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Official Game Thread Week 12: Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores 11/19/22

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Over. That pass was WAY overthrown.
Sigh.
"WOULDA/SHOULDA/COULDA".
I mean, even in the very end, had they gotten that last TD instead of fg, and we at least could have just tied it with a kick.
WTF did Napier THINK was gonna happen?
AR will leave, and I am no longer on the "Trust Billy" bandwagon. Sorry, but he showed himself to be a small-market, short-sighted Coach today.
There were hints all season--but this one ripped the veil away. Wish I were wrong--but I cannot bring myself to say "HOPE I am wrong..."
Not anymore. We are in a deep hole, my friends, and I'm afraid we won't be climbing out if it anytime soon.
Y'all might wanna begin thinking about who /where/how we are gonna go for NEXT, as these next flailing seasons rip our souls apart.
I would not judge a coach in year one. This is the freebie year. Muschamp, McElwain, and Mullen rushed the process focusing on quick wins in year one rather than taking the lumps early that would lead to wins later one. That plan worked for Charley Pell and Nick Saban. It is probably working for Mike Norvell.

Bad game, unexpected loss, but not horrible loss in the long run. Somehow AR got 400 yards passing and a 158 passer rating with benchwarmer receivers who probably will transfer out.
 

DRU2012

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I wanna say this now, so you will understand that I am not simply over-reacting to a bad loss (BAD AS IT WAS)...
Hope is a fragile thing. I had it because I THOUGHT I saw the signs of the man in charge having a plan and a clear design.
I feel that has been shattered, shown to be completely illusory. If this was just a one shot deal against a tough competitor, perhaps I wouldn't see it that way. But it was NOT:
We have seen it ALL before; here it all came pouring back, in QUANTITY, against an acknowledged conference doormat.
Yes, they have pride--given all the qualifying factors today, a "CLOSE game" might have been expected, not so bewildering...but we saw this early in the year--even against similarly weaker squads that we (barely) BEAT.
After all that has happened, the supposed "progress" already made, THIS kind of complete mess, all the same old foolish errors and failures and incompetencies flooding back to insure our digging ourselves a deeper and deeper hole--I won't make EXCUSES for a team or program like that, nor for a Coaching staff that cannot field a better-prepared unit than the one we just saw, play a better GAME than the one we just witnessed against ANY opponent, regardless of their stature or quality.
THAT was complete crap...and by the end, out Coach either wasn't thinking straight, or wasn't TRYING: You don't kick the FG down 10 with less than 2 minutes left! No matter WHAT'S happened up til then, you GOTTA try for the TD ONE MORE TIME there! MAKE it, you have a chance; kick them, and you end up having to go for it ANYWAY inside the redzone at the end of the game. After all the lost points, gifts to the opponent and missed opportunities, had they scored there we would have been in position to kick a makeable fg there and tie it on the last play in regulation.
I know--it's an absurdity making these kind of arguments after a game like this one--but thus was such an inferior team that we HAD that chance IN SPITE OF our previous ineptitude.
This simply reminded me of how absolutely putrid this team has looked at various points THROUGHOUT the season. Why should I support and continue to believe in the work of a Coach who turns out to be incapable of raising us out of the muck at the bottom after all?
 

DRU2012

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I would not judge a coach in year one. This is the freebie year. Muschamp, McElwain, and Mullen rushed the process focusing on quick wins in year one rather than taking the lumps early that would lead to wins later one. That plan worked for Charley Pell and Nick Saban. It is probably working for Mike Norvell.

Bad game, unexpected loss, but not horrible loss in the long run. Somehow AR got 400 yards passing and a 158 passer rating with benchwarmer receivers who probably will transfer out.
I think it WAS "a horrible loss". Not just losing, but the torrential return of all the sickening flaws, stupid self-destructive mistakes and unforced errors!
I appreciate your unfailing grasp on a last shard of hope, E--, I just do not share it.
This team was not prepared for the game or opponent it was facing, though BOTH were visible from a distance...and when it really counted, the COACH repeatedly made naive choices, errors of strategy and tactics.
Worst of all, EVERY DAMN FLAW WE'VE SEEN AND COMMENTED ON (in some pain and frustration) along the way throughout the earlier part of the season seemed to RETURN WITH A VENGEANCE. Only improvement, sudden, vast and unmistakable, will change that overall impression...and I am no longer expecting that--not THIS year.
Without that "expectation", what do we have?
A gnawing pain and emptiness.
Any wonder I'm now just another bummed out Gator fan?
 

