Talk is over, time to play


After listening to all 12 SEC coaches and dozens of the league’s best football players the past three days in Hoover, Ala., I bring you these observations from Media Days:

* Florida and new coach Will Muschamp are getting absolutely zero respect (and zero chance, I guess) in the SEC this season. No Gator offensive players on the first three teams of the preseason All-SEC team and zero Gators on the first two defensive teams. In all the years I’ve covered the SEC, I’ve never seen Florida slighted this much on the preseason All-SEC voted on by the media. UF was picked third, which I understand. But the Gators certainly have a great deal more talent than they are being given credit for. This should be motivating stuff for the Gators.

* While the Gators are getting no love, the Georgia Bulldogs are getting all kinds — and they’re coming off their first losing season under Mark Richt. I get it that Aaron Murray is probably the best QB in the SEC and Georgia has a lot of young talent and a chance to win the East. What I don’t get is why the ‘Dogs are getting all love and the Gators are getting none. It will be another interesting late October day in Jacksonville, I’m betting.

* Steve Spurrier is back. Winning has brought him back. At last year’s SEC Media Days, Spurrier bemoaned that, “I’m just a 7-6 coach, I guess.” Not any more. The Gamecocks won the East last season and are the pick to do it again in 2011. Now that he’s winning again, Spurrier is back to being his old self. During his time at the podium, he was funny, engaging and even feeling good enough to take a shot at commissioner Mike Slive, calling Slive’s recommendation of multi-year scholarships a bad idea. The Spur Dog is back and barking. Of course, now the Gamecocks are going to have to deal with expectations like they’ve never experienced before. It will be interesting to see how they handle them.

* New Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has lit a spark in Nashville. After listening to him talk about the advantages he has at Vanderbilt, I’m starting to think the Commodores might actually be competitive this season. But I still don’t think they’ll win many games.

* Gene Chizik is obviously a very good coach and he’s doing a marvelous job at Auburn. But the former Florida walk-on is soooooo boring. I’m assuming he’s a lot different around his players and the AU boosters. But, man, he was putting me to sleep the other day. He sure does know how to dodge a question, by the way.

* Kentucky coach Joker Phillips isn’t much more exciting than Chizik. But when you talk to his players, it’s obvious they love him and are going to play hard for him.

* With games at Alabama and LSU, it’s a tough schedule for Arkansas. But I would not be shocked if the Hogs win the West. Bobby Petrino has dramatically raised the overall talent level at Arkansas.

* Dan Mullen has done a remarkable job in two years at Mississippi State, but I can see why he is not considered much of a recruiter. He’s, well, a little different — a hard guy to warm up to. To me, he seems a bit of an odd fit in the SEC — but he loves Starkville. Good for him.


  1. I agree that we have more talent then we’re being given credit for, but it’s also understandable that none of our guys are being picked for the All-SEC teams. Who on the team has really accomplished anything? Maybe Demps and Rainey, but that’s about it. Otherwise, we have a bunch of guys with good potential, but very little results thus far.

  2. The Gator Nation is going to have to look beyond W’s and L’s this season. First year coaches, a new system, a ton of talented players who have to come together and some huge holes depth, big back, no proven go-to receiver, new secondary and let’s not forget the unproven QB position, on and on….we need to look for a team that improves as the year rolls on and look to be back in a year or two. We’ve got the talent, recruiting and staff, patience is we have to learn. It can be a ton of fun watching a team like this…enjoy!

  3. I agree with Jeff. But I will add that being a sleeper can work to our advantage this year. Our talent is raw but our coaching staff is really good! Looking forward to what they can do! As always…GO GATORS!

  4. dont ever count the GATORS even the ole ball coach will tell you that because he knows personally being a gator great and coaching teams here that were underated and won games they wasnt suppose to bring on the cocks,dawgs,and even them bum ass vols we will win the east mark it down and compete for a national championship with all that little bit of talent that we so called have and lack of depth GO GATORS KICK THERE ASSES!

  5. I don’t think the Gators winning games would shock anyone. We have done it enough that people are used to the idea. It might upset and disappoint them, as they were hoping for a win or two against us before we got our stride back.
    No, we won’t shock anyone. If Vandy were to go 10-2 and win the SEC, that would shock a lot of people, but if UF does it, not so much.
    I’m having a tough time getting a feel for this year. We have lost so many players, including Janoris, which was huge and potentially crippling for the defense, but we have a return of enthusiasm and, frankly, a lot of young talent. SPECIAL talent. I can see us going 7-5, and I can see us going 10-2, and neither would surprise me.

