The earliest any of our Florida memories go is the mid to late 80s. The oldest among us were hitting puberty and trying to survive the early years of high school so the memories are foggy at best. We know Emmitt was great and the teams were OK but not much beyond that. We’re the new blood Gators. We don’t have the scars from the disappointments of the 60s and 70s. We don’t have the perspective of 1979’s 0-10-1 season. The Gators have not had a losing season since then, the second longest active streak in the country (Florida State has 33 straight, we’re at 30).
We bring all this up because the way things look now, 6-6 is in play and 5-7 isn’t a stretch. Newsflash… the Gators are downright putrid on offense and the defense and special teams are average at best. Florida should be underdogs in three of their final five games – Florida State and South Carolina definitely, Georgia might sneak ahead as well. And Vandy and Appalachian State are excited at the opportunity to beat the once mighty Gators.
There are many reasons for this. The lack of playmakers on offense is downright shocking. Two plays went for more than 20 yards against Mississippi State. The coaches have relied on Deonte Thompson for far too long. Guys like Andre Debose, Omarius Hines and Mike Gillislee haven’t touched the ball enough.
The playcalling has been well documented. Obviously the team has no identity or consistency with calls and personnel.
The inefficiency in the red zone has been crippling. In the month of October, the Gators have had 11 possessions in the red zone. They scored four TDs and a FG. Over half their drives into scoring territory have come up empty. By contrast, Wisconsin has scored 23 straight TDs on red zone possessions (minus two drives in which they knelled down).
The porous offensive line, the injuries and the lack of passion have all been contributors. The bottom line is this just isn’t a very good football team, five-star recruits be damned. Who knows how much Urban Meyer’s resignation and subsequent reversal changed him. But obviously, this isn’t what we’ve come to expect from Meyer’s teams.
We’re not giving up on the season. After all, we control our destiny in the SEC East. It’s true. Really. We do. And you know, Urban Meyer really shines as a coach when he has time to make changes. We saw a new offense after the bye week in 2006. So we’ve got that going for us… you know, assuming the Meyer we love is still in there somewhere.
Lastly, although we took a dig at him last week for his attack on Chris Rainey’s return, we think Mike Bianchi summed up everyone’s feelings with this tweet: Just think, if Cam Newton had texted death threat to girlfriend instead of stealing laptop, he’d be the Gators quarterback.
On to the rankings…
2. Boise State
6. Michigan State
10. Ohio State
11. Oklahoma State
18. Florida State
19. South Carolina
20. Kansas State
23. West Virginia
24. Virginia Tech
One other thing… wish we had a dollar for every tired, trite, lazy, pathetic hack who while grinning and laughing at how clever they thought they were said “You think Urban Meyer/the Gators miss him” after Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Joe Haden or Brandon Spikes did something good on Sunday.