Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

Thursday morning buffet

Hungry?

  • You know, there’s a guy every year who seems like he’s been around forever.  My 2014 nominee for that guy is Florida’s Andre Debose, who was just granted a sixth year of eligibility.
  • “I just don’t want to see any University of Alabama (logos).”
  • David Ching makes a case for a guy we probably haven’t thought about much yet, tight end Jordan Davis.
  • SEC basketball crowds suck.  And here I thought continuously loud music packs folks in.
  • So, the question becomes would college basketball be better served as a one-semester sport?  What I love about this discussion is that there isn’t a single word about what fans might want, other than to blame our limited attention spans.  “It is a big challenge to get people to care about college basketball when football is still being played.”
  • Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney thinks it would be swell if college football players didn’t come out early.
  • The day Georgia football almost died.
  • Pretty good column in the Boston College student newspaper about March Madness“Thanks to March Madness, regular season success is overlooked.”
  • Auburn’s AD has fired the football, baseball and men’s basketball coaches he hired since 2008.  Think he’s indebted to Malzahn right now?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football

The course of true HUNH never did run smooth.

Florida, as we know, hired Curt Roper as offensive coordinator to bring a more up-tempo attack to Gainesville, something that’s pretty much virgin territory for a Will Muschamp team.  Roper is at least honest about needing time to make a successful transition.

“I think there’s an adjustment period,” Roper agreed. “I don’t think it’s something where the first practice they know what we’re talking about necessarily. Over time I think they’ll get to the point where they enjoy it. The skill players enjoy it probably more than the offensive linemen in the sense that sometimes it’s hard to stay in a stance. Part of tempo offenses is getting lined up quickly. That’s the whole key to it. If you get lined up quickly, that means you can snap the ball quickly. If you don’t get lined up quickly, then the defense knows you’re not going to snap the football.”

“Well to get lined up quickly that means the offensive linemen have to get lined up quickly, and they’re in a difficult stance sometimes. So it’s a challenge for those guys. It’s a little bit more of an adjustment. The skill players love it because they don’t have to run back to a huddle and then run out, so it actually conserves their energy. It’s actually a good adjustment for the skill players. The linemen it’s the biggest change for because they’re in a stance.”

You wonder how quickly he can change the mindset of his players.  You wonder how sold Boom really is on the change.  And you wonder how much the Gators’ injury situation will affect the time it takes to get the new offense rolling.

The good news is that Roper has the luxury of three tune up games to get things figured out before going to Tuscaloosa.  Maybe by then he’ll have turned Jeff Driskel into the next Johnny Manziel.

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Stability saves.

Mike Bobo just received a one-year contract extension.  He’ll continue to earn $575,000 per year for the next three years.

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the south, Boom’s third offensive coordinator in four years also signed a three-year deal.  He’ll be paid $590,000 per year, and with incentives could earn as much as $2 million over the term of his contract.  That’s almost a $300,000 spread between the two deals over their lifetimes.

Call it a hot seat premium.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Have at it, guys.

  • Scarbinsky mocks Nick Saban’s concern about football becoming a “continuous game”.
  • Arthur Lynch be preppin’ for the NFL.  It’s always interesting when players find new motivation (read:  $$) to take better care of their bodies than they did in college.
  • Dan Jenkins has a memoir coming out today.  That should be a semi-great read.
  • Ed Aschoff says Jeff Driskel, who’s important enough to the Florida program that Boom pushed back the spring practice schedule to accommodate his recovery, “has every reason to be bitter”.  Hmm.
  • CFN‘s “unsolicited advice” to Georgia for spring practice is to work on turnover margin.  Dang, I bet Mark Richt wishes he’d have thought of that.
  • Miami joins the ranks of programs hiring high-profile high school coaches in an advisory position.
  • Weiszer notes a comment made by a 2015 Georgia commit:  “They’re switching to a 4-3 defense and I think that will give me an opportunity to come in and play as a true defensive end…”  Jeremy Pruitt, all things to all men.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple

Tuesday lunch buffet

Some mid-day nourishment for you.

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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Sink or swim in Gainesville.

Now, while we’ve come to love the hire of Agent Muschamp, you do have to wonder what Jeremy Foley was thinking, because it cut against the grain of what’s been successful at Florida.

While it’s easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight, the hiring of Muschamp really never fit the image of Florida football in the first place. Florida made its name as an innovative program among major colleges, with the Fun ‘n’ Gun and spread option giving the program a defined identity. In between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, Florida failed by hiring Ron Zook, a defensive coach and accomplished recruiter who has flamed out as a gameday coach, and now, for the last three years, the reins have been in the hands of Muschamp, the former Texas defensive coordinator who probably would have fit best a Woody Hayes staff. A good head coach is a good head coach, and a good defensive coach could succeed at Florida, in theory. Still, it’s an odd shift in direction, given that the fan base came of age with Florida on the cutting edge of offensive football. It just makes it easier for fans to grow disenchanted with the direction of the program, sooner rather than later.

