Because while this game against the Tide is important, it’s not the biggest potential game between the teams. The Gators could play Alabama again in December with much more on the line.
If Richardson is what the Florida staff believes he can be, the Gators can beat Georgia, LSU and Kentucky and win the SEC East Division.
It’s time to reevaluate the idea that Florida’s Dan Mullen is 1 of the 10 best coaches in college football.
You’ve heard it all by now, those same regurgitated talking points that have fortified the résumé of a coach who has never won a conference championship, yet is held in the same high regard as those with national titles.
A great football mind. A quarterback guru. The best play-caller in college football. A coach the NFL wants.
“There’s so much that goes into hiring a coach, but at the top of the list is, can you recruit and can you win games that matter?” a Power 5 AD told me Sunday. “I’m not sure what any of that other stuff means.”
Maybe we can help.
The great football mind is 2-6 in his past 8 games against Power 5 teams.
The quarterback guru has been playing the wrong quarterback for the past 2 games, and further mismanagement could cost Florida a generational talent (more on that later).
The best play-caller in college football had 6 points in the first half against an LSU defense that was missing 6 – yes, 6! – starters before one of those young replacement cornerbacks blew a Hail Mary coverage and gifted the Gators a touchdown.
Then again, if you never had Dan Mullen ranked as one of the ten best coaches in college football, you don’t have to spend any effort on reevaluation.
Start with this.
If LSU put up 49, what’s a Georgia offense with two weeks to prep gonna do?
While we’re on the subject of the Toddster, check out this vote of confidence from *** checks notes *** one of his defensive starters ($$):
“We made the adjustments we were given to make,” linebacker Mohamoud Diabate said. “It seemed like they were hitting with a similar scheme, kind of a counter run. We had whoever we had in the box so we had to play it how we played it.”
Now, postgame Zoom calls don’t allow for the kind of one-on-one reporting where players clarify or amplify their responses, but unlike previous occasions when players went out of their way to back Grantham, this felt different.
“I’m confident in my teammates and my teammates’ ability to play hard and be where they’re supposed to be,” Diabate said. “I’m confident in my teammates.”
Asked about what adjustments might’ve helped slow down LSU’s running game, Diabate offered: “Honestly, I don’t know. That’s not my decision to make. I don’t look into those things. I’m like a soldier. When the general tells me where to shoot, I shoot. I don’t really ask too many questions. That’s y’all’s job.”
Somewhere out there, Todd Monken is like
Quite simply, “Who y’all rooting for UK or UGA??”
If Kentucky wins, Florida essentially has no shot at winning the East. If Georgia wins, then the Gators are still alive in that regard.
Tough choice? Not so much, it seems.
I’m sorry, but some of my headers just write themselves.
How many football minds has young Jayden been around?
Oh. My. Gawd.
Back in the 00s when dawg nation was most disgruntled after 25 years of pretty mediocre football 1990-2015 their more aggressive fan base came up with slogan “Disney dawgs” and boy was it catchy….. and with merit they seemed to go 8-3,9-3, 8-4 a lot and when they did manage to go 10-1 like in 2002 they’d choke against the worst gator team in 13 years. Yet a certain segment of that fan base outwardly cheered on ray Goff, Jim Donnan, mark reicht and would defend all their subtle mistakes with red and black passion. They’d show up in full force for every outback and citrus bowl they’d go to , which was A LOT…… would tell fellow Georgia fans who wanted more complained about the coaching and the recruiting about the administrative support …. Ect ect that they weee bad fans should always be positive suns always shining and how excited they were for the capital one citrus bowl and how they were bringing their whole family down no matter what to show off their dawg gear with pride every New Years to all the Florida theme parks before those early kick off New Year’s Day games…….
So the fans who wanted more who wanted a coach like Kirby who wanted a big time recruiting budget who wanted to stop always losing to the Florida against the Alabamas against the LSUs ect etc they’d sarcastically refer to their happy let’s go to the outback bowl lucky crowd who’d track down to Florida after every Christmas as “Disney dawgs”………… the Ned Flanders bulldog crowd if you will….
It’s just now at least one can objectively look at gator nation now and it’s sort of like late 90s Georgia it really is and the same fan divide remains. You got the foley defenders who love what the administration does going after all sports trophy’s and what not and defending the football program how it recruits how it spends money and resources how each team is doing ect ect and then you got your fans and boosters who want to go back to the 90s gators who went all out in football and stuff . Who are not happy with recruiting with administration commitment ect ect
I just thought it was appropriate to pay homage to those Disney dawgs because basically that’s become Disney gators. Let’s not forget even those last few New Years 6 bowls like bcs era those are all citrus, outback , gator bowl teams let’s be honest it’s a Orlando bowl program even in its current better years like last. It’s very much Disney bowl all the way
And there’s another thread, to boot!
The Cocktail Party can’t get here soon enough.
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.”
It’s also true Florida has been a notch below Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma in recent years, but other than Bama, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State, has anybody else really been better than the Gators since Mullen took over?
I wasn’t expecting an “aside from that, what have the Romans ever done for us?” defense of Dan Mullen.
So get off Dan Mullen’s case, Gator Nation.
He’s built a really good football program.
If you don’t think that’s good enough, then go talk to fans at Florida State and Miami.
Hard to believe, but Mike Bianchi finally wrote a column I can endorse. Well played, sir.
Third-and-Grantham, that is.
The Gators are currently 9th in the SEC allowing teams to succeed 35.94% of the time over the first five games of the season. That number is actually better than the 2020 season ending number of 41.07% success rate on third downs by opposing offenses, but 2020 was a different year for college defenses and in the SEC in particular. With a schedule of all SEC teams, things are going to be tougher anyway, but there seemed to be something different last year anyway where teams were just giving up more defensively.
It also should be noted that this past weekend and in the loss to Kentucky, Florida had the best third down number they have had all year. Florida only allowed the Wildcats to complete one third down conversion and they didn’t get that done until the fourth quarter as Kentucky finished 1-for-9 in the category.
With five more SEC teams still left on the docket this year and a very young secondary still trying to earn their keep, it would stand to reason that third down conversions may not improve.
In retrospect, the best thing about that Kentucky loss may have been that it wasn’t Grantham’s fault.
If you’re a Gator, hope is all you got.
Florida is moving forward on plans to renovate Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Here comes your future, Gator fans:
Stricklin has noted that in doing further renovations to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, seating capacity is likely to reduced. While that will shrink the number of fans at games, it should create a more comfortable experience while increasing demand and allowing Florida more pricing power control on tickets and booster fees. [Emphasis added.]
Florida has packed the Swamp for all three games in the 2021 season, drawing a crowd of 86,840 for the season opener against Florida Atlantic, 90,887 for Alabama and 88,478 for Tennessee.
Still, upgrades are necessary.
“There was a time when, probably when the north endzone was done in the early ‘90s was part of that time, when seat count is all anyone cared about,” Stricklin said in 2018. “Just cram as many people as possible in there. Obviously that is not, when you talk to people who do facilities and stadiums theses days, that’s not as important as quality and making sure you’re creating an environment that people want to come and participate in.
“The days of fans being OK sitting three hours on really a piece of aluminum I think are gone. So we’ve got to find ways to upgrade the overall quality.”
That quality ain’t gonna pay for itself, peeps. Less is more.
And I bet it won’t just happen in Gainesville, either.