Whither The Portal Master™ ?

So, yesterday I jumped into a lengthy Twitter debate that Graham ignited with this:

Call me underwhelmed by the rationale.  Nobody’s above getting canned, of course, but it seems to me after a season in which his team won the Cocktail Party in fairly decisive fashion and went on to give Alabama a decent showing in the SECCG, Dan Mullen’s got a little rope to play with for now.  For Florida to go full Auburn on Dan’s ass, there’s gonna have to be a pretty spectacular flame out — say something akin to his predecessor’s disastrous 2017 season.  Problem with that is the East is gonna be pretty shitty overall for the next couple of seasons, at least, which ought to buoy Florida’s record in the eight- or nine-win area at a minimum.

Which leads me to Graham’s question:

My answer was — it depends.  How much of it would be attributed to bad luck and how much to bad coaching (with the realization that it wouldn’t get any better) would be the key, considering Florida’s never been a program that likes throwing money at buyouts the way Auburn and Tennessee do.  (Not to mention what the replacement would cost.)

As an aside, it’s also worth noting that Florida’s hiring/firing track record when it comes to football head coaches has been hit and miss, to say the least, so if it ever comes to it, things may not turn out too badly from Georgia’s perspective.  (Then again, it’s embarrassing to remember that Jim McElwain has a winning record against the Dawgs.  But I digress.)

Anyway, what’s your answer to Graham’s question?

24 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

24 responses to “Whither The Portal Master™ ?

  1. Got Cowdog

    If UGA stones them in the middle of a .500 season, Dan’s seat will be pretty hot. I figure all that would save him (assuming he wanted to stay) would be a highly ranked recruit in the QB position and throwing Third under the bus.

    Like

    • Even if you assume the Gators go 0-3 against UGA, UA and LSU, that leaves them still needing to lose three more games against the rest of their schedule. I just don’t see more than one loss against that bunch, and that’s more in the nature of a general maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Got Cowdog

        True. I was answering to Graham’s .500 season. I’m with you: I don’t see them going .500 with the east being what it is.
        If they go 0-3 against those, but win out? Dan stays, and their fans get to have the existential “Dan Mullen can’t win the big game/ He’s won ten games every season/ He needs to go/ Who are we gonna get?” argument among themselves. It’ll be fun to watch either way.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly this. I just don’t see them slipping to .500 (much less below it) unless a third of the team gets busted for a credit card scam or something again.
        Even as bad as Grantham can be, he was always able to pad stats vs lesser teams (and Florida won’t lack those.)
        Now, if there’s continued lack of progress in recruiting, and they go 8-4 or 7-5 and UGA, LSU, FSU, and Kentucky are all among the losses…it’d be a really toasty seat.
        There were injuries that helped Muschamp weather a losing season, but he also had great recruiting and no issues with the AD/President. Mullen probably won’t have a losing season…but he’s not on the best of terms with his bosses and his recruiting is average relative the HS talent in the state.

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    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      Throw in another loss to Kentucky and things go from bad to worse quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Down Island Way

    Throw a little gravy on that nugget, rumored, FU hasn’t extended the port-o-let masters contract, if that is true…the mind plays games beyond an 8/9 game season, could be how bad are those losses…#FTMF

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    No, Clown Boy gets the boot if he goes 6-6 or worse anytime it happens. BTW, look at FU’s 2021 schedule. I see 4 regular season losses (to UGA, Bama, LSU and at a rejuvenated Mizzou). If UK upsets the Turds (a distinct possibility) that’s 5 losses. A 7-5 regular season plus a bowl loss and its bye-bye Dan NEXT season.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theotherdoug

    I think the Gator fans learned where the team is at against Oklahoma in the bowl game. They lack talent and the defensive coaching is suspect.

    Barring some sort of scandal there is no realistic way Mullen gets fired after this season. The schedule is too easy and he will claim rebuilding season.

    2022 will be a different story. Can Dan handle the hotseat pressure? Get yer popcorn.

    I’ll be shocked if Mullen is still in Gainesville to start 2023.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. armydawg

    What would kill it for him is if we curb-stomp him and he loses to Kentucky. If he loses to Kentucky and UT he’s ridden out of town on a rail. Towel boy has been proclaiming to the world that the defense would rise from the dead this year. If that doesn’t happen & Dopey still keeps him then they’re both gone. I think that their trap games are Kentucky, Mizzou, and LSU. I do not see him surviving more than two more years unless he beats us again.(G-d forbid) He can’t live off the portal forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Listening to the SDS podcast it seems that Strickland and Mullen do not like each other very much and there’s a lot of consternation due to Mullen’s off-field antics and getting UF on probation for the first time in thirty years. As noted above, they haven’t extended his contract and Mullen has been publicly salty about it. It seems the only reason he’s still there is because he’s been winning at an acceptable clip. If he stops then the temperature of his seat rises with the degree of embarrassment of his loses. I put it that was because it is hard to find a fourth loss on the schedule this year. Even if he wins 9 games a year for the next three years, if it doesn’t mean beating UGA and at least winning the East consistently, I think he’s out.

    So, I think Graham is right and I think the lack of contract extension is your best evidence of it. There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence surrounding the situation to bolster the notion that Mullen’s seat isn’t particularly cool right now.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. TN Dawg

    Mullen has always been a more with less head coach.

