Shorter Pat Dooley: My ranking Jeff Driskel the fifth-best quarterback in the SEC is proof, I tells ‘ya, that the conference is loaded with quality quarterbacks.
Category Archives: Gators, Gators…
Booster fees have been on the rise at Florida.
The biggest complaint is the increase in booster fees during the worst economy of our lifetimes. For many ticket holders, the booster fee has about doubled since 2007.
Clarke’s per seat fee increased from $125 to $250. Some seats that carried a $400 fee six years ago are now $1,000. The fee in the Touchdown Terrace, a section in the north end zone that comes with a pre-game buffet, was $1,200. Now it’s $2,200.
The fan complaints in the story aren’t much of a surprise. But check out the reason the athletic department gives for the increases.
Gator football spokesman Steve McClain said the final numbers aren’t in, but ticket sales overall are slightly ahead of last year’s pace as of the Tuesday deadline. He said the jump in booster fees is largely the result of tuition increases, which have driven the cost of athletic scholarships up by $3 million since 2008, and other costs.
It’s always something. But it’s worth keeping in mind in this era of less public funding for higher education, leaving schools – and their athletic departments – to fend for themselves more and more.
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.
… but I really wonder how the media can expect a team that can’t field enough players to hold a spring game to be a serious contender to win the SEC. As thin as Georgia’s numbers were last year, it never got that bad in Athens.
Somehow, I can’t imagine this exchange ever taking place between Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo.
When you think of the best football programs in the nation, Florida probably comes to mind. But the Gators have lost four or more games six times in the last 13 years.
Pennington sees that as evidence of how tough the SEC is, and that’s a fair observation. Also, to Florida’s credit, let’s not forget a couple of national titles tucked in that time frame. But the other thing that indicates is a level of inconsistency that, to my mind, is surprising, given the advantageous recruiting base the Gators start with year in and year out. How much of that can you pin on the coaching? The Zooker is responsible for half of those sub-par years by his lonesome, Corch gets credit for a couple and Boom’s got one, too. (For comparison’s sake, Spurrier had two four-loss seasons in twelve years at UF.)
Nothing snide meant here – let’s face it, the first comeback a Gator fan can throw at me is that Florida hasn’t had a losing season in any of those thirteen years, which is something we at Georgia can’t claim. I’m just wondering if the SEC is really that tough or if Florida’s program has underachieved a bit. What do y’all think?
At 25-1, Bruce Feldman thinks Florida’s chances to win the national title are undervalued. The Gators just have to nip and tuck a few places, and voilà!
… Yes, the Gators are coming off a clunker of a showing in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville, but they have a budding star in dual-threat QB Jeff Driskel, a good O-line and lots of speed on defense. They do need to have a go-to guy emerge at receiver and having some key guys to replace up the middle of their defense, but by all accounts Will Muschamp has recruited very well.
Um… that offensive line? It’s in such bad shape right now that Florida may not be able to put on a traditional spring game.
Guard Jon Halapio underwent a scope on his knee in January. Tackle Chaz Green underwent a scope on his ankle around the same time. Tackles Trip Thurman and Ian Silberman are both battling shoulder injuries, and Muschamp said on Tuesday that Thurman’s “does not look good right now.” Guard Jessamen Dunker is indefinitely suspended as he faces charges of felony grand theft auto and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license.
Guard Max Garcia, now healthy, has battled back issues during the spring, and tackle Quinteze Williams was listed at defensive tackle last season.
Counting on fashioning a solid two deep out of that bunch and six recruits seems a tad optimistic to me. But what do I know? A lot of people seem to be much higher than I am on a Gator offense that, besides the offensive line flux, has real issues in the receiving corps, no depth at quarterback and must replace its workhorse tailback.
Maybe the Gators are destined to go +20 in turnover margin this season.
After noting Florida’s offensively challenged 2012 season, Paul Myerberg goes on to point out a potential Achilles heel for this year’s edition of the Gator offense:
What if Driskel (fingers crossed) goes down? With Jacoby Brissett off to N.C. State, the Gators are a little concerned about depth at the quarterback position. Neither of UF’s options for the backup spot, junior Tyler Murphy and redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, have attempted a pass in their respective careers. Driskel is a runner (408 yards), which gives Florida an added dimension on offense but opens the junior up to extra punishment – he missed one game last fall, against Jacksonville State, due to an ankle injury.
A little concerned? Florida was eighth nationally in turnover margin in 2012, at +15. More significantly, in the two games it played with a net negative turnover margin, it lost both. If Driskel went down and Florida had to turn its offense over to somebody who’d never thrown a collegiate pass in anger before, Boom’s team would probably have to set a record in that category to compensate.
I guarantee you this Patrick Garbin post about the 1985 Cocktail Party (still my second favorite to attend after thirty-plus years) will put a grin on your face this morning that’ll take you half a day to lose.
And don’t miss a second of this, either:
Sadly, they don’t make on-the-field experiences like that anymore.
Oh, and up yours, Jake Godbold.
In an area that looks at the SEC and the rivalry against Florida, I couldn’t help but notice these facts about the Georgia-Florida series highlighted: “Georgia has won its last two games against Florida,” and “UGA leads the rivalry with 49 wins, 40 losses 2 ties.”
Who would have thought, given the history the last couple of decades in the series, that Georgia could now put the rivalry back in a good light for the Bulldogs?
This, more than anything else, is why I can’t understand how anyone who claims to be a Georgia fan can be disappointed by last season.