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Not So Sure Where We're At

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by DRU2012, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I'm watching the Peach Bowl replay from January against Michigan. I know we win this handily in the end, but I somehow remembered it more promising and reassuring overall a performance than this first half has in fact played out.
    The part that concerns me the most really is Filipe's periodic reversion here and there to some of his most frustrating once-upon-a-time weaknesses. I know he has generally made great strides and improved in ALL areas, and I do expect that to only continue into and THROUGH 2019, BUT:
    If he continues to "revert" too often, especially in his failures to throw "the touch pass" for TDs down in the red zone, OR properly choose and HIT the right reciever on the LONG one, well, Emory Jones I fear is (rightly, in the event) going to begin to more and more "chomp at the bit" at back up. It is clear that ideally, Mullen and his braintrust want Frank to step fully forward, come into his own and lead this offense to glory even as Jones patiently prepares for "his turn", meanwhile has his "packages" and is fully ready to take over as the season ends--SOONER if necessary.
    What you DON'T want is if there begins to loom an argument that "maybe the wrong guy is under center"!
    And, like I say, to avoid that Filipe has to BURY his old weaknesses and bad habits once and for all now. He has it in him to go out there, big, strong and fast with a cannon for an arm, and perform in Tebow-esque fashion. I know that even SAYING anything like that is like the kiss of death--but though a totally different personality, in size and skills he really does have that kind of TALENT--and then some. Mullen can, is in fact IN THE PROCESS OF bringing that out. If things were to play out right, with Frank and Jones we have at least the potential of one succeeding and passing the torch to the next: Approaching our "ascendance" this season, then completing it with a fully ready Jones in charge in 2020.
     
  2. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    (PS As it turns out, the SECOND half was, for the most part, in fact a textbook display of all the ways Filipe and this whole offense had progressed in 2018--and a pretty promising demo of all they might accomplish from here forward under Mullen and Grantham when both squads get untracked. Things go that "ideal" way at QB in 2019, as fretted about above, and the good times will ultimately roll in Gator-town once again.)
     
  3. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Sadly the season is going to depend on the quarterback play of Franks and/or Jones.
     
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  4. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I believe the entire 2019-2020 season depends on Feleipe Franks. I give the kid some credit, because he had some bad coaching under McDeathThreats and Nussbomb. Look at the various quarterbacks who have left UF and who have flourished with better coaching. Will Grier, Jeff Driskel, Jacoby Brissett, and even Tyler Murphy had better seasons after leaving Florida! It took a few games for Franks to unlearn what he had learned from bad coaches. I do not have the exact statistics, but I think if you compare his performance from game 1 (Charleston Southern) to game 9 (Missouri) against the remainder of the season his passer rating jumps from about 130 to 160! This averages out over the entire season as a passer rating of 143.4, which is still the best passer rating the Gators have seen since Will Grier's half-season in 2016 (145.6) or Tim Tebow's full season in 2009 (164.2). If you look back at the QBs we have played since Tebow left campus, you can easily see that if Franks does not play 12 games with a passer rating above 140 that history will repeat itself. Stated another way, if we continue to put a slash with Jones' name after Franks' name, we are already spelling doom for the 2019-2020 season. Dan Mullen and Brian Johnson will either make Franks a serviceable QB or the Gators will have an average-to-poor season. Period.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  5. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Grier started to do well with the Gators but the PED suspension ended his Gator career and now he's backing up another one-time Gator in Cam Newton. You can't make this stuff up. Also Driskell and Brissett were NFL starters (OK mostly because the starters got hurt).
     
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  6. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    (laughing) When you put it THAT way...
    "Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda"... Clearly more Heismans AND more Natty's were in the offing, certainly potentially. But not only "BAD Coaching" (a la E-'s comments) but relentless coaching CHANGES in efforts to "get back by GETTING IT RIGHT" played their parts" Meyer made "lack of oversight"/ "look the other way" institutional realities, and Mac just didn't seem to CARE--NO one was watching or listening while Grier fucked himself, his team and his future (that one is STILL hard to fathom, even harder to TAKE...).
     
