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Late Night, GameDay Eve

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
A few stray thoughts before grabbing a few more hours of sleep before kickoff in less than ten hours...
I watched/listened to that “Roundtable Discussion” involving several of our best (at least my favorite ones—among them Dave from Gator Breakdown, Nick de la Torre, etc) Gator beat-writers a few hours back...Tuned in, turned in, then awoke a little while ago with a number of thoughts (I guess all this had been swirling around in my subconscious ever since):
The main thing is my growing frustration, confusion and disappointment in our COACH’S strange refusal to even TRY to make us better since our season’s horizons began to close out before OCTOBER (!) this time.
The point these Gator commentators all made, in various ways, was that even as events and circumstances have changed with disappointing and unfavorable results both in OUR onfield play and outcomes, AND subsequent strides taken by our SEC rivals and competitors, we have nonetheless failed even THEN to at the very least TRY to change, grow and develop as a team who now at least has room to find out who and what it can be in the future, even as its “present campaign” has its ongoing possibilities stripped away, one-by-one, by a combination of revealed limitations, resultant failures and losses of its own, and (at the same time) the apparent (and unexpected) successes of those “rivals and competitors”.
They make several important points:
(1) This one probably IS Mullen’s first “MUST-win game”, insofar as IF he and his team DON’T win, his “unquestioned position” in command of this program and its future will be suddenly and perhaps fatally redefined, the first dramatic steps on the road to “Change at the TOP” embarked upon, however quietly. He’s already gotten his share (some would say MORE than his share) of “passes”.
(2) The questions are beginning to pile up and rise in volume already, no matter WHAT:
Doesn’t AR need to get in there more?
Is there such a thing as “TOO Loyal” (even for a Coach)?
Where are the opportunities for some of our many OTHER young weapons to get some chances? What’s suddenly “cramping Mullen’s style”??!
As our once-goals and dreams for THIS season fall away, what ARE we playing for?
When and how will our Coach turn to developing all that?
I could easily go on (and ON)...
I don’t even expect answers here and now—but like those panel-members, and I think y’all, I wonder when and if our COACH will begin to answer them, not so much for OUR sake but for that of his team, his program, its future and everything we might ultimately still have to play for.
If he isn’t ready to begin answering that, to at the very least SEEK those answers on the field of PLAY, now and game-by-game for the rest of this season, then I have to ask:
“What ARE we playing for now?”
What are we “playing AT”???
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
On the bright side, if the Gators only lose to UGA next they can still make the Music City, Liberty, or Birmingham bowl games.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
On the bright side, if the Gators only lose to UGA next they can still make the Music City, Liberty, or Birmingham bowl games.
And this is “the GOOD news”, right? Lol
OK, but honestly: Is this an “acceptable consolation” for another season, another full YEAR essentially being “OVER” already??!
I GET the attempts at levity and a certain “whistling as we pass the graveyard” behavior and mentality—but I really do wonder at y’all’s true response and attitude towards the points I’ve been making here in the aftermath to the latest GameDay failure...this whole SEASON’S steady unraveling so soon and EARLY this time: I actually really DO appreciate your views here, @Escambia94, and @Leakfan12,
...I’ve been pretty well FORCED BY CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVENTS to bare my soul here and now to what has come of all our hopes, dreams and plans—how we’d come to invest them in Coach Mullen, his staff and the players he has collected and continued to gather here at UF in building a supposed “FUTURE CHAMPION”, a coming regular CFP participant starting NOW, THIS Season and beyond!
It has hit HARD AND FAST how soon and how BADLY it has all turned, fallen apart AGAIN:
How MUCH has been lost how quickly!
I’m searching for a LIFELINE, Gators. I guess the reason I’m still even here, asking, PLEADING for answers even NOW has to do with our by now long association, our sweating through long games, seasons, plans, progress and regimes...
Hope, progress and/or finally starting over once again!
And now here we are, back at the finish/START LINE once more—with less in the way of a “promise” or a “plan” than EVER, it seems!
Right at the moment, I don’t even wanna START THE CRAZY CARROUSEL AGAIN!!!
Right now, I don’t wanna START THE WHOLE FALL AND CLIMB BACK UP ONCE MORE.
It just makes no SENSE.
Someone’s got us enslaved, totally BAMBOOZLED!!!
And we’ve simply GOT to take our LIVES BACK!
END THIS ALL. Simply TAKE OUR LIVES BACK—END THIS TERRiBLE WASTE ONE MORE TIME!...Some one has to awaken and FIX US.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
It is all about perspective. Losing sucks, but under Mullen I doubt we will see another 4-8 or 4-7 season like we did under Muschamp and McDeathThreats. Mullen is probably in between Zook and Spurrier/ Meyer meaning that barring extenuating circumstances the floor is 7-5 and a spot in the Gasparilla Bowl. I am probably in the minority thinking his ceiling is a championship. Mullen has the disadvantage of being selectively compared to Spurrier and Meyer. I keep a modicum of sanity by comparing him to Zook, Muschamp, and McDeathThreats.

