With a place in history still to play for, Gators must move forward

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about last week’s loss to FSU is that it might very well be the lasting image of the 2015 Florida football team. Which is a shame, because not only is the season not over, but this group of Gators is about to do something every athlete dreamed about as a kid- play in a championship game.

Florida has played football for 109 years, and thus, have fielded 109 varsity football teams. Of those 109 teams, only eleven of them can call themselves conference champions- and three of them had their titles vacated. And while nobody will argue that this team is the best in the program’s history, or even in the top five, they nonetheless have an opportunity to create a place for themselves in history.

Every win, not to mention every championship, increases a school’s prestige just a little more. Somewhere in every major college football team’s athletic facility, a list of the program’s major accomplishments adorns the room. History books are rewritten yearly, if not daily. And as far into the future as I can see, reminding undecided recruits about the championships your program has won will always be an effective tactic. Make no mistake: not only does winning an SEC Championship matter here and now, it will always matter, and will forever hold Florida in that much higher a regard for having won it.

The larger point is this. The Gators clearly aren’t happy about having to endure another year of taunting from FSU fans, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that this Gator team can add to the program’s legacy by winning one game this Saturday. Anybody who’s ever played organized sports knows how rare the opportunity to play in a championship game is. And while this is exactly the kind of game the Gator players came to Florida to play in to begin with, this may be the one and only time they get to participate in such a contest.

So please, Treon Harris. Your days as Florida’s QB appear to be numbered, but play smart and make enough plays when you have to in order to win, and you will forever be able to call yourself a champion. Please, offensive line. Block for him. Please, wide receivers not named Antonio Callaway. Don’t get lazy with your route-running.

And if all these requests are heeded, Florida should actually be in good shape to spring the upset. The secondary will take care of Calvin Ridley, the front seven should be able to slow if not stop Derrick Henry and Kelvin Taylor will pick up some yards on the ground if it’s blocked for him. Then again, this if is a lot bigger than the two letters it takes up in this post.

All I ask of them is that they do the things that they were recruited to Florida to do in the first place in the biggest game of their lives. Think: despite all that’s gone wrong this year, from Will Grier getting suspended to the embarrassing performance against FSU, there’s an SEC Championship Game in front of them. It’s a game that, with the strongest performance of the year, they can make sure will always be remembered and never forgotten.

9 thoughts on “With a place in history still to play for, Gators must move forward

  1. Great Post……. I too will have to endure a year of bashing from my ‘Nole friends and clients. I hope beyond hope that we can knock off Alabama, but being a realist, I am afraid it will be a blowout. Our defense can stop Alabama for 2 1/2 – 3 quarters, but when your offense can’t maintain a drive to give them time to rest, we may get run out of Atlanta in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

    Love my Gators though……

  2. I am proud to finally hear someone come out and say Florida can beat Alabama. Alabama is not as good a team as FSU, and are highly overrated. One thing I think has to happen is that UF must figure out a way to get “chunk” plays, plays of twenty yards or more. That means giving Harris more time than he had against FSU. I think the criticism of Harris is patently unfair when you realize that he almost always had an FSU defender in his face and was hit nearly every time he dropped back to pass, whether he was sacked or not. Any quarterback is going not be effective if they are hit almost every time they drop back. It is cumulative. When you are hit so much, you become skittish even if no one is near.
    I’ve watched Alabama play. They are not an elite offense, far from it, and UF’s defense is, by a large margin, the best they have played. As a Ohio State player posted, they have played a pretty weak schedule. They have been swooned over for no legitimate reason. The bandwagon for Alabama started getting filled after they clobbered Georgia, if you recall. I don’t think anyone would confuse Georgia with a great team, and UF also clobbered them with Harris at quarterback. I also think Alabama’s defense is overrated and not as good as FSU’s.
    Yes, the loss to FSU stings, but they are just a better team than Florida. I don’t know if that is true when it comes to Alabama, and I am predicting UF will win. jacob Coker will give the ball to Florida a couple of times and Harris will make all of you that have been bashing him look foolish.

  3. Endurance of our D-line is the key factor in the Gator’s chance to stop Bama’s offense and help support a Gator win. Saban will play his favorite conservative game plan of running the ball directly up the Gator defenses gut. Henry will be enlisted by Saban to rentlessly pound the Gator d-line between the tackles. The Bama D-secondary will be pulled up tight to support the blitz for they know Treon folds under even slight blitz pressure. The Bama safety’s will be pull up to support the blitz and rush defense for they don’t think Treon will be a passing threat under the assault of the Bama blitz. Bama defense will play all out intensity for 3 plays to insure a Flrida 3 and out. Saban is not sold on Coker’s arm accuracy and will severy limit his passing attempts. Expect Coker to only be given short routes to hit when he is allowed to pass. Bama’s game will be a rushing game headed up by the next Heisman Award winner Henry, the #1 NCAA’s rusher. IMHO

    1. You’re absolutely correct.
      Bama knows that it doesn’t have to throw all day to win. Plus, they don’t want to play to UF’s strength in the secondary. Bama’s script will be to run the ball all day, take their minimal gains in the first 2 1/2 or so quarters, then finish the Gators off late after the D has been gassed from stopping the run all day.
      UF’s chance to win will rest on the offense’s ability to 1) play keep away which will allow the D to rest and 2) pressure Bama to pass if the Gators can somehow get a lead mid game.
      I expect a LOT of running by both teams. It’ll be low scoring through 3 quarters. If Bama gets its way, they pull away in the 4th after wearing down the D line. IF the Gators can find a way to score (maybe fumble return or muffed punt recovery, etc, mixed in), it could get very interesting.
      Of course, because I’m not clairvoyant, none of this will happen and it’ll be a 35-34 shootout.

  4. Bama is not as good as FSU? Laughable statement. But unlike some I don’t have to worry about taunts from my fsu friends. I disowned them several years ago.

    1. Spike, don’t feed that troll.
      Little sibling syndrome in full effect. He can’t stop stalking this blog.

  5. All I can say to the Gator Nation is 2015 is all about the Future”

    >I did not expect to win 7 games let alone 8.

    > Our line was/is from the “Island of Misfit Toys” and yet we still manged to survive this season.

    >Coach Mac pulled off a miracle recruiting last year, imagine what they can do with more time

    >Let’s see what these coaches will do with a Good Line & QB

    WE WILL OWN THE EAST. “Let it be written, let it be done”

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