That didn’t take long.

Tony Barnhart’s already picking Florida to win the SEC East next season, even though Muschamp hasn’t even assembled a staff yet.

… The problem at Florida last season was not talent. It was a lack of focus and a lack of leadership. The team was not focused because too many leaders had left and there was never a coherent offensive strategy. Muschamp can fix the leadership issue…

Funny, last April he wasn’t bothered that much by those leaders leaving.

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69 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles

69 responses to “That didn’t take long.

  1. jermaine's dye

    And that is why they call him….Mr. Conventional Wisdom.

    • almightytmc1

      You gotta admit Muschamp really whipped the most talent rich team in the country into shape this season. I have seen better high school defenses.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    Well, good. Now we can just skip the games.

  3. Barnhart says Florida was doomed this year because “too many leaders had left.” So the top leader takes a hike (along with everyone else, presumably), and in Barnhart’s eyes this will make them . . . better?

    Combine that with his fainting-couch attitude of how rude it was for Florida to “step on” the Heisman presentation with their announcement and you see just how much Barnhart has turned into the David Broder of SEC sportswriting — slavish deference to conventional wisdom distilled down to its blandest, least controversial form; deference to the status quo and a nebulous concept of “manners” taking precedence above all else, including (but not exclusive to) insight, wit, or even logical consistency. He’s no longer writing for the masses — just like Broder can be counted on to parrot the talking points of whichever powerful pols he has his regular lunch dates with, Broder seems like he’s serving more as Mike Slive’s stenographer these days. It’s a sad development.

  4. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Unless Lattimore and Jeffrey leave Scu, they are not going away. They only lose a couple of offensive linemen and Cliff Matthews. As crazy as it may seem, they should probably be the favorite in the conference next year.

  5. keith

    He is just making the safe bet as we all know its not that big of a stretch to name the turds the East winners every year.

    SC did lose 3 games in the conference and we all know that is par for the course for them. They will crap the bed again in some games, especially after the SECG fiasco they were in. That should have brought them back down to earth.

    • almightytmc1

      I hear that Garcia will be making a triumphant return.
      And amd he will end rumors and speculation that he is the most schizophrenic QB ever by singlehandedly beating Florida and then throwing 13 interceptions in a loss to a lower tier ACC school.

  6. JaxGamecock

    That’s a stupid prediction for Tony. Florida will likely shift offensive strategies (again) and they don’t have the personell to play much else besides the spread, although Brantley is probably happy.

    I’m no South Carolina fan, but they bring back pretty much everyone specifically their playmakers (Garcia, Lattimore, Jeffrey) and look to be stout on D again. Those guys will be your pick to win the East coming out of Destin this spring, despite what Tony says.

    Some people just can’t stand to see Florida take a step back and if it bothers Tony Barnhart, then he go suck a big gator dick.

    • Ben

      So how do you really feel about Tony Barnhart? It seems like you’re holding back something…

      • JaxDawg

        when you tell it like it is, Ben, there’s always someone that asks “so how do you really feel?” If you read this blog enough, you know how I feel about Florida. As for Barnhart (since you ask), it’s not how I feel about the man, it’s how I feel about his prediction. It’s fucking stupid.

        It’s one of those arrogant “they’ll win just b/c they’re Florida” – same shit we hard last spring. And Brantley is the conferences best QB, btw.

      • almightytmc1

        (AU)Barnhart

  7. Irwin Fletcher

    Ok…so considering there are only three coaches since 1993 to win an SEC championship without ever being a HC before (Richt, Fulmer, and Mike Dubose) and considering the last HCs to win the BCS Exhibition Game for which the winner receives a crystal football from the BCS without prior head coaching jobs were Larry Coker and Bob Stoops, I think it might be premature to call this hire a sure thing.

    I’m not saying it won’t work…but when you are Florida, why go against those odds?

    • Go Dawgs!