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  7. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I have to agree, going into August...
    I was feeling better than this, more optimistic until re-viewing that Michigan Peach Bowl win a little while back. Feleipe was still showing the same pattern of flaws in that game's first half. The D kept them close, kept them IN that game until he got untracked: Had Harbough been a more flexible coach his offense COULD have taken control early on the scoreboard, forced Franks into a more panicky, "I gotta WIN this"-frame of mind that performance history shows tends to get him into trouble. But instead, QB-1, the coaching staff and our whole team was able to "stick with the game plan", slowly reassert control ourselves and eventually play to OUR strengths, take over and WIN.
    It isn't at all clear whether Feleipe Franks will EVER be the kind of QB who can "put it all together", raise himself and everyone around him higher, MORE than "the sum of their PARTS", and in so doing make us truly "a team of WINNERS".
    Emory Jones MIGHT BE--we don't know, haven't had a chance yet to find out...BUT: Unless Franks seizes the opportunity he has here and now to do so himself, we'll HAVE to begin to find out about Emory, and soon...and THAT will probably mean ANOTHER mostly "up'n'down" season where LUCK determines the difference between a "good" or "mediocre" win-loss record, in the end--and unless we at LEAST have our "QB of the Future" by the end of it, next season will find us essentially in the same quandary.
    So: Hopeful as things may have appeared a few months back, much is STILL "in the balance"--and all of it contributes to my multiplying concerns at how our seeming "recruiting upswing" has seemingly eroded over that same period. We just don't know if we really ARE "almost there", OR about to be "still rebuilding" 1 year from now...
     
  8. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    I don't think Grier f--ked his future. Again he was able to get a second chance at West Virginia and made the most out of it. Granted unsure if he would have been drafted higher if not for his PED suspension. Just like how Driskell and Brissett were able to succeed at their second school.
     
  9. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Grier messed up, but I think most people believed that it was a well-intentioned mistake born from a bad situation, rather than being a mistake made with malicious intent. I think Grier was the only QB that would have succeeded under McDeathThreats and NussBomb, but Dana Holgerson was better for him at West Virginia.
     
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  10. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I know what you mean--NCAA-wise his "2nd act" was a huge comeback, more indicative of our dysfunctional then-Coach's overall mismanagement of OUR program, than an indictment of Grier himself...I was prob over-, or at least MIS-stating the situation in the way I described it: Though he DID ultimately "fuck" both himself AND us in his own poor choices at the time (Our Coach and staff failed him, but HE has to own responsibility for those choices to see that the "comeback", NOT the earlier "mistakes of youth", define what is to come.)
    At the moment and as things turned out, clearly he seems right to have made a beeline OUTTA here--though I still believe that under other circumstances (for eg--what if we had somehow fired Mac and gotten DM THEN??? Not that that was likely or realistically possible...but still: Where might OUR program been at by now if THAT were how it all played out--not to mention, since we're talking about it, Grier's own college AND now ongoing nascent PRO career?
    Ah, well. That's life--and College Football--right THERE. For the most part, the most important "lessons" we only know "in retrospect". And even that much, only if we're smart. And lucky.
     
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  11. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    In an alternate timeline where Will Grier serves his suspension at UF and returns in the middle of the 2016 season, I would imagine the following happening:
    • Grier regains the starting role in the game against Arkansas, and instead of Florida struggling with Austin Appleby and losing 10-31, the #10 Gators win 42-31 on some game heroics by Grier are are 7-1.
    • The Gators still win against South Carolina and #16 LSU are head into the FSU game 9-1.
    • Instead of losing to #15 FSU 13-31, the #9/#10 Gators win 32-31 are are 10-1 heading into the SEC championship against Alabama.
    • Florida still loses to Alabama, but instead of a 16-54 blowout it is a respectable 21-26 loss and the Gators are in the top 10 at 10-2.
    • Instead of #14 Auburn (8-4) playing #7 Oklahoma (10-2) in the Sugar Bowl, it is the #8 Gators at 10-2 facing the Sooners instead of #21 Iowa. The Gators defense was good enough to contain Baker Mayfield, but regardless if the Gators win or lose it winds up being a better season.
    Given all the above in the alternate scenario, the Gators would not have a losing season in 2017. I think Grier would have led #17 Florida to a victory over #11 Michigan. I think the Gators defeat LSU and Texas A&M. I still do not think #15/#16 Florida defeats #3 Georgia, but that might have been the Gators' only loss in a Grier-led 2017 season. This would have set up #15/#16 Florida (11-1) for a Citrus Bowl match-up against #14 Notre Dame (9-3), where Florida would have won 32-13 and ended the season 12-1 with a quality loss against #3 Georgia. Grier would have done enough to enter the NFL draft as an early pick, and we would still have Jim McDeathThreats and Doug NussBomb. The reason this works out is that Grier is the only QB among a group that included Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby, Malik Zaire, Feleipe Franks, and Kyle Trask (although Zaire might not have entered the picture if Grier had not been suspended) that would have mastered the complicated MacNuss offense.

