The Picks: No magic formula to hiring coaches

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Florida coach Dan Mullen talks to quarterback Feleipe Franks during Saturday's game against LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/ The Gainesville Sun]

There are no secret formulas for hiring successful head coaches. Sometimes picking the low-hanging fruit off the Nick Saban tree works, sometimes it does not.

You can use a search firm or you can create your own, trusted administrators who do the research. You can outbid competitors for the hot head coach, reach for a successful coach from a Power Five school or simply give an outstanding coordinator a chance.

The only thing for sure is that there are no guarantees.

And that all of the coaches who are struggling this year in their new jobs (I’m looking at you, Scott Frost) could turn things around as soon as next season. Or they might not.

The point (you knew there was one coming) is that when Florida hired Dan Mullen there were two schools of thought.

One was that it was a perfect hire and why did it take so long? The other was that fans with selective memory did not like the offense Florida had when he was here, you know, back when they were 44-9 in four seasons and pointed to his record against ranked teams at Mississippi State (2-15).

But as everyone knows, Starkville and Gainesville are different places and so far at UF he is 2-0 vs. AP ranked teams.

Mullen is on his second opportunity as a college football head coach, something that has worked for coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron (I don’t count interim jobs) and Mario Cristobal at Oregon.

But again, no magic formulas. Of the 25 head coaches who have their teams ranked in the Top 25 right now, eight of them are in their first jobs as a head coach. I thought it was nine but Kirk Ferentz coached at Maine in the early 1990s. I did not know that.

Anyway, it’s something to think about as you get ready for a week without Gator football to stress out about and can just sit back and watch some ball.

Dr. Football survived a tumultuous week of college ball with a respectable 7-3 record. I even picked the Gator game correctly. Never a doubt.

That makes the record for The Picks 45-25 for the season and at least readers aren’t Googling my buyout.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT LSU: Hey, I have to give Orgeron his due. He may talk like a cartoon character, but he gets his guys ready to play. We saw that when LSU was here. They didn’t lose because of a lack of effort. And that’s why they won’t lose what could be a hangover game on Saturday. Of course, every game in the Baton Rouge is a hangover game. LSU, 28-19.

N.C. STATE AT CLEMSON: Two unbeatens, both coming off bye weeks. This is the biggest game in the ACC this year. This is the game on Saturday where you tell everybody the chili is finally ready. Grab a bowl and enjoy. Clemson, 28-24.

MICHIGAN STATE AT MICHIGAN: It baffles me why a rivalry game this big would be played at noon, but I have given up trying to figure out why networks do the things they do. Like when they canceled “Get A Life.” Loved that show. Michigan, 23-17.

AUBURN AT OLE MISS: People keep acting like Gus Malzahn’s buyout means Auburn would have to write a $32 million check. No, it would only have to pay half right away and the rest over four years. He loses this game and someone may have to get a checkbook out. Auburn, 38-31.

VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY: Wildcats have had a week off. And Vandy’s gonna Vandy. Kentucky, 31-20.

ALABAMA AT TENNESSEE: Well, at least the Vols winning last week means we might turn it on for a minute or two. Alabama, 38-12.

COLORADO AT WASHINGTON: I like to joke about how I can’t tell you which teams are in which division in the ACC. It’s much easier in the Pac-12 because of this thing I like to call geography. So I know without looking it up that this is a big cross-divisional game. I think. Washington, 23-20.

WAKE FOREST AT FLORIDA STATE: Wake Forest ranks 115th in scoring defense and 123rd in total defense. If the Semis can’t block these guys, they might as well give up. FSU, 38-10.

OREGON AT WASHINGTON STATE: This is where GameDay is for the first time ever. Won’t help. Oregon, 38-21.

OKLAHOMA AT TCU: OK, so let’s see what the Sooners defense looks like after the firing of Mike Stoops. Still can’t get you to watch, can I? Oklahoma, 40-13.

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

80 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t understand that logic and comparison at all: “Mullen is on his second opportunity as a college football head coach, something that has worked for coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron (I don’t count interim jobs) and Mario Cristobal at Oregon.”.

