Well, here we are, a 6-5 team and proud to be bowl eligible.
Remember, just three years ago this time of year, we were about to travel to Doak Campbell and put a big whooping on the Noles. What a decline we’ve taken.
But to an extent, college football is like clockwork; what goes up must come down, and what’s down must eventually come up. It’s like a trampoline, too.
The problem is, there’s no set time to be down or up, just like there’s a different limit of height or depth. That’s random, or more accurately depending on the school, coach, and football program. The Gators were at the top of the mountain, and have now tumbled to the middle. They’re not at the bottom, because that’s where Ole Miss resides. Remember, it could be worse.
But it could also be much, much better, because the Gators are, always have been and always will be equipped with talent that alone is worth 6 wins a year; the rest comes with working hard and maximizing the potential. And that hasn’t happened at all this year.
However, the season is not over- far from it, in fact. The FSU Seminoles represent a mini-season of their own, just like Georgia and Tennessee do. This is one final chance to save our season, to not allow our rival to get a winning streak going on us, and to lure in a bunch of recruits to Gator Nation, most notably wide receiver Stefon Diggs and linebacker Jordan Jenkins.
So; how do we do it?
It’s so agonizingly simple, and yet so difficult for our guys- play smart. Protect the football. Don’t commit pre-snap procedural penalties. Take care of your assignment in blocking schemes. Make sure somebody covers the deep ball. These are all elementary parts of the game our beloved Gators have messed up so badly on that I’ve harped on ALL SEASON, and there are plenty more that I didn’t cover. But why go into more complex issues when the 2nd grade football plays are being screwed up?
Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis have taken lots of blame this season. Some I agree with- others, no. I see one fault in each of them- and it’s a huge one. His players have been making the same mistakes they’ve been making since game 1 against FAU, when I hit on all the problems that needed to be fixed. Guess what? The lack of deep balls, turnover margin and penalties are still killing us. None of these issues have been fixed now- why should I believe they’ll be fixed for next week? Only the turnover ratio has been even slightly improved. That problem has been replaced with downright horrible blocking.
I would like to get into strategy here, but I can’t, because again, why bother if your line can’t block? The only chance Florida has is if the defense plays the best it has all year- and forces multiple turnovers for touchdowns. A kick return TD or a blocked kick wouldn’t hurt, either. The offense on its own is useless without guys born to run a Weis offense, and for that I apologize to Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.
Honestly? I don’t think the Gators will do it. They have more raw talent than FSU- by far- but the Noles have experience and they don’t beat themselves. If Florida didn’t beat themselves, they would be 9-2 right now. Can you believe that? Florida was in every game they played aside from LSU- even against Alabama, they were in the game until the fourth quarter. FSU might be able to take a knee on every play, punt deep- and win, because the way this team’s offensive line is headed, we won’t be able to block for Brantley long enough for him to look down and tell Weis what color the grass is.
But I’ve been through this before, and I’ll say it again- I am NOT calling for Muschamp’s head. Not yet, anyway. This would need to continue next year for me to even consider it. I am not a bandwagon fan, because then I wouldn’t waste my time yelling and screaming at the Gators to fix their issues- I would just pick another team.
And I do believe that help is on the way. We are currently holding a top 5 recruiting classm and Weis and Muschamp each have records developing players that speak for themselves. So I do think we will be back soon.
Just not this weekend.