Is Next Year THE YEAR, or Do We Have a Couple More to Go?

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    • #45962

      I know as of this moment we haven’t played the Orange Bowl yet, but a couple of years ago a lot of us estimated that we’d possibly make the CFP by Year 3. Well, Year 3 is upon us and things have gone pretty well for CDM & Company….we’ve had solid progression from year to year and have a couple Top-10 recruiting classes. What do you guys think?

      As for me, I think Year-4 will be the Year of the Gator, but it could be sooner.

    • #45999

      Looking at where the Gators are after CDM’s second season in Hogtown and knowing that recruiting is CFP destiny in 2020 and beyond, I’d have to say I agree with you 6. Our Gators need for this good 2020 recruiting class to mature and for an even better 2021 class to join the fold before this team can confidently step up and crash the CFP party on a semi-permanent basis.

      That’s not to say that IF CDM and staff can solve the Gators’ obvious 2019 problems (on full display in the OB) over the spring and summer, the 2020 Gators couldn’t land in the CFP. They finally have a QB situation that isn’t a liability. They have talented and experienced skill position players to go along with Trask and Jones, and plenty of young talent on the defensive side of the ball. They also have a more manageable schedule in 2020, with Ole Miss replacing Auburn and a Burrow-less LSU coming to the Swamp.

      However, even IF they manage to reach the Cocktail Party undefeated (as they should,) there the Ugly Dawgs will be, waiting with another squad no less talented than the ones that have beaten them the last 3 seasons. And if the Gators get past THAT obstacle and into the SECC Game, there (I’m sure) Satan and his Evil Empire will be, representing another obstacle the Gators haven’t overcome since 2008!

      So you see, 2020’s challenges are already clear. And that’s assuming CDM and staff somehow develop an SEC OL and DBU makes a REAL comeback next season.

    • #46009

      In order to jump from 11-2, we have to be able to win the big games. The two big weaknesses for the Gators that contributed to the LSU and UGA losses were the same in both games.

      Offense: The OL is key! They were terrible this year as a unit. We can make excuses for them or say they improved, but Trask saved them by making quick decisions with pressure in his face constantly. They had numerous penalties and we were unable to go deep as much as we wanted because Trask didn’t have time to let the deep routes develop. The run blocking was even worse. The Orange Bowl performance was more Perine than the OL. The opening run was blocked well. The Trask interception was because the center was beat and Trask was unable to step into the throw. The receiver was open. On Perine’s second TD run, #72 falls down before he can make his block in the 2nd level. Luckily the defender slipped because Perine juked him.

      If the OL can improve from being awful to being mediocre or even good, then we can take that next step.

      Defense: The secondary and pass defense. It is easy to blame the secondary as a whole, but the issues ultimately mostly fall on the safeties and the linebackers and their communication in coverage. If you look at UVa’s first TD pass, #25 is dropping into coverage then just stops. On their 3rd TD, the UVa QB actually missed the easy throw to #44 beating ALL of the LBs who bit on the run. Instead he went outside, Stiner takes a bad angle and the LBs are ALL out of the play. UGA and LSU took advantage of this all game.

      The defense is concerning because you have to wonder if it’s scheme or players. Either way, Grantham does not seem to be able to adjust. At least Mullen was able to adjust to the OL struggles. Also, I feel Grantham had way more to work with than Mullen did with the OL.

      So the season will come down to 2-3 games, the OL and the LBs and safeties in pass coverage.
      Just my two cents and it probably isn’t worth that. LOL.

      • #46014

        Orlando, your two cents are worth at least a nickel and 6 will reach into his pocket and send it to you! That assessment is spot on.

        I only disagree with your conclusion about Grantham’s schemes being the cause of the back end breakdowns in coverage. If the schemes were the cause of the problems, we would’ve seen similar breakdowns last season and we didn’t.

        I believe this season we got a perfect storm of CDM recruited inexperience, injuries and worse McElwayne junior/senior talent replacing better Muschamp junior/senior talent in the back end all conspiring to degrade performance.

        The good news is the CDM recruits will now return with experience next season. So, performance in coverage should improve in 2020.