    This sounds so wrong LOL! Dan Mullen has won National Championships as an OC, has built Mississippi State into a SEC west contender that they weren’t before he joined, has coached successful NFL quaterbackS and a Heiman trophy winner and we’re comparing him to Ed Orgeron who totally flunked his first coaching job in a similar situation!!! Let’s put Mississippi and Mississippi State’s record’s side by side during the Mullen and Orgeron years there..

    BTW, how can our 6-1 start or LSU’s 6-1 start be any different than McElwain’s 6-1 starts, just because we are able to score? Well, everybody knew we could do that.. Let’s not forget that Mullen had already achieved a lot more with Florida players during the Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin years. So I have to completely disagree. This season is not complete yet.. LSU team is not any better than the Les Miles’ LSU and unless they can start challenging Alabama for championships, he will be run out of town eventually. Ed Orgeron has yet to accomplish any of that and so the Georgia win all of a sudden makes him a success? Hmmm I thought Auburn did that last year. And what about Les Miles’s run of contending for the National Championship?

    That said, let’s keep this straight: Mullen is already successful and will be successful anywhere he goes.. He’s restoring Florida back on the map, not the other way around. We’ve had 2 losing records since he’s left including last years, been at the bottom of every offense categories for years and got smacked by either Alabama, FSU or Louisville during the lone seasons that we were decent.

    • JF mostly made his rep hiring Billy Donovan. And let’s be honest, that was luck as much as anything. He made legit good hires for baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and gymnastics. But women’s basketball? Nope. Football? Nope. Urb was Bernie Machen’s boy. JF would have gladly grabbed the lowest hanging fruit and rehired Steve Spurrier which, win or lose, would have appeased Gator Nation.

      • Foley probably would have made a good decision in that case then. The upside of hiring Meyer was that he was young and would be around for awhile. That obviously didn’t work out. Spurrier lasted longer at South Carolina than Meyer did here. Plus Spurrier isn’t a compulsive liar and wouldn’t have let the program go in to a spiral that it still hasn’t totally pulled out of by letting thugs run the program. Spurrier would have been a much better hire.

    • It’s funny to me how many Gator fans bash Foley simply because he made a few mistakes hiring football coaches. Forget about the fact that he’s recognized as one of the best Athletic Directors ever, who brought the entire Athletic program to unprecedented heights. Does anyone even realize UF is one of only 4 programs in history to win national titles in football, baseball, and basketball? Mark you should actually give a little credit to Foley for Meyer’s first national title. Without the amazing recruits Zook brought in, there’s no way Meyer wins that first title. You also forgot to mention 1 big time hire he made. A guy by the name of Mike Holloway, you know the guy who’s won 8 national titles for track and field? I know it’s really hard to believe, but the Athletic Director is responsible for more than just football, and Foley was responsible for bringing a lot of joy to us Gator fans that enjoy seeing the Gators having a ton of success in more sports than just football, which only lasts 4 months out of the year.

      • I don’t even see them as mistakes, its easy to look back and say oh that was a mistake, Muschamp was considered great, great hire at the time taking him from coach in waiting at Texas, and Mac was the best fit at the time of no sexy hires being available, and he brought us to two champ games. And if it anyone else says it was Muschamps def that got us there, muschamp had his def and still didn’t make it to the game.

        • It’s fans like you …. you pathetic little brain washed “cheer in all kinds of weather “ morons that enabled all this nonsense. Foley inherited spurrier , his boss told him to go fetch urban from Utah where he served as university president just before coming to uf . Foley hated Mullen , brought in zoom mushchamp and that other clown did not upgrade facilities at all imploded our highly prolific spread offense to go pro style in fact I think the casual 12 year old fan could’ve done a vastly better job inheriting the program and coaches foley did without running them all out of town. FOLEY THOUGHT he was the greatest ad ever then LEAKED offseason “news” to all his pets in the press who cover gator sports such as pat Dooley to run articles about how he’s the greatest ever and in exchange these media members got front row seats to actual press conferences and first scoop on breaking news which is why they went along with it ……. foley SUCKS!