      The fact that Mike Dubose is on that list certainly tells me it’s not impossible to do. I mean, when you take the list of SEC winners since 1993, you’re looking at Steve Spurrier, Phil Fulmer, Nick Saban, and Urban Meyer, with a few others sprinkled in just for good measure. Just because the first-time guys weren’t necessarily winning it doesn’t mean they couldn’t… it means that the SEC has some ridiculously good head coaches.

      • Irwin Fletcher

        “When you take the list of SEC winners since 1993, you’re looking at Steve Spurrier, Phil Fulmer, Nick Saban, and Urban Meyer, with a few others sprinkled in just for good measure. ”

        Again, I’m not so good at math…but you take 19 SEC championships and you come up with a list of 5 total (Richt-2, Fulmer-2, Dubose-1) that had coaches that weren’t HC’s somewhere else who have won. What about coaches who were in the game? That gives us 38. Is that a big enough sample size to convince there might be something to it?

        Spurrier- 8 appearances
        Fulmer- 5 appearances*
        Saban- 4 appearances
        Stallings-4 appearances
        Meyer- 3 appearances
        Richt- 3 appearances*
        Nutt-2 appearances
        Tuberville-2 appearances
        Miles- 2 appearances
        T. Bowden- 1 appearance
        Sherrill- 1 appearance
        Ford- 1 appearance
        Dubose- 1 appearance*
        Chizik- 1 appearance

        So…9* of 38 appearances were by coaches who had never had a HC job before with 8 of those appearances coming from the same two people. When you have 2 coaches over a period of 19 years accounting for 88.9% of the appearances in the SEC championship game by coaches in their first job as a HC….I think it becomes pretty clear that those two guys were special hires and not the norm in any way.

        BTW- I think you could make similar lists using other conferences…and you could probably make the same call. Richt, Vince Dooley, Philip Fulmer…unless I’m missing somebody, that is the list of great head coaches in the SEC who weren’t HCs before starting their careers.

        Oh…and for more reading…(I like to stay a couple of hours ahead of Chris Low).

        http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/17876/first-time-head-coaches-in-the-sec

  8. It’s become blatantly obvious to me that Barnhart is just a publicity whore. He thinks predicting UF as SEC East champs will get him some media attention. Which, it probably will. He’s a moron for the most part, and intelligent fans know that. Why is it we all keep reading him again?

  9. Normaltown Mike

    What the hell is Tony thinkin?

    Until Muschamp picks an offensive coordinator, I wouldn’t pick em to win the SWAC.

  10. Otto

    The OC hire will be critical but Muschamp likely gets a good BigXII OC and puts focus in a team that nearly won the SEC East this year. UGA will not challenge. UT likely moves up to 3rd in the East with S. Car. and UF fighting for the East championship.

    • UT likely moves up to 3rd in the East…

      Out of idle curiosity, is that based on personal pessimism or some actual facts?

      • Otto

        UT finished strong and has a young team. Dooley gets in a few more players with UT’s season ending on a up note.

        As for UF if Applewhite is OC, UF would not be my pick to win the East.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Tennessee has a few years and another coaching change before they find their way out of that valley . Currently, they must look up at the teams that already have. Tennessee has played short handed because of attrition . The coaching changes certainly had a lot to do with that. The Derek Dooley hire by Tennessee in 2010, was swayed in part by the family tree of the candidate as much as by the toxic nature of the position. Shula, a similar hire for Alabama with a strikingly similar football background lasted four years at Alabama. Right now Tennessee news a face lift and stability as much as some checks in the win column. I believe Dooley can accomplish the first two objectives but Tennessee ain’t leapfrogging the Dawgs anytime soon.
      Just sayin’

      • Otto

        UGA is 2-3 to UT since ’06 when the CWM/Bobo influence tookover and for the 2nd year in a row UT is taken higher in the Bowl Selection process.

        • So Otto is Tennessee going to get 27 points better or is Georgia going to get 27 points worse? Because the last time I saw both of them on a football field it was pretty clear that your prediction would be a startling turnaround. Must be those guys from 2006-2009 that the Vols have coming back. Sure is a good thing Derek gets to take the field with those players rather than the ones he was playing with in October.

          Congrats on finishing strong against Memphis and Vandy by the way. You’re right, that definitely demonstrates the ability to compete in the East.

