It is still a long way off, like some kind of a desert mirage (although I prefer a good dessert mirage) and you usually would not see it applied to a sport that has a mere four-game playoff (how bourgeois).
You will see these popping up when late February and March roll around on the 43 networks that ESPN has, as we get ready for a tournament that network can’t televise (irony at its best).
I do love the blind resumes and apply them to every day life.
Restaurant A has unlimited salad, a mediocre atmosphere and dozens of draft beer options while Restaurant B charges extra for dressing, you can sit outside in a cushioned chair and only serves bottled beer.
Anyway, it’s something that has been rattling around in my head for a couple of months so it seems like a good time to smack myself on the side of head and let it spill out onto a laptop.
Coach A — 21 wins, 0 division titles, 0 wins against Georgia, 2 NY6 bowl wins.
Coach B — 19 wins, 2 division titles, 2 wins against Georgia, 1 Outback Bowl win.
Most of you don’t need a lot of prompting to know who these two coaches are because these resumes are what you think they are — the first two years for the last two football coaches at Florida.
And to be fair, Coach B should be credited with 20 wins because a hurricane canceled a freebie against Northern Colorado.
The point of all this is to explore why it feels so different after two years of Dan Mullen than it did after two years of Jim McElwain.
As you can see and likely already knew, the blind resumes are not that different and an argument could be made that Coach B has a stronger one if you were just, well, just looking at them out of context.
But the vibe is so different with Coach B than it is with Coach A.
Here are five reasons why:
It’s the most obvious reason. Some Gator fans raised on Steve Spurrier and numbed by Will Muschamp and McElwain had reached the point where they would rather lose than be boring on offense.
In 2015 and ‘16, McElwain’s offenses ranked 112th and 116th, respectively. This from a guy who said his dog could run the offense.
Under Mullen, Florida isn’t exactly blowing the doors off nationally, but UF has been 45th and 42nd in total offense. There have been 65 plays the last two years of 30 yards or more vs. only 45 in McElwain’s first two years.
The offense isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better and in the Gator Nation (as well as most college fan bases), it matters.
2. The finishes.
When you finish the two regular seasons with losses to FSU by a combined score of 60-15 and then really have no chance in the SEC Championship Games, it feels like a disappointing season and washes away a lot of the exhilaration of the victories.
Add in a blowout bowl loss to Michigan and McElwain “finished” those two seasons 1-5.
Mullen, on the other hand, has beaten FSU twice by a combined 50 points and has won both bowl games. That keeps momentum going in a positive direction with recruiting, branding and fan support.
3. The rankings.
Because of those poor finishes, Florida’s final rankings in 2015 and ‘16 were 25th and 13th. Last year UF was tied for seventh in the AP poll and sixth in the coaches. The Gators will likely finish sixth or seventh this year, but even if they drop another spot that’s two straight years of being a Top-10 team.
Again, it matters.
The knock on Mullen seems to be fading with the latest recruiting class, but let’s just look at the two coaches according to the 24/7 rankings:
Gator fans would like to see UF in the top four, but I’m not sure that happens until the new football facility goes up. Mullen’s recruiting has the fan base optimistic about what could happen in the future.
And that doesn’t even account for the transfers. Mullen has brought in Van Jefferson and Jon Greenard among others. McElwain brought in Mason Halter and Malik Zaire.
The offense is probably the No. 1 reason it just feels different. This is No. 2.
Mullen gets it, whether it is dealing with the media or dealing with other head coaches on campus or stirring up the fan base. He feels more authentic, more solid.
I’ve said this before, but McElwain was constantly pushing everybody away whether it be the fans, the media or the administration (never a smart move). Mullen welcomed everybody back in under the tent.
I’m not trying to bash the previous coach, just trying to point out why there is a different feel to Florida football now than there was then.
Forget the blind resume. This is a change you have to open your eyes to truly see.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.