      • #46039
        Joe Shiver

        Orlando, let me second StL’s praise of your analysis. I’ve thought for some time that in coverage, our LB’s are what I call “chasers”. They can’t cover well, because they can’t catch up. The Orange Bowl made it evident that our safeties are now afflicted with the same problem. I think Grantham covered this problem with pressure from the D-line as best he could, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can get the coverage issues rectified next season.

        As 6, says, we must win the East first. Eleven wins in the regular season won’t mean much unless one of them is UGA. Go Gators!!!

      • #46115

        Agree with everything, I definitely expect 2020 to be our year and can’t wait to celebrate! I hope it’s not too soon and I’m not overreacting though haha!

    • #46012

      With a much easier schedule than this year, and hopefully a little better luck with injuries than this year, UF’s NC path is there, but Georgia’s Toilet Drinking Bullfrogs must be defeated.

      • #46013

        Put differently, we must first win the East. No lapses, no dumb attacks, no inconsistency — just solid, SEC football with a solid SEC OL and solid defense, not to mention even mention special teams.

        Right now, knowing what personnel we’re likely to have and the bugs that still need to be worked on, my confidence level is ____% that we can do that in 2020.

        What say you guys?

        • #46015

          Once again, you’ve weaseled out of making a forecast 6! So, I won’t feel bad in hedging my forecast below.

          I believe the Gator OL and DBs will both improve enough to combine with the easier 2020 schedule to arrive at the Cocktail Party undefeated. The Ugly Dawgs losing Jake Fromm and part of their OL to the NFL will mean that will be a pick-em game. Win it and the Gators take the East, likely undefeated. Lose close and have the Ugly Dawgs win the SECC game big and the Committee might award the Gators the #4 CFP spot anyway.

          Satan’s Evil Empire will be waiting in Atlanta and the East champs will be underdogs against all that evil talent. Trust me, Bama won’t miss Tua IF he chooses to go pro. If the Gators pull an upset there, they’re in the CFP as the top seed. If they lose close and are otherwise unbeaten, the Committee might award them the #4 spot anyway.

          • #46016

            How perceptive! I might remind you, however, that it is a well known fact that the egg sucking propensity of the weasel is purely proverbial. Now, that may strike you as irrelevant, but be advised that I read that some place as I was flunking out of college the second time in the late sixties, and it having stuck with me ever since, I stand by it.

            Now then; as far as answering my own question, to wit, what percent confident are you, based on what we know in the present moment, that we will be able to first win the SEC-East in 2020? We can talk about winning the SEC after that, then the CFP and so on.

            OK, since you’ve backed me into a corner, I’ll admit that right now I’m 60% confident that we will win the SEC-East. What say youse guys?

        • #46026

          UF can win the East, 85%. Win the SEC, 65%, and if they do, 90% in the CFP, and the NC.

      • #46021

        That’s fair. I guess when I was talking scheme, I meant his ability to adjust to lesser athletes and inexperience. That all being said, this team was 4-7 before these coaches got here so they must be doing something right! It is way more fun to nitpick one play here or there than it is to watch our players blocking each other as we lose to Georgia Southern.

    • #46022

      I totally dodged the question. Backed into a corner, I think we lose 1 SEC game. It is so hard to go undefeated in the league. I’m going to say that Mullen and Co. gets one of the two issues, or both, fixed and we beat UGA and end up in Atlanta. I’m going with 65%.

      Once you are playing on championship weekend, anything is possible.

    • #46028

      Well, for some reason I don’t quite understand, I was allowed to log in and post, so I most certainly will.

      Kentucky will be consistently tough as long as Stoops is there, and Pruitt is doing a good job at Tennessee. Even so, I think we will win all the games we’re supposed to win because of quality coaching and conditioning. Muschamp finally got rid of Dillingham, so South Carolina should be healthier and better conditioned, but that’s a home game and it’s pretty much a transition year for them.

      So the two big games are LSU and Georgia. I think LSU takes a significant step back, plus we get them in Gainesville. I think we win that one.

      Which leaves the Cocktail Party. In my humble opinion, we’ve lost the last two primarily because of lack of quality roster depth. And this year poor OL play, which is a species of poor roster depth. I think quality roster depth is improving. I also think Georgia takes a step back next year on both lines.

