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So Here We Are: TRULY "Starting Over" Now

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by DRU2012, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    And maybe that is only right somehow--that we begin our true journey down "the long road back" minus ALL the baggage from the past, bringing as little of what came before, even expectation, with us into a future that was/is unknown, its most recent elememts haunting us, dragging us down.
    Nothing about "the streak" was "normal" or reliable--and certainly the wild swings and outright flukes that characterized the ways it carried on was indicative of neither the direction our program was headed, nor our general play brought as outcomes elsewhere most of the time.
    It took a storm of ridiculous, unexpected events to keep that streak going this long--and now a kind of "Perfect Storm" of ingame events to finally break it. More and more it was affecting US, our thoughts, attitude and states of mind and being as individuals and as a team...it more and more affected THEM mainly just as a rallying point.
    It had to end at some point--just as the dark cloud over us has to end at some point too: The endlessly frustrating, seemingly cursed road we have travelled since first Spurrier's return and the rise of that "charmed era", until its demise and long descent through Zook and into the "deal with the devil" that brought Meyer, then Tebow and apparent over-the-top "success" whose price and hidden consequences-to-come (as always seems to be the case with such "deals") were/are way too high (as Ohio State refuses to recognize so far, but will learn) and we CONTINUE to pay for.
    We wondered why it persisted, failed to recognize how deep it all went and what it would take to truly "MOVE ON": A TOTAL "Break with the Past", down to its very roots and an extraordinary degree--including the seemingly impossible, repeated attachments and influences at work annually in sustaining that streak. Along with everything else, "the good with the bad", we had to cut it off, leave it ALL behind now if we truly want to start a whole NEW journey, begin a new story under Mullens--as he is clearly intending and has already begun to do.
    So, in this way, all of it, even this loss, is, if not easy to call (or accept as) a "GOOD" thing, in this light it was a necessary one.
    Look, I could go on at length about "quantum connections" and "effects", even introduce the logically deduced arguments regarding the strange nature of "reality", the implications of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and "Schrodingers Box" in all of this, and so on--but few would read it, fewer still care (with the possible exception of Escambia--), and for our purposes here is BESIDE THE POINT:
    WE MUST MOVE ON...There are things that had to be left behind, ongoing facets of our til now ongoing "reality" that had to be changed, dispensed with, our having been once and for all ended. our being CUT OFF from, before all the rest of our turn-the-page THOROUGH move to a new road, a new and different "story" we create and now begin to tell ourselves and the world.
    It may seem weird, even ridiculous, but it is all real, and damn well better be COMPLETE: When it comes to this "break with the past", it must be total and it must be complete...miss a hidden detail and you are doomed to failure in any effort at breaking what amounts, in practical terms, to a "curse", and in turn find new success and a different kind of future in what will come our way...Who will join us, and how we might all come together in triumph and glory in battles to come on the road, in the QUEST ahead.
    If that sounds like overblown, mythic nonsense, I ask you: How would YOU describe this whole process, all the people scheming, young warriors preparing for it their whole lives, the system in place to train them and all the rest scheming to FIND them, bring them together in different places, in different ways for different institutions with different approaches and philosophies, and so on?
    In a sense, Mullens can be viewed as the ANTIDOTE to McEllwaine, Muschamp, and the most deeply embedded aspects of the Meyer years still affecting us--AND additional complicated, elusive details like "the streak" and all its influence before today. It's been hard to pin down, finally eliminate its most subtle details, but I believe we are now finally, truly "Gettin' TO IT"!!! In this way, I don't think I'm just lying to myself in order to FEEL better: This ISN'T just some rationale: It, the loss, had to happen, the streak had to end, and we ALL needed to see and recognize how "Starting Over" really works, how far it must go and how much time, energy and heartache is wasted if we AREN'T thorough. We're all tired of banging our heads against the wall with no ultimate change in the eventual outcome.
    So hard as it is, painful and traumatic, we take it, stoicly--and maybe deep DOWN, find some solace in it!
    It is finally time: Gators, let's MOVE ON!!!
  2. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    ...Now, HERE'S some PURE "rationalizing", in reaction to my posting this thread and accepting its basic assumptions and repercussions:
    This may be the best time in a while, FOR a while to be "in transition", have a relatively mediocre year record-wise and begin working back towards contention and competition for Championships: Aside from Alabama, who will be more than just about ANYONE can handle, let alone BEAT, right now or anytime soon, there will be a LOT of "good but not GREAT teams" knocking each other off, now and for the foreseeable. Mullens aims, came here FOR nothing LESS than that kind of "all or nothing" success only Saban (and in HIS own flawed way, Meyer) aims for and appears to be achieving RIGHT NOW at Alabama...Our Coach has a different plan and approach to achieving than EITHER of those, and if I'm right is more "on track" than ever to achieve his goals with us and on our behalf; but given everything, I think we must take and swallow the medicine, no matter the inevitable "bad taste": it was always "prescribed", is "good for us", our ongoing "healing" and our future rise/return among the elite.
  3. miltongator

