Is Florida the new Georgia?

Tell me this doesn’t have a ring of familiarity to it.

It recently came to my attention that Florida had the fifth-most NFL Draft picks over the last ten years according to numbers compiled by ESPN. That’s one behind fourth-place Ohio State, seven behind third-place USC, and ten — just one pick per year — behind co-leaders Alabama and LSU over this time period.

Unfortunately for the program, Florida has the fewest wins of these teams over that span at 73. The next-lowest is USC with 82, then LSU with 87. Ohio State has 103, while Alabama has 113.

Most of this should not be a surprise, except for maybe Florida having that many draft picks over the last decade. Despite the team falling down to just over seven wins a year, the talent as measured by the draft was there. On top of that, I counted at least eight players who went undrafted but had a multi-year NFL career, and five more who signed with the Gators but were drafted by other teams after transferring. Barring a catastrophic injury, Will Grier will make that latter number six.

Talent coming in and results not matching… gee, where have we heard that song before?

Muschamp couldn’t recruit offense and he never had anyone who could coach offense.  McElwain couldn’t recruit, period.  Yet even with those shortcomings, Boom came within a hair of winning a division title and McElwain managed two.  Imagine what life in Gainesville would be like if Florida were hitting on all cylinders in recruiting.

Given how last year went and the apparent shortcomings on Florida’s 2018 roster, it’s easy to dismiss the program.  That, in my opinion, is a mistake.  Florida sits in a talent-rich environment, and, sure, while there are plenty of rivals fighting the Gators over recruits, there is plenty to go around.  There is no reason to think that if UF managed a Richt to Smart-type transition, it couldn’t be right back in the thick of the conference title race.  The question (for now, anyway) is whether Florida’s managed that with the hire of Dan Mullen.

Early indications aren’t comforting if you’re a Gator fan, at least when it comes to recruiting, but it’s way too early to be slitting wrists.  Mullen does bring one thing to the table Florida’s been missing for a decade, a clue about how to coach offense.  We’ll soon see if that’s enough to get the program back on track to where it was a decade ago.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

12 responses to “Is Florida the new Georgia?

  1. truck

    Excellent summary, and one which leads the Dawg faithful to depend on Todd “Fourth and 99” Grantham to hold the Gators back.


  2. 3rdandGrantham

    I’ve said this before but it bares repeating – UF is in real trouble in the immediate future, and while Mullen is a huge upgrade from McElwain, he’s dealing with a sizable talent gap compared to us. To compound matters, Mullen isn’t exactly known for his recruiting prowess, and his first full class for ’19 – right now anyway – is looking very unimpressive and similar to a McElwain type of haul.

    Don’t be surprised if we go on a nice 4-5 game winning streak vs UF barring something totally bizarre happening.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Not critiquing your post, but…. do you really feel Mullen is a HUGE upgrade from McElwain? Two division titles in 3 years is nothing to sneeze at. I thought Geoff Collins did a good job while he was at fu, and was really glad to see him go. Not sure anyone on Mullen’s staff, with the exception of Mullen himself, is better than the staff they replaced. When it comes to recruiting, I’ll take the worst recruiter on Kirby’s staff over Grantham. I think Mullen & Co will have to pull some major upsets to be considered an above average coaching staff.


      • stoopnagle

        Just based on what he did at Mississippi State, I’d call him a sizable upgrade.


        • W Cobb Dawg

          Well, McElwain had a pretty good record at CSU and fu, except for 2017. I see a lot of similarities between the 2 guys, though Mullen is obviously the better OC.

          Never underestimate how ravaging a shark can ruin a career! Now if we can arrange to get Mullen on a fishing boat…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. MDDawg

    I hope Richt keeps having enough success at Miami to recruit players away from UF.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. DoubleDawg1318

    USC is the real underachiever here. Considering how mediocre UF has been, it is hard to believe they have had as much talent come through there as the draft reveals. I am very much wondering if in 5 years UF fans will be having the CMR type arguments about breaking through the glass ceiling like UGA had for so long. I could see Mullen winning 10 games a year there but not breaking through due to a failure to recruit elite talent.


  5. JN

    Senator, you do remember Muschamp had Charlie Weiss at one time, right?


  6. Mayor

    To paraphrase Bill Clinton: It’s the coaching, stupid. Steve Spurrier said it best: “College athletes will play up to the level that they are coached.” FU has had bad coaching particularly on offense the last few years (I include recruiting as part of the responsibility of coaching) and it has shown up on the field. What’s surprising to me is that as recently as 2 years ago the Gators were winning the SEC East.


  7. Comin' Down The Track

    This is a brutal take that bathes me in the cold, cold warmth of schadenfreude.


  8. RangerRuss

    Fuck the gaytors. 42-7


  9. Opelikadawg

    Let’s see, underachieving talent, use of alternate uniforms as a motivational tool, lagging behind in the facilities race, the next thing you know, they’ll be bragging about their reserve fund.