For Gator fans, it remains something of an afterthought that Alabama completely dominated its competition this season on a weekly basis.
And when Alabama- like FSU- proved that the Gators were a top flight QB away from competing for championships, the doomsday attitude took off.
Florida’s 54-16 loss to Alabama in last week’s championship game was nothing new. Let’s be real. There was nothing surprising about it, from the way the game went to the stat line to the final score. And despite all that, the grumbling about Jim McElwain have grown louder.
This is not the impassioned defense piece of McElwain that many of you have probably been expecting for awhile. I’m waiting until after the Outback Bowl to release that.
But what I will say today is that you cannot judge McElwain based on the Alabama game, or even the FSU game. You can judge him for the decision to run Grier off, because that same decision I lashed out at Mac for after the Arkansas loss a month ago is still resulting in the same problems that stem from a lack of adequate QB play. You just can’t add anything new to your “fire McElwain” argument.
And if you are in the “Fire Mac” camp, I implore you to think about this: “we lost to the best team in the country in a conference championship game” is not a sound argument, even if that loss happens to be the most lopsided defeat the school has suffered since the 1996 Fiesta Bowl.
Alabama’s linemen were bigger and stronger than Florida’s. Their corners were physical and did a good job containing Florida’s receivers for much of the game. The Tide’s front seven was too quick and powerful for Florida’s depleted offensive line, giving the already ineffective Austin Appleby little time to throw and run the offense. But we pretty much knew all of this heading into the game, didn’t we? So does it really make sense to call for the firing of a coach after a result you knew deep down was coming- and there was nothing anybody could have done about it this past week?
I don’t think Mac is perfect. He’s got some flaws, and he does some things that get on my nerves at times. But the guy has won the SEC East in each of the last two years after our previous coach couldn’t do it once in four years.
For now, at least, we need to lay off.