Have the Gators Reached Mediocrity or Is This What We All Expected?

Welcome to mediocrity Gator Nation. Did you realize the Gators are 8-7 in their last 15 games? During that stretch, they are 0-6 against teams ranked in the top 25. They’ve been outscored by an average margin of 35-13 in those six games. Even in the lowest of the lows in the [NAME REDACTED] era, UF was never a whipping boy. In fact, Florida hasn’t suffered defeats this bad back-to-back in 40 years. Of course, Florida has rarely played #1 and #2 in back-to-back weeks. So we’ve got that going for us.

It seems Florida is stuck in a rut. Nevermind the quarterback situation. If you were watching closely, John Brantley was not performing well. Yes, the offense better fit his talents and Weis was making great calls getting the ball to the playmakers. But it was very simplified against lesser competition. Brantley still wasn’t making the correct reads and he still wasn’t accurate. Go back and look at Chris Rainey’s 83-yarder against Tennessee. Gerald Christian was virtually uncovered down the seam and should have been the target. Rainey bailed out a bad play. Arguably, there isn’t one receiver that would start for another SEC team. Our linebackers are not physical enough to fill gaps, shed blocks and make tackles. The defensive line hasn’t been able to consistently take on multiple blockers or get off blocks and make plays. The offensive line doesn’t have a leader or an identity. They aren‘t the only ones who can‘t block; the tight ends and fullbacks have been miserable at the point of attack. The secondary misses tackles and too often plays with hands on receivers. And they are only part of the massive number of penalties this team has racked up. The new coaching staff hasn’t found a rhythm with play calling and lineups (see lack of meaningful touches for Mike Gillislee). Bottom line, this is a young team but even with all the youth, they have not played to their potential. Disagree? Hit me up on twitter.

I wrote two weeks ago how October was going to reveal what we had with this team. And how 4-4 was an option. At the time, I’d have given the odds of us being 4-4 when November rolled around to 10%. Now, they have to be close to 50%. The Gators haven’t beaten Auburn since 2002 and haven’t won on the Plains since 1999. Georgia has turned its season around and has plenty of playmakers. Both teams have physical running attacks and powerful backs in Michael Dyer and Isaiah Crowell. Did you see how many yards after contact Spencer Ware and Trent Richardson had against us?

On the plus side (and believe me, within the Bourbon Meyer ranks, I’m in the minority with my negativity), every honest Gator knew we’d be 4-2 at this juncture. So this week marks the true measure of what this season will bring. A win and the SEC East is still very much in play. So for those of you with blinders on optimistic, there you go.

At least misery loves company. This week marks the first time since December 6, 1982 that neither Florida, Florida State nor Miami is in the AP Top 25. It snapped a streak of 472 polls in which at least one of the state’s Big 3 was ranked. Comparatively, Gators are pretty happy. Florida State was a preseason top 5 team. Miami is facing the closest we’ll ever see to the death penalty again. So Florida’s back-to-back blowouts are eased by the pain of our enemies.

One last note of negativity for this weekend. Although they aren’t ranked in this week’s BM Poll, the Tigers are #24 in the AP Poll. Can Florida get its first win against a ranked team since Tim Tebow’s final game?

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Oklahoma
4. Wisconsin
5. Boise State
6. Stanford
7. Oklahoma State
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. Michigan
11. Arkansas
12. Kansas State
13. Illinois
14. Georgia Tech
15. West Virginia
16. Baylor
17. South Carolina
18. Arizona State
19. Houston
20. Virginia Tech
21. Nebraska
22. Texas A&M
23. Georgia
24. Penn State
25. Texas

(Side note – You know what? It is time to lose the animosity toward him and even look back whimsically on what we had with RON ZOOK. History is all of a sudden kind to Zook’s legacy. Yeah in 2002, Florida was clubbed in three games against top 25 teams. But we also beat two top 5 teams. In 2003, Zook had three wins against the top 11 and was competitive in every loss except the bowl game blowout to Iowa. And in 2004, Zook was canned after a disgusting loss at Mississippi State but his team was again right in every game even against the best. And we can’t forget his last game, a win at what we now call “Ron Zook Field” over the Seminoles. If Dallas Baker hadn’t been called for a joke of a personal foul in Knoxville, 2004 may have gone a completely different direction. This isn’t a rant against Will Muschamp or saying we’d be better off with Zook. Just pointing out the facts. Sorry for the digression on the Zooker.)

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5 Responses to Have the Gators Reached Mediocrity or Is This What We All Expected?

  1. George says:

    I still think Muschamp deserves more of a chance than 1 season. We have some talent, he is still new, but to be comparing him to Zook already, doesn’t that seem kind of wrong? I look for great things from him next year and the years to come.

    • Sam McCorkle says:

      No comparison to Zook. Only the facts are stated. Disclaimer right there says not meant as a comparison. Full faith in Muschamp (for now) to instill his system and turn things around. But things are bad right now, real bad, worse than they’ve been in a long time.

  2. Rainman says:

    Was that the one where the Vols slapped our guy then we slapped back and got called for a personal foul, despite the ref staring right at them the entire time? Then they screwed up something with the clock on top of it?

    • Sam McCorkle says:

      Yep. It was a travesty. After the penalty, the refs should have started the clock on the ready but instead didn’t start it until the snap, saving Tennessee 25 seconds or so. The winning FG was kicked with 5 seconds left.

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