It’s been difficult to root for the Gators the past couple of years, a team that went 0-6 against the SEC West plus FSU and South Carolina, teams that we always beat up on and owned in the last few decades.
And although most people point to the humongous drop from 2009 to 2010, it’s really been a multi year process.
The Florida Gators annihilated pretty much everybody in their way under Urban Meyer for the first four years of his tenure. They were always not far from or on the top of the mountain. There was a dropoff from the BCS CHampionship team in 2006 to 2007, but there was also a load of youngsters who needed experience. They got it and in 2008 the Gators won it all again.
They still beat everybody in year 5, until they got to the SEC Championship- where Alabama exposed Steve Addazio’s offense for the train wreck it was and knocked the Gators off the mountaintop. This time, however, the Gators didn’t grab on to the mountain until they had fallen all the way out of the top third in the nation.
2010 (8-5) was not a horrible season for the average team’s standard. Think about it. Ron Zook’s years actually weren’t that bad. We made bowl games in each of his three seasons. 64 teams made bowl games those years. We were always in the top half of the country. But then we fell from the middle of the top half to the bottom in 2011.
There’s a long offseason ahead, so I’ll get into what exactly caused this fall from grace, and no, it wasn’t all Urban Meyer’s fault. Nor was it all Steve Addazio’s fault. But the point is, this is as far as the Gator can fall. I refuse to believe the University of Florida can do any worse than they’ve done this year. Even if we had Ron Zook again, he couldn’t do any worse. He would at least recruit the right players to win 7 games.
Shout out to Atlanta Gator. He was right when he said the Gators’ fall from grace has been sharp. But it’s also complete. There is nowhere to go but up. Our head coach is a great recruiter and has a great track record of developing nasty defensive players- Sergio Kindle, Brian Orakpo and Sen’Derrick Marx are the most recent. And our offensive coordinator has a great track record of his own, spending time with guys like Tom Brady and at least helping to develop them into great QB’s.
Our defense is already there at championship level. Would anybody be shocked if I told you that our defense is top 10 in the country?
It’s our offense that needs improvement now, and once Charlie Weis is done weeding out the Addazio players and replenishing our roster with pro style offense players (although losing running back Mike Davis was a big blow) we should be much better than we are now- and it will show in our record.
If there’s a guy who can pull us out of this hole, it’s Muschamp. Because he’s a disciple of Nick Saban- and Nick Saban doesn’t let guys just hang on his coattails. While Saban does call his defenses, his defensive coordinators have always been very involved.
So it may take some time, but Florida has the pieces in place- or will- to get back to the top. And soon.