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Post-Week 6 SEC Power Rankings and Bowl Projections

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
The Gators still have plenty to play for. Here are my power rankings and projected bowl games:
  1. #2 Georgia (6-0, 4-0) Orange or Cotton
    • Georgia is now the top Dawg of the SEC--at least until the SEC Championship Game.
  2. #1 Alabama (5-1, 2-1) Cotton or Orange
    • Many assumed Jimbo Fisher would be the first of Nick Saban's assistants to beat him. The loss does not hurt Bama's goals unless they fall apart, which is unlikely.
  3. #16 Kentucky (6-0, 4-0) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The surprising Wildcats command the SEC East. They will likely win 1 of 2 in their next major challenges: Georgia and Mississippi State.
  4. #17 Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The Rebels need to win 2 of 3 among Auburn, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State in order to grab the Texas Bowl.
  5. #13 Arkansas (4-2, 1-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The Razorbacks outplayed the Rebels and are more dangerous than their record and power ranking. They need to beat 2 of 3: Auburn, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  6. #18 Auburn (4-2, 1-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, or Gator
    • The War Eagle Tigers still have the dangerous gauntlet of Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  7. #20 Florida (4-2, 2-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, Gator, or Duke's Mayo
    • Given where the Gators are there is still plenty to play for. The Gators can finish 9-3 (5-3) by only losing to Georgia and beating LSU, South Carolina, Missouri. If some other teams stumble, there is a possibility that the Gators play in the Outback or Citrus Bowl. For now we are looking at the Gator Bowl.
  8. Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Gator, Duke's Mayo, Music City, or Liberty
    • The Aggies may have found life later in the season, but they still have Auburn, and Ole Miss to test them.
  9. Tennessee (4-2, 2-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Gator, Duke's Mayo, Music City, Liberty, Birmingham, or Gasparilla
    • The Vols are just here for cannon fodder against Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia.
  10. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) Duke's Mayo, Music City, Liberty, or Birmingham
    • The Fightin' Cowbells are a dangerous, unpredictable team. They will probably not end the season ranked, but they can affect the rankings of Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss.
  11. LSU (3-3, 1-2) Liberty, Birmingham, or Gasparilla
    • The Bengal Tigers are likely fighting for Ed Orgeron's job against Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. I expect them to drop half of these games.
  12. Missouri (3-3, 0-2) Liberty, Birmingham, Gasparilla, or none
    • The Other Tigers are the bottom team that could make it into a bowl game as long as they beat their cupcakes and steal a couple wins against Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas.
  13. South Carolina (3-3, 0-3)
    • The Gamecocks have a low probability of making a bowl game. The best they can hope for is to ruin some other team's season.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-2)
    • The Commodores were an excellent band in the 1970s, but they are not an excellent team in 2021.
There is plenty of football to play. The Gators can still play for the Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, Gator, or Duke's Mayo Bowl. If Kentucky, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Auburn have missteps then Florida just needs to remain steady in order to steal those bowl bids.
 