      I think the Georgia game is a toss-up, but if we have better safety play next year we win. As we all know, Georgia’s talent level rarely translates to on the field success against Florida.

      About the safeties. I’m afraid the guys currently on the roster ain’t gettin’ it done and probably ain’t gonna get it done. With the possible exception of shawn Davis. Which means we need an elite freshman or freshmen to step up. As we know at Florida, true freshmen can be productive in the secondary. We’ll see. Safety remains our Achilles heel until further notice.

      I think we improve on both sides of the line of scrimmage next year. As far as Zu and Greenard leaving, our top pass rusher for the past few years has always been a guy who was on the roster the year before but matured into a breakout season. A few candidates for that next year, including Cox. And we should get meaningful snaps on the interior D-line from the incoming freshmen. On the O-line, all the younger guys behind this year’s starters are more talented on paper than the starters, just not as experienced. A year should make a huge difference.

      At receiver, I don’t expect any drop-off. I know, I know. Sounds crazy. But only four guys can be out there on the field at one time and we’ve got Pitts, Grimes, Copeland and probably Toney. Jefferson’s route running will be tough to replace, but Copeland flashed some great ball skills this year. Fraziers showed huge potential in the UA game. And at least one of the other guys currently on the roster (Marks, Wells, Weston) should break out with an extra year of development. Getting Henderson would be icing on the cake.

      My one big concern in 2020 is replacing David Reese’s on-the-field leadership. This is the single biggest variable in 2020. Who will be the defense’s field general?

      So can we win the SEC East next year? Yes. But I think we’re probably another year away from winning the SEC and getting to the CFP. At that level, a lot depends on what happens with Alabama. Their 2019 season was heavily influenced by defensive injuries and a magical LSU season that isn’t likely to be repeated. I think Alabama will be back with a vengeance next year.

      • #46030

        That’s what I think too, Nashville.

        I’d like to total these up and get a mean or a mode….need several more estimates tho.

        • #46031

          Based on my analysis above, I’m not confident of the Gators’ having better than a 50% chance of wresting the East crown away from UGA. They have #3 247 4-year composite recruiting talent to the Gators’ #15. That talent gap will not close much as the Gators replace the #12 2016 class with the #8 2020 class and UGA simply reloads.

          Should the Gators win that coin flip of a game and end up in the SECC game, a very motivated Bama squad will be waiting there with the #1 247 4-year composite recruiting talent. So, the odds of winning THAT game are even lower, no higher than 33%. Even CDM can’t close that big a talent gap with his coaching and it’s not like Saban is a slouch.

          As for making the CFP Final 4 in 2020, the Gators’ chances right now are no better than 25% and that allows for the possibility that they end the season 11-1 or 12-1, NOT SEC champs, and snag the #4 seed.

          I wish I could be more optimistic. We’ll see what Vegas has to say when they post their odds in the summer.

          • #46047
            Joe Shiver

            You make good points, but actual talent level and the ranking of that talent aren’t always the same. They do rank recruiting classes, but they only give rings and trophies for performance. Now, I know that there is a high correlation between talent and championships, but the Gator recruits don’t have to allow their ranking to define their talent.

            • #46067

              Joe, college football is a VERY physical game. God-given size, strength, speed and quickness is not allocated equally. Programs that collect the best natural talent and coach it up well will beat programs that collect second best talent and coach it up well.

              The CFP top 5 in 2019 were LSU, Ohio St, Clemson, Oklahoma and UGA. The composite 247 top 5 recruiting classes in 2019 were Alabama, Ohio St, UGA, USCw and LSU. Oklahoma and Clemson 247 classes were #8 and #9. None of the top 5 finishers were outside the top 10 in recruiting and that has become commonplace this decade.

              The only top 5 recruiting class that ended up ranked outside the CFP top 10 this season, USCw, is a shining examples of poor coaching and player development. Alabama just had a rash of injuries to key players and will be back with a vengeance in 2020.

              So, within bands, composite recruiting rankings do define CFP rankings. The numbers above don’t lie. In 2020, no team with composite talent ranked outside the top 10 will end up in the CFP Final 4. Blame Coach Butter-teeth for that.

      • #46043
        Joe Shiver

        Nashville, I’m not absolutely certain, but I believe both paid and non-paid members can post in this Lizard Lounge forum. It’s just that non-paid members are limited to five article views per month.