    What would that have done to the 2018 season? I think the 2018 season under McDeathThreats does not go as well as it did under Dan Mullen. I think Will Muschamp's Fighting Gamecocks beat Florida in the Swamp without Dan Mullen. There is a possibility that Florida also loses to LSU in the Swamp under McDeathThreats in 2018. In this alternate timeline, the Gators go 9-4 or 8-5 instead of 10-3.

    Who thinks McDeathThreats would have the Gators ready to go at this point heading into the 2019 season? I have more faith in Mullen right now than I ever did under McDeathThreats. Will Grier was the key player here in the actual and alternate timelines. It sucked that the Gators had to suffer through that 4-7 season in 2017 in order to get Dan Mullen in 2018, but it turned out well.
     
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  12. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    (Laughing) THANKS for playin' it all out, E-!
    Though right up top I doubt MacD & (WAY overrated) Co. would or COULD have managed the sequence of "right moves" (all actual subsequent events PROVE they were neither smart, sensitive nor attentive enough-to-detail to get so many things right), I pretty well agree that on the whole, we'd have clearly done better season-by-season (as would have young Grier, as you project it), yet (ironically and conversely) be in WORSE shape now, heading into the 2019 season--possibly even still stuck with a sinking Coach and program who'd gotten THAT far on "smoke and mirrors" (or in truth, luck and illusion in the way things had fallen their and OUR way after all).
    No: It is another strangely "Big Picture" run of life's weird wrinkles that has us finally with "The Right Coach at the Right Time", and seemingly now a return to famiar territory: We're not "there" yet--but we can SEE it from here, feel that growing "lift" beneath and around us, and recognize the gathering of "opportunities".
     
  13. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I would describe our coaching situation these past few years as follows:
    • Urban Meyer. Right coach at the right time, but not the best fit for the long term. He was one of the three best, up-and-coming coaches of the time, if not the best. Urban Meyer, Chip Kelly, and Mike Leach each had variations of the spread or spread-option offense that would change college football for years to come (https://www.gatorenvy.com/threads/the-most-innovative-coaches-in-the-early-2000s.19788/#).
    • Will Muschamp. Right coach at the wrong time, and too early in his development. It did not help that Meyer retired again somewhat late, and there were not many viable candidates on the market. If he could have found a better offensive coordinator, that 2012 season would have been less of a blip and more of the norm. We also would not have suffered through the first losing season in a very long time. I liked Muschamp as a person, and I really wanted him to succeed, but he would have fared better if he had taken his first head coaching job elsewhere first. I think the formula in college football is that innovative offensive coordinators can jump in as head coaches early, but defensive coordinators need to build up to those coveted head coaching jobs. I would take him back as a head coach in the future as long as he brought along a viable offensive coordinator.
    • Jim McDeathThreats. Wrong coach at the right time (on paper). In 2014 he looked like the best candidate to replace Muschamp (https://www.gatorenvy.com/threads/head-coach-candidates.17763/). On paper, Mac should have restored offensive glory to the Gators, but as we all are probably trying to forget he was a bad fit in Gainesville. He was probably the best candidate at the time (on paper),
    • Dan Mullen. Right coach at the right time, but no guarantee that he will be the next Urban Meyer. One could argue that he would have been a good candidate for the Gators in 2014, but at the time Mullen was very happy in Starksville and he had Dak Prescott to mentor. He is the only active coach on the planet who understands Gator culture, and unlike his predecessors, he has a great coaching staff. If he can solve the issues with locker room discipline and marijuana abuse, he could be very successful for a long time in Gainesville. The only mark against him and his staff is recruiting, but I understand how hard it is to recruit against 129 other colleges in the fertile recruiting grounds of the Sunshine State knowing that UF's academic standards are tougher than a hundred of those other schools.
     
