Trust me, Florida’s really good.

I give up.  I’m at the point where I guess I’m just going to have to take everybody’s word that Florida is a serious SEC title contender because the offense will be better… well, because.  I mean, Andy Staples’ favorable take on the Gators gets to an honest place here:

At quarterback, Driskel should improve in his second season with Pease. Unfortunately for the Gators, their lack of depth at the position could prevent Pease from making the most of Driskel’s skill set. The 6-foot-4, 237-pound Driskel is best suited to run an offense like Ohio State’s — which is why Urban Meyer recruited Driskel to Florida when Meyer worked in Gainesville. This was clear last season when Driskel carried 11 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns against a Vanderbilt team that wound up winning nine games. Pease has no problem incorporating zone-read plays that allow the quarterback to run under normal circumstances, but the Gators aren’t sure they have a capable backup behind Driskel and probably will have to limit his carries. “I do need to, this year, kind of limit the shots that I’ve taken,” Driskel said. “Coach Muschamp and coach Pease have definitely put that in my head.”

… then goes here:

That essentially removes one effective dimension from Florida’s offense. So even with a better line and a stud tailback, Driskel will have to throw well to keep defenses from loading up to stuff Jones. While some of that responsibility falls on Driskel, he’ll need help from Florida’s receivers — who have provided little in the past three seasons. Andre Debose, who looked like another Percy Harvin in high school, has shown only brief glimpses of that explosiveness in four years in the program. Latroy Pittman, who looked like a breakout star as an early enrollee last spring, caught only two passes for six yards during the season. Quinton Dunbar was the most reliable of Florida’s returning receivers, and he had only 383 receiving yards last season. The next great hope at the position is Demarcus Robinson, a 6-2, 201-pound early enrollee from Fort Valley, Ga., who impressed coaches this spring but was limited in Saturday’s showcase by an ankle injury. The other reason for optimism is Purifoy, who will contribute on offense only as long as it doesn’t hurt his ability to cover opposing receivers.

… and then wraps up with a bunch of ifs.

If Robinson lives up to the hype and then gets some help from Purifoy or Pittman or Swiss Army back Trey Burton, the Gators might have an offense worthy of playing alongside their defense. If that happens, Florida’s ceiling is as high as any team in the nation.

Give me enough ifs, and I’ll have Vanderbilt whipping Alabama’s ass in the SECCG.  Like I said, I don’t get it, but there it is.  Florida is the new Arkansas.

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47 Comments

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47 responses to “Trust me, Florida’s really good.

  1. The other Doug

    I’m waiting for an article about top Heisman candidates that lists Driskell among the elite.

  2. Go Dawgs!

    Hey, I love it. Hopefully they’re reading their own press. The only thing easier to beat than a paper tiger is an overconfident paper tiger. Just ask the 2008 Alabama Crimson Tide about the blackout.

  3. The other Doug

    Purifoy played WR in the bowl game against Louisville, so I don’t see how that could be a game changer.

  4. Russ

    I don’t care what FU does as long as we beat them. And I still don’t have my 1980′s “we’ll beat Florida with our scout team” mindset back yet. So I’m still worried about Florida.

    • Cojones

      And some of us old farts never “worried” about FU, Russ (somehow the sentence structure doesn’t look too swell when using that school’s initials just before your name. Please excuse the faux pas.). We do have empathy for those who didn’t attend UGA in an era where FU athletics were akin to the bottom lumps. Jake Scott and Bill Stanfill saw to that. Then after the Herschel era, the W/L skewed toward FU and we suddenly were snakebit. When FU has a run like 17 for 20, we had to be helping them in a few games. And that still hasn’t evened the series so you can see why the old farts see them with differing eyes.

      The pendulum is swinging, but if anyone doesn’t see that FU’s competitiveness has dropped off and continues so then you should enter the Dawg Shelter Rehab Program, or, as they term it in Cairo; Dawg SuRP. Only Dawgs who attended UGA from 1990-2010 are eligible. We show outtakes from past and present to let you get the old fart’s attitude that FU is lower than NATS. We show you the buildup of a legitimate Offensive Machine by Bobo at UGA contrasted with a horseshit offensive machine being constructed backwards by pundits in a swamp. We have “Shout-a-Longs” where yelling epithets in a crowded area painted orange and blue is cathartic to the Dawg Spirit. We then usher you into the Renewed Spirit holding area where we begin to harvest your retaliatory ideas for their putting any worry into your head to begin with. You then enter the Fellowship of Old Farts Forever, known affectionately as F-OFF!. Then everyone is stripped, painted red and black from the neck down, issued raincoats with a small flask of tequila and dropped off near the FU campus the weekend before and the weekend after J-ville such that red and black becomes their ongoing nightmare while the albatross of the past is lifted from your shoulders..

      • uglydawg

        FU, Cojones,(sorry, I couldn’t resist it) is going to have a year that exalts WM as a legitimate head coach, or puts him on the rocky road that ends in the swamp of gator animosity…or someplace like Illinois. It will either be “Tell ‘em Willie Boy is here”, or “FU, Will, don’t need you around, anyhow”.

  5. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Trust me, Florida’s not that good.

    • Bulldawg165

      We’ve had the better team and still lost to them plenty of times before though. The mere thought of playing them gives me shivers, especially if we end up undefeated going in.

    • uglydawg

      I want to believe, Mayor, just don’t let us down.

  6. 69Dawg

    I watched the Sun Sports replay of the Gator’s practice er spring game. Driskel was average when they actually had the 1′s go against the 1′s. He was still in the look quick and run mode. If you can keep him from running the Gaytors are not going to beat you. Barring 30+ turnovers again UF is not going to make a run.

  7. Marshall

    I agree. At this point, I don’t see any reason why Florida’s offense would be any bit improved at all. If that’s the case, even with an elite D, I see them dropping at least a couple of games.

    And Russ, regarding that 80′s mindset, you must have blocked out the ’84 game. 27-0 and it wasn’t even that close. An awful, awful loss. But we made those f*ckers pay the next year.

  8. Dog in Fla

    Things just haven’t been the same in Hogtown since Irvin and Chris Rainey used to make cameo guest appearances at Gator Spring Break Practices

  9. D.N. Nation

    Georgia has better players, South Carolina has an easier schedule. Florida is finishing 3rd in the East.

  10. reipar

    My take away is the defense which lost tons of talent is going to be elite again because it just is. They now have a stud running back to replace the guy from last year who the stud could not beat out. And of course Driskel will be better as it is his second year in the system and we saw how much he progressed last year as the season went on. Do not forget all the options at wideout as everyone of them is set to have a breakout year at the same time.

  11. sniffer

    This time last year, our O-line was wet paper. Had some kid named Crowell at RB. Suspensions on defense that should have crippled the season. Who knew what Murray may be like. Our defense was supposed to be stifling, but often wasn’t. Well, all of that turned out reasonably well, didn’t it?

    Florida will be fine. Probably not championship material, but then, neither were we last year…at this time.

    Go Dawgs…phuq phorda

  12. Dawgfan Will

    So Driskel’s stats against Vandy prove his abilities? So does that mean we DID play someone last year?

    • Dog in Fla

      No but they did. Now is the time for all good media lackeys to get with the program or get off the Boom Bus at the 37F stop.

  13. uglydawg

    I can actually imagine Vanderbilt finishing ahead of FU.

  14. Comin' Down The Track

    Florida is the new Arkansas.
    That’s in the running for my most favorite sentence that I have read on this glorious blog, Senator

    • uglydawg

      CDTT..that’s a very good point. I wonder if these expressions come easily and naturally to the Senator, or if he lies awake at night and dreams them up. Either way, it’s pretty impressive expression.
      “The new Arkansas” needs to be adopted as a lexicon expression, it describes in three words, any team that is constantly over rated for no obvious, practical reason.

  15. FRED

    Let me tell you why Florida will be good. Because unlike us UGA Florida recruits talent from all over the country. Over the years How many great recruits have we signed from: California, Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois The list could go on for another 25 states. We are what we are because we can not get great players from other states. One day we will get a young coach and he will recruit from all states than and only then will we win the big ones like Alabama, Auburn, Florida Ohio State. do you understand?