        Btw, great post!

    • #46036

      I have an idea. Forget Vegas, 247 recruiting classes, Mel Kiper and all the others who make a living on “what if” or who has the most 5-star 18-year old recruits. Just play the games and see how well the coaches have done with what they have.
      Cases in point: Did anyone see the 2005-06 Gator NC in basketball coming? Did anyone see Joe barrow and LSU coming this past season? Did anyone see Kyle Trask coming in for Franks and taking Gators to a NY6 Bowl?
      The only thing certain in sports is that nothing is certain.

    • #46092

      Here’s a fun update out of Ugly Dawg country. Their best returning OL (Mays) just transferred to Tennessee after his family filed a $3 million lawsuit against UGA for loss of his right pinkie, pain and suffering.

      That leaves the Dawgs with just one returning OL starter in 2020. That goes with the loss of their starting QB (Fromm) to the NFL draft, leaving them with a true freshman QB in 2020. They also lose their starting RB (Swift) and their best WR (Cager) to the NFL draft.

      A troubled UGA offense in 2019 now appears to be totally dysfunctional for 2020. Perhaps, the football gods are going to smile on the Gators next season. Their road to the SEC East Title is now clearer than it’s been since 2016.

      • #46094

        I live for the day when once again we don’t depend on Georgia to have an off-year in order for us to have a shot at the East. In the meantime tho — I’ll take it!

        • #46102

          You know 6, as my favorite radio talk personality is fond of saying, I live in “Realville.” He’s “the mayor,” I’m just a “resident!”

          In Realville, the Ugly Dawgs will be a thorn in the Gators’ side every season Smart runs their program from now on. The best I expect for the Gators going forward is to get their “fair share” of SEC East titles, which will be no better than 40%, with UGA getting another 40% and the last 20% split among the other 5 teams.

          A better success rate than that would not be “realistic.”

          • #46106

            Abundantly realistic, StL. I also live for the day when Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee are the preemptive heavyweights again in the East yearly, with a bunch of decent punchers right behind them and a couple of dangerous contenders with glass jaws in the mix. We can’t win every year, of course, but restoration of the East is certainly something I’d like to see before my final dispatch, or at least arrival at the check out line.

            Aside from that, the latrine in heaven would be fine with me. As long as they have a satellite dish and subscribe to the SEC Network.

            • #46107

              Well, here’s to hoping you get to see at least three more Gator natties and we both get to hear SOS tell another roomful of Gators that you STILL can’t spell Citrus without UT!

        • #46108

          The last 12 years each team has had a three year streak. 2020 should be Florida’s turn to start winning. We will have the more experienced offense in the upcoming season. Georgia loses a lot and their year was this past season which they promptly screwed up at South Carolina. They would have been in the final four if not for that loss. Gators need to win the East this year. Make the final four and anything can happen even if we lose the SEC Championship game. The 2020 preseason hype is going to be huge and I hope we can fulfill expectations. I have been watching Gator Football since the late 60’s. I would love to see another NC before I cross the rainbow bridge to greener pastures.

    • #46117

      On roster composite talent ratings, Clemson won their 2016 NC with the 9th ranked roster, albeit with a difference maker at quarterback. Believe it or not, this year was their first top 5 class.

      As for much ballyhooed “talent gaps,” to my thinking it’s not 4-stars versus 5-stars so much as it’s about quality roster depth… and Mullen is getting that issue fixed.

      One more thing on talent. Often, the difference between a 4-star and a 5-star is just that the 5-star is judged to be physically more ready to play. And because the 5-star is closer to his ceiling, this explains why some 3-star and 4-star players can “catch up” to a 5-star level with college diet, strength and conditioning… There’s more distance between where they are in high school and their ceiling. Obviously, this is less true with speed, hands, etc., and more true on the lines of scrimmage. But of course, they have to be the right 3-star and 4-star players. That’s where player evaluation comes into play, and where I have faith in Mullen, Hevesy, et al.

