Don’t cry for McElwain, Gainesville.

Hard times in Florida:

Here lies the remains of Power Five football in the state of Florida. Time of expiration: 10:09 p.m. EDT. That’s when Florida completed its dismal home loss to perennial foil Kentucky — yes, Kentucky, which hadn’t beaten the Gators since 1986. The Wildcats outplayed Florida in The Swamp all night, and for once didn’t self-destruct with a chance to beat the Gators in hand.

At the same time Florida was losing that game — and running its losing streak against Power Five opponents to seven — Florida State was trailing FCS Samford in Tallahassee. The Seminoles, favored by 31 points, would trail for 52 minutes and 20 seconds before finally taking a lead with 4:03 left. It was the first time FSU has led this season, after being housed 24-3 at home by Virginia Tech last week.

The Seminoles pulled out the victory, but it was a night of endless embarrassments. They were outgained by 71 yards, their secondary ripped by a Samford quarterback, Devlin Hodges, whose previous claim to fame before Saturday night was winning the Alabama state duck calling championship. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Hodges lobbed some ducks to the Florida State secondary — his four interceptions were instrumental in FSU rallying to win. For Samford to be minus-four in turnovers and have its top defensive player ejected for targeting in the third quarter, and still have a great chance to win, is a stark condemnation of the Seminoles’ execution and preparation.

These were the second games for new head coaches at both schools — Dan Mullen at Florida and Willie Taggart at FSU. There was the usual fresh-beginning optimism in both locales. That optimism is gone now, replaced by a sobering return to the reality of 2017: both programs are pretty bad.

Combine that with the defrocking of Miami last week against LSU — the Hurricanes’ fourth straight loss, dating to the end of last season — and the malaise is statewide. From the panhandle to the Keys, the state that once ruled the sport has fallen hard. The combined nine national titles between Florida, Florida State and Miami aren’t getting any younger.

The indisputable fact: Central Florida, its winning streak now at 15, remains the best team in the state by a wide margin. South Florida might be second best. The traditional powers are in no position to argue.

I get how this Florida team could lose to Kentucky — the ‘Cats at one point were 8 for 9 on third-down conversions and the Gators defense got whistled for having too many men on the field coming out of a timeout, both examples of peak Grantham — but how in Gawd’s name does FSU go +4 in turnover margin and still struggle to put away Samford?  Their end of the year meeting is shaping up as one for the ages.

Bonus snide remark:  Mike Bobo has more SEC wins so far this season than Dan Mullen.

24 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Gators, Gators...

24 responses to “Don’t cry for McElwain, Gainesville.

  1. Greg

    May be a tough year in the state of Florida.

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  2. Chi-town Dawg

    The state still has UCF, USF and Florida Atlantic LOL. Nice to see reality hit FSU and UF like a ton of breaks.

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    • gastr1

      I would pay money to see a round-robin end of year Florida championship with those schools, just to see the three bigguns get manhandled by the likes of Tampa State and Disney University. How are the Rattlers this year?

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  3. The other Doug

    If CSU some how finds a way to beat Florida the meltdown in Gainesville will be epic. 1-2 and beaten by a mid major coached by Bobo….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    What comes around goes around.

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  5. ugafidelis

    How I feel about Gator and Nole fans right now…

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  6. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Duh, part of the reason they suck is that we are getting all their recruits. Well, all the 5 stars, anyway.

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  7. Whitfield Lenard N

    Is it Mullen or mullet?

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  8. Ellis

    “The Seminoles pulled out the victory, but it was a night of endless embarrassments.”

    The turnover book bag was as embarrassing as the play on the field.

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  9. Russ

    South Florida’s win over Tech was a good warmup for watching us pluck the chickens.

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    • Macallanlover

      You have a stronger stomach tham me, I can barely watch that mid-major play when we are the opponent; certainly don’t watch a single play otherwise. Turrible football. Always something better available on Saturdays.

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  10. mp

    I’m not going to start dancing on their tombstones yet – I remember what Nicholls State almost did to UGA in Kirby’s first year. I hope they don’t get their ships righted, and if they don’t, their fans aren’t going to give them tons of rope given the amount of talent they have.

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  11. SpellDawg

    Alligator Army comments are pure fun. A few guys are already hating on Grantham, one even mentioning “3rd and Grantham,” while others are preaching patience with his D. Gol’damn gorgeous!!

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  12. ApalachDawg

    The turds have never recovered from the Irvin liars dumpster fire that he left behind.
    I couldn’t be more thrilled

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    • Mayor

      The real problem was the lack of recruiting by McElwain. He did OK as long as he had Boom’s players. When they began to graduate, leave early for the NFL, become incarcerated, etc. and Sharkhumper was left with his own recruits then the sh!t hit the fan. Mullen is reaping the rewards of McElwaine’s recruiting now.

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  13. Uglydawg

    Did anyone else catch the announcers comments last night about how Ky’s offensive line was handling Florida’s D front? Something about how, as an O lineman, it was elating to see the defensive front sulking up to the line and pretty much displaying body language that says, “I really don’t want to be here”. If I heard it right..and it was late and I was drowsy so I might not have, he was indicting UF’s line for being unenthusiastic and defeated.

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  14. Uglydawg

    Did anyone else think Clemson’s defensive front looked out of shape early? I thought they looked a step behind A&Ms onslaught. Clemson won that game because the Aggies missed that first FG and because..(I believe they were ACC) refs were on a mission to not let Clemson lose.
    But that kid QB..longhaired country boy from Cartersville…is going to be a phenomn…..He is the real deal and I can’t stand it that Clemson got him.

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  15. Bob

    No excuses whatsoever for FSU. They look totally lost and very badly coached. But that kid Hodges for Samford, I remember him from last year in Athens. I thought he was the most accurate passer we faced last year, at least until the Rose Bowl. That guy put so many passes on target last year when we had good coverage on his guys. I did not see their game last night and he obviously threw some picks that helped the Noles, but I really was impressed by him last year and it seems Kirby was effusive in his praise for the kid after the game.

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  16. Silver Creek Dawg

    Would you trade Justin Fields for Trevor Lawrence? I don’t think I would.

    Like