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DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
The Gators still have plenty to play for. Here are my power rankings and projected bowl games:
  1. #2 Georgia (6-0, 4-0) Orange or Cotton
    • Georgia is now the top Dawg of the SEC--at least until the SEC Championship Game.
  2. #1 Alabama (5-1, 2-1) Cotton or Orange
    • Many assumed Jimbo Fisher would be the first of Nick Saban's assistants to beat him. The loss does not hurt Bama's goals unless they fall apart, which is unlikely.
  3. #16 Kentucky (6-0, 4-0) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The surprising Wildcats command the SEC East. They will likely win 1 of 2 in their next major challenges: Georgia and Mississippi State.
  4. #17 Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The Rebels need to win 2 of 3 among Auburn, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State in order to grab the Texas Bowl.
  5. #13 Arkansas (4-2, 1-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, or Outback
    • The Razorbacks outplayed the Rebels and are more dangerous than their record and power ranking. They need to beat 2 of 3: Auburn, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  6. #18 Auburn (4-2, 1-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, or Gator
    • The War Eagle Tigers still have the dangerous gauntlet of Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  7. #20 Florida (4-2, 2-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, Gator, or Duke's Mayo
    • Given where the Gators are there is still plenty to play for. The Gators can finish 9-3 (5-3) by only losing to Georgia and beating LSU, South Carolina, Missouri. If some other teams stumble, there is a possibility that the Gators play in the Outback or Citrus Bowl. For now we are looking at the Gator Bowl.
  8. Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Gator, Duke's Mayo, Music City, or Liberty
    • The Aggies may have found life later in the season, but they still have Auburn, and Ole Miss to test them.
  9. Tennessee (4-2, 2-1) Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Gator, Duke's Mayo, Music City, Liberty, Birmingham, or Gasparilla
    • The Vols are just here for cannon fodder against Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia.
  10. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1) Duke's Mayo, Music City, Liberty, or Birmingham
    • The Fightin' Cowbells are a dangerous, unpredictable team. They will probably not end the season ranked, but they can affect the rankings of Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss.
  11. LSU (3-3, 1-2) Liberty, Birmingham, or Gasparilla
    • The Bengal Tigers are likely fighting for Ed Orgeron's job against Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M. I expect them to drop half of these games.
  12. Missouri (3-3, 0-2) Liberty, Birmingham, Gasparilla, or none
    • The Other Tigers are the bottom team that could make it into a bowl game as long as they beat their cupcakes and steal a couple wins against Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas.
  13. South Carolina (3-3, 0-3)
    • The Gamecocks have a low probability of making a bowl game. The best they can hope for is to ruin some other team's season.
  14. Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-2)
    • The Commodores were an excellent band in the 1970s, but they are not an excellent team in 2021.
There is plenty of football to play. The Gators can still play for the Sugar, Texas, Citrus, Outback, Gator, or Duke's Mayo Bowl. If Kentucky, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Auburn have missteps then Florida just needs to remain steady in order to steal those bowl bids.
My “Like” of course ISN’T so much for the outlook proposed there (“...plenty to play for...”) but for your upbeat optimism, E—, even if I cannot currently share it: I wish I could. And I DO see and agree with your general ordering of rank and relative future potential among SEC programs.
However:
Personally, I just don’t CARE about the modern “everyone-gets-a-ribbon”/“Thanks-For-Playing!” Bowl System that our Major Program competition outside the CFP has become:
Far as I’M concerned, WE are a program who MUST take the “Go Big or Go Home!” approach
...We are now ALWAYS at the minimum either BUILDING for Championships, or actually, realistically PLAYING for them.
Anything less is UNACCEPTABLE.
This isn’t (and shouldn’t BE) “News”.
I will be proposing MY version of our team and program’s future track elsewhere here at GE, soon and in a certain amount of specific detail (currently still just “brewing in my mind”, the working title being “BEYOND THE BULLSH*T”—and a hoped-for posting here later this week!).
Well, at some point anyway.
For now, suffice it to say that
“we have the essential tools RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.”
I do see a couple of huge gaps that we all saw and muttered about after LAST season—things that have only deepened and by now I think are pretty well confirmed:
Recruiting, tackling, and ALL the details of THE WHOLE DAMN DEFENSE, for crying out loud!
But that will be the focus of its own thread and focus on our Program’s FUTURE.
We all must become “perfectionists”—if we aren’t there already! The best Coaches ARE.
For now, I ask you all one overarching question:
“Who ARE we??!”
That one question in truth covers EVERYTHING—All we’ve been through getting THIS far, and how much more, how much FURTHER we still must go to actually “REACH OUR TRUE GOALS”.
CAN WE GET THERE???
Are those “goals” truly reachable from here, realistically within our honestly-assessed talents and capabilities?
Can we, WILL we do the things that NEED doing in order to take that NEXT STEP?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
My post was not intended to convey optimism, but to show what is mathematically left to play for. The Orange and Cotton bowl bids are mathematical impossibilities, but the Sugar and Texas are possible, albeit improbable. There are plenty of teams worse off than Florida, and in the SEC we are barely above the middle right now. Just a few weeks ago we were in that top tier, so it is understandable that the frustration leads to panic over AR15 rumors and talk about hot seats—both of which are completely unfounded rumors that play out on the Internet and not in reality.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
My post was not intended to convey optimism, but to show what is mathematically left to play for. The Orange and Cotton bowl bids are mathematical impossibilities, but the Sugar and Texas are possible, albeit improbable. There are plenty of teams worse off than Florida, and in the SEC we are barely above the middle right now. Just a few weeks ago we were in that top tier, so it is understandable that the frustration leads to panic over AR15 rumors and talk about hot seats—both of which are completely unfounded rumors that play out on the Internet and not in reality.
I hope you’re right—but there IS an “emotional” aspect to all of this as well.
I believe the underlying validity of your conclusions because I grasp the basics of the mathematics upon which you base those conclusions, E—...I apologize if it seems I am dismissing them; in truth, it is much more a matter of (as you note) our precipitous fall from the lofty hopes and dreams of having arrived once more at the “top tier” of college football only to see, in a matter of a few days and a rapid accumulation of sloppy, careless performances, our status (not to mention the demonstrable lack of progress and proficiency marking our play and record) instead having left us back in that “middle of the SEC pack” after ALL.
Again: The trouble for many of us, myself included, is to find ourselves, at this unexpected point (still so relatively “early in the season”) already stripped of our “lofty goals” and supposedly now merely contending for one or another of the myriad after-season “also-ran Bowls” is disappointing-in-the-EXTREME—so much so that many of us just find it DIFFICULT TO CARE!
I’m neither considering their relative merits at this point, nor do I particularly find much in the way of hope or excitement in doing so. MY thoughts are still focused on our eventual return to that “top tier”, the rate and manner in which we are most likely to “steady the ship” and get ourselves back on a “Championship track” THIS season in order to MAKE such a run NEXT year.
Eventually perhaps the consideration of what kind of match-up, against which particular opponent in “how highly-rated a Bowl game” will best serve that “run” (as we publicly position ourselves going into NEXT season) will more matter...But for now, well, it may be “logical and scientific”, but right now just seemingly remains at best a distant consideration—For the time being completely beside-the-point.
One important lesson in all of this: Let the details and fundamentals get away from you and all the rest can quickly be rendered irrelevant to everything you dreamt of and were working for in the first place!
I guess that’s where I’m at, in many ways where THIS TEAM is at now.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
(Oh—and to further develop what I think is YOUR position and main point above, E—, let me add today’s article from Bianchi (I think it’s in this morning’s-Oct 11-Gainesville Sun—Came up on my GOOGLE a li’l while ago, anyway), “Hey Gator Nation: GET OFF DAN MULLEN’S CASE!”...
We’re probably ALL “guilty” to some extent, or at least have stood by while others have gone off in all-too-human disappointment and frustration at our rapid climb and fall this latest season. There have been so many “ups and downs” for all of us in so many arenas already these past few years.
There’s seemed no respite! We need a RELEASE.
I’m at a loss as to what to suggest...but we DO need SOMETHING.)
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Here is my emotional side. I think the Gators will get better over the rest of the season. Here is how I see the final rankings:

