Twitter poll provides some UF fan insight

Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley, left, gets some answers from UF offensive lineman Tyler Jordan during University of Florida's football media day in the Touchdown Terrace on Aug. 2. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Twitter can be evil. It comes without a conscience or a breathalyzer. It can be anonymous, wicked and without compassion.

But I still am a big Twitter guy.

It’s entertaining and it’s where a lot of stories are broken and there are way fewer people telling you about their child’s first day of school or potty-training (I’m not a big Facebook guy).

Twitter is funny, biting and the key is to follow the right people. For me, that tends to be journalists, entertainers, athletes and some Gator fans. I recently purged a lot of people I followed simply because they were talking politics all the time. I go to Twitter to get away from it.

I also use it for this annual exercise, where I poll fans to get their opinions on a dozen questions. I do this with a caveat — I know this isn’t scientific.

We’re just having some fun on the last weekend of talking season (yes, no matter what ESPN tells you, there are college football games next Saturday).

So here are the dozen. View them like donuts. Some are tasty, others not so much.

I listed them in the order of the number of votes each received:

  1. If Florida could win one game this year, which would make you happiest?

FSU 54%.

Georgia 42%.

LSU 3%.

Someone else 1%.

(3,301 votes)

So let’s forget the notion LSU has become a rivalry game. Oh, I think it is for the players, but clearly fans are tired of losing to the Seminoles. FSU has won five in a row in this streaky series.

  1. If the guys from Men In Black could use that flashy thingy and erase your memory of one Florida coaching era, which would it be?

Jim McElwain Era 71%.

Will Muschamp Era 17%.

Ron Zook Era 10%.

Charley Pell Era 2%.

(2,046 votes)

Maybe it’s because it’s the freshest. Maybe it’s because of shark pictures and death threats. But the only coach who went to Atlanta blew the field away. I think some of it is because fans actually liked Muschamp and Zook and Pell was so instrumental in making Florida what it is today. Plus, Twitter fans have either gotten over the probation era or don’t remember how embarrassing it was. But the McElwain wound is still open.

  1. Which team would you like to see Florida play in a bowl game?

Ohio State 44%.

Someone else 30%.

Michigan 18%.

Oklahoma 8%.

(1,712 votes)

Want to exact a little revenge on Urban Meyer, eh? I get it.

  1. Who will be the starting quarterback for Florida in Week 2?

Feleipe Franks 72%.

Kyle Trask 21%.

Emory Jones 7%.

(1,706 votes)

I asked about the Kentucky game because the opening game doesn’t really matter. Who starts in the SEC opener is much more important. Franks was the easy winner and I’m guessing it’s because of experience and the impression we’re getting that he has taken a slight lead.

  1. The one thing that would keep you from attending a UF home game is:

Options at home 31%.

Weak opponent 28%.

Weather 23%.

Game time 18%.

(1,505 votes)

I also received write-in votes for traffic and the fact that so many people live so far away. This was the closest vote and illustrates the biggest problem college football is dealing with, that so many games are on TV where it’s air conditioned and there is easy bathroom access at home.

  1. Which Florida opponent do you expect to be the most difficult?

Georgia 79%.

At Miss. State 13%.

At FSU 7%.

LSU 1%.

(1,383 votes)

I was a little surprised at the overwhelming concerns about the Georgia game since Mississippi State fans are already circling the game against Florida. But the Dogs are defending SEC champs. Where’s the respect for LSU? Never mind.

  1. Florida’s leading receiver in terms of yards at the end of the season will be:

Van Jefferson 64%.

Tyrie Cleveland 22%.

Trevon Grimes 10%.

Someone else 4%.

(1,231 votes)

I can’t disagree. Jefferson looks like the best receiver Florida has. But don’t sleep on Grimes.

  1. How many special teams touchdowns will Florida score this season?

1 or 2 40%.

2-3 35%.

More than 3 19%.

Zero, again 6%.

(1,160 votes)

Obviously, there is a little more optimism that special teams will be better this year.

  1. Where will Florida’s offense rank in total offense nationally at the end of the year?

Top 50 51%.

Top 75 31%.

Top 30 12%.

Below 75 6%.

(1,144 votes)

Ranking in the top 50 would be a huge improvement. But optimism only goes so far.

  1. Which of these is most likely to happen?

Will Grier wins Heisman Trophy 55%.

FSU wins ACC 22%.

UF is in CFB Playoff 13%.

South Carolina wins East 10%.

(1,013 votes)

Would Florida be the first program to have two players transfer away and win a Heisman at another school? Asking for a friend.

  1. What is your favorite part of a UF home game?

Overall atmosphere 77%.