      • I’ll have to disagree. Football is all that matters. It pays for everything else. If you don’t make good football hires, none of the rest matters. And it doesn’t matter who the AD is at Florida, he will be recognized as one of the best out there because Florida has so much resources. Bill Carr was considered one of the best out there. Bill Arnaparger after him. Then Foley, now Stricklin. All they do is change the name on the door.

        • 9 total national championships over 5 different sports were won by UF before Foley arrived, which as we all know, covered a long period of time. In his 25 years as AD, the program won 27 national titles in 10 different sports. He’s the only AD in division 1 history to lead a program that won multiple national titles in football and basketball. Doesn’t matter who the AD is, that’s hilarious! You can bet for damn sure Stricklin’s job is much easier thanks to Foley.

          • Prairiegator. I’d thank Steve spurrier for bringing the football program in to prominence, not Foley. Spurrier was hired by Arnsparger and Spurrier had it written in to his contract that the north end zone be built, natural grass be put in, etc. Foley inherited a program that had really started generating a lot of money and had just hired a hall of fame coach. The money being generated by the newly successful football team was what funded the rest of the sports so they could become more successful also. Unfortunately Foley paid way too much attention to winning championships in non revenue generating sports with that money instead of investing it back in to the football program. So by the time he left a lot of the other sports were winning championships but he had let the football facilities and program to deteriorate to the point it wasn’t at an elite level like it should have been. And we didn’t win like we should have for a decade. Just don’t see how that’s doing a good job.

          • Joe and PrarieGator, how many softball, baseball, gymnastic, track and swimming competitions have you attended. How many football and basketball games have you attended? Foley made the decision to not follow Alabama’s lead into the arms war that has become college football. Instead funds were diverted into the spring sports. No football coach hired was going to be competing at an elite level with no indoor practice facility, football complex or analysts. Florida fell behind (even with Kentucky). Never saw empty seats or less than sold out season ticket sales when the football team was competing for championships, Football is King and pays for all the other sports. Invest first in your money making product that pays for all of the other sports.

        • Also in 1998 Bobby Bowden pulled that same trip in getting his 2nd string benchers to go start a fight with tony George our all American corner back who was going to cover cheater Warick that game George defended himself and the ACC refs threw him out and warrick went off in the 2nd half or we would have most likely won that game ….. same year we got hosed at Tennessee as well 1st and goal from the 3 and Fred Taylor’s knee clearly was down at one before ball game out Tennessee then marched down field kicked game tying field goal and won in oT this was in the 4th quarter we got robbed in that game also. Foley never did anything I think that season set the example of how to slow down spurrier …. his teams always got robbed on the road and foley let it happen

      • What sport pays for all of the other sports? What sport has dwindling season ticket sales? I think it is great Florida’s overall sports program is among the Top 5 every year. However, if the revenue begins to decrease it cannot be sustained. It is counterproductive not to invest in your moneymaker.

    • JB, what are you basing this from? Muschamp at the time was considered a GREAT hire, we all thought we stole one from Texas. Mac was the best fit at the time, when there weren’t any sexy hires at the time, and to his credit with No QB (except for a game or two) he went to the championship game both full years he coached and Foley hired Urban, so not sure why you think that. And that’s not even getting into the other sports that have thrived when he was at the helm

    • Joe “FSU” Blow. Foley struggled with football coaching hires, no doubt, after Meyer (which ended badly with that hire even). But he also hired Billy D. and Mike White. He also hired the gymnastics, baseball, soccer, and other very successful athletic coaches. In fact, Florida under Foley had a perennial all sports champion contender under Foley’s guidance. But the facility development suffered under Foley. So there was a lot of good and some bad under Foley. But overall, Mr. Blow, Foley will likely have a building named after him some day on the UF campus.