DRU2012

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Sigh...
I'll give our PROGRAM, our SCHOOL and TEAM another chance of course.
Perhaps this Coach and staff too, eventually...provided there are tangibly valid reasons on the way to DO so.
Not now, not at this moment though; for the moment, I will have to hunker down and lick my wounds.
That's why I won't listen to his postgame comments right now (or anytime soon). I will have to withdraw from monitoring college football entirely, at least for the moment.
I have no patience with ANYONE'S rationales.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
I think it WAS "a horrible loss". Not just losing, but the torrential return of all the sickening flaws, stupid self-destructive mistakes and unforced errors!
I appreciate your unfailing grasp on a last shard of hope, E--, I just do not share it.
This team was not prepared for the game or opponent it was facing, though BOTH were visible from a distance...and when it really counted, the COACH repeatedly made naive choices, errors of strategy and tactics.
Worst of all, EVERY DAMN FLAW WE'VE SEEN AND COMMENTED ON (in some pain and frustration) along the way throughout the earlier part of the season seemed to RETURN WITH A VENGEANCE. Only improvement, sudden, vast and unmistakable, will change that overall impression...and I am no longer expecting that--not THIS year.
Without that "expectation", what do we have?
A gnawing pain and emptiness.
Any wonder I'm now just another bummed out Gator fan?
Check the more vocal social media pundits—the ones who are closest to the program. Florida outgained Vandy with its worst receivers. Vandy did no stop the Gator running game—Florida elected not to use it. The expectation is not for these 85 athletes (65 of Mullen’s plus 20 of Napier’s) to win a championship—the expectation is that 85 of Napier’s athletes will win a championship. 65 of these athletes lost to horrible South Carolina and Missouri teams last year. 10 of Mullen’s best athletes with eligibility are playing on other teams. Napier has no obligation to win with Mullen’s bum athletes—the same ones that got him fired. Today he emptied the bench in order to evaluate further whom he should keep and whom he should sent to the portal on December 5th. Sure, he could have won the game today running Richardson, Etienne, and Johnson for 500 yards, but what would that prove? Recruits will look at this game and quickly identify where they will get a chance to play next year.

All Napier wants is bowl eligibility. That gives him 15 more practices and more things to show off to recruits.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
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...If Billy Napier IS the man and Coach I THOUGHT he was, HE will be the FIRST to shoulder the blame, warn of the long tough road ahead, make even MORE drastic changes and "addition through subtraction" these next few days and weeks, and will now unflinchingly make the last 2 games (FSU and the Bowl game) and its accompanying practices about evaluating, exchanging and continuing to DEVELOP TALENT--it all being about depth, recruiting, the transfer portal and fielding a DIFFERENT TEAM NEXT SEASON.
I invite y'all to call me out on all this if that turns out to be the case: If our Coach really DOES take full responsibility for THIS one, redoubles his efforts to shed the lazy, the selfish, the LOSERS still somehow shaping this team's poor outlook and chemistry, you go ahead and make that case and I will GLADLY BE THE FIRST to shoulder MY mistake here; I will happily return to a more supportive and optimistic impression of he and his staff's efforts and likely further progress.
I admit that this could be a too-early OVER-reaction to an admittedly bad loss on my part, rather than a bellweather indicator warning of what is on the way--in an eventual AVALANCHE of further mounting failure.
However, either way, the time to begin considering the possibility is NOW.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
...If Billy Napier IS the man and Coach I THOUGHT he was, HE will be the FIRST to shoulder the blame, warn of the long tough road ahead, make even MORE drastic changes and "addition through subtraction" these next few days and weeks, and will now unflinchingly make the last 2 games (FSU and the Bowl game) and its accompanying practices about evaluating, exchanging and continuing to DEVELOP TALENT--it all being about depth, recruiting, the transfer portal and fielding a DIFFERENT TEAM NEXT SEASON.
I invite y'all to call me out on all this if that turns out to be the case: If our Coach really DOES take full responsibility for THIS one, redoubles his efforts to shed the lazy, the selfish, the LOSERS still somehow shaping this team's poor outlook and chemistry, you go ahead and make that case and I will GLADLY BE THE FIRST to shoulder MY mistake here; I will happily return to a more supportive and optimistic impression of he and his staff's efforts and likely further progress.
I admit that this could be a too-early OVER-reaction to an admittedly bad loss on my part, rather than a bellweather indicator warning of what is on the way--in an eventual AVALANCHE of further mounting failure.
However, either way, the time to begin considering the possibility is NOW.
Done and done. His postgame speech acknowledges that the loss was on him, but he has to say that. He has been warning Gator fans of the long road ahead for nearly a year now, and we generally ignored him and demanded a magical turnaround with inferior talent.