Tailgating 18%.

Fan camaraderie 4%.

The music 1%.

(914 votes)

This was a lame question because the last three are part of the first one. My bad.

  1. Which road game will you most likely attend?

Nashville 35%.

Tallahassee 30%.

Knoxville 20%.

Starkville 15%.

(724 votes)

Starkville is hardly a bucket-list place to visit. Gator fans never get tired of Nashville, especially because they know it usually will end well.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at



  1. East Texas only, from what I can tell. Maybe Dallas, which is technically in Central Texas. East Texas is essentially deep south, central Texas pretty much so, with more of a TexMex twist (not a bad thing from our view point), and West Texas is pretty much miles and miles of miles and miles (but charming in its own way).

    We eat a lot of breakfast burritos out here, and they’re best not mass produced.

    • We do have all that you list but top 50 would be a phenomenal achievement and is statistically very improbable. The closest anyone has come to that drastic an offensive Improvement is Auburn when they won the National Championship with Newton. I am fairly certain Florida entering the top 50 in offense would actually beat even that.

      So if Mullen achieves it he deserves coach of the year. I would personally be thrilled with top 75.

      • I agree that it would be a stretch, given the depths of where we’ve been. But, I really think the skill talent is there at receiver and running backs and the coaching is certainly there. The big ole questions remain at OL and QB. But, I could certainly see it playing out where the O ends up top 50. The past few years have been VERY underachieving.

        • Agree that we need to see what comes out in terms of the online and QB. My feeling is that Mullen is the kind of guy who figures it out. If things aren’t working, he will adjust and evolve to meet the reality of the situation, but we’ll see. It’s going to be fun!

      • Fair enough. Sadly, even the 75th ranked offense would be a massive improvement over the Lady Shark Lover’s pitiful reign.

        I am feeling optimistic, but I doubt I will even glance at the offensive rankings until after the season, if even then. I will looking at wins and losses mainly, and what my eyes tell me in terms of just basic competence from the coaches. I expect good things, but not miracles. It usually takes more than one season for a coach to instill his values and systems in a team.

      • Tell you what, three good minds there — TJ, Rog, and Jaws — and you guys are balancing between an offensive ranking of 50th to 75th to correspond to a descriptor of “significantly improved, realistically”. I lean more toward the 50th, but what little I’ve been able to glean regarding the OL and QB situation so far in fall camp makes me go with the range you’ve set here — 50-75 — anywhere in there, as ample reason to go off the chains, batshit giddy, and not sleep a wink until the 2019 season gets here.

        So sayeth NealyBob, Chief Bottle Washer and Part Time Football Prognosticator

  2. Terrific dry-gulch-news piece, Pat, you are appreciated. Can’t imagine anyone wanting to forget Charley Pell, he was the architect of what was to come, despite the probation. Would I have to forget that glory day vs. USC? Never! I went with forgetting sideline petulant Muschamp, thank you for that relief.

    (They have Waffle Houses in New Mexico and they are the same as in G’ville.)

          • White Castle is north of the Mason-Dixon line, but here in Texas (and parts of New Mexico) Whataburger is King.

          • Albuquerque. We have Whataburger but Blake’s is king here. There are a couple of Blake’s in El Paso but it’s mostly a New Mexico thing. Famed for green chile burgers. Should also mention the Habit burger grills, which I actually miss more than the old In-N-Out. Those are mostly in California. From Florida, I’d kill for an old-school Royal Castle burger, which were basically White Castle burgers. But that was back in the ’60s; RC became just another chain at some point.

          • OK…the only Whataburger I knew of in NM was in Las Cruces, but that was 20 years ago when I was stationed at Ft Bliss. There were a couple of places in El Paso back then that featured green chiie, since Hatch, NM isn’t too far from there (used to drive up there all the time just to see real trees), but I don’t remember the name now. We’ve got a bona fide Steak and Shake down in Round Rock, about 20 miles, and an In-N-Out in Killeen that’s next to Wendy’s and about to put then out of bidness. Royal Castle? Man, I haven’t thought of them in years! There was one right next to Satellite High School, in Satellite Beach about 1963, and that’s the last one I remember.

  3. Muschamp was worse for the program than coach mac by a factor of 10, so I just don’t know why he isn’t #1 on the list to forget. plus dooley has this man crush on champ, that look if you have to have a man crush make it on someone that is not a Georgia bulldog. the bad ending for mac I think was really the credit card thing, all else rolled downhill from that. I suppose that was mac’s fault but we almost had the same thing this year, there just looks like a bad aura still left over from the urban decay ending.