      • Certainly a troll for FSU calling himself (or herself) a Gator fan would come on a Gator site and call a member of Gator Nation a “douchebag” and a “dickhead”. And you must also be posting as Joe Blow as well, since you responded, not him (her). Very revealing post, LT/Joe Blow.

        • And no, LT, I do not call everyone that disagrees with me a troll. I call you, LT, and Joe Blow, trolls. But I have mistakenly called people trolls (Gator 6 for one) when someone (maybe you) stole his name and did troll for a while no long ago. And I believe with little doubt that you used to be called a troll by me under the names of Mike Winter, Steve Jones, Mike Jones, BlackJuJu and so many other names I cannot remember right now.

      • “There may be no magic formula for hiring coaches but it you want it royally screwed up you let Jeremy Foley do it.” ….Joseph Blough

        Wiki’s definition of an internet troll:

        “a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers.”

        Example of the one of the above definition’s of a troll-like post:

        “Here’s this douchebag tampagator calling anyone he doesn’t agree with an FSU fan. I wish you were an FSU fan. It would be one less dickhead making Gator fans look bad.” —LT

        • Tampa I’m with you on the trolls. One of the reasons I joined as a member. User name and pw keeps people from posting as me. Though there is proudly a way around that. I suspect some of the user names here are not always the same person. LT’s writing is very close to some of the others Mikey etc. Regardless I don’t always agree with everyone one here and I’m sure that is mutual. But I agree the part above really sounds like a nole fan.

        • Gator65. What bothers me is how trolls deny it when it is so obvious that it is trolling and troll under multiple names. And then some non trolls come to their defense on here (who knows why) and it just encourages them to troll more. I have a family member who sometimes uses my laptop or cell to post things on here and has his own name. That is different.

        • If you are going to be vocal criticizing Foley on facilities, you should also be vocal criticizing Stricklin. In fairness to Foley, while he was late in upgrading facilities, he did get the IPF built and had a plan in place to start construction of the stand alone facility by last December before he retired. Stricklin made the decision to delay construction of the stand alone in favor of first funding the baseball and softball projects.

    • Well, Foley had a simple formula that he believed in which is to hire young promising coaches and give them a chance to grow into legendary coaches. It didn’t work 100% of the time but I think he did pretty well overall; the number of NCs speak for itself. For football, what many fans understandably think is that Machen hired Meyer and not Foley. Yes, Machen played an important role but Meyer was also Foley’s hire even if it was not totally his decision! As for Zook and Muschamp, it was going to be tough for them to succeed whether or not they were the correct hire..how do you follow 2 legends without feeling the pressure to live up to the very high standards of excellence that those legends had previously set? i.e. 1996, 2006, 2008.. Then again, how do we explain Mike White’s success after replacing Billy Donovan?.. Maybe less pressure in BasketBall than Football? ..well, possibly, but yeah, have agree with Pat that there’s no magic formula. Nonetheless, if there was ever an AD to come close to finding one, I’d have to say it would be Foley himself!

      • LT…I believe that Spurrier and Foley together brought UF’s program into national prominence. Spurrier was very supportive of other sports and they both provided leadership. Spurrier was also instrumental in getting some of the Bull Gators under control. I agree that Foley, especially toward the end of his tenure, should have invested more funds in upgrades for football facilities. That probably hurt recruiting.

        • You are way wrong bro spurrier actually did not get along well with foley and it climaxed back in 2001 when we had a shot at a national title and that FSU thug Derrall Docket on Bobby Bowden’s command with game well in hand purposely stomped on and broken earnest Graham’s hand our all American running back . The next week we ran for -35 yards in a 2 point loss to Tennessee costing us a rose bowl. Spurrier wanted to go after corrupt FSU ath dept and foley told him to stop and he quite. Foley also was known to walk into coaches office and annoy them with his nonsense most likely his love for women’s athletics. He didn’t like Mullen it’s why we didn’t hire him he only wanted coaches that would be his yes men. Foley is the catylist behind our lost decade perhaps the only impressive thing about him is his ability to control the gator media sports news cycle and leak topics regarding his own self about being “the greatest athletic director of all time.” He impressed liberal university “elite” types with his absurd windfall funding for women’s sports at the cost of not upgrading any of our football facilities…. foley is a traitor horrible person and it’s time ppl wake up and demand our top tier football program be handled by ppl who actually want to invest and win big in football