  1. #2 Georgia (12-0, 8-0) Orange - Regardless if Georgia or Alabama win the SEC, they are going to the Orange and the Cotton. It would take a Kentucky victory over Georgia to change this.
  2. #1 Alabama (11-1, 7-1) Cotton - see above.
  3. #16 Kentucky (11-1, 7-1) Sugar - The Cats will only lose to Georgia and land in the Sugar Bowl. I project their ranking to climb into the top 10 as their only loss is Georgia.
  4. #17 Ole Miss (10-2, 6-2) Texas - The Rebels will one of the three among Auburn, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State and go to the Texas Bowl.
  5. #20 Florida (9-3, 5-3) Citrus or Outback - The Gators will rebound and be considered against Arkansas for the Citrus or Outback. The strength of schedule might be a boost if Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky are all ranked in the top 10.
  6. #13 Arkansas (9-3, 5-3) - Citrus or Outback - The Razorbacks will be considered against Florida for the Citrus or Outback.
  7. #18 Auburn (8-4, 4-4) Gator - The War Eagle Tigers will drop a couple among Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  8. Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4) Duke's Mayo - The Aggies will notch a couple more losses to Auburn and Ole Miss, but still remain in the top 25.
  9. Tennessee (7-5, 3-5) Music City - The Vols are just here for cannon fodder against Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia.
  10. Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6) Liberty - The Fightin' Cowbells will probably not end the season ranked, and will drop a few games against Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss.
  11. LSU (6-6, 2-6) Birmingham - The Bayou Bengals Tigers will cost Orgeron his job with a couple loses against Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M.
  12. Missouri (6-6, 2-6) Gasparilla - The Other Tigers are the bottom team that could make it into a bowl game as long as they beat their cupcakes and steal a couple wins against Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas.
  13. South Carolina (5-7, 1-7) The Gamecocks have a low probability of making a bowl game.
  14. Vanderbilt (4-8, 0-8) The Commodores were an excellent band in the 1970s, but they are not an excellent team in 2021 and they will not be in a bowl game.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Here is my emotional side. I think the Gators will get better over the rest of the season. Here is how I see the final rankings:

  1. #2 Georgia (12-0, 8-0) Orange - Regardless if Georgia or Alabama win the SEC, they are going to the Orange and the Cotton. It would take a Kentucky victory over Georgia to change this.
  2. #1 Alabama (11-1, 7-1) Cotton - see above.
  3. #16 Kentucky (11-1, 7-1) Sugar - The Cats will only lose to Georgia and land in the Sugar Bowl. I project their ranking to climb into the top 10 as their only loss is Georgia.
  4. #17 Ole Miss (10-2, 6-2) Texas - The Rebels will one of the three among Auburn, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State and go to the Texas Bowl.
  5. #20 Florida (9-3, 5-3) Citrus or Outback - The Gators will rebound and be considered against Arkansas for the Citrus or Outback. The strength of schedule might be a boost if Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky are all ranked in the top 10.
  6. #13 Arkansas (9-3, 5-3) - Citrus or Outback - The Razorbacks will be considered against Florida for the Citrus or Outback.
  7. #18 Auburn (8-4, 4-4) Gator - The War Eagle Tigers will drop a couple among Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Alabama.
  8. Texas A&M (8-4, 4-4) Duke's Mayo - The Aggies will notch a couple more losses to Auburn and Ole Miss, but still remain in the top 25.
  9. Tennessee (7-5, 3-5) Music City - The Vols are just here for cannon fodder against Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia.
  10. Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6) Liberty - The Fightin' Cowbells will probably not end the season ranked, and will drop a few games against Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss.
  11. LSU (6-6, 2-6) Birmingham - The Bayou Bengals Tigers will cost Orgeron his job with a couple loses against Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M.
  12. Missouri (6-6, 2-6) Gasparilla - The Other Tigers are the bottom team that could make it into a bowl game as long as they beat their cupcakes and steal a couple wins against Texas A&M, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas.
  13. South Carolina (5-7, 1-7) The Gamecocks have a low probability of making a bowl game.
  14. Vanderbilt (4-8, 0-8) The Commodores were an excellent band in the 1970s, but they are not an excellent team in 2021 and they will not be in a bowl game.
So, YOU have us winning OUT, at least...See, this is exactly what I was “goin’ ON about”:
The reason I ultimately “just can’t bring myself to CARE right now” is of course because since the advent of the CFB, especially in its 4-invitee-form, and our concurrent hiring of Dan Mullen and the long, slow “retrench, rebuild, return”-process of our Fightin’ Gators to what arguably, FINALLY amounts to the threshold of “Competitively ELITE”-status once more, playing for a particular spot in what amounts to “all those Also-Ran Bowls” just doesn’t really get the juices flowing, ya know?
I GOTTA be far from the ONLY Gator, the only fan of a “major college football program” who sees it that way about now!
I’m not sure how “everyone ELSE” out there in “that world” feels about it—whether tradition, plus the advantages (not to mention all the MONEY generated, not just in a bunch of cities’ businesses large and small but passed around among schools, athletic departments, and corporate benefactors) bestowed in scholarships and everything ELSE that keeps the whole System up and RUNNING in the first place wouldn’t feel EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, if and when THEIR team fought, scratched and clawed their way into contention among the “very BEST” themselves!
A “New and BALANCED System” must be established—one that over time DOES NOT cheapen the great value of EVERY GAME, played each week in a relatively SHORT Season EACH FALL!
The rest is just a part, a “latest chapter” in the longtime “ongoing effort” to find a proper format in which to crown a proper CHAMPION of College Football each Season.
 