    miltongator Gator Fan

    As per usual, you are right on the money.

    I was at the game and can tell you that the team seemed flat and so did the crowd. A rational person should know that the process is going to take some time (probably 2-3 more years and maybe 3-4). Just hang with our boys.
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  4. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Thanks mg for confirming from on-the-scene the impression I gathered just watching the telecast. The crowd was hyped at kickoff, but that quickly "went flat" along with the immediate demonstration that Franks himself's readiness and performance could be described in exactly the same way. He's young: consistency (especially EMOTIONAL consistency) is the likeliest difficulty--and hardest to recover from. Then more and more evidence the same could be said for the defense too, as the game proceeded really for practically every facet of our game...Can't really blame the crowd for not managing somehow to "rise above, carry the TEAM to new heights on the backs of their will and enthusiasm"... Not a crowd that itself seemed to have come to EXPECT somehow "the power of The Streak" to carry us to victory. I'm tellin' ya: we are best DONE with the pressures and illusory expectations of "the streak", and (as I delineate above) its assorted associated implications and connectuve tendrils that entangled us. We go on from here with just our talents, plans, practice and determination as a team and program--the people we are, our players' hearts and minds coming together at and with those of our staff, envisioned and led by this Head Coach. As miltongator councels: It could take some time, so we must be patient. We'll GET there. In the meantime watch the progress: "Ride the RIDE!"
  5. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I wanna say that I continue to appreciate the calm, even self-deprecatingly relaxed and HUMOROUS demeanor of Coach Mullens at all times, in all situations. It is such an improvement over the sidelines, postgame and general public demeanors of our last 2 Head Coaches.
    And it is enormously reassuring, in the long run, I must say, in so many ways—but I’ll talk about that elsewhere, another time. There’ll be ample reason and opportunity to do so, you can be sure.
  6. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Here are my thoughts:

    Dan Mullen is the only guy on the planet who can fix the Florida Gators. I believed it when he left in December 2008, I believed it when he was hired in November 2017, and I believe it now.

    Urban Meyer began to lose control of the Gators when Mullen left in December 2008. I am not sure why that is the case, nor do I think that this was the only thing going on in the locker room. Meyer seemed to have a falling out with his coaches around this time, or was starting to. He was losing control over the players. Remember that his "A-team" of coaches-- Dan Mullen, John Hevesy, and Billy Gonzalez-- all left at the same time in 2008. Around that time the remaining coaches split into three camps: Charlie Strong, Kenny Carter, and Vance Bedford (all would leave for Louisville the following year); and Steve Addazzio, Scot Loeffler, and Chuck Heater (all would leave for Temple the following year, then some would move on to Boston College), and of course, Zombie Urban Meyer, Zach Smith, and Stan Drayton (with Ryan Day first joining the Addazzio clan at Temple before rejoining Meyer at Ohio State).