          • It is a bit strong to call Foley a traitor. Misguided for sure. Complicit maybe? Was it Foley’s decision to not invest in football facilities and analysts and let football fall behind? Or was it the Unversity President making the decision for him? It would be interesting to know the inside scoop on the decision making when it comes to investments in the infrastructure spending. Is Stricklin going to be hamstrung? It seems like the football complex is slipping behind in the schedule.

          • Mexigator, et al….When Foley announced he was retiring, Spurrier was asked if he was going to be part of the search committee for a new AD. This was his answer: “I’m not involved in any way whatsoever. If they asked me I’d tell Jeremy he oughta hang around two or three more years.” When Foley was elected to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Spurrier attended the ceremony and said, “Jeremy Foley will go down as the greatest athletic director in school history with all those championships–three of them in football as well as all those other sports and so many SEC championships. Maybe on of the best (ADs) ever.” Quoted in the Sentinel. Either Spurrier is wrong or all the Foley haters are. Take your pick.

          • PrarieGator, I’m not a Foley hater. He was a great AD for the overall athletics program. I’m not questioning his record on his picks for the football coaches. All I am saying he and/or the University President decided not to invest in the football program to keep it up with the elite programs starting 10 years ago. Season ticket and game sales are down. It is just an observation.

    • I can’t believe it took everyone this long to figure out Jeremy foley and his arrogant stupidity false accolades lack of understanding of football ect ect ect was the problem the entire time and ppl like pat Dooley were his direct media PR spin machine, Dooley needs to be fired along with a hoard of ppl involved with gator athletics going back to 2010. We’ve had all these speedy skill players the entire time and instead tried to bunch them all up in a venella pro style offense did anyone ever bother to ask foley in the past 8 years what his obsession was with doing that????? Foley has been hiding from public statements lately someone needs to drag his bottom up in front of some cameras we deserve very lenthgy explainations for all his nonsense

      • Foley is directly responsible for the last 10 years of not competing for championships in football. Maybe you can throw the UF President in there with him because I’m sure he had a big say in where the money was spent. No coach hired was going to get the kind of recruits required to win championships with the lack of facilities at UF. We haven’t had a Top 5 recruiting class since Meyer left. Alabama changed football 10 years ago. Indoor practice fields, football complexes and analysts. Alabama, Clemson and OSU have Top 10 classes every year. I can’t stand Jimbo, but let’s see where he gets spending all that A&M booster money. His upcoming recruiting class is Top 5. You have to combine resources with the right coach to win championships.

        If your happy with championships in spring sports, then Foley was a great AD. If you want to win football championships, he was the downfall of Florida football.

        • CAW Mex, Ad isn’t the coach, they do wield a lot of power. There are good ones and bad ones and I’m not defending him. I am saying there is a lot going on none of us ever know about. Lots of moving pieces. Did we talk behind on facilities? Yes and likely that is his fault. Hiring Mus, Mac his fault too. Now s for revenues at games that has been an issue at almost every football team. Almost. The problem is tv hd tv has become so good many are starting home to watch. The younger set can’t focus long enough to watch the game. Our product on the field didn’t help. Since Spurrier we have been improving. There have been dips and surges. The ebb and flow will always be the case. Being the best at something is only relative to the competition and the perception of interested parties.

          • Gator65, TV may be the cause of decreased season ticket sales for the Gators. However, I would also factor in the Gators have not been relevant in the last 10 years of the BCS playoffs. Elite teams competing for NCs every year such as Alabama, Clemson, and OSU have waiting lists for season tickets. The product on the field does make a difference.

            I don’t fault Foley for his hires. You can argue they were the best available at the time. I fault him and the University President for deciding not to invest in the infrastructure required to stay an elite team.

