BourbonMeyer to Blame for Florida’s Collapse?

The facts are pretty simple for the 2011 Florida football season. This is a mediocre team. Penalties and turnovers are rampant. There are very few playmakers on either side of the ball. Entire position groups are barren (offensive line, receivers). There have been some impact injuries. The coaching staff has struggled with play calls and player rotations. And the program is at a crossroads.

Florida is 14-11 in its last 25 games. Before that, the Gators won 25 of 26. Florida is 0-9 in its last nine games against the AP Top 25, getting outscored 268-115. Actually since the creation of this website, the Gators are 13-10, including a mind boggling 7-9 in the SEC. Enough people are blaming our namesake, but maybe it is us. Frankly, if this thing doesn’t get turned around soon, the only logical thing is for us to pull the plug (hold your applause).

Being a sports fan in 2011 means being on Twitter. But when your team is struggling like Florida, is that a good place to be? Twitter can be a beautiful thing, especially during games. It brings people together, fans alike, rooting for their favorite team. I’m BM’s West Coast resident. My family and friends are all back east so I tend to watch most games by myself. But through Twitter’s cyber sports bar setup, I’m never truly alone. At the same time, like any rowdy bar, Twitter gets out of hand at times. Saturday was a prime example of this. The rage directed at Will Muschamp, Charlie Weis, John Brantley, Jaylon Watkins and many others was quite disturbing. I’m not saying they don’t deserve criticism; I’ve dished out plenty myself. But any call to fire Will Muschamp is just a bit premature.

Calling for Jacoby Brissett to replace John Brantley? We saw that experiment for a couple of games. If anything, Brantley deserves newfound respect. I have never been a big fan but that dude is tough and has given everything he has. In fact, he exemplifies everything we should love about the Gators. He plays as if he bleeds orange and blue, which given his family connections and upbringing, he does more than any of us.

Florida’s problems are deeper than just one player or one coach. They are endemic right now. The question that I ask myself is are the problems correctable in the near future? There is enough talent on campus to get things turned. Despite the rash of criticism, Urban Meyer did not leave the cupboard bare. Yes, he left behind some rancid cheese and stale crackers. But he also left some top shelf whisky and a few excellent cuts of meat. Muschamp is working on another top 5 recruiting class. Florida will always have talent. Muschamp will have to prove in the next year or two whether he can manage the program.

We won’t desert the program, no matter what happens. In all kinds of weather. So despite the rancid taste, we’ll savor every bite of this 2011 season. Belly up to the cyber bar with me (@shawn_kopelakis) for Furman and Florida State and let’s enjoy the final two games of the regular season.

Here’s this week’s top 25:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma State
3. Oregon
4. Alabama
5. Arkansas
6. Oklahoma
7. Clemson
8. Houston
9. Stanford
10. Virginia Tech
11. Boise State
12. Michigan State
13. Georgia
14. South Carolina
15. Wisconsin
16. Kansas State
17. USC
18. TCU
19. Southern Miss
20. Nebraska
21. Michigan
22. Penn State
23. Florida State
24. Notre Dame
25. Tulsa

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One Response to BourbonMeyer to Blame for Florida’s Collapse?

  1. Lex Taylor says:

    I can’t agree with you more. We have real holes on our team, where you said we are completely devoid of real talent. We have some truly excellent players that should improve, especially on the defense. The team we have now is Urban’s recruits, so Urban gets both the blame and credit.

    Brantley is our best quarterback. Resting him during Furman and playing both the freshman is probably a good idea. Let Brantley get a little more healthy, and give the freshman a confidence boost. But Brantley needs to be our quarterback for the FSU game. I believe that game makes or breaks our bowl elligibility. Even if I don’t care much about going to a low tier bowl, not being bowl elligible is embarrassing. It’s also embarrassing to live in Florida after a loss to FSU.

    Muschamp is learning on the job, which you shouldn’t have to do at the University of Florida. He needs to learn to remain focused when adversity hits. I also blame the head coach for penalties, generally they can be coached to a minimum. But on the whole, I do see improvement from last year. Muschamp also seems to be a tremendous recruiter so let’s see.

    Weis may be in a much better position next year if we can get some Pro-Style running back and major improvements to both the offensive line (which has been really really bad for two years) and wide reciever. Plus more time in the same system, should allow the offense to do more sophisticated things.

    Our defense isn’t that bad. It is just really young. I really hope they will improve in both stopping the run and increase the number of turnovers. Possibly a big help here will just be getting a little deeper and getting the offense on the field more and the defense on the field less.

    But I think the Gator Nation has committed to give Muschamp a chance. At least we should. Let him get two or three recruiting classes. Let him get the pro-style offense ingrained in the team so they can do it without thinking.

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