    Note that only Mullen's crew stayed in the SEC. Mullen even pulled in new crewmembers, as well as some of the original crew from Bowling Green and Utah. Only Mullen knows "where the skeletons are buried" in the Swamp from the glory days of the Meyer Era.

    What does this mean for Florida a decade later? Well, Muschamp and McElwain have summarily destroyed Gator football since 2011, so it will take a while to rebuild. Mullen started with 19 fresh recruits (11 recruited after McDeathThreats was fired), 4 transfers, 7 preferred walk-ons, and 2 to 4 transfers from the previous year who were not eligible until this year. Also keep in mind that the top blue chip players from the Muschamp and McElwain eras have been suspended or have been missing in action. One of the prized recruits from the class of 2017 just quit right after the game. Simply put, Mullen is still rebuilding. I mistakenly assumed he had enough pieces to get this team to 10 wins, but I now think we are a year or two away from 10 wins.
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  7. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Problem is does Mullen have 2-3 years to fix it? Usually, if things don't change after three years, the head coach is out.
  8. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Mullen will get at least 4 years. Muschamp got 4 years, but he went 4-4 in the SEC in his final year after going 3-5 the previous year and was fired at the right time when his buyout was economical. McDeathThreats would have been given 4 years as well, but lying to your boss about death threats and leading the media into believing Gator fans were responsible are not good ways to earn that 4th year. Mullen will get 4 years even if he goes below 0.500, because that makes good business sense on a 6-year, $6M/ year contract with a $12M buyout.

    The part about firing a coach at 3 years simply is not true. That is when the fans cry the loudest, but the athletic director is the one who has to make the business case. In some states, there are maximum contract lengths of 3 or 4 years, which is one of many reasons people assume coaches get fired at that time. The state of Florida does not limit contract lengths, and Stricklin decided 6 years for Mullen was a good deal for the university. Foley liked to use 4-year contracts, and then extend them by 2 years at a time.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  9. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Thanks for the as always lazer-focused analysis. Puts it into rather surprisingly logical terms in explaining the sequence of moves, events, and a certain inevitability of outcomes that examined closely no longer seem so inexplicably chaotic after all. And along with your response to lf’s questions, cautions and concerns, reinforces our collective insistence that MULLENS must and WILL be given the time he needs to get the job done here. Oh, now that it is becoming clear that there aren’t gonna be any shortcuts here for us, that this IS that dreaded “transition year” after all, where we may to some extent lose as much as we gain along the way, though we may well have some games that show big steps forward and hint at where we’re headed and what we will eventually, solidly and reliably BE in the years ahead, we AREN’T there yet, and must brace ourselves for a whole lot of time, work and set backs between here and “BEING THERE”. Most fans have neither the knowledge nor patience required for getting from a realistic assessment of how much damage the sequence of Coaching debacles you outline and describe, E—, leading to how far we’d sunk by the time we got Mullens back IN here. The Gator powers-that-BE know, and the one thing WE can do is face it ourselves, and SPREAD THE WORD—a message of “Patience”--as widely, loudly and OFTEN as we can now. As long as he stays the present course, doesn’t do anything desperately foolish to get himself or US in any trouble, Mullens GETS AT LEAST 4 years, more of it if it seems he needs it—though I strongly suspect we’ll see enough in the way of clear, positive results and by then forward momentum that by his 5th year “whether we should keep him” won’t be in the discussion anymore in any WAY!
    All of which neatly addresses my main concerns regarding our fellows’ overall collective patience, as I say. This is a whole different situation than what we saw there, how I FELT regarding the ongoing performance of our last two coaches, and hence my impressions of their work thus far after their first season or two with us. A whole different deal, in every way. And that is why, in the meantime, while we PATIENTLY let him do what needs to be done to make us better, we DON’T judge the infield product nor scoreboard results in terms so much of “finished product” or “rankings” but rather as a “Work in Progress”—The progress we are making in upgading the onfield product towards its eventual, consistent improvement and success going forward, game by game. That is how I intend to watch, enjoy and ultimately judge the games ahead rest of this year. I hope and intend that to be what is reflected in my comments here.
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