        • Your assessment would only make sense to me if Florida had been winning championships before Foley became the AD then we all of a sudden stopped winning championships while he was the AD. Last time I checked, Florida won its first SEC championships (unofficial or official) while Foley was either the associate AD or the AD and has won all its NCs with Foley as the AD. That said, nobody is perfect. I am sure the man has made some mistakes as we all do but whatever good he’s done for UF sure outweighs the bad by a LOT. Go Gators!

          • Foley was a great AD for the overall athletic program. No doubt about it. The championships in the spring sports speak to it. However, I would submit that he was less responsible for the championships in football. I would credit the football championships more to the coaches and the way they revolutionized the game during their tenures through the Fun n Gun and spread. They won in spite of the facilities. Spurrier used to say that you didn’t need to have facilities to win. I’m not sure if he meant it or said it to maintain the company line. The game has changed in the last 10 years. It’s a war of resources. Kids now want their football complex with barber shop, bowling alley, movie theater, etc.

  2. Gator fans didn’t like the Offense when Mullen was here before? You mean when we were averaging 47-50 points a game. And had a Legend at quarterback smashing records; where in the he’ll did he come up with that National Enquire material?

  3. I remember there were some who pointed at his overall record at MSU and arrived at a conclusion that it was a losing record and therefore he was mediocre. Those were mostly trolls though, most of us real fans recognized that he fielded very competitive teams in the toughest division of the best conference every single season and saw that as a positive.

  4. There is no magic formula, but as close to a “sure thing” is going after a guy with proven success as a head coach that actually values your headcoaching position and doesn’t view it as stepping stone. We talk all the time about recruiting, get guys that really want to be here, but I think it’s the same with coaches. People tend to stay if they are satisfied and success takes staff consistency. I admit I jumped all over the frost and Kelly trains, but Mullen is proven in this league and truly values this position. I hope he is here for decades! I couldn’t be more happy with him, this staff, and most importantly this team! Through all kinds of weather, but damn it’s fun again! GO GATORS

  5. Every thing matters and I love CDM but imo the most Important thing is recruiting that superleader that takes the program to the championship bevel. As good as coach d was Al horford was the guy that did it same with tebow.
    Everyone has athletes. Coaches all call pretty good plays those difference makers are what counts. The culture at UF attracts them in multiple sports.

    • Not sure I follow you exactly, but if you’re suggesting Al Horford “made” Billy Donovan, you need to think again. Horford was a great player, but he was part of a team without superstars (although the NBA did reward Horford, Brewer, and Noah with first round selections) whose starters all averaged double digit points with only 3 points separating the low from the high. That was Donovan’s doing, as was the recruitment of Horford and the rest of the “04’s” in the first place. Donovan followed the “back-to-backs” with three straight Elite Eight’s in ’11-’13 and capped that with his fourth Final Four in 2014, again with a team without superstars. Donovan recruited and coached some great players at UF, but none of them “made” him.

    • I think there’s a correlation between the two but I don’t think one is more important than the other. You need great coaching AND great talent / leadership for continual championship success. There are transcendent players who most certainly make a difference but they also have great coaching.
      Spurrier – Wuerffel
      Meyer – Tebow
      Brown – Young
      Swinney – Watson
      Jackson – Jordan
      Popovich – Duncan
      Belichick – Brady
      Saban – A team full of five star talent

      Occasionally the transcendent player is mostly what you need:
      Any of His Coaches – LeBron
      Chitzik – Newton (Cam carried an otherwise ordinary team to a championship).

      My last point is that championship teams are almost always (see previous point, almost) loaded with talent AND have good coaching. Think back on every championship team, they’ve all loaded with all-Americans, all-stars or pro bowlers. No matter what sport.

    • Dan is a great coach, if he can get the talent we will be putting his name in the ring of honor and maybe name an end zone after him or something. 7 games into his first season I might be a little drunk with the kool-aid but it’s better than having shark after taste burps.