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  14. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    I agree with Meyer though I'm sure most of us he was going to stay long term at the time, who knows what would have happened if Cam Newton didn't f'ed up in Florida. Muschump probably could have been good if he had an OC or if Cheeseburger Charlie stayed longer than a season (Weis left Florida for Kansas of all places) though he's doing a so-so job in USCarolina. He did lead the Gators to a BCS Bowl Game which is something that Zook or McDumby can't say. Then again besides the 2012 season, the Gators either barely got into a bowl game or didn't go to one while he was the coach.
     
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  15. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Right on point--on EVERY point, E-. Even regarding Meyer, whom (like every other Gator, I LOVED at the time, more and more so as those first handful of seasons played out--but "bad for the long term" indeed) I came to despise, both for his own personality defects, AND their continued (direct and INdirect) "long term" effect on Gator fortunes, especially in the lockerroom...
    But that doesn't change the onfield triumph, glory and joy that ensued at first--the tail end of what was a different era in the NCAA, what was expected and how "success" was generally achieved.
    Likewise, I feel exactly the same as you regarding Muschamp--liked AND LIKE him still, wanted him to succeed, and NOT just for our sake, but I believed (and still do) that (like Mullen, but for different reasons) Muschamp had the elements within him of a "natural-born Gator": I too think, in retrospect, he might have been a great hire here later in his career.
    As for MacD, well, as with the others, you've pretty well summed it all succinctly: LOOKED good, but in 20/20 hindsight, "Wrong Guy at Wrong Time". In SPADES, as they say.
     
  16. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Without over-simplifying things too unfairly, I would attribute the past decade of misery to three key points:
    • Urban Meyer retiring, un-retiring, and retiring without a good succession plan
    • Will Muschamp not being able to hire and retain a good offensive coordinator, nor keep a stable coaching staff
    • Jim McDeaththreats being the best available coaching candidate in a rather limited availability pool
    If we could go back in time to 2008 and tell Urban Meyer that his Gator dynasty was about to unravel:
    • Dan Mullen and John Hevesy leaving in 2008 took away the most innovative parts of the Urban Attack at the time
    • Billy Gonzalez leaving in 2009 would render the Urban Attack utterly useless, especially without a dual-threat QB
    • Charlie Strong leaving in 2009 would lead to an accelerated decline in coaching cohesion and player discipline
    • Chuck Heater and Dan McCarney leaving in 2010 with Steve Addazio would forever split the remaining group of Meyer acolytes left over from 2004 Utah, where it all started (along with 2001 Bowling Green)
    • Graduate assistant Zach Smith being a thorn in the side of Urban Meyer and Jeremy Foley would manifest itself into a bigger problem nearly a decade later
    If, with the help of this time machine in mid-season 2008, we could have Urban Meyer talk it over with the rest of the coaches who followed him from 2001 Bowling Green/ 2004 Utah and name Dan Mullen head coach-in-waiting in 2008, name Charlie Strong the assistant head coach, warn him about Zach Smith, and devise a succession plan for Meyer to leave in 2009, things would have been very different.

    I think Mullen's return to UF in 2018 was successful, because he basically recreated what Urban Meyer had in 2008--at least with the coaching staff. If Mullen had taken over as head coach in 2009 or maybe 2010, and he had this coaching staff, I think the Gator dynasty would have supplanted the Alabama dynasty. In this alternate history, Urban Meyer would still be free to take over at Ohio State after Tressel is fired, while Mullen keeps Florida in championship hunts every year.
     
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  17. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    No, not "Like", LOVE IT!
    But at best just a fantasy that has the added virtue (and frustration!) of potentially being TRUE. I've had glimpses of such "missed dynasty" visions from SEVERAL angles of late...but all we can actually do from here is "play the ball where it lays".
     

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