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Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
So, YOU have us winning OUT, at least...See, this is exactly what I was “goin’ ON about”:
The reason I ultimately “just can’t bring myself to CARE right now” is of course because since the advent of the CFB, especially in its 4-invitee-form, and our concurrent hiring of Dan Mullen and the long, slow “retrench, rebuild, return”-process of our Fightin’ Gators to what arguably, FINALLY amounts to the threshold of “Competitively ELITE”-status once more, playing for a particular spot in what amounts to “all those Also-Ran Bowls” just doesn’t really get the juices flowing, ya know?
I GOTTA be far from the ONLY Gator, the only fan of a “major college football program” who sees it that way about now!
I’m not sure how “everyone ELSE” out there in “that world” feels about it—whether tradition, plus the advantages (not to mention all the MONEY generated, not just in a bunch of cities’ businesses large and small but passed around among schools, athletic departments, and corporate benefactors) bestowed in scholarships and everything ELSE that keeps the whole System up and RUNNING in the first place wouldn’t feel EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, if and when THEIR team fought, scratched and clawed their way into contention among the “very BEST” themselves!
A “New and BALANCED System” must be established—one that over time DOES NOT cheapen the great value of EVERY GAME, played each week in a relatively SHORT Season EACH FALL!
The rest is just a part, a “latest chapter” in the longtime “ongoing effort” to find a proper format in which to crown a proper CHAMPION of College Football each Season.

I have us winning out (other than UGA) not because we are that good, but because our schedule was front-loaded, and LSU is in free-fall. Florida looks a lot like aTm at the moment with some stumbles early and spurts of greatness--with Florida's losses being "better" and aTm having one extremely high quality win mixed in with some mundane wins.

You are right about the Gators needing consistency at QB, OL, LB, secondary, and coaching. I have heard a few times that Mullen's Gators are championship-worthy, but with the smallest margin. Right now Mullen can pad that margin by fixing procedural penalties (false start), disciplinary penalties (targeting), and coaching inconsistencies (wristbands, game plans). Sometime soon he needs to listen to the noise about his recruiting and grab some 4/5-star recruits that will provide some talent margin.

Before we get to championship level we definitely need to find some balance and it needs to start against LSU. If Mullen loses to LSU and UGA, then Mullen will be 10-5 (66.7%) against the SEC these past two years (12-5 or 70.6% at best with wins against SC and Mizzou). His winning percentage is pretty good (102-57, 64.2%/ 21-9, 70.0%), but is growing increasingly behind Urban Meyer (65-15, 81.3%/ 54-4, 93.1% SEC). For comparison, Steve Spurrier was similar (122-27-1 , 81.9%/ 82-12, 87.2%). Before the moaning begins, keep in mind that Chip Kelly is 14-23 at Oregon and Scott Frost is 15-24 at Nebraska. Dan Mullen was absolutely the best hire and was the only coach who could have taken the Gators to this level after Jim McDeathThreats (22-12, 64.7%/ 16-8, 66.7%) and Will Muschamp (28-21, 57.1%/ 17-15, 53.1%). I think all that Mullen is missing is a good recruiter on staff.

