It’s been tiring hearing the various preseason takes, right or wrong, on Georgia from the pundit class over the past few years. But, if Matt Hayes is about to start a trend with this, I could get used to it.
Welcome to the most important offseason in the most important year for Florida coach Dan Mullen.
Despite 29 wins in 3 seasons and turning the fortunes of a stale program, Mullen could easily be staring at a win or walk season.
This is what happens when you embarrass your employer on multiple levels on and off the field, and the only thing that saves you is the capital built from winning. The one thing that changes all that: losing.
Hence, the critical offseason at Florida, where the Gators must, in no uncertain order:
— Find a new quarterback to replace record-breaking Heisman Trophy finalist Kyle Trask.
— Retool a receiving corps that loses 3 players who will be selected in the first two days of the NFL Draft (including 2 in the first round).
— Rebuild a defense (scheme, alignment or play calling; or all three) that has too many playmakers to be one of the worst statistical units in all of college football.
— Finally figure out an offensive line that has been the greatest weakness in Mullen’s 3 seasons, and pave the way to run the ball more than 50% of the time in 2021.
Most important, Mullen must regain the trust of the administration at Florida, which is still upset over Mullen knowingly committing an NCAA violation that gave the program its first probation in three decades, and his postgame behavior in three separate instances – all reckless in their own way.
But understand this: Mullen isn’t thrilled that his contract has been allowed to reach three years remaining without being restructured. That has been friction on his end for months now.
And more than anything, Mullen isn’t going to change who he is.
Gee, Matt, that’s what we’re counting on. But I digress.
If this kind of chatter keeps up, Dan’s gonna be a real treat to hear from at SEC Media Days. How’s he gonna deal with being picked at steadily over the preseason? My guess is somewhere between Jim McElwain’s faux death threats and not well. And you know what? I’m pretty sure I can live with that.