.

      In spite of the Grier fiasco, I supported Mac. He was building a strong foundation. Recruiting was improving, and the facilities are being upgraded. The thing that puzzled me was Mac’s stubbornness. If your OC is not getting the job done, why not make a change?

      You are what your record says you are. Your defense was top notch in 2015 and 2016, and your offense was outside the top 100. You can make excuses about execution, but be silent about coordination. Other coordinators with less talent have done a great deal more.

      Prior to this past week, I was part of the keep Mac crowd. After the death threat comments and lack of proof, I am finally in the fire Mac, fire Muschamp, and fire Zook crowd.

      It hurts, not because of the coach losing his job, but because of the immediate future. Holding the recruiting class together will be difficult. The team presently has talent, but what about the pipeline?

      A new coach will want to implement their system with their players. The clock will be set to zero and fans will jump on every unsuccessful result. If the university doesn’t hire the next Spurrier or Meyer we will start negative recruiting the Gators via social media. The kids will read our comments and not commit to the Gators. The record will reflect the drop in talent and the screams for the next coach will begin in about three years. The carousel effect started with Meyer’s departure; and we are still going in circles.

  20. Mac’s unquestionably come to the end of the line as our head coach. He’s lost whatever credibility he had left by his squirrelly comments last Monday couple with his history of non-specific answers to all questions. He’s put his superiors in a position from which they have no recourse but to buy him out and send him packing. He has not advanced our program on the field. On the other hand, some positives include serious expansion and refurbishment of facilities, creation of a quality support staff and, frankly, some pretty good talent at receiver and running back, two position areas that had been lacking a long time. Our now unknown new coach will inherit a roster with lots of young guys who are gaining plenty of early playing experience this season and who came to Florida for success, not failure. I would expect that new coach to lead us to a pretty good year in 2018 and have us highly competitive in 2019. We’re not that far away or bereft of talent as today’s understandable gloominess would suggest.

  21. WE (UF ALUMNI) ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY – NOT THE SCURVY DAWGS.
    PLEASE TAKE A STEP-BACK AND INSERT BRAIN BEFORE THE TONGUE.
    WE HAVE A COACH / STOP TRYING TO DETHRONE HIM. DO NOT TALK REPLACEMENT – THAT
    IS THE AD’S JOB. I AM CLASS OF 1975 AND WILL ALWAYS BE A GATOR TILL THE
    DAY I DIE.
    GIVE A HEAD COACH HIS FULL 5 YEAR CONTRACT TO COMPLETE THE MISSION.
    GATOR BORN / GATOR BRED AND WHEN I DIE I’M GATOR DEAD!!!
    LOVE THE GATORS THRU THICK AND THIN.

  22. UF will recover, but the first step in recovery is to admit there is a problem. The next steps are: quarantine the problem(s), remove the problem(s), and rebuild the damage areas. I believe this should include the dismissal or transfer release of the suspended players.

    Talent is not the issue. In fact, it really bothers me that fans and coaches throw arrows at Franks. The kid has admittedly had some trouble seeing the whole field, but the woes of this season are far from his fault. We wouldn’t have won with Broadway Joe Namath at QB!
    Keep your head up Franks!

  23. Anybody that keeps claiming that Meyer was great for our program have short mempries or only care about winning! Meyer won us 2 NCs at all cost. He let the star players literally get away with murder, and it took a LOT of cleaning up after he was gone. There has only been one highly successful coach in UF history that did it the right way. Now hopefully we can find another version of the young Spurrier and turn this mess back into something we can all be proud of. Go Gators!!!