If I were Napier’s evil twin, my postgame press conference would go like this:

Good afternoon, Gator Nation. Losing to fucking Vanderbilt is unacceptable even though I have a built in excuse of being stuck with loser Dan Mullen’s sorry ass recruits. Make no mistake, this loss is not because of Mullen or his recruits or even the better recruits that I brought to Gainesville. This loss was on me. Scott Stricklin hired me to win championships, and that is what I will do—but not this year and probably not the year after that. This team showed heart, but we do not win games with heart—we win by beating the other team in all three phases with superior talent, better execution, and consistent performance. We did none of that today and we did not deserve to win.

Look, enough with the coach-speak… 65 of these kids almost lost to fucking Samford. Most of you fuck faces cannot find that school on a map and Mullen’s team nearly lost to them. What kind of miracle worker do you think I am? Even with 20 of my better athletes and 10 better coaches this team lost to Kentucky and looked like crap against USF! There is a reason you fired the last coach. There is a reason you fired the previous two coaches even though they took shortcuts to win early. I will not repeat their mistakes. I will take my time rebuilding this program from the ground up. We will lose a few more games because of it, but I promise you it will be worth it when we are winning big and winning consistently years from now. Thank you and God bless.
 

DRU2012

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Um, you saying "losing to Vandy was horrendous" isn't basically exactly what I am saying?
Sure, Billy's recruiting remains the one part of this that does continue to encourage me--it is absolutely ESSENTIAL. But even with the portal, it may all be too slow.
Look, I'm especially down now...This was a hard one to stomach, ya gotta.admit. YOU weren't exactly enjoying the game yourself, bra'.
I'll bounce back. I sure hope our COACH does TOO: I still say he didn't have his team ready--for stuff we all saw coming from far away!
And he called a poor game as well--from a,guy who has until now mainly shown a real tendency to adapt and overcome as required by the plans and moves of the opponent AND the flow of the GAME. Not TODAY. It could be that I am somewhat kneejerking to all THAT.
I really hope so...but right at this moment I am too frustrated, disappointed and ANGRY to temper my emotions, cut him some slack.
So we'll see.
I do hope you and the fans (even the media folks) who are somehow glossing this crash over are indeed "right"--more right than I, at any rate.
Time will tell. I am still too close to it all to expose my still-raw nerves to the post-game analysis or the Coach's own post-mortems...
Like I said, I must for the moment continue to leave it you all to watch, listen and perhaps later to pass it on to ME, hopefully filtered through the lens of his hopefully reflective admission of his own fallibility--he made some glaring errors of judgement and choice down the stretch in this one.
Like several other losses this season (like UK in particular) we in fact repeatedly BEAT OURSELVES today in a game we easily COULD HAVE WON ("woulda/shoulda/coulda")...but this one was against VANDY. Aside from UK, we generally manage to BEAT the inferior teams we play down to. And this time it WASN'T just a matter of letting our guard down. So MUCH was off, and that included the COACHING.
THAT'S all I'm really saying, and that is what worries me so much.
 

DRU2012

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Super Moderator
Done and done. His postgame speech acknowledges that the loss was on him, but he has to say that. He has been warning Gator fans of the long road ahead for nearly a year now, and we generally ignored him and demanded a magical turnaround with inferior talent.