          • Scott W.

            The Music City Bowl is higher than the Liberty Bowl?

            • Dawgwalker07

              That doesn’t really mean a whole lot though.

              • Macallanlover

                Just another effort for UGA fans to reach deep for ways to give the program the finger. Everyone knows we lambasted TN, and everyone knows that, below the BCS, bowls selections are made for reasons that trump records/talent/rankings/etc. But that doesn’t fit the woe-is-us agenda.

                If I were a bowl committee member and knew the psychology of the UGA fanbase, I would move us all the way down to the bottom. Short of an undefeated season there is always a huge group of whiners who are willing to trash the coaches, players, and future of the program. Who really wants to bet they will support anything? (Before the “we travel well” crowd jumps in: that is in the past, not guaranteed, and hasn’t held up for bowl tripss that did not please the masses.)

          • Scott

            Tenn thrashed UGA 3 out of the last 5 years. Beating TN 1 year does not constitute a trend. A trend is what FL has done to GA over the past 20 years.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Do we really need to get into the whole bowl selection,over selected periods, win loss thing over selected period game? Georgia hasn’t missed one (Bowl) and the W/L record is commendable during CMR tenure….in spite of whoever was at the assistant coach positions……. The University of Tennessee…. yeah kinda sucks at the post season bowl performance, when and if the Vols did go thing (I believe y’all missed a couple). I would pick another venue to express you impending success.

          just sayin’…
          and vols ain’t leapfrogging the Dawgs anytime soon….. I’m stayin’ with it bro’!

          • Otto

            Yes UT kinda sucks but is being debated which program has a better chance of finshing higher, What does that say about UGA?

            Austintwo agreed. But I disagree on Grantham I think he will improve the defense. The offense has no staff changes and what improvements are going to be made? The OL was supposed to carry the team this year.

            UGA lost close games and lost to Colorado (Hawkins last win). UT fumbled away any chance of keeping the UGA game close but all but won over LSU.

        • And UT is 0-1 since the Dooley influence took over… see what I did there? ;)

        • Irwin Fletcher

          And UGA is 1-0 against UT with the current DD influence. And 2-1 in the past three seasons with the only loss coming to the hands of the boy genius, Lane Kiffin. He was the reason Tennessee won.

          TENNESSEE CAN’T BEAT GEORGIA WITHOUT LANE KIFFIN!

          (See how I did that? I took a selective time period and a selective fact…like, say the past 5 years and particular coaches…and made a non-sensical argument about the direction of the program!)

          Kind of sad that the coach with the best winning % ever against UGA left Knoxville in the middle of the night, huh?

        • D.N. Nation

          and for the 2nd year in a row UT is taken higher in the Bowl Selection process

          And got dumptrucked by Georgia this year. And was only taken higher because their fans were thrilled to actually go to a bowl game at all.

  11. D.N. Nation

    It was a lack of focus and a lack of leadership. The team was not focused because too many leaders had left and there was never a coherent offensive strategy.

    Perhaps Football Broder should have a talk with Mark Bradley about how Mark’s “personal hero” could have let the situation degrade to this point.

  12. PNWDawg

    Hey, remember that time we thought we would win the East? That was cool.

    • …and I was about to ask that question.

      Why shouldn’t UGA be picked to win the east?

      Great QB, good receivers (great if AJ stays), good O line, 2nd year defense.

      Lost close games this year. Played great toward the end of the year.

      I think UGA is 1 or 2 in the east next year.

      • austintwo

        “good O line”? really?
        “2nd year defense”? does this mean you see Grantham improving? dude was clueless in our tough games
        “pleayed great”? really? the offense woke up when AJ returned, but he ain’t coming back . . . did you really think we played “great” against Allbarn and GTU at the end of the year?

        I hope your optimism is justified, but I am having a very difficult time convincing myself this time around, though I have always been the one predicting 10-12 wins every season.

        • AmpedDawg

          I think that Ward’s just trying to play nice on an opposing team’s board…which is easy to do when your team should win the national championship a.k.a. Natty.