      Our good friends at Georgia have been going through stuff in the last week on a par with what we experienced last off-season with the Jones and Steele episode and the academic qualify fails. Jake Fromm declared, an OL starter transferred, his dad filed a lawsuit over a severed pinky, and a possible OL starter next year was charged in a federal bullying lawsuit (with details too disgusting to describe here). Georgia will take a step back next year but their defense will bail them out of games.

      Jamie Newman, a grad transfer from Wake forest, just transferred to Georgia. Reminds me of Malik Zaire transferring to Florida and I expect roughly the same results. He’s a dual threat guy with a pretty high interception ratio against this year’s ACC. And Smart isn’t going to change his offense to accommodate a running quarterback with his top QB recruit, Carson Beck, coming in.

      Every SEC team, with the definite exceptions of LSU and Georgia, and the possible exceptions of Vanderbilt and Missouri, will be better next year than they were this year. LSU and Georgia will still be good. So it will be tough sledding even in the games we’re favored in.

      But I’m excited about the future.

      • #46118

        Nashville, first of all I’m glad to see you posting again, and like always, what you say is well thought out and right on the money.

        As far as the 5* estimates vs the 4* estimates and the 3* estimates — and that’s exactly what they are in my opinion, ESTIMATES OF POTENTIAL AT THIS LEVEL — our friend Gator65 tho not on here for some time, I think has nailed it as (1) 32 total 5*s awarded, defined as a score between 98-100; (2) 300 4*s awarded, defined as a score between 90-97; and the remainder of the Top 10% nationally awarded 3*s (c corresponding scores between 80-89).

        So anyway you slice it, the range between 3* and 5* is a pretty damn tight shot group to begin with. In fact, that’s even before an error term (or variance) is applied to the calculations — which it’s not anyway. Point is, I think it’s very hard to discern a 5* from a 4* at first blush unless a coach is extraordinarily perceptive……and I’ll be most couldn’t in a true blind test. The difference may, or may not, become apparent after further coaching and development.

        We’ve had our fair share of 5*s over the years; some lived up to their estimated potential, and some didn’t. Seems to be that way across P5 teams in the upper echelons. So what’s the big deal? Is there some type of arms race for the number of Top-32 players? Seems foolish to me — I like the “Mullensonian” approach of bringing in the players best suited to fit the system. Those turn out anyway to be mostly Top-300 players (4*), with a healthy dose of Top 10% who seem to best fit (3*). Dabo seemed to have had good success with exactly that model, and CDM is probably a better coach too. Y’all can now fire for effect.

      • #46122

        Too much is made of 5* recruits in terms of their potential contributions to championship teams. In reality, there aren’t that many of them, they’re spread around to various teams and a fair share of them are busts.

        Never forget that Martez Ivey and Cece Jefferson were both 5* recruits in 2015, nationally ranked 2nd and 7th overall that year. Both were good Gator players, but neither turned out to be a world beater.

        Landing 5* recruits is primarily a marketing advantage for a college program, especially if they commit early. It signals to all the 4* recruits in that class that your program is one they want to seriously consider committing to.

        A team made up of mostly 4* recruits with some 5*’s sprinkled in will beat a team made up of mostly 3* recruits with some 4*’s sprinkled in most of the time IF both teams are equally well coached. For proof, I give you the Gators’ 1-3 record vs. LSU and UGA in the short CDM era.

        Nobody argues CDM can develop and coach up his players, but the talent gap he had at MSU and inherited at UF has been too wide to make up with good coaching when the opponent also has good coaching. It’s the reason CDM left MSU, where he was NEVER going to fill his squad with mostly 4* recruits. At UF he has a fighting chance to close the talent gap with UGA, LSU and Alabama.

    • #46142

      We didn’t have to wait till summer for the wise guys in Vegas to post their odds of winning the 2020 CFP NC. They came out, placing the Gators just about where I thought they’d land based on comparing returning talent & experience:

      CLEMSON 2-1
      Alabama 4-1
      LSU 9-2
      Ohio State 7-1
      Georgia 10-1
      Florida 15-1
      Auburn 22-1
      Oklahoma 22-1
      Notre Dame 25-1
      Texas 25-1
      Penn State 30-1
      Michigan 30-1

      >>>Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

      Anyone who believes 2020 is going to be the Year of the Gator, should place their bets now. 15 to 1 odds are not too shabby!

