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"BOTTOMLINE II": Current state of college football

Escambia94

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I cannot help but agree...That pretty well was MY overall take as well.
However: Is that really the "stark choice" now?
If it is, then we really HAVE gone vastly astray as a society and culture, and I too will live with the result here, "apart". Proudly so.
But I still cling to the idea that maybe, just MAYBE, we can somehow have a modicum of each. We are still in the SEC, after all, and we ARE "still FLORIDA". I still want to see what a "stand-up guy" like Billy, "Hail fellow, well-met" that he is, can manage to eventually build here...
And if not him, then maybe his successor, the fortunate soul who gets to reap the benefits of all the hard work, sacrifice, capital and long-range thinking that is being invested NOW.
I have been hard on our Coach at times of late. But I recognize that there appears time and room for improvement, REDEMPTION in the form of a strong TURNAROUND. We may be seeing just that right now in the way things have seemed to more trend our way in the portal, after the bitter sting of disappointment around and after NSD.
The title of this thread was "BOTTOMLINE II", a redrawing of that "Bottomline"...and the "bottomline" HERE is that after everything, at this point we can but settle back, have a little faith and WATCH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
Our degrees from UF carry more weight and prestige than ever, for whatever that is worth--and whatever happens out on the gridiron, we will be fielding teams filled with talented players for years to come.
In other words, at the very LEAST:
"There is every reason to have HOPE."
The recent hiring of an assistant AD for football operations might be a sign that this could change. If the new guy can learn the power dynamics of Gator football between the donors, boosters, UAA, and students then things might get better.
 

DRU2012

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The recent hiring of an assistant AD for football operations might be a sign that this could change. If the new guy can learn the power dynamics of Gator football between the donors, boosters, UAA, and students then things might get better.
Again:
"We live and HOPE."
 

DRU2012

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(Now...I'm off to watch this travesty of a "CFB Championship Game"--otherwise unofficially deserving of the alternate description, "Coronation of the Cheat" and deservedly played to the soundtrack, "Welcome to the Jungle".)
 

DRU2012

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Recommended:
SEE LATEST "DOOLEY S DOZEN"--The one that lists "Things Billy MUST do in 2024".
This is a good one: all doable, to the point--balanced and fair. A lot of realistic positivism for a change. (We just aren't seeing enough of ANY of that right now...)
 

DRU2012

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With a flurry of late pick-ups, retentions, flips and last-minute changes, our once "Top-3", sunk-to-"#15", and generally "WHO KNOWS??!" class, as of this morning, Feb. 2, ESPN has the difficult-to-quantify 2024 UF recruiting class now ranked "back in the Top 10" once more.
I am not sure what that really MEANS, nor how it will truly affect performance or results against the stiff competition of our '24 schedule, but it amounts to a welcome plus entering spring camp, given all the challenges and question marks.
In my view, the result will either see a huge Napier/Gator turn-around OR THE END of Florida's "Napier Experiment".
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
With a flurry of late pick-ups, retentions, flips and last-minute changes-of retention,, our once "Top-3", sunk-to-"#15", and generally "WHO KNOWS??!" class, as of this morning, Feb. 2, ESPN has the difficult-to-quantify 2024 UF recruiting class now ranked "back in the Top 10" once more.
I am not sure whatctgst really MEANS. nor how it will truly affect performance or results against the stiff competition of our '24 schedule, but it amounts to a welcome plus entering spring camp, given all the challenges and question marks.
In my view, the result will either see a huge Napier/Gator turn-around OR THE END of Florida's "Napier Experiment".

I like Napier, but his days are numbered. His plan is fine, but it will take too long for impatient Gator fans. If we were patient I bet he could fix the program by the end of his contract. With the 2024-2025 schedule I am not sure he wins 3 games. That is hard to defend.
 

DRU2012

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I like Napier, but his days are numbered. His plan is fine, but it will take too long for impatient Gator fans. If we were patient I bet he could fix the program by the end of his contract. With the 2024-2025 schedule I am not sure he wins 3 games. That is hard to defend.
Personally, I'm afraid you are right.
Given everything, I'd prefer to see him given at least 2 or 3 more seasons AFTER the coming ill-timed KILLER of a schedule to properly "turn it around" in G-ville--but for all the reasons you mention, imply, and more, I just don't see the realities of our "Short Attention Spanned-Gator Nation" doing anything but howling for his head by the second half of the coming year...
This team would somehow have to pull off SEVERAL "Shocking Upsets" along the way, win at LEAST 7 games to see him still here in 2025.
Sigh...Meanwhile, CFB is such a mess--and poised to descend into chaos from so many directions.
Who KNOWS what bull-in-a-china-shop moves the NCAA is about to make, and in the meantime Billy STILL won't name an OC, leaving himself fully exposed just as the longed-for "ELITE QB" comes to town!
All we can do is watch the dreaded results through our fingers, hands clasped to our faces as the 2024 season descends upon us.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
@DRU2012 : I moved this part of the discussion out of the recruiting section and into this renamed “Bottom Line II” thread.

