Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

What does “plenty accurate for what Florida needs from him” actually mean?

Here’s a clear-eyed post from David Wunderlich about what Florida needs for Emory Jones to accomplish this season.

The bigger question is the second half of the statement. What UF needs is dependent on what your expectation of the team is. Do you want to see the Gators challenging Alabama in Week 3 and giving Georgia an honest run for its money in the East? That’s a higher bar than getting back to ten total wins after winning in a New Year’s Six bowl.

David notes that most of Mullen’s quarterbacks have improved their completion percentages as they’ve gone along.  It’s not unreasonable to expect that will be the case with Jones.  But herein lies the rub:

Here we’re coming back to the limitations of completion percentage. If Jones is completing 66% of his throws but for 7.1 yards per completion, we’re probably looking at a significant offensive regression. Franks went for 7.6 yards/att in 2018 despite having almost no practical limit to how far he can throw. Trask went over eight per toss in 2019 and was a hair under ten in 2020.

It’s the accuracy on the intermediate and long throws that will count most, since you can’t dink-and-dunk your way past Nick Saban or teams as talented as this year’s Georgia.

And that’s what I anticipate, come this season.  Jones will be an effective runner and his completion percentage will be respectable.  But Florida isn’t going anywhere if there’s significant regression in yards per completion and I’d bet that’s exactly what’s coming with Jones.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Stats Geek!

Writing checks with your mouth your defensive coordinator can’t cash

Bold talk from a Gator:

“Our points are not going to be as high this year,” Miller said, “so we plan on shutting people out this year. That’s the expectation for my defense.”

You know what Mike Tyson said about plans, my man.

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Filed under Blowing Smoke, Gators, Gators...

The “Dan Mullen conundrum”

Man, I don’t know what Dan Mullen did to the folks over at The Athletic — does he owe somebody money, or something? — but between the piece I linked to yesterday and Ari Wasserman’s takedown of Florida’s recruiting ($$), lately the Portal Master™’s been taking it on the proverbial chin over there.

You could say that the key for Mullen is to hire a hot-shot recruiter as a lead assistant. He did that, bringing in Tim Brewster as his tight ends coach before the 2020 season. But to be a dog in the recruiting realm, you have to love it. Meyer breathed recruiting. He loved it. He was passionate about it. He looked forward to it. And from afar, it doesn’t seem as though Mullen has that temperament. The head coach has to embody what he wants from his staff.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Icy hot

Jordan Rodgers, bringing it:

Cold, brother.

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Oh, what used to be.

This one goes out to each and every Gator who loves to bandy about “1980” ($$).

Dan Mullen was prodded about the halcyon years, the ones that produced BCS hardware and a Heisman, the ones that set the post-Spurrier standard at Florida.

The question posed to him: Is it harder to win a national championship now than when the Gators did it in 2006 and 2008?

… But the difference in the league expanding from 12 to 14 teams hardly explains why Florida hasn’t won an SEC crown, much less sniffed a national title, in the past 12 years.

And Mullen knows it.

When he was the offensive coordinator, Florida was the king of college football back then. These days it is several seats removed in the line of succession.

“… several seats removed in the line of succession” is a nice turn of phrase, isn’t it?

And there’s this, about recruiting.

… There also have been a slew of five-star players that Florida loved and pursued and didn’t sign because of, well, Bama. Or Georgia. Or Ohio State. Or LSU. Or Clemson.

That’s a powerhouse list, and in terms of recruiting and roster depth, Florida no longer has a spot on it.

Pretty soon, all your Daily Gator is going to have is nostalgia.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Your Daily Gator is realistic.

Ladies and gentlemen, strap yourselves in and enjoy a comment thread at Swamp247 in response to the musical question “Is Dan Mullen our Mark Richt?“.

It’s been a long journey, but it sounds like some of them have finally reached the destination.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Hope springs eternal.

This is a weird question.

I thought Florida fans believed college football didn’t start until 1990.

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Another best coaching list, with a twist

PFF’s top 20 coaches list tries a different angle:

These college football head coach rankings are a shoutout to the underdog and the unwanted, a chance to recognize those who might not be in the national spotlight but deserve their moment for clawing their programs up from the depths and steering it toward a new, compelling future.

It’s always difficult to examine coaches through the prism of wins, losses and efficiency rankings. After all, coaches who win a seemingly endless number of games aren’t necessarily good, and those who lose games aren’t necessarily bad.

The opportunity to win games was the biggest factor here. Flying above or below program expectations was the most important point when putting this list together.

Funnily enough, Saban and Swinney top the list.  But check out number three:

3. Kirby Smart, Georgia

Imagine a world in which Kirby Smart is a two-time national champion, one where his team did not blow a 10-point lead to Alabama in the fourth quarter of the 2018 championship game and then a 14-point third-quarter lead in the SEC Championship the following year.

It’s a future that Dawg fans can only dream of because Smart is still only a one-time SEC champion and zero-time national champion. It’s unfair, but it’s hard to hold two fluke comebacks against him — not that he’s totally off the hook for those two Bama losses — but he has surpassed Mark Richt’s 74% win rate with his 79% win rate in six years.

Georgia’s defense had fallen to 13th in expected points added (EPA) allowed per play in the two years before Kirby’s arrival, but he’s since straightened that out. The program ranks sixth in the same metric in the five years since he became head coach.

Gee, no mention of Justin Fields there.  I’m not sure how seriously we should take that.

By the way, Dan Mullen pops up at number five, and there’s actually some valid reasoning behind it.

It’s hard to truly describe the offensive mess that Florida found itself in before Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville. From 2014 to 2017, the Gators offense ranked 120th in EPA per play — that is not just bad, it is horrendous.

Mullen had them up to 29th in Year 1 and 30th in Year 2, and then they exploded with an 11th-place finish in 2020. Considering those advancements were mostly made with other coaches’ recruiting classes, those numbers are as impressive as it gets. We also shouldn’t forget his sterling 60% win rate as head coach of Mississippi State, where he took over a program that had only gone 21-38 in the five previous years under Sylvester Croom.

For all his flaws — and we’ve certainly documented plenty of them here — the dude has a seriously decent offensive mind.  Just not decent enough to overcome said flaws.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

ABC

Smartass pundit take:  just compare Richt’s first five years to Smart’s — they’re no different!

Georgia fan’s take (h/t):

And that doesn’t even take into account the way the 2013 class disappeared.

For funsies, here are a couple more charts.

First a Georgia-Florida comparison:

Roughly is doing some heavy lifting there.  It’s pretty impressive to see how Boom drove Florida’s recruiting after Corch into a ditch.  He built the gap.

Second, if this graph isn’t damning…

Never forget.

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Filed under Freeze!, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Moar gappin’

So, I’m reading David Wunderlich’s breakdown of talent on Florida’s 2021 offensive roster and it suddenly dawns on me:  there isn’t a single five-star player on it who’s a Mullen recruit.

The only five-stars on the list are two running backs, both transfers.  Here’s what David has to say about that:

Now, imagine this kind of talent average but for the entire roster. That’s approximately what Nick Saban’s Alabama has had for a while now, and in recent years Georgia and Ohio State have worked up to it too. Not even Clemson gets there, not the least because its coaches ignore talent ratings more than most and take some developmental picks.

It’s doubtful that Dan Mullen will ever recruit at the level that those top three programs are at, but savvy picks like what Clemson does plus his portal work can help close the gap. They just need to do it at more spots on the field.

Well, they’ve always got Todd Grantham’s fine work to fall back on.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting