It’s David Hale time again, y’all, and it just takes three sentences.
A quick rundown of what we knew with some degree of certainty entering Saturday’s festivities:
Georgia is good.
Texas is not good.
Dan Mullen lost a fiddle battle with the devil, and now Florida will roast in the depths of hell for all eternity.
Nothing changed afterwards, either.
It’s getting to the point where I may need to rename this category after David Hale. Here’s this week’s sampler:
“Calling a win disappointing is disrespectful to the game,” Mullen said without commenting on how disrespectful it might be to surrender 52 points at home to an FCS opponent with a losing record.
Well, never let it be said we’re disrespectful to the game here, so let’s start from the top.
Saturday marked a critical turning point for plucky upstart Florida. Losers of four straight (very unfair) games, the Gators were at a significant disadvantage because of all the booing from the (home) fans but still managed to beat a national championship-winning coach (Samford’s Chris Hatcher, who won the Division II title in 2004). Hatcher also once employed Kirby Smart on his staff at Valdosta State, so technically, this also was like getting a win over Georgia. And Florida’s performance made history by allowing the most points in the first half in program history. Remember, all records are, by definition, difficult to accomplish. And what’s more, Florida did this despite firing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham last week. It’s even tougher to be really bad on defense without Grantham. Finally, let’s not forget that, as Florida mounted its heroic comeback against mighty Samford, Oklahoma was busy losing to Baylor. So, you know, go be mad at Lincoln Riley. Have you seen how he’s handled his QBs? What a mess! Nothing to see here, though, so just move along.
Admittedly, Dan Mullen is a target rich environment, but still, that’s good snark.
It’s certainly possible Mullen is attempting to pull off a George Costanza move, as when the cantankerous “Seinfeld” character tried to get fired so he could accept a job with the Mets. While hiring Mullen would be exactly the type of offseason move we might expect from the Mets, however, it still seems unlikely.
It may be that it’s some sort of elaborate piece of performance art, like when Joaquin Phoenix pretended to go off the deep end on Letterman, but it was just for a movie. Mullen’s probably not that good an actor, though.
It’s possible that Mullen and Ron Zook were in the same hot tub when it was struck by lightning and they switched bodies in some sort of “Freaky Friday” situation, but if that was the case, why isn’t Mullen recruiting better?
All that’s missing is some sort of shark reference. But I’ll take it.
David Hale brings it again:
… Todd Grantham, a fan favorite in every SEC town but Gainesville, coached a defense that surrendered 321 yards on the ground. Tyrion Davis-Price ran for 287 and three touchdowns by himself, the most ever against a Florida defense, breaking a record held by Herschel Walker. It takes a special kind of awfulness to let someone break a Herschel Walker record by 50 yards.
That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read about Grantham that didn’t mention third down.
David Hale still has the touch. Here’s what he had to say about his number five choice on his Heisman favorites list:
5. Georgia defensive tackles Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt and Jalen Carter
Auburn ran for 46 yards on Saturday. It marks the fifth time in six games that Georgia’s defense held the opposition to less than 100 yards on the ground. Sure, it’s unfair for us to add three players to the No. 5 spot, but how do you pick just one? It’s like naming your favorite Hanson brother; they’re all essential parts of one magical group.
Andy Staples really nails the Clampett mentality at work with playoff expansion ($$):
… The idea of creating a new Playoff by 2023 using the 12-team model proposed earlier this year is basically dead because leagues not named the SEC are leery of the proposal — created by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick — because Sankey was crafting the 12-team model at the same time Oklahoma and Texas were lobbying in secret to join the SEC. So the process will be slowed down, and it could take a while. Once they all have their say, the FBS commissioners likely will create an expanded CFP that looks an awful lot like the one Sankey, Bowlsby, Thompson and Swarbrick proposed, but the rest will get to think it was their idea.
It’s funny because it’s true. It’s also sad because it’s true.
David Paschall has outdone himself with this lede.
Our nation has reached its 245th birthday, which is certainly cause for celebration due to the abundance of freedoms and opportunities provided to its residents.
Included in those freedoms is the ability for Tennessee football fans to flush away as many recent seasons as they wish.
A good friend of mine (thanks, Howie!) alerted me to this gem from Gainesville Sun writer David Whitley. He predicts good times ahead for Gator fans with the advent of the 12-team CFP.
This approaches poetry.
Change is always disruptive. Among other things, Florida fans will have to adjust to the thought that losing to Georgia might not be the end of the season, if not the world itself.
That means more meaningful games, more interest and more reason for Gator fans to get out of bed the morning after losing to Georgia…
There would be life after losing to the Bulldogs. That’s a game-changer Florida fans could probably get used to.
The new Gator Standard: settling for less and pretending it’s more.
In response to a reader’s question about which 2021 opponent might be the most sneaky-dangerous team on Georgia’s schedule, Seth Emerson had this to say in his Mailbag ($$):
Georgia Tech could even push for that tier, too, what with the game being in Bobby Dodd Stadium, although now that I type that last clause never mind.
Go ahead and shut the Internet down. Nobody’s ever gonna top this take about the new transfer rule:
“People say it’s like NFL free agency. You hear that all the time. No, it’s not,” one Power Five football assistant said. “The NFL has a cap and they can pay money. You can outbid somebody. [In college,] you just gotta out-bullshit somebody.”