Billy Napier’s career is doomed largely due to timing. If NIL and Transfer Portal 2.0 had not drastically changed the sport, he would have been the perfect fit at Florida. If Stricklin had not negotiated this outlandish schedule years ago, the Gators might have a better chance at winning more than 3 games next season. If Gator Collective and Gator Guard had not screwed up the Rashada deal, Florida probably would have recruited 4*/5* QBs in 2023-2025 (Rashada, Lagway, Simmons). Lots of what-ifs that are beyond Napier’s control. To make matters worse, some of the best college coaches are tired of this crap and are retiring or leaving for the NFL. It would not surprise me if some college coaches accept demotion to off-field analyst just so they can focus on coaching (except on game days).

Even if the Gators were winning, college football in its current state is a crappy product. The NCAA needs to stop pursuing programs over NIL and live with the mess they created by letting this happen without oversight. College football is about to die a horrible death. On the bright side, NCAA gymnastics is becoming popular now that female athletes can get paid to dance in their underwear for advertisements. NCAA is not going after gymnastics programs. Only football is suffering.
 

DRU2012

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@DRU2012 : I moved this part of the discussion out of the recruiting section and into this renamed “Bottom Line II” thread.

Billy Napier’s career is doomed largely due to timing. If NIL and Transfer Portal 2.0 had not drastically changed the sport, he would have been the perfect fit at Florida. If Stricklin had not negotiated this outlandish schedule years ago, the Gators might have a better chance at winning more than 3 games next season. If Gator Collective and Gator Guard had not screwed up the Rashada deal, Florida probably would have recruited 4*/5* QBs in 2023-2025 (Rashada, Lagway, Simmons). Lots of what-ifs that are beyond Napier’s control. To make matters worse, some of the best college coaches are tired of this crap and are retiring or leaving for the NFL. It would not surprise me if some college coaches accept demotion to off-field analyst just so they can focus on coaching (except on game days).

Even if the Gators were winning, college football in its current state is a crappy product. The NCAA needs to stop pursuing programs over NIL and live with the mess they created by letting this happen without oversight. College football is about to die a horrible death. On the bright side, NCAA gymnastics is becoming popular now that female athletes can get paid to dance in their underwear for advertisements. NCAA is not going after gymnastics programs. Only football is suffering.
To be clear, of course:
My "LIKE" is for my complete agreement with Escambia's above post (as opposed to the horrible situation that college football generally, Florida football in particular, and BILLY Napier in COMPLETE, ABJECT PARTICULARLY "BAD TIMING" indeed finds himself stuck in).
In short, I am on the precipice of complete disgust with the very "college football profuct" that E--speaks of.
This is now quite like experiencing a fatal accident in slow motion, powerless to stop it from happening. I hate it. "It isn't fair!"--which has been my refrain, again and again for MONTHS now!
I find myself imagining myself in Billy's shoes, torn between a Coach's lifelong dedication to his players, the game and an intrgrity-infused approach to building a winner, and the by now inescaoeable private feeling that the cards are stacked against me, that a broken and corrupt system is collapsing around and DOWN ON ME!
I honestly feel badly for the guy--but at this point none of that really MATTERS, in the wider "Big Picture" sense:
It is "WIN, OR ELSE..."-time, and I just don't really see how we might manage anything CLOSE TO enough wins against this schedule to save anyone or anything:
Everything is now set up to leave our program in total ruins before 2024 is over.
E--'s summation is a relatively upbeat, humorous take on what is in truth a total dark disaster.
 

Escambia94

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Moderator
Napier needs to find ways to win with scheme and luck. Stop the boneheaded mistakes. The Gators lost three games by being stupid and there is no excuse for that.
 