If I were Napier’s evil twin, my postgame press conference would go like this:
I would LOVE to hear him say the above (still laughing)...
And believe it or not, I am NOT saying "Fire the Coach!"...No WAY! We gotta give him the full chance he was promised--to REBUILD THE PROGRAM.
When all is said and done, I have just had my newfound confidence shaken.
Confidence in this Coach and expanded young staff to, with extensive attention to detail, Time and Room to GET it done, make us a consistent combatant for CHAMPIONSHIPS: An "Elite Program" on the national scene once more--and this time consistently and for years to come.
I am already starting to put some distance between me and IT--"It" bring that frustratingly disappointing mess we just suffered through.
And I do "suffer": The games mean so much, the seasons so relatively short; I'm a Gator through and through and I just want to see our program properly healthy and committed to excellence.
The degree to which I feel our Coach, staff and players are themselves WITH us on this journey is how I've come to judge that "Health".
I support them in direct proportion to the degree I sense that to be COMPLETE.
There have been deep doubts raised in that regard repeatedly over the last 12-PLUS years with successive administrations and the players they brought in...I was beginning to get that "so THIS is what TRUE 'HONEST COMMITTMENT' feels like"-feeling about CBN & Co.--but several facets of today's debacle suddenly came to SHAKE that feeling. Excuse me if I am adrift right now; at the moment, I am floundering a bit, no proper sense of "up", "down", "SOLID RELIABILITY".
Only time will tell...and right now we have NO IDEA how MUCH "time", or what exact FORM "REASSURANCE" will take to rise and develop properly here now after all.
Pardon me if I came into this with a determined "Won't Get Fooled Again" attitude; Now I'm a little worried maybe I shed that a little early!
But as I say, I'm already mellowing back a bit from the worst of my anger, anyway.
I NEVER got to "Fire the Coach!" here today...Only "WTF is he THINKING?" at one point, and a certain disappointment with a number of shortcomings in his preparation and game calling today.
I'll eventually watch his presser--just not today.
Am still too disappointed and worn down.
 

DRU2012

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I sure as hell won't (frankly, CAN'T) go on Twitter and the rest to dwell amongst the two extremes--"Fire the COACH!" and "We Were So CLOSE!"--when neither is especially helpful or reasonable.
It is all back once more to "let's clean house, see where we are at, where we're starting from, and where we can GET to, season-by-season in the years ahead from here" now.
One more thing (@Escambia94, in particular):
What I said earlier about AR leaving, after today, in addition to the claims I was told "off the record", my own feelings about what we saw out there only reinforce the stuff being muttered conditionally already BEFORE this game about AR's likely move come the 2023 pro-draft:
I think he's going. ANOTHER thing I hope I'm wrong about, with plenty of solid evidence that supports the argument AGAINST it, but like a LOT ELSE thrown around of late, it may not be good or right, but that don't mean it ain't HAPPENING.
I AGREE that it isn't a strong move for his own OR our sake, but under a certain set of his own conditions might end up an AUTOMATIC one.
In his case, only his strong NIL position and our own well-organized and financed Gator Collective are the main current counter-balances that may well KEEP him here one more season.
Billy's chances to see SOME encouraging progress with our team's actual RECORD, etc probably rest on that decision alone...Without AR, well, y'all can SEE how things immediately become pretty opaque on offense for 2023.
 

DRU2012

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This one predictably robbed me of any desire to follow any other of today's scheduled match-ups.
In fact, the way I'm feeling now, it'll at least be some time before I have the heart (OR STOMACH) to follow college football at ALL.
Man, that was a stinker if a performance today.
After last week's "best yet", hoping for a still more "COMPLETE" game, to get THAT total parade of f-ups was particularly galling.
I don't see how any Gator fan can be anything but sickened by what we saw out there against the acknowledged least-threatening program in the SEC--a title, by-the-way, that on our bad days WE threaten to claim from them... Today, we DID.
THAT is exactly what so disturbed me about this whole fiasco of a game: We simply, relentlessly committed MISstep and mistake, one after another throughout the game: it got worse and worse as the game went on, too. We looked like a bumbling peewee team out there today. Started failing to tackle again like it was a flag-football game too.
 