  6. My pick to replace Muschamp was Dabo Swinney because he had Clemson rising and was winning the recruiting battles in Florida at the time. However, I was almost heckled out of the forums for making that suggestion. People thought he was just a figure head and that Chad Morris was who made the team run (I suspect it was because Dabo wore his faith outwardly). Well Chad Morris got his HC gig at SMU and didn’t do much. He is now at Arkansas and it’s not looking good there either. Meanwhile Dabo keeps getting his teams in the CFP. After he has won a national championship, there’s no way he’s leaving Clemson now except maybe Alabama if they offered him $10M+. The bottom line, I think one of the many criteria for a coaching hire at UF should be a history of successful recruiting in the state of Florida. That criteria should be near the top of the job description.

  7. I agree with Pat’s overarching point – there is no secret formula. If you hire a lot people you will hit and you will miss regardless of what your top criteria may be, regardless of how good you might think you are at it. Anyone who hires a lot of people has to eat that humbling pie at some point. If nothing else – Foley hired a lot of people. Both the praise and the criticism fleshed out in the comments are deserved. And if it had been any one else was in that position for 25 years I believe there would be grounds for praise and criticism (albeit different). I personally come out on the side of Foley’s reign being much more than a glass half full, but the comments about letting the football program fall behind are deserved.

    As for Mullen, I am going to admit I did not see myself loving him as much as I am. When the hire was made, I was more in the “OK, let’s see how this goes” camp. Already, based on his leadership and coaching, I can see he deserved much better from me. Live and learn.

  8. I have a serious question: In the game against Vanderbilt the Gators were hit with a team “unsportsmanlike” penalty. Because James Huston had received an individual unsportsmanlike earlier and even tho he was not involved in the team penalty it was deemed that it would be his second and he was ejected. My question is that if the team received a second unsportsmanlike would the whole team be disqualified? If it was in the second half would the team also be disqualified in the first half of their next game? (This is how the rule reads). Is this not unprecedented power in the hands of an official who on one play could inflict two loses on a team!

    • Roger Eaton – Good question. Technically, the officials could make that call as you described. Realistically, I doubt any official would make such a call if he wants to ever officiate another game. It would be sheer stupidity. No doubt the SEC is going to change the rule at the next opportunity.

    • Roger. The rule clearly states “a player will be ejected”. The rule does not apply to an entire team. An entire team cannot be ejected from a game. But if any player already has a unsportsmanlike penalty when that second team unsportsmanlike penalty occurs, that player would be automatically ejected, as it would be a second one for him. But the rest of the team would not be.

  9. Todd Grantham is one of the best defensive coordinators in NCAA Div 1 football. I admit I did not look at his defenses when he was at Georgia. However, as an ex-college defensive player, I began looking at the defensive scheme this year. Outside of the KY game (I do NOT think players yet understood his system), he has been as MASTER at disguising the defensive schemes, mixing up coverages and blitzes, rotating his zone calls, etc. If you review the Vandy game, you see the defensive over-ran the first Vandy run at first, and one pass. After recovering from the fumbles and the picks, Grantham really fooled Shumer and the Vandy OC, just like he did vs. LSU. Do NOT worry about sacks. Vandy was blocking with 6 players. It stopped the rush, but left them with only 4 offensive threats. From 21-3 to 37-27 (a 28 point swing) was remarkable. I hope Grantham develops a strategy for Georgia. The best defensive coordinators look at the other teams offense, devise ways to stop and implement strategies that hide what the defense is going to do. That said, Georgia’s threat is the run. If that is stopped and Georgia is forced to rely on Jake Fromm’s arm, I think the Gators will get at LEAST 2 picks and a defensive score. That’s a big IF, but that’s how any Florida-Georgia game is. Should be a good one Oct. 27 at the cocktail party. PS: Went to a number of cocktail parties while in college and just recently. It’s still The World’s Largest Outdoor Party” to me.

  10. You are right tampagator, but it is an extremely stupid rule if the player did not enter the field of play. I do not know if he did, but I’ d be going bonkers if I’m sitting there do nothing and get tossed for just sitting there!