  13. heyberto

    What’s up with Tony lately? He seems a little out in left field lately with his column.

    • Will (the other one)

      He’s been doing a radio show with Techies, and I think it’s hurting his brain.

      • heyberto

        I’m guessing he got a memo that he was being too pragmatic and it wasn’t selling newspapers. That or they brought in Terrance Moore to do a column writing seminar.

      • AmpedDawg

        Sadly, I think Wes is the far more rational of the two…

  14. Reptillicide

    Barnhart has a bad case of the “dick-jumping.”

  15. Mike

    Tony’s writing has degraded seriously this year. Hell, I am a Florida fan and I would not be so bold as to pick us this in 2011. Especially not before I know;

    1.) Who the DC and more importantly, who the OC might be.
    2.) How the recruiting class is shaping up.
    3.) How the talent on the team fits the offensive and defensive philosophies of the new coaching staff

  16. GreenDawg

    How does a man that has never before been a head coach fix leadership problems that a man with 2 MNC’s couldn’t? I’m not saying he won’t, but as much as I hate to admit it, CUM was a heck of a coach. Why is Muschump automatically the answer?

    • Scott W.

      Because it’s December before any game has been played. If he’s right he looks like a prophet, if he’s wrong, Bradley will have said so much stuff that is inaccurate I’m sure no one will notice what Tony said. If he does get called out he will tell you how rude you are and how you should hush up!

    • D.N. Nation

      Because John Brantley will win the Heisman.

  17. The Sternkid

    Couldnt care less about Muschamp replacing Urban. Unproven in the SEC and as a head coach. Certainly a step down from Meyer. On his own, Muschamp has a ways to go to compete with the likes of the SEC coaching elite.
    Now, if this Applewhite and Smart to UF prophecy is true, then Im angry. Because this is the package UGA should have went for last year. Instead, we are caught middling again, waiting one more year before we go and replace our coaches. You know, a year too late and, just short of Petersen, none more worthy as a HC over Richt.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Does this remind you of the last days of Bobby B at FSU? I wonder if veteran coaches just get comfortable, complacent, and lose some of that “fire in the belly” that drove their early success. When you get close to fifty, you become resistant to change. Those long days and time spent away from family begin to tell on you. I don’t know if I buy into the whole CUM speak about the “why I’m stepping away from the game”….but it seems plausible. Hey nothing wrong with a coach declaring “I GOT MINE $$$$$, you get your$!” explanation for stepping away either. Probably not as palatable though.

    • JaxDawg

      Give me Mullen and Diaz any day of the week.

  18. Spike

    Tony is losing it.

  19. Doug

    Tony is a tool

  20. 69Dawg

    One small fly in the anointment is the fact that apparently there have been some reports that Urban will be staying on at UFAA in some capacity. This of course has been done at some schools and not had a bad effect but if I’m Will I’m not going to enjoy the 2 time MNC HC looking over my shoulder. Just saying it could be uncomfortable.

  21. Sandfly, GA

    Someone please send our coaches this press release which the media is reporting today:
    ATLANTA – Eight online services have been added to the Georgia Department of Driver Services website, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Monday.

    Georgia drivers and ID card holders can now create a personalized login account and do several transactions at one time on http://www.dds.ga.gov. Those with a valid Georgia license, can request an identification card. Drivers may also pay most Failure to Appear suspensions and then reinstate their license.

    The following new transactions are now available online at http://www.dds.ga.gov:

    •the ability to create a secure personal customer account
    •conduct multiple transactions at one time using a shopping cart
    •change your address when you conduct other transactions such as a license or ID renewal or replacement
    •pay most Failure to Appear suspensions and reinstate your license
    •check moving violation points
    •order a certified MVR (motor vehicle report)
    •order an identification card
    •choose to receive e-mail notifications and information from DDS
    The Georgia Dept. of Driver services plans to add these online services in the future:

    •reinstate a license and pay online
    •streamlined reinstatement requirements
    •make a road test reservation and pay online
    •online reporting of Completion Certificates by Risk Reduction Schools