DRU2012

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As for that "Karson Treece" Twitter quote above about "...CBN is our HC for the future...", I can only note and add: "Fine--but the FUTURE is NOW."
I don't like it either, but no matter WHAT he may have been promised, Billy may get a COUPLE more seasons of "steady improvement", but not much more than that before more dramatic improvements will be required--and I doubt there'll be another game like THIS one taken in stride beyond this season. Mistakes are one thing; LOSING TO VANDERBILT is something else ENTIRELY.
THAT'S what made taking that last fg from inside the red zone on 4th down to pull us within a touchdown with under 2 minutes left was so baffling...It was like he didn't GET IT, how much DIFFERENT a "poor game" is from actually LOSING to this opponent. NOW a final loss to FSU (along with the ones to UGA and Tennessee, making it a total whiff this season to ALL our scheduled rivals) looms as an irredeemable overall failure upon arrival here. THAT was the game right there--I knew that was how it would end; didn't YOU?
HAD to believe our Coach did too, knew at least it was LIKELY, at that point; did he think a "one score loss--in it until the end" was somehow more acceptable?
Another strange "disconnect" on the part of our Coach today.
 

DRU2012

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I await someone offering me some sincere support and/or rousing hope and encouragement from here.
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
I await someone offering me some sincere support and/or rousing hope and encouragement from here.

I got nothing, sorry. Also, Sorry I'm late to the party. I usually wait until night to come here and talk. This team could have beaten LSU, Tennessee, and maybe Georgia (OK maybe just me with Georgia) and yet they lost to Vandy. Not to mention, didn't they watch the Vandy vs UK game? Seriously Napier.
 

DRU2012

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I got nothing, sorry. Also, Sorry I'm late to the party. I usually wait until night to come here and talk. This team could have beaten LSU, Tennessee, and maybe Georgia (OK maybe just me with Georgia) and yet they lost to Vandy. Not to mention, didn't they watch the Vandy vs UK game? Seriously Napier.
Exactly, bra'. (And I know your "routine" with posting later on AFTER the game, man--I KNEW you'd show...though I guess I was hoping you had a more even-handed reaction to this one than I did...But you had that feeling about this game from the start--stronger than most of us...)
If you read over the in game comments, you know that I came down pretty hard on BN as the game progressed: By the end I was pretty damn mad at him, I gotta admit.
He didn't have this team ready for ANY of the things you could see coming from MILES away...and NOT just talking about the cold weather or the early start either...As you imply, he seemingly didn't properly analyze Vanderbilt either! Hell, I don't think he "properly analyzed" where his OWN team was gonna be at--part of which was of his own DOING!
I WAS managing to distance myself from this debacle, at E--'s urging more or less starting to back away from the worst of my disappointment and disillusionment with Coach Billy Napier (henceforth, "CBN")...
Then I eventually made the mistake of watching the postgame presser, and tuning in some reaction from normally loyal and enthusiastic Gator sites on YouTube.
CBN STARTED well, but then descended into "upbeat Coachspeak"--He SHOULD have stayed with SELF-examination and criticism, but no...soon it was the "we can learn from this/ I'll have to look at the film" BS.
"YOU SCREWED UP BY THE NUMBERS, COACH!"
In fact, it was about this point that I stumbled upon a question from a normally totally supportive and Gator-centric site: "Is Billy Napier 'Zook 2.0'? A good recruiter but little more?"
Along with another such Gator site that basically now dismisses us as "The worst team in the SEC!"--Something I said myself, actually went on after the game to mount a full-on logical argument for, these two thoughts have combined to swirl around and react together to grow in my mind, begin to dominate my overall attitude toward CBN and the confidence that had only JUST begun to solidify in my gut LAST week...
That "hope and confidence" has to a great extent been shattered. I had come back from it somewhat, begun to grasp at all the reasons (offered and searched for) to find somexway to hold onto, retain SOME of that balanced feeling once more...
But that "Zook 2.0" line really set a new, painful hook in me. Maybe E-- can mount a logical, stat-based argument that breaks that idea down and (hopefully) even destroys it...
What do YOU think, LF? How far does YOUR disillusionment go, now moving into "the day after" a disastrously crap non-performance?
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
Honestly, I don't know. I don't know what to think about the FSU game, the bowl game, or the next season. I was worried for this game because Vandy beat UK the previous week. I remember the Gators underperformed (but still won) against Vandy in 2006, a Vandy team who beat Georgia in Athens prior to that game and that's not easy to do. Now, just hope they're prepared for FSU or we're in for a dark Black Friday.
 

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