    Kirby has definitely turned the heat up with his recruiting, and Gators fans seem less than enthused with Mullen’s haul on the recruiting trail and see it as a signal that he can’t take them to the next level.

    Elevating the MSU program was fine and would have basically guaranteed him a lifetime contract there with 8 and 9 win seasons and the occasional scalp, because even the most optimistic MSU fan would not realistically believe that MSU would usurp Bama, Auburn, LSU and TAMU to become the powerhouse of the west. It’s just not realistic.

    But Florida has different expectations, it has National Championships in its history and basically one opponent in its division.

    Mullen’s floor is second place in the East. That’s it. Any lower and its catastrophic.

    Kirby is the same. Anything worse than second in the East is almost a fireable offense, especially if he continues to choke away the meaningful games on the rare opportunities for greatness.

    If Kirby starts a pattern of getting repeatedly drubbed in the SECCG by Bama, even his seat gets hot.

    Success is relative.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    I think he’s got a point and you underestimate just how much Sideshow Dan the Clown embarrassed his program, AD, and school last season, how deflating those last three losses in a row were, and then how angry his boss and fanbase were that his agent tried to force an extension with wildly inaccurate NFL rumors.

    I believe Cousin Eddie is on much thinner ice than most people could possible believe.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. originaluglydawg

    “For Florida to go full Auburn on Dan’s ass…”
    I nominate “Go full Auburn” for the lexicon.
    It’s says so much in just three words!
    It’s perfect.
    (It’s after nine and I’m about to go full Fulmer on my late breakfast)

    Liked by 4 people

  10. akascuba

    There is a growing wall between Cousin Eddie and his paymasters at FU all created by himself. No matter what internet fan thinks Dan has little room for failure with the people that matter at FU.
    Looking at their schedule its really hard to find anything worse than 4 regular season losses. That record this season wont get him fired. His mouth is fully capable of saying something gets him fired for cause. Im hopeful he and Grantham manage to hang on there for another few more years at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ace Harris

    Why are we penciling in Florida losing to UGA next year? Are we not
    cognizant of the fact that they won last year even though we were supposed to kick their ass. I am just not drinking the koolaid on how great Kirby is until I see a national title.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TN Dawg

      Actually, I think many pundits picked Florida to win the East last year because we had so much shakeup on the roster and questions at QB.

      In addition, Florida had a great returning quarterback last year.

      Both of those narratives were scoffed here, but they both proved accurate.

      This year is a different story, Florida has lost a ton on offense and we have the talent advantage and experience advantage.

      If Kirby blows this one, it’s bad. Really bad.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. miltondawg

    I, for one, tend to agree. I personally witnessed too many games against UF where on paper we should have won and somehow lost (and sometimes, like last year, fairly bad). I’m never confident when we go to Jax. I don’t see 7-5 in UF’s future in 2021 though it wouldn’t hurt my feelings in the least. While I could certainly see UK or Mizzou winning, I don’t think that UF loses both unless they are sitting at 6-4 going into the Mizzou game with losses to Bama, UK, LSU, and UGA already in the books and something like (i) the team has totally quit on Mullen, or (ii) the losses were so bad that TaG has already been replaced as DC before the conclusion of the season.

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    • Russ

      Let’s look at the history. We lead the overall series 53-44-2. We have never not had the lead in this series since it started in 1904.
      In the 90’s and 00’s, Florida had a great streak (9-1 and 8-2). (Note – this is when your typical Gator fan thinks football was invented.) For the ’10’s we resumed the lead 6-4. Yes, we lost last year so we’re 0-1 for the 20’s.

      Bottom line, historically we kick Florida’s ass. We always have and probably will as far as I can see. Will Florida get streaky, sure. But overall, we dominate this series, and Kirby has made that a priority.

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      • miltondawg

        No disagreement there. I suppose that as much as UF fans think that they have dominated because the 90s and 00s (when I was in college and then afterwards before kids when I could go to Jax year after year), I constantly have the feeling that even when we should be better (or even close enough to win) for some reason they were able to pull it out. Call it PTSD.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I agree with this statement by Graham:
    “He lacks the political skills to survive.”
    There’s a lot of evidence of that these past two seasons. It is a lot easier to overlook deficiencies of a coach you like and who puts your program in a positive light most of the time (cough, CMR). The guy who doesn’t gara and frequently ends up in some bad publicity situations needs to WIN. A lot. Fortunately for Dan the East isn’t a huge challenge and he may win enough, but if, say, Kentucky, Missouri, and LSU (I think that is a regular W opponent for UF) end up as real challenges….

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  14. I think if and when Florida decides to can Dan is going to depend on who the potential candidates to replace him would be. The standards are high in Gainesville but they don’t seem to be as mercurial as Auburn or as plain dumb as Tennessee. If they go 7-5 or 8-4 this year AND see a candidate they like as a replacement, Dan will be back on the market quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. miltondawg

    Tweet of the day that I saw this morning (h/t @sarahg1561):

    “Good morning don’t let university of Florida’s basketball team loss to a televangelists 15th seed distract you from the fact that University of Florida’s best football team in yrs was a 4 loss team whose heisman hopeful was benched in the 1st quarter of the Cotton Bowl”

    Liked by 3 people