At this point, Florida’s pinning its hopes on the hire of another Duke offensive guru in Roper.  The catch is that while Spurrier was his own man, Roper was managing the Blue Devils offense under the direction of David Cutcliffe, a top-notch offensive mind in his own right.  Who’s to say Roper’s ready for what he’s taking on at Florida?  It’s not like the Gators haven’t talked a good game before about opening up the offense.

There was a revealing moment in last season’s Florida-Tennessee game, when the one-loss Gators still had delusions of grandeur. Driskel had just been knocked out, and inexperienced Tyler Murphy (who will suit up for Boston College next season) took over. In the midst of one of the season’s sloppiest games, Florida hurried to the line, and CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist took note, saying, “Here’s a little bit of that hurry-up,” adding that Florida had said it would use it against the Vols. The next thing he said was that there were five seconds left on the play clock.

It’s one thing to say a philosophy is changing, quite another to put it into practice.

If Roper isn’t the man, let’s hope Foley doesn’t learn from history.

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Gator tears, salty but delicious

I’m not sure if the three-game winning streak in Jacksonville has sunk into our collective subconscious as fully as it deserves to.  Every once in a while I run into stories that help bring it into perspective, though, like this one about Florida receiver Solomon Patton, for whom things were going so well in 2012.  Until…

Then it all came crashing down in the biggest game of the season against hated rival Georgia.

Patton was dragged down from behind, broke his arm when he hit the ground and just like that his season was done. In the blink of an eye Patton’s firs real opportunity to be an impact player was taken away. Suddenly that sad, lonely, empty feeling he felt as a freshman paled in comparison to what he felt as a junior.

“My mindset [after the injury] was that I was done. I felt like I had just finally got my chance and then I just hit rock bottom having my arm broken,” he said. “That was the saddest time. I was sad every day, all day. My parents, everybody just tried to keep me encouraged but that was real hard. I had finally got my shot and I felt like I was doing my best to take advantage of it and it was all over. It was pretty hard.”

This is ordinarily the kind of story we used to read about some hapless kid suiting up in the red and black.  Except it’s not.

Sadly, the article left out my favorite Patton moment – the senior getting baited by Leonard Floyd, of all people, into committing a personal foul that pushed his team back just far enough to lead to a whiffed field goal attempt in a game that Florida lost by three.  Again, that’s the kind of knuckleheaded moment you’d expect from our side.  Except it wasn’t.

You need to savor this stuff, people.

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The further adventures of Agent Muschamp

You know, it won’t surprise me in the least if a year from now if Boom cans his entire offensive staff and brings in Rhett Lashlee to run a version of Malzahn’s offense because the Gators ”… needed more tempo, we needed to create more snaps, we needed to create more space plays…”

Cutting edge, bitchez.

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Wasting little time, Florida’s new offensive line coach is…

Agent Muschamp’s latest move should ring a bell with us.

Multiple sources have told Gator Country that former Texas offensive line and assistant head coach Stacey Searels has accepted an offer to become Florida’s offensive line coach. Searels, who served on the staff with Florida head coach Will Muschamp at LSU, is expected to be announced either Sunday or Monday.

The Georgia part of his resume is presented in interesting fashion.

At Georgia, Searels’ offensive lines gave up only 42 sacks in the 39 games from 2007-09. Dealing with injuries and a freshman quarterback in 2010, the Georgia O-line gave up 25 sacks but the Bulldogs did produce a 3,000-yard passer and an 800-yard rusher despite numerous injuries both on the O-line and the backfield.

From my selfish perspective, 2010 is when the bloom came off the rose.  As Tim Tucker put it when Searels left for Texas, “Georgia’s offensive line was expected to be a pillar of the 2010 team but drew much criticism as the Bulldogs struggled to run the ball effectively. Georgia finished 10th in the SEC in rushing.”  I sensed that Richt wanted Searels to stay, but I wasn’t exactly torn up over his departure.

The article notes that Searels has been an effective recruiter at Texas.  If so, that would be a change from his time in Athens.  (Something you’ll note the article glosses over entirely.)

One thing Boom should like about the move, assuming Searels is as taciturn as ever – if he and Roper don’t hit it off, we’ll never hear about it in the media.

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Habemus coordinator!, ctd.

It turns out you can put a price on desperation.

And perhaps we need to give Agent Muschamp some credit here.

Muschamp and Gators receivers coach Joker Phillips are familiar with Roper’s credentials. Muschamp faced Roper’s Ole Miss offense when he was defensive coordinator at LSU and Auburn, and Phillips was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator in 2005 when Roper was the Wildcats’ quarterbacks coach.

Pease coached at Kentucky, too.  Boom’s obviously got a Wildcat fetish.  Maybe he’s got a secret plan to turn Florida into a basketball school.

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