The High Five, Vol. 8


The High Five is spending the weekend in St. Augustine for a great day and then two sad ones. Read on …

1. Really had a wonderful Saturday watching college football with my dad in his sports room. He has three TVs and his HD picture is the best I’ve seen. I brought out my laptop to give us a fourth option and I don’t think we missed one important play. Unfortunately, I’m also here for today’s viewing and tomorrow’s funeral for Robbie Andreu’s dad Robbie Sr. The Judge passed away Thursday. Makes spending the day with my dad that much more poignant. Robbie’s dad was one cool dude and will be missed.

2. Two of Urban Meyer’s former assistants made progress towards bowl eligibility. Dan Mullen got there with a tight win over UAB. Who didn’t see that letdown coming? You get a big win and come back for a game against a team that is better than your players think, these things happen. But congrats to Mullen. And Charlie Strong’s Louisville team got a big win over UConn and the cardinals are two wins away from making a bowl. Can those two teams be matched up? Bilal Powell went over the 1,000-yard mark in the game for Louisville. “Bilal is the best running back in the country,” Strong said. “I believe that.” Strong has proclaimed Powell to be the face of Louisville football. Heard that before?

3. The Cam Newton story continues to be the biggest story in college football. It was pointed out that his numbers are better than Tim Tebow’s when Tebow won the Heisman in 2007. One big difference — Tebow threw 32 touchdown passes that year and Newton has 13 this year. Newton is second in the nation in passing efficiency, but he’s still erratic at times. But as a running quarterback — yes, I’m saying it — he’s better than Tebow was in college. At the same time, to hear Gary Danielson say there are whispers that Newton might be the best Auburn player of all time is typical overreaction. Let him play, oh, 10 games before we declare him better than Bo.

4. Three straight weeks, three straight No. 1s go down. I said in week three that Oregon was the best team in college football and I’m sticking to it. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen for a fourth straight week.

5. Player of the week: Like Denard Robinson earlier in the season, we go take the easy way out and go with Newton again. I’m going with Jerrell Jackson of Missouri who came out of nowhere to have nine catches for 139 yards and the game-winning score for the Tigers. Big stage, big game, big gamer.

Three to grow on
FSU at N.C. State, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Missouri at Nebraska, Saturday at 3:30, ABC
Oregon at Southern Cal, 8 p.m., ABC


  1. PAT,
    You’re ‘DID ON’ , in that, it’s light, ‘CAM’era ACTION as espn… said, and as a GATOR I have to admit… THE BAMA / AUB game is HUGE! Most likely the GAME OF THE YEAR FOR THE SEC!


  2. Thanks for your comments about your Dad. My heart felt sympathy to Robbie regarding his Dad. We all have Dads and it is a good time to remember them or call them. I will keep in mind that each coach has a Dad and could be a Dad. I need to go now, to call my Dad . . .

  3. Pat,
    I am glad you had time to spend with your dad. Last week it was my dad’s 64 birthday so I called him and talked to him for about 1 h.

    I am deeply sorry about the loss of your dad and ask the Lord to give you the comfort that your heart needs. It is so hard to let go our loved ones but God has a plan for all of us.

    To all my fellow Gator brothers and sisters,
    Please call your dads. That’s more important than football…

    Go Gators!!!

  4. Did anyone else notice that Verne stated that Cam Newton left the Gators because of Tebow’s strong performance? No mention of any legal trouble. Gotta give Cam credit for turning things around in his life. Looks like UM knew what he was doing when he was recruiting him.

  5. Nice column. Made me call my dad. Back to the Gators… does anyone else find it distressing that the players are consistantly blamed for the poor perfomance? “Lack of execution” “lack of competitive excellence…” These are all ways of saying the players are the problem. Spurrier, for all his lack of tact and diplomacy, would be saying “we obviously didn’t coach ’em up.” My theory is that UM doesn’t say that because he doesn’t want to open the door to criticism of Addazio, which I understand. Still, it’s striking me as a bit tacky to be blaming the kids week after week, especially when underperformance on offense was a problem last year as well (though it was largely masked by an amazing defense). We should have been beasts last year, and we should be very good this year. Coach Meyer, IMHO, has not put together a coaching staff that is the equal of the athletes they are coaching. That’s a shame, and it could cost us another three games this year. At least a season like that would force a change, I guess.

  6. Dooley,

    Good onya for given the fathers recognition some other time than one day in June. Bad onya for bashing Stoopsies call to go for two when he knew he needed it. The earlier a coach knows what he needs to do the better. Your only argument was that it didn’t work. Not a very intellectual response. Anytime a coach is down by one more than a mutliple of seven he should go for it. The only benefit from waiting is that the suspense goes a little deeper in the game if the conversion doesn’t work. Which makes it understandable that an observer would want them to procrastinate. However, you should remain an observer and leave the coaching to the rest of us.