DRU2012

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Napier needs to find ways to win with scheme and luck. Stop the boneheaded mistakes. The Gators lost three games by being stupid and there is no excuse for that.
Yes--We have BEEN through the wretched realization that just a proper handling of business properly in thise three cases would have turned three, COUNT 'EM, THREE losses into WINS and reversed a losing season into a winning one.
Now there IS no room for such foolishness.
Indeed, the only way I can see Billy retaining his jib and getting a chance to begin turning things around here after all is to make great strides in rebuilding all three squads--O, D, and Soecial Teams...but perhaps the key to it all THIS season may be on defense: That unit I fear will have to become a stalwart ROCK somehow. We will just HAVE to shock the world, keep some strong SEC offenses well below their otherwise average performances elsewhere as 2024 plays out.
Only THEY can keep scores down enough for the rest of the team to pull some crucial upsets--enough to gain at least a winning record.
Uh huh:
"Master of the Obvious" once again.
 

DRU2012

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@Escambia94,
Not sure if this is really the appropriate place for this, but it's the main thing on my mind and does fit (in an ironic, "bigger picture" sort of way):
What do you make of this sudden "boomerang move" of our new Strength and Conditioning Coach almost immediately away and over to join his friend at BC?
Yes, I have read and understand the various conditional explanations--I'm not asking for a rehash of all that...Rather. I suppose I am wondering if it somehow displays another example of a certain lack of preparation and/or thoroughness in the way an important decision was made and executed.
I don't "KNOW" anything in particular here; However, it is hard to escape that "double gut punch" again of "HUH??!" followed immediately by confusion and bewilderment.
Just seems there's been a LOT of that around this program lately.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
@Escambia94,
Not sure if this is really the appropriate place for this, but it's the main thing on my mind and does fit (in an ironic, "bigger picture" sort of way):
What do you make of this sudden "boomerang move" of our new Strength and Conditioning Coach almost immediately away and over to join his friend at BC?
Yes, I have read and understand the various conditional explanations--I'm not asking for a rehash of all that...Rather. I suppose I am wondering if it somehow displays another example of a certain lack of preparation and/or thoroughness in the way an important decision was made and executed.
I don't "KNOW" anything in particular here; However, it is hard to escape that "double gut punch" again of "HUH??!" followed immediately by confusion and bewilderment.
Just seems there's been a LOT of that around this program lately.
Craig Fitzgerald learned just last week that his friend Bill O’Brien just took the head coaching job at Boston College. When he was hired five weeks ago, O’Brien was in limbo. Assistant coaches take jobs based on relationships with head coaches, because head coaches make those hires. Fitzgerald does not know Billy Napier as well as he knows Bill O’Brien. It is that simple.
 

DRU2012

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Craig Fitzgerald learned just last week that his friend Bill O’Brien just took the head coaching job at Boston College. When he was hired five weeks ago, O’Brien was in limbo. Assistant coaches take jobs based on relationships with head coaches, because head coaches make those hires. Fitzgerald does not know Billy Napier as well as he knows Bill O’Brien. It is that simple.
Still: It is somewhat similar to what is becoming all too common place among PLAYERS--And ALL emblematic of how little one's word, honor or the value of a personal commitment MEANS nowadays.
The timing here absolutely SUCKS for Napier and the program. Along with the offensive questions, the overall readiness of our team physically on BOTH sides of the line had become a major question...We thought we had that somewhat solved; "NOW WHAT??!"
(I can only answer that question myself in terms of this "sinking feeling", further reinforced.)
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Still: It is somewhat similar to what is becoming all too common place among PLAYERS--And ALL emblematic of how little one's word, honor or the value of a personal commitment MEANS nowadays.
The timing here absolutely SUCKS for Napier and the program. Along with the offensive questions, the overall readiness of our team physically on BOTH sides of the line had become a major question...We thought we had that somewhat solved; "NOW WHAT??!"
(I can only answer that question myself in terms of this "sinking feeling", further reinforced.)
This is not about UF, Billy Napier, Gator football, or a contract. At the end of the day we are talking about jobs and income. Strength and conditioning coaches do not get to dictate location and salary. They are subject to the whims of the head coaches, and they tend to follow the same couple head coaches. The other assistant coaches and off-field staff are in similar situations. Look at how often FBS coaches move around compared to FCS, Division II, and Division III coaches. These people have families. Imagine trying to maintain a stable household knowing your job depends on the head coach winning 10 football games each year and staying out of NCAA sanctions levied by vague rules. Everyone from the offensive analyst to the defensive coordinator has to uproot their lives every 4 years just because the head coach keeps getting fired—no matter where they go.
 