  24. I haven’t bothered to read most of the stuff above yet…not sure I need to. I know what it all says. Thank goodness I didn’t make the trek to Jax yesterday (got grandkids now), or I surely would have jumped.
    I appreciate what Pat was trying to say about the game not mattering in the breakup, but I think the UAA was waiting to see if maybe there was another miracle to be had up there (like all of us), and if so, maybe hang on to him till at the very least the end of the season. But I said yesterday, at 21-0, it was over. It was over for them, over for the players, over for the fans, over for anybody who still had razor thin hope that maybe he could save the season, and himself from the inedible. I guess I was one of the dumb ones (remember, I’m dumb but not stupid), that thought there was still a sliver of hope. But I too knew it was over, very quickly. When I heard the ‘thunderclap’ news from Finebaum at the end of SEC Nation, I wondered outloud how soon Mac would know of this ‘secret’ leak and if the players knew. But really, what dummy didn’t know it was already over by then. A Gator fan can dream all he/she wants about upsets in Jax (can’t we), but we all knew deep down what was gonna happen yesterday. Maybe not in the first 5 minutes, but we knew, deep down, we knew.
    So here we are again. The Orlando Magic of football. Another long road of coach search ( what top tier coach is gonna want to come to this dumpster fire), rebuilding the trust of recruits and their parents, and trying to figure out how to change the ‘culture’ that somehow the coaches are the reason these kids commit crimes once they get here, because they’ve created a culture where it thrives ( I don’t buy that one). So here we are Gator fan, again. When my Father was alive we loathed getting the paper on these Sunday mornings and reading the stinging headlines reaffirming everything we had witnessed the day before. We would read each others articles to each other over the phone and try and analyze ourselves just what went wrong. Oh how I miss him trying to console his boy about the mishaps of the game. But I don’t think even my Dad could put the slightest positive spin on this mess. Oh he’s spinning right now( Actually, his ashes are in the middle of the South End Zone, another good story), looking down on this chapter of Gator football just wanting it to go away like a bad dream.

    GO GATORS! BEAT MIZZOU!

  25. See Ralph Peters comment at 6:18 AM. That concisely summarizes the 3 reasons Mac must go now. This is not only about football, but much larger problems with this athletic program. If the AD does not act promptly, he is a large part of the rot.

  26. Look throw ALOT of cash at a proven winner. Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville, I’ll even take the Daniel Tosh look alike BTW it would be easy to get him he’s still in Fla. Meyer probably would come back, he’s hit his ceiling at Ohio St

  27. I admit, I believed MAC would survive this season based on his buyout, recruiting, and won SEC East 2 years in a row. I was wrong.
    Spurrier once alternated 2 QB’s every play to beat FSU. Meyer turned Chris Leak into a National Champ QB.
    MAC showed no interest in modifying the game plan to utilize his QB’s strengths/running ability and left him stay in the game to get demolished by the dawg def. No creativity or innovation what-so-ever.
    When it didn’t work in Washington and So Car, Spurrier walked away and gave up millions $. That kind of dedication, integrity, and innovation makes a legend, wins championships and gets a field named after you.
    MAC should resign and negotiate a more reasonable buyout.

  28. i beat up dooley pretty bad for staying with champ, I guess he saw grier had what was needed at the qb position and there was no way for me to know. mac is better than all of the criticism but letting grier go over franks I think is what did the program in, and staying with franks at this point, well, I wouldn’t do it…anyway I think dooley gave us a good article here, I do have to thank the sun for by and large sorta getting it right when things were challenging. over the years the sun has done pretty well, I just never agreed with keeping with champ after Georgia state. I guess losing to ed orgeron is the bad loss for mac, and losing to ole miss did in zook. once you have your guys, if you cant beat weaker opponents, gator fans don’t have the patience for that. the real question is what will happen down the road. I still don’t see a strong candidate ready to come in, like urban or spurrier. with the nfl losing ratings, is college football next to lose more of its fan base? we used to really not like fsu, that’s changed. I didn’t even dislike Georgia this year like years past. no one can even guess who the best team is any more, and the fun is not as much. once the gators was it for the whole state, then fsum and Miami diluted things, now you have 8 million dollar coaches in the state draining a smaller pool for their programs. is the big money era going to drop off even more at florida? I can say lower your expectations, gator fans, but no one wants to hear it. and I hated to see the team disinterested like the Georgia game, you could tell they knew mac ‘s time had ended strangely.
    my vote is the gators need excitement, they should contact tebow and offer him the job. hed do it for nothing. I know hes not this or not that, but being this or that hasn’t been so good either. I’m for tebow, right now.