  7. Scott,

    Well said. You have summed up all my frustration of the last two seasons better than I ever have: Coach Meyer has let the players down by assembling a (so far) mediocre coaching staff. The only one I would give up on right now is Addazio. I would not run him a out of town, but he is no OC. Demote him to line coach now. How worse could it be if Coach Meyer calls the plays?
    Go Gators, beat Appy State!

  8. Scott, I think Meyer said in his Monday interview that to blame the player for what is lacking is not tolerated at UF. He said it IS the coaches job to do better and coach them up. He will not tolerate a coach saying the players lack talent. He said he told his coaches that it is their responsibility to do with what they have and coach them better. I think he’s got it. It’s easy for us couch coaches to put our own spin on things and feel neglected because we are not privy to what goes on behind closed doors. In Urban I trust. Go Gators!

  9. Enjoyed the article. Here’s my feelings about the present state of all things Gator:

    From Urban’s Press Conference of 10/25/10 –

    Question: You went through all these different areas assessing turnovers, red zone and all that ..what is your assessment at this point of the play calling and whether or not that’s put your guys in the best position to win games?

    Meyer: We don’t have a bad play…ya know…I don’t allow that…that’s kind of my job. There’s no such thing as saying, “Boy that’s a bad play”. It may look awful because someone doesn’t block the right guy or someone doesn’t execute…so I go back to efficiency. I evaluate every play called…I do that every week and… are there times where I would’ve like to have run this as opposed to this? Yeah. Is it a bad play? There’s not a bad play that goes into a game. It’s poorly executed because we didn’t efficiently practice it.

    My Reaction: wow

    My Follow-up question had I been there to ask it: Is it not true that being predictable on offense, beginning of course on first and second down, creates a situation where the defense knows what you’re going to do and THIS is the reason the play isn’t successful rather than it being ‘poorly executed’?? Can the very play call itself lack being ‘efficient’ to the point of rarely surprising the opposing defense?? Does the number of guys in the box matter? Is it not true that the predictability on first and second resulting in a failure to gain yards resulting in a 3rd and long passing situation is also predictable and further creates a situation where the defense knows what you’re going to do and THIS is the reason the passing play isn’t successful rather than it being ‘poorly executed’?? Are you confusing the defense AT ALL with routes, etc., etc., etc.,?? Granted, coach, there have been times when blocks were missed and when passes have been dropped and overthrown, but is that really the whole of it????? Are you actually expecting Gator Nation to swallow the line that your play calling (since you’ve now owned it) is perfect? Will you not own up to the fact whatsoever that poor play calling contributes to poorly executed plays? Are you honestly going to defend the jump pass in the Alabama game as a good call?? (If so, natural following thought process: Ya know, if Trey and Co. had only executed it…guess they just didn’t practice it efficiently enough during the week prior. More efficiency would have probably even fooled the Alabama coaches into not knowing the play well before we ran it.) And if the Brantley shovel pass was a good call…where’s it been lately?? For goodness sake, even the T.V. announcers for the Mississippi St. game were denouncing the play calling. So Coach, in order to encourage us for the FL/GA game, are we ‘on-schedule’ in practice this week? How are the Demps dive and the Brantley option looking? Sure hope they’re looking ‘efficient’. And by the way coach, I feel your pain because there must have been some efficient-less practices last year too. Thanks for your time. It was a pleasure to be in the company of such greatness. Please tell Coach Addazio to keep up the good work. Oh…sorry but one last question. Do you think that just perhaps repeatedly running Demps (small guy) up the middle against defensive linemen (huge guys) could have contributed to his injuries? Just wondering.

    “I made a bad call at the end. There was another call I wanted to make, and I should have called it. We lost by three points, and that was a coach’s error. These guys played well enough to win, so obviously I’m upset about it.”
    -Steve Spurrier (while head coach for the Washington Redskins)

  10. I did see that, and was glad, but it was the first time that I’ve seen him say that. He also said it wasn’t the plays or the play calling, which I guess he has to say. We’ll see. My only question — actually, to me the only relevant question — is whether Addazio is the very very best offensive coordinator available. We are not Kentucky or Illinois. Either he is an elite talent, like Meyer and the players, or he isn’t, and needs to be reassigned or replaced. Anyone who thinks he is an elite talent, the very best available, is kidding themselves. To me that’s simply obvious, and has been obvious since last year. Last year’s excuse from friendly media members like Pat, and coach UM, was ‘Hey, who are you to complain? We’re winning games and that’s the goal.’ Well, now we’re not. What’s the new reason I’m supposed to be content?

  11. You nailed it, Scott. And in my rather sarcastic post above in which I quote Meyer from his press conference, assuming my post has been ‘moderated’ at this point, I wasn’t saying there aren’t other issues besides play calling (injuries, poor blocking, bad passes, and to me a huge one which seems to have left with Tebow- a lack of leadership, and so on). Obviously there are other issues. My point was – though other issues exist, for Coach Meyer to deny that play calling has been one as well is insulting to fans and, IMHO, arrogant. ‘Nuff said.