      The funny thing is where the wise guys rated that P5 fraud, Oklahoma’s odds.

    • #46149

      Set. 5th Eastern Washington Eagles Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Sep. 12 Kentucky Wildcats Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Sep. 19 South Alabama Jaguars Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Sep. 26 at Tennessee Volunteers Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN.

      So at of the end of Sept (a 1/3 of the season over) the Gators should be undefeated, but nothing in life is certain.

      Oct. 3 South Carolina Gamecocks Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Oct. 10 LSU Tigers Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Oct. 17 at Ole Miss Rebels Vaught-Hemingway Oxford, MS.
      Oct. 24 OFF Saturday BYE for UGA prep. the next week.

      So after 8 games, the 2020 Gators could be undefeated heading into Jax. for the FLA/UGA showdown. This is where the SEC East Championship will be determined, in my opinion. The Gators need to just play ball, and not think too much on Halloween Saturday. And don’t allow the last 3 loses to UGA determine this 2020 game’s outcome.

      Oct. 31 vs Georgia Bulldogs (trick or treat?) at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
      Nov. 7 at Vanderbilt Commodores Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN
      Nov. 14 Missouri Tigers Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Nov. 21 New Mexico State Aggies Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
      Nov. 28 at Florida State Seminoles Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

      So with this schedule finally favoring Florida Football under Mullen, this could be the year Florida Football returns to the ATL. The game in the ATL against LSU or ‘Bama most likely. And it will be the determining factor for whether or not UF has another ”Dream Season.”

      It’s a long way off, too far off to make my prediction. I just see ”a way” for the 2020 Gators to make a splash next season. But like everything in life, ”TIME WILL TELL!”
      It always does! Go Gators!

      • #46154

        Every game on that schedule is winnable. Tennessee in Knoxville will be a bigger challenge in 2020 than last couple of seasons. LSU in the Swamp, without Burrow and half his posse, is less a challenge than they were this season. Ole Miss in the Grove, with The Brat head coach, is a wild card and the Gators don’t play well there, but it’s winnable. All the others, but one, are Gator wins IF they just show up mentally and I don’t see CDM allowing a let-down.

        So, as you say, the 2020 regular season will come down to the Cocktail Party. Do the Ugly Dawgs have an answer at QB? Win that winnable game and the Gators have a real shot at arriving in Atlanta 12-0, led by a senior All-SEC QB, just as they did in 2009. And there, just as in 2009, the Evil Empire will be waiting for them… with THE #1 composite recruited squad in ALL of college football… AND a really ticked off Emperor Satan, lighting a fire under their collective rear ends!

        I really like our Gators chances next season, but I wouldn’t bet on them winning THAT game… even with 6 or 65’s money!!!

        • #46155

          I’ve been a Florida Gator for a mighty long time — I’d tell you how long, but since it’s still classified information I’d have to kill you — but one thing I’ve learned over lo, these many years of being an SEC guy, is that the phrase “……on any given Saturday” always applies. Last year it was South Carolina; where does it say the Gators can’t be this coming year? And, as we get stronger year by year and as Georgia regresses to the inevitable mean, and after all, laces up their penny loafers just like everybody else to begin with, isn’t it fair to say that Florida will win at least one game in Jacksonville during this century? Maybe even two or three?

          Maybe a better question would be, “Will Dan Mullen ever win a National Championship at Florida, and if so, when?”.

          Could be this year, but I doubt it. We’re getting closer, but when Mullen came aboard cooler minds said it would take 3 to 4 years. I would love to see it in 2020, but if we’re going to answer the question in the affirmative, I think everything will be in place in 2021.

          65 tells me he is out of money and I know I don’t have any, but don’t despair — Daz is loaded!

          • #46161

            Georgia is beatable in 2020. I’m not worried about them. That’ll be a pick-em game the Trask led Gators can win.

            On the other hand, Alabama scares the heck out of me. Youth on defense, injuries to key players and plain bad luck ganged up on the Tide in 2019 and the wise guys in the media have been hounding Saban every day since their loss to Auburn on whether they’ve finally come down to earth. You could see in his eyes at the NCG that he’s on a slow burn to prove a point next season… with the most talented top-to-bottom squad in CFB!