- #5 Florida 51, NR Ole Miss 35, 9/26/21
- #3 Florida 38, NR South Carolina 24, 10/3/21
- #4 Florida 38, #21 Texas A&M 41, 10/10/20
- #10 Florida 41, NR Missouri 17, 10/31/20
- #8 Florida 44, #5 Georgia 28, 11/7/20
- #6 Florida 63, NR Arkansas 35, 11/14/20
- #6 Florida 38, NR Vanderbilt 17, 11/21/20
- #6 Florida 34, NR Kentucky 10, 11/28/20
- #6 Florida 31, NR Tennessee 19, 12/5/20

- #11 Florida 29, #1 Alabama 31, 9/18/21
- #11 Florida 38, NR Tennessee 14, 9/25/21
- #10 Florida 13, NR Kentucky 20, 10/2/21
- #20 Florida 42, NR Vanderbilt 0, 10/9/21
- #20 Florida vs NR LSU, 10/16/21
- Florida vs Georgia, 10/30/21

- Florida vs South Carolina, 11/6/21
- Florida vs Missouri, 11/20/21
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
So, YOU have us winning OUT, at least...See, this is exactly what I was “goin’ ON about”:
The reason I ultimately “just can’t bring myself to CARE right now” is of course because since the advent of the CFB, especially in its 4-invitee-form, and our concurrent hiring of Dan Mullen and the long, slow “retrench, rebuild, return”-process of our Fightin’ Gators to what arguably, FINALLY amounts to the threshold of “Competitively ELITE”-status once more, playing for a particular spot in what amounts to “all those Also-Ran Bowls” just doesn’t really get the juices flowing, ya know?
I GOTTA be far from the ONLY Gator, the only fan of a “major college football program” who sees it that way about now!
I’m not sure how “everyone ELSE” out there in “that world” feels about it—whether tradition, plus the advantages (not to mention all the MONEY generated, not just in a bunch of cities’ businesses large and small but passed around among schools, athletic departments, and corporate benefactors) bestowed in scholarships and everything ELSE that keeps the whole System up and RUNNING in the first place wouldn’t feel EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, if and when THEIR team fought, scratched and clawed their way into contention among the “very BEST” themselves!
A “New and BALANCED System” must be established—one that over time DOES NOT cheapen the great value of EVERY GAME, played each week in a relatively SHORT Season EACH FALL!
The rest is just a part, a “latest chapter” in the longtime “ongoing effort” to find a proper format in which to crown a proper CHAMPION of College Football each Season.

I
I have us winning out (other than UGA) not because we are that good, but because our schedule was front-loaded, and LSU is in free-fall. Florida looks a lot like aTm at the moment with some stumbles early and spurts of greatness--with Florida's losses being "better" and aTm having one extremely high quality win mixed in with some mundane wins.

You are right about the Gators needing consistency at QB, OL, LB, secondary, and coaching. I have heard a few times that Mullen's Gators are championship-worthy, but with the smallest margin. Right now Mullen can pad that margin by fixing procedural penalties (false start), disciplinary penalties (targeting), and coaching inconsistencies (wristbands, game plans). Sometime soon he needs to listen to the noise about his recruiting and grab some 4/5-star recruits that will provide some talent margin.

