Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

When the (blue) chips are down

It’s from a post at an FSU blog looking at Jim McElwain’s recruiting, so you can guess the overall tenor, but I can’t say I disagree in the slightest with this conclusion:

Stars matter, folks, especially at the macro level. You can scour the rankings and find terrific stories of 2 and 3 star kids who were missed in evaluations or found the right time and place to showcase their abilities, but at the end of the day, teams with the most talent win the most games. Alabama has won four national titles since 2009, FSU has a title, UF under Meyer has two since 2006, Meyer won another at Ohio State in 2014, and LSU and Texas each have one in the last 11 years. All of these programs recruit at the highest of levels, they are mainstays in the recruiting top 10 rankings, and their success on the field is not a fluke. New coaching can spark enthusiasm and excitement around a program, but at the end of the day in college football, it all comes down to recruiting. If you don’t have the players, you probably won’t win (enough). It is really as simple as that.

The author finds that Florida has come up short, or at least shorter, compared to its rivals, in signing four- and five-star studs.

Which brings us to Jim McElwain’s debut at UF in 2015. A National Championship winning offensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban, with the pedigree and experience at the highest of levels, Florida’s confidence and optimism was expectedly high from the beginning. The 2015 class cannot be properly judged for a few more years, but on paper, only signing 20% blue chips is not the beginning for which many were hoping. With signing day 2016 upon us, the Gators sit at 37.5% blue chips and, given the way the second half of 2015 ended on the field for UF, the continued question marks at quarterback, and the fact that FSU does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon in terms of acquiring talent, either the coaching needs to get significantly better in a hurry, or UF could be in need of a fourth head coach in less than 15 years. A combined 30% rate over the first two classes is just not up to standards, and would rate outside the top-20 nationally.

If you blindly compared what McElwain (30%) has done to the first two years of Fisher (41%), Meyer (59%), Muschamp (64%) and Golden (24%), the closest match is to Al Golden. That doesn’t mean it won’t improve, but things certainly did not trend up in Year 2 like it did for Jimbo Fisher in 2011.

It didn’t hurt too much in 2015, as UF won the East, but it will be interesting to see if that begins taking a toll going forward.

Along those lines, one other thing to mention:  Georgia’s 2016 class sports a 65% blue chip rate.

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

When it comes to Smart’s first class, maybe we’re making the wrong comparison.

In the short run, instead of pondering how it matches up with Richt’s work, perhaps we should be looking at how it’s matching up with Jim McElwain’s.

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

“… tell the damn Gators anything they want to hear.”

For obvious reasons, this is my favorite recruiting story from yesterday.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

For some reason, somebody thinks this is a terrific idea.

Florida will hold its spring football game at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 8, the school announced Friday, breaking from the tradition of Saturday afternoon spring games in hopes of finding a unique situation. Admission will also be free.

A spring game on Friday night?  Care about the fans much?

The vast majority of college football teams play their spring games on Saturdays, allowing fans to come to and tailgate before games as they would on Saturdays in the fall. By moving the spring game to a Friday night, Florida will likely be sacrificing attendance — a minor concern for a program that hadn’t been selling spring game tickets for more than $5 in the recent past — for attention and novelty…

Oh.

The one big winner I can see from this is the SEC Network, which suddenly finds itself with an unexpected day to which it can add football programming.  Go Gata!

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

Jacksonville’s money still spends.

At least that’s what I gather from the news that Georgia will remain under the crushing burden of playing the Cocktail Party south of the state line for another five years.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Monday morning buffet

Man, it’s already the first of June.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Science Marches Onward, See You In Court, The Blogosphere, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Wednesday morning buffet

Saban free.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, The NCAA