    • uglydawg

      Murray’s from Florida. Gurley is from NC. That’s the two top offensive skill players on this team…Georgia has had great players from NJ and even from France. A few years ago Georgia got the best QB in the country out of Texas. Last year Georgia had Jarvis Jones…who transferred from the West Coast. The great state of Georgia is a gold mine of talent, and you can’t ignore it just for the sake of going elsewhere…CMR does a good job recruiting.

    • I’m afraid I don’t, FRED.

      Here’s Florida’s roster from last year. Outside of Floyd, how many great players from outside of Florida do you see there?

      • Bobby

        Besides Floyd, I would list:
        Dominique Easley (NY)
        Ronald Powell (CA)
        Jelani Jenkins (MD)

        Barring injury, all of those guys would have been starting at UGA.

        Of course, I think they all were in the same recruting class, which was probably one of the best of all time by any program. They also were signed at the height of Meyer’s success. So, the roster’s geographical diversity could be a bit anomalous.

        While I don’t agree w/ FRED, I do agree w/ the point that UF generally is better capable of recruting around the country than all but a small handful of other schools. UGA recruits GA, FL (not south FL, though), NC, SC, and TN well, but we’re not at the point where we can cherry-pick from any state we want.

  16. Castleberry

    Does that TE come back? Dude was a beast and easily their best weapon on offense.

  17. Cojones

    The best player FU will have next yr (maybe this yr) quietly walked on the FU campus and joined the team last Sat. I predict he will be Driskel’s backup before this season gets here and will make a big difference in the outcome of FU’s fortunes this year and the coming yr.

  18. Mike

    The good Senator writes

    “Florida is the new Arkansas.”

    You mean, usually a great offense with a weak defense? I am not sure that is the comparison you want to make, Senator. In fact, that just might describe UGA this year.

    • Nope. I mean national expectations of greatness based on people expecting better performance on one side of the ball than recent history has indicated.

      It wasn’t just that Arky’s defense was sub-standard. It was that all the pundits assumed it was going to be good enough for the team to contend. That fits this year’s Gator O to a T.

  19. Mike

    Well, this time last year I recall you and others were deriding any opinion that suggested that Florida might do materially better than the 7-6 from 2011. I would think that 11-2 with only one SEC loss can be considered performing materially better. And Florida indeed did contend last year. Given that both Florida and UGA finished with the same regular season SEC record, anyone with an ounce of reasoning agreed that Florida “was a contenda.” (H/T to Micky Goodmill).

    I do not know if Florida will perform this year any better than last year. I don’t know if we will be a contender. But history suggests that the Mighty Gators will be. There haven’t been many years since 1992 where that has not been the case.

    BTW, as an aside, UGA has now equaled UT’s SECCG record. Both have a record of 2-3 in the SECCG. So in fairness I guess I should not have compared UGA to Arkansas. UGA is really closer to Tennessee than to Arkansas in that regard.

    • It’s not 1992 anymore, Mike. As I mentioned the other day, the Gators have lost four or more games six times in the last 13 years.

      • Mike

        No it is not 1992 anymore. But you know, I was referring to 1992 as well every year after that.

        In fact, I am glad you brought up the last 13 years. Over that time period, Florida has had had 3 different head coaches. That might skew your analysis just a bit, don’t you think? But even with that, since 2000, Florida has been to the SECCG four times and won it three times. Has any other SEC East team won the conference championship more over that time period? I think not!

        And given that no SEC East team has won the SECCG since Florida did it in 2008, I think the rumors of Florida’s demise might be a bit exaggerated, at least as it compares to the performance of the rest of the SEC East.

        Just saying.

        • uglydawg

          Maybe the Senator should have said, “Florida’s the new Notre Dame”…since past glory seems to be the criteria for future expectations.

          • Mike

            If Florida’s glory is only in the past, say since 2008, then what does it say about Georgia’s “past glory?”

            Most of the kids commenting on this blog were in their teen years or younger the last time UGA sniffed a national title.

            And UGA’s last SEC title was a bit longer ago than Florida’s last two SEC Titles.

            Now, you may want to make the point about UGA and the two consecutive SEC East Titles. That is certainly true. But UGA lost both SECCGs and that makes UGA more like Tennessee than Florida.

  20. Cojones

    Hate to interject after ug’s comment, but, Mike!, wanna bet a small wager on this year’s game? Name the stakes that might put it on a gentlemanly level. Something fun.