I will die on the hill with this belief: Dan Mullen is the best coach for UF at this time, and all he is missing is a co-OC, a co-DC, and a recruiter before he transcends to the Spurrier and Meyer class of Gator coaches.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
It is all about perspective. Losing sucks, but under Mullen I doubt we will see another 4-8 or 4-7 season like we did under Muschamp and McDeathThreats. Mullen is probably in between Zook and Spurrier/ Meyer meaning that barring extenuating circumstances the floor is 7-5 and a spot in the Gasparilla Bowl. I am probably in the minority thinking his ceiling is a championship. Mullen has the disadvantage of being selectively compared to Spurrier and Meyer. I keep a modicum of sanity by comparing him to Zook, Muschamp, and McDeathThreats.

I will die on the hill with this belief: Dan Mullen is the best coach for UF at this time, and all he is missing is a co-OC, a co-DC, and a recruiter before he transcends to the Spurrier and Meyer class of Gator coaches.
Man, I hope you are right, E—.
I WANT to “believe”, be able to SEE and ACCEPT it similarly.
I can ALMOST get there following your logic-train...If he is able to see things in truth and fact actually carried out and THROUGH in just the way you outline, I can actually envision just the reality you describe coming to pass in Western Europe after all now.
But it is by no means guaranteed!
It is all about perspective. Losing sucks, but under Mullen I doubt we will see another 4-8 or 4-7 season like we did under Muschamp and McDeathThreats. Mullen is probably in between Zook and Spurrier/ Meyer meaning that barring extenuating circumstances the floor is 7-5 and a spot in the Gasparilla Bowl. I am probably in the minority thinking his ceiling is a championship. Mullen has the disadvantage of being selectively compared to Spurrier and Meyer. I keep a modicum of sanity by comparing him to Zook, Muschamp, and McDeathThreats.

I will die on the hill with this belief: Dan Mullen is the best coach for UF at this time, and all he is missing is a co-OC, a co-DC, and a recruiter before he transcends to the Spurrier and Meyer class of Gator coaches.
OK—but on the other hand, seems like “8-and-4” is more like the average record we can expect under this regime—and THAT WON’T DO.
Never mind any comparisons, ideas about “relative success”:
What is acceptable at MSU jus won’t CUT IT here at the University of Florida. We didn’t hire and bring him back here for THAT—and he KNEW AND KNOWS IT!
Need I say more?
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
...and “YES!”: My views ARE “rapidly evolving” now...as events (not to mention “scores and outcomes”) continue to accumulate.
Now, I KNOW that simply “replacing Mullen” isn’t a constructive alternative—not unless and until one has a clear idea about who a viable “exciting fit” might be! Or even a “somewhat competent” one! Yes, pickings are that slim right now, far as I can see.
However, there ARE a number of young guys who could HELP, I think—and as y’all have been kicking forth NAMES of, too.
Look, a LOT of what ALL of us are doing now is spurred on directly by bewildered frustration and disappointment; NONE of us figured to find our team and program right out of The PICTURE by mid-October...
Maybe facing something LIKE it IF/WHEN we faced UGA—I had the feeling we might face the THREAT of such a fate if we LOST THAT GAME—but weeks BEFORE??!
So that goes a long way towards explaining our confused anger, now grasping at straws!
And I have no solutions here and now. Only anger and complaint, like everyone else.
So I am OPEN to constructive comment and suggestion, as far as the future and any path back towards hope, optimism, and/or excitement for what we still can BE...
We still DO have players at skilled positions all over the field, after all—starting with AR15, IF we can KEEP him, right? And so on.
“The future is HERE!”
Mullen must grab that truth, hold it close, make it WORK—for ALL of us! Go out and get the help you NEED, Coach!
There’s no shame in that.
You see it all the time in the best programs.
Spurrier hired Stoops. Saban does it on a damn near annual basis! Nuff said.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
I agree that 8-4 is not the Gator Standard, but it could always be worse. Florida is not the only other blue blood program (with others being bluer than us) that would rather have 8-4 seasons than 4-8 seasons. For example we can look at longtime Gator favorite Charlie Strong to see what he did at Texas: 6-7, 5-7, and 5-7. Remember that a lot of Gator fans wanted him at Florida. I was one of them. Jim Harbaugh took Stanford from 4-8 and 5-7 to 8-5 and 12-1 before he went to the NFL, then he averaged 9.5 wins a season at Michigan, minus the 2-4 blemish last year--and he is 6-0 halfway through this season. Clay Helton averaged about 9 wins a season (normalized against full Pac-12 schedules), with only a 5-7 losing season almost 4 years ago--and he was fired 2 games into this season.

The counter to all that is "what about {insert fantasy hire here}"? Remember that Charlie Strong, Jim Harbaugh, and Clay Helton were all fantasy hires for large fan bases and boosters at some point. Dan Mullen is the right guy for Florida. If I have to see any more BS comments about firing Mullen I will have to take a break from Gator forums. Does Mullen need to change a few things? Sure. Does Scott Stricklin need to look at his rolodex of coaches now? No. Yes, I get it with Saban hiring new coaches, but how long did it take for him to start doing that? Saban changed out OCs several times, and he only changed out DCs when Kirby Smart moved on to the HC position at UGA. I do not use the Spurrier comparison because that was a different era of football, but the hiring of Bobby Stoops is a good reminder that it was not until the Gators were humiliated in a potential national championship matchup that Spurrier made that hire. Spurrier was just as stubborn as Mullen, with the difference being that he had more success, arguably in a very different era where UF, FSU, and Miami had dominated in the recruitment of the best athletes in the nation.
 

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