    • mveal, I agree with you a lot but definitely not here. I think Mac was far and away worse for the program than Champ. Champ knew his stuff and his side of the ball but he just didn’t (maybe still doesn’t) get being a head coach means you also have to like offense. But he didn’t do damage to the “program’, he just didn’t win enough games and the right games and recruiting suffered.

      Mac didn’t get it done on HIS side of the ball at all. His choice to hire and then hang on to Nussmeier is really indefensible to me. That to me was his downfall, not the 10 suspensions. The 10 suspensions hastened his departure but is was inevitable as his offense wasn’t showing any improvement and the play calling was horrendous from day one to the last day.

      Zook just has the misfortune of following a Gator legend and one of the all time greats. A great recruiter but not much of an X’s and O’s guy or big time program leader. But certainly one of the good guys.

      • I agree…..and I seldom find reason to disagree with Mveal either. Muschamp was simply over his head and would have grown into it in 8-10 years, which of course he wouldn’t have even gotten had he stayed at Texas. Too bad, because at the time he was hired, he met the definition of a “splash” hire. Mac’s only credential was really the coaching tree he came from, but he was a fraudulent heir in more ways than one. To put it kindly, he wasn’t just over his head — he was in the wrong universe to be an SEC head coach.

      • I think Muschamp and Mac had kind’ve an equal share to the current state of the program. Mac definitely gave it a bigger push into that direction. Yes Muschamp knew his side of the ball well and that showed in the first 2 seasons of Mac. The problem was, and it was a big one, that Muschamp neglected the offensive side of the ball so much as far as recruiting goes, that Mac was severely handcuffed the moment he took over, and it was going to take any coach a few years to climb out of. Hell he couldn’t even hold a normal Spring game cause they didn’t have enough offensive linemen. I’m sure any half decent coach would’ve had a little more immediate success than Mac did, and I’m sure Mullen would have, but Muschamp definitely laid the groundwork for failure on offense.

      • I can’t believe I just heard good and grits in the same sentence. The only thing they have in common is the first letter. Plain grits doesn’t have much flavor just like rice and potatoes. Don’t get wrong. I like grits, just like I like rice and potatoes. What makes them all good is the stuff you add to make them taste great. I like fried rice better than white rice. I like a loaded baked potato. And my secret to good grits? Add one slice of pepperjack cheese for each serving of grits.

        • Grits are the canvas, Sly, upon which good old southern boys draw their gastronomical masterpieces. You may quote me on that!

          I like ’em with lots of butter, sharp cheddar, and a little diced Spam mixed in with Tobasco Sauce and the occasional onion. Well, everything is off the menu nowadays, but I can still have Tobasco and onions!

        • I was going to say something else, something in a fancy way about grits, rice, and potatoes, but G-6 beat me to it and did a better job with his canvas metaphor. I was going to say something along the lines that they all carry the flavors of other things like a pick-up carries…..O, well. The only exception to your generalization that I know of right off, Sly, is Jasmine rice–it goes down real well straight up.

          TampaGator doesn’t like grits.

        • Doc, you’re quite an artist. I might start calling The Grits Picasso. I’m just a stick figure artist.

          leland, I take it you meant the spirits vice the vinegar?

          And to everyone who disagrees, as Flo use to say, you can kiss my grits.

          • Thank you, Sly, that means a lot coming from you. But I have an admission — I’ve been inspired by Leland and JawsOfTruth!

  4. I disagree. Guys Muschamp left this program in shambles. Need I remind you he left Mac with 5 scholarship lineman. He left Mac without any WR’s. He left Mac without an offense. Granted Mac didn’t make much of an offense. But Mac left Mullen in a dr far far better situation than Muschamp left Mac. And Mac still went on to win two straight 10 win seasons. Mac out coached Muschamp in every facet. Mac’s issue was his hubris. Agree I cannot fathom why he held onto Nuss. Additionally, the suspensions did hurt. I told my gator buddies after the suspensions came out this would likely be fireable. In November last year the Florida football team was Down 30% if it’s players. I don’t care if you’re Bama. If you lose 30% of your players during the season you’re done. Not only don’t you have players you can’t practice right without fear of getting injuries. Where both Mac and Muschump screwed up was strength and conditioning. I’m convinced why both had so many injuries. I’m not sold on Mullen. He’s no Urban Meyer or Steve spurrier. He has to prove himself. But he has a full cupboard which the last coach left him. Unlike what muschumps left Mac.

  5. Just wondering if this is Dooley’s Sunday or weekend colum in the print version of The Sun? If it is then it’s incredibly weak to write a column based on his twitter poll.

    The start of the season is a blink of the eye away. UF has a new head man, all new staff and a yet to be settled QB competition. How about some insight or analysis about any of these subjects?