DRU2012

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How can it NOT be at least PARTLY "about Billy Napier, Gator football, or a contract"???
I know what you're saying here, E--, I FOLLOW your reasoning and it's "distancing from blame and/or emotionalism"--but it is SOMEHOW connected, and it IS going to affect us in its timing as far as ehat's directly ahead.
Another big loss at a bad time, no denying it.
I will leave it at that.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
How can it NOT be at least PARTLY "about Billy Napier, Gator football, or a contract"???
I know what you're saying here, E--, I FOLLOW your reasoning and it's "distancing from blame and/or emotionalism"--but it is SOMEHOW connected, and it IS going to affect us in its timing as far as ehat's directly ahead.
Another big loss at a bad time, no denying it.
I will leave it at that.
For the strength and conditioning coach it is absolutely about relationships. The S&C coach runs the football program during the off-season. The S&C coach's entire career is defined by the head coaches that hire them. You can look at every high profile S&C coach and watch how they follow the same head coaches.

The title of this thread is "the current state of college football", not bash Napier at every opportunity without any supporting evidence or critical thought. The state of college football is playing out right now:
- Head coaches are moving around between NFL, college football, ESPN, and retirement at a higher rate than in years past.
- S&C coaches, unlike assistant coaches, do not have an upward career path to higher salaries as head coaches. They will follow the head coach that they have strong relationships with. Craig Fitzgerald did not follow Bill O'Brien in 2021 because O'Brien was no longer a head coach making the hiring decisions. O'Brien's first phone call after getting a head coaching position again in 2024 was to Craig Fitzgerald.
- S&C coaches do not get the same kind of coaching contract as the assistant coaches, so there is no contract to speak of--at least not in the way you are alluding to with other coach contracts.

Is it a bad loss? Yes. Is it Napier's fault? Not at all. Why would an S&C coach go from a big school like Florida to a smaller school like Boston College? It does not matter to an S&C coach because his salary is not much different with Harvard, the Houston Texans, Penn State, Florida, or Boston College. Why did Bill O'Brien take a step down from being head coach of Penn State to Boston College and grab his army of familiar coaches? O'Brien saw the headache of dealing with big programs and the constant scrutiny during his time fixing Penn State's NCAA sanction issues. He tried the NFL, did not like it, then went back to being an offensive coordinator where he had no hiring authority to get Craig Fitzgerald back--until he was hired as head coach at Boston College.
 

DRU2012

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For the strength and conditioning coach it is absolutely about relationships. The S&C coach runs the football program during the off-season. The S&C coach's entire career is defined by the head coaches that hire them. You can look at every high profile S&C coach and watch how they follow the same head coaches.

The title of this thread is "the current state of college football", not bash Napier at every opportunity without any supporting evidence or critical thought. The state of college football is playing out right now:
- Head coaches are moving around between NFL, college football, ESPN, and retirement at a higher rate than in years past.
- S&C coaches, unlike assistant coaches, do not have an upward career path to higher salaries as head coaches. They will follow the head coach that they have strong relationships with. Craig Fitzgerald did not follow Bill O'Brien in 2021 because O'Brien was no longer a head coach making the hiring decisions. O'Brien's first phone call after getting a head coaching position again in 2024 was to Craig Fitzgerald.
- S&C coaches do not get the same kind of coaching contract as the assistant coaches, so there is no contract to speak of--at least not in the way you are alluding to with other coach contracts.

Is it a bad loss? Yes. Is it Napier's fault? Not at all. Why would an S&C coach go from a big school like Florida to a smaller school like Boston College? It does not matter to an S&C coach because his salary is not much different with Harvard, the Houston Texans, Penn State, Florida, or Boston College. Why did Bill O'Brien take a step down from being head coach of Penn State to Boston College and grab his army of familiar coaches? O'Brien saw the headache of dealing with big programs and the constant scrutiny during his time fixing Penn State's NCAA sanction issues. He tried the NFL, did not like it, then went back to being an offensive coordinator where he had no hiring authority to get Craig Fitzgerald back--until he was hired as head coach at Boston College.
Oh, come ON!
I am not now, not do I have a pattern of "bashing Billy Napier at every opportunity".
I'm not even BLAMING him here.
If I am "blaming" anyone or anything, it is a modern world and system where one's word and/or commitment means so little now.
This one hit us hard--especialy it's timing...We are left scrambling again.
I had hoped to pivot into a discussion of what our likely moves and choices are from here, but apparently we can't even manage that among mainly like-minded members on our own SITE, let alone expect the wider Gator Nation and/or program to come together in some quick and positive moves.
More's the pity
As a result, I am left LESS hopeful than ever
 

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