  6. The practice of the various media picking pre-season “All World This and That” teams has always been a rediculous endeavor designed solely for selling more magazines or papers. How do you honor someone before the fist snap? Let the kids play all the games, and then have a vote of if you like. At the end, let the best players be honored, be they Gators or Bulldogs or Vol’s. Ok, maybe not Vol’s, but you get my point.

  7. I agree with completly with Lizard…A 10-2 record with losses to Bama and USC – a loss in Columbia that keeps Fla. out of Atlanta AGAIN, or 7-5 with losses ALL OVER THE PLACE!?!?
    Either way, GO GATORS!!!

  8. Lizard’s pick is mine as well…FLA goes 7-5 and losses to LSU, USC, and UGA and Bama and FSU…UGH!!!! OR FLA goes 10-2 with losses vs. Bama and Carolina-which goes on to play ‘Bama in Atlanta for SEC. But either way it WILL BE FUN TO WATCH WEIS RUN A GATOR OFFENSE!!! AMD MUSCHOMP COACH A GATOR DEFENSE!!! GO GATORS!!!

  9. Which coach was it that gave Spurrier headaches, when he was at UF? Wasn’t it Muschamp, at LSU? I believe Muschamp will have something for Spurrier! Alabama and LSU are the only games I truly worry about. I believe that if we take care of business, we will be 10-2 and in the SEC game, against Bama. The 2nd time, we win! Of course, this is being extremely optimistic! We should be a really good team by the time we roll in to South Carolina and a much better team than what Bama will see in the Swamp.

  10. I have never seen so much Negativity in respect to the Gators! I predict that a 9-3 season is definitely a great possibility…….This is a very talented team and the fact that last years transition from Timmy to John still generated an 8-5 season with new years day bowl win.!!!!…And if you recall if we had a field goal kicker we would have beaten LSU and Miss State and ended at 10-3 and never had these conversations..
    Transition is one thing but……We are talking a fantastik Coaching staff and alot of talent that will be just fine…..
    To further demonstrate the ignorance of the Media some are picking a team aka Georgia that had a losing record to possibly win the SEC East!
    I will go with my Gut and Preduct 9-3 and a Bowl win…and with a team that is really finishing strong with a complete passing and running game!
    Bob in Jupiter, Florida
    Alum, Gator Booster and Season Ticket holder!!!!!
    Go Gators!!!

  11. Media never alligns with clumsy-confusion; that’s the gators clinging to a Brantley-type mis-leader. No NO offense scheme works well (refer to 3-headed QBs pre-announcing the type play to the defense. That’s our coaches giving the opposing team their most inspirational pep-talk. What clumsy-confusion… in player’s minds & coaches’ minds. Only an undealt-with bad QB can cause that
    Look at 2010 replays ( & those are the good gator plays ) to see JB as slow a’foot & slow of mind. That’s why a “breeze-by” solo rusher knocks JB into
    stumbletown down.
    Tebow, a fine Clydesdale. Talk is Driskel may be a Clydesdale-Seabiscuit… if so, Driskel should take over asap. Driskel will freeze defenses… a requirement
    in the SEC.

  12. Wowee!! Look at article “Position Breakdown-Backfield”. Focus on the Brantley handoff photo… The handoff is done bye a longshot yet Brandley is looking into
    the nowhere backfield, not at unfolding downfield pass-pattern receivers..
    stupid ? predestined to fail ? By lack of eyescan JB creates a rush on the QB
    that no OL can protect.

    Now if the pass is to the backfield JB is telling the linebacker to full-speed tackle
    Rainey,Demps etc… That is sabotage & the 2010 season was sabotaged !

  13. I completely agree with John C….We are going to be a very good team!!
    I think like everything else it takes a little time to install an offense but a Pro attack is alot easier than a spread….We have tons of talent, tons of coaching experience and quite frankly like the schedule we have to play based upon who we play away and home….Think about it…We get Bama and Tenn and FSU in the swamp!!!!!
    Last year they were away…..I think by the 5th game of the season we will be settled in….Every year we seem to hit the stride by game 5…..And I love the fact Auburn is starting with a fresh team…..
    Brantley has talent…..We have tons of speed…..I see Debose, Rainey and
    Demps getting around the corners alot with the field spread out with receivers opening the field…..
    We have a 5th year QB with lots of talent and …if they protect him…he will get the ball there…
    Lets Go 9-3 or better….No blowouts of us this year!!!!
    Go Gators…
    Bob in Jupiter