            The Gators won’t be getting the Tide early next season, while they’re getting their roll going. They’ll get them in Atlanta at the end, when they’ll be the only obstacle standing between Saban and another invitation to the playoffs.

            Pity the Gators then. They might be 12-0 at that point next season and STILL not be good enough to win THAT game!

            • #46165

              You made the point earlier that UGA will be a thorn in our side as long as Kirby Smart is still there. I think that’s a good point, but so is the reciprocal — starting in 2020, we will also be a thorn in their side as well. I believe that. We will both have to go through Jacksonville, in the true meaning of the phrase, to get to Atlanta.

    • #46320

      I don’t think it’s THE YEAR, but we will be very competitive with Georgia for the East.

      A lot of things need to line up for the Gators this season, especially staying injury-free in key positions as we still lack roster depth on both sides of the ball.

      A little bit of luck would help a lot. We are entering the season as one of the leagues strongest teams. It’s been awhile since we’ve come into a season as a moderate contender.

      • #46323

        Good luck, in terms of avoiding injuries, is definitely a key ingredient in a championship season. Go ask Alabama how they may have fared against LSU and Auburn last season had they not suffered all those injuries to key players, including their MVP QB?

        If the Gators lose Trask next season the way Bama lost Tua last season, our results against UGA will likely be similar to Bama’s against Auburn, close but no cigar.

        • #46388

          Is Trask the indespensable man? I don’t know. I do know three things: (1) he rode the bench for a long time before he got his shot, and then only by accident, (2) he probably should have been the starter all along, at least in my opinion, and a good number of pretty astute Gator fans said exactly that while, in fact, he was riding the bench, and, (3) he IS indeed prone to injury — at at the very least does a pretty good imitation of someone who is.

          Does lightening ever strike twice? I hope so if Trask goes down, because Jones is it. Now, we haven’t seen a whole lot of this young man and what we have seen is ________. Therefore, I’m ____% confident that he could indeed step in and up, taking us to an SEC championship game.

          What say y’all?

          • #46411

            With this being his third year in the system, Jones will be ready to take over at QB should Trask go down. CDM will see to that.

            Whether Jones can carry the offense with his passing the way Trask did last season after Franks went down is a question that is simply not answerable based on his play to date. Hopefully, OL run blocking will be closer to SEC level and Gator QBs won’t have to carry the offense next season the way Trask did last season.

            • #46412

              Wasamattayou? You didn’t say how confident you are that he can do it and take us to the SEC game. You’re an engineer, man, not a plumber…..QUANTIFY! QUANTIFY! Jeesh, you buy ’em books, you send ’em to school……. 🤨

            • #46413


              E. WASHINGTON 100 (100)
              KENTUCKY 90 (90)
              S. ALABAMA 100 (100)
              TENNESSEE 80 (75)
              S. CAROLINA 90 (85)
              LSU 55 (50)
              OLE MISS 75 (75)
              UGA 55 (50)
              VANDY 100 (100)
              MIZZOU 100 (90)
              NEW MEXICO ST 100 (100)
              FSU 90 (85)
              SEC GAME ? ?

              MEAN CONFIDENCE 12-0 WITH TRASK = 86.25
              MEAN CONFIDENCE 12-0 WITH JONES = 84.16

    • #46423

      90% on Jones, and 90% on Trask staying injury free, as his protection will be better.

      • #46424

        I’m about right there too.

        You know, on the outside chance he ever reads it, and given his recent editorial regarding “hystrionic” Gator fans, this conversation ought to give Dooley fits! 😜

        • #46427

          I’m not a fan of statistical analysis and also believe it can’t be easily applied to teenagers in pressure situations. Too much human element.

          That said, I’d trade levels of optimism (%’s) between Kentucky and South Carolina, lower LSU and UGA to 50/50 games and lower the odds of winning all SEC games by 10% with Jones at QB. He just won’t have the on field experience Trask will and has never demonstrated the “it” factor Trask did when he stepped in for Franks at UK last year.

    • #47493

      Beat LSU, along with the Toilet Drinking Bullfrogs of Georgia, no slip ups vs. Kenturkey, SC, Ole Piss, and the Knoxville Creamsicles, then the path to the SEC crown is there, as is an NC playoff berth. It’s as good a chance UF has had since The Tebow era.

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