Before we get to championship level we definitely need to find some balance and it needs to start against LSU. If Mullen loses to LSU and UGA, then Mullen will be 10-5 (66.7%) against the SEC these past two years (12-5 or 70.6% at best with wins against SC and Mizzou). His winning percentage is pretty good (102-57, 64.2%/ 21-9, 70.0%), but is growing increasingly behind Urban Meyer (65-15, 81.3%/ 54-4, 93.1% SEC). For comparison, Steve Spurrier was similar (122-27-1 , 81.9%/ 82-12, 87.2%). Before the moaning begins, keep in mind that Chip Kelly is 14-23 at Oregon and Scott Frost is 15-24 at Nebraska. Dan Mullen was absolutely the best hire and was the only coach who could have taken the Gators to this level after Jim McDeathThreats (22-12, 64.7%/ 16-8, 66.7%) and Will Muschamp (28-21, 57.1%/ 17-15, 53.1%). I think all that Mullen is missing is a good recruiter on staff.

- #5 Florida 51, NR Ole Miss 35, 9/26/21
- #3 Florida 38, NR South Carolina 24, 10/3/21
- #4 Florida 38, #21 Texas A&M 41, 10/10/20
- #10 Florida 41, NR Missouri 17, 10/31/20
- #8 Florida 44, #5 Georgia 28, 11/7/20
- #6 Florida 63, NR Arkansas 35, 11/14/20
- #6 Florida 38, NR Vanderbilt 17, 11/21/20
- #6 Florida 34, NR Kentucky 10, 11/28/20
- #6 Florida 31, NR Tennessee 19, 12/5/20

- #11 Florida 29, #1 Alabama 31, 9/18/21
- #11 Florida 38, NR Tennessee 14, 9/25/21
- #10 Florida 13, NR Kentucky 20, 10/2/21
- #20 Florida 42, NR Vanderbilt 0, 10/9/21
- #20 Florida vs NR LSU, 10/16/21
- Florida vs Georgia, 10/30/21

- Florida vs South Carolina, 11/6/21
- Florida vs Missouri, 11/20/21
Well, E—...I think you have pretty well nailed the whole PICTURE down.
I mean it: That sums up both our current “predicament”, AND nicely lines up all the problems/obstacles still ahead:
Solve THEM, knock ‘em all off one-by-one in the course of the rest of THIS season, find ourselves polishing that sequence off as we move into and through the post- and into NEXT-season, and we really WILL be “Championship-caliber”, certainly (realistically) on-the-VERGE by then!
However, the most elusive may well entail the whole “recruiting improvement” question: So many factors of our Coach’s personality and outlook, plus the subtle nuances of both rating and attracting whomever, WHATEVER constitutes “the BEST” among what, after all, amount to “post-adolescent teenagers”, is so ephemeral as to, in the end, be massively difficult to rely on, let alone “quantify” in any way!
And yet, some folks, a precious few, seem to manage it notably better than the rest—and WE must find one of THOSE!
The rest I think is eminently doable, meanwhile.
For the moment, as we hurtle/stagger/trudge (choose one) through mid-season and onward, we obviously must somehow just keep going, keep improving, find focus and balance across-the-board and
FIND WINS SOMEHOW...Yes: We have the starters and growing depth to damn near win OUT—with that always now qualified by “except for UGA”—but even THERE I personally believe we have it within us to rise up and BITE...maybe not more than at best one-in-five shots at ‘em, but on the right day in the right state-of-mind/spirit/BODY, well, you get my point here.
I won’t bother projecting our various possible finishes; for all the reasons previously whined about on my part, I will leave that to your very thorough and detailed analysis and insight.
One last thing:
Any thoughts on who or HOW we might BREAK THROUGH that “recruiting/talent ceiling”?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
If I had to fix the recruiting issues I would back up the Brinks truck to a top recruiter. Former Gator OL Phil Trautwein is a top-20 recruiter currently working as OL coach at Penn State. Create a position for him that works with John Hevesy (not because I think Hevesy is great recruiter or a good coach, but Mullen is not firing any of his old buddies from UF and Mississippi State). Also hire some former Gators to serve as recruiters: Mike Pouncey, Maurkice Pouncey, Percy Harvin, Brandon Powell. Heck, bring in Tim Tebow. When Urban Meyer gets fired, hire him and Charlie Strong as analysts or make one of them a recruiter.
 

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