I tried to warn you doggone Dawgs after last year’s game, but you wouldn’t listen.
You only laughed at me and sent me nasty tweets and emails, saying I was a partisan, provincial Gator hack and a blind, biased Dan Mullen flack.
Before the most monumental Georgia-Florida game in years, let us take a moment to revisit what I wrote after Mullen’s Gators were manhandled 36-17 by coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs in Mullen’s inaugural Cocktail Party last year.
“Enjoy this, Georgia,” I wrote. “Savor this second consecutive victory over the Florida Gators. Relish your clear superiority over your rivals during Saturday’s 36-17 victory in the World’s Largest Outdoor Talent Discrepancy Party. Every Dog has its day. But your Dog days aren’t going to last as long as you once thought. In less than a season, new Gator coach Dan Mullen has at least put some chomp back in this rivalry after taking over a doomed, done-for, dysfunctional program that completely quit on former coach Jim McElwain during last year’s 42-7 loss to the Bulldogs.
“Cherish the 19-point victory, Georgia. Embrace it. Appreciate it. With Dan the Man in charge, you’re not going to be Dogging the Gators like this for very much longer.”
I hate to say I told you so, but here we are just one year later and Mullen already has his No. 6-ranked Gators rated higher and performing better than Smart’s No. 8-ranked Bulldogs. If the Gators win Saturday — and I acknowledge that’s a big, big if — Mullen will have proven in just two years at UF that he is a better coach than Smart.
… It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that you can count the number of great college football coaches on one hand: Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Ryan Day, Lincoln Riley and Kirby Smart. And guess what? Those coaches aren’t coming to UF.
… Mullen was such a bad recruiter when he was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator at UF that Meyer wouldn’t even send him out on the road to recruit. Unfortunately for UF, Mullen’s recruiting skills didn’t improve much as the head coach, which is why the Gators’ are currently recruiting at UCF’s level.
There is more to being a head coach than drawing up a game plan, putting on the headsets and calling plays. The head coach is the driving influence for every element of the organization. Being an $8 million-a-year college head coach is a multi-faceted job that requires not just being a play-caller but a program-builder.
Welcome to the party, pal.