SDS: Realistic set of expectations for Dan Mullen's first year at Florida

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by BMF, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. BMF

    BMF Junior Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6,894
    Oxbucks:
    $1,630
    Ratings:
    +7,048 / -81
    Here's a realistic set of expectations for Dan Mullen's first year at Florida

    https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/f...istic-expectations-mullen-first-year-florida/

    Dan Mullen was hired to do a simple job in Gainesville — get Florida back to being a force in the SEC and make it one of the premier programs nationally.

    All Mullen has to do is take a 4-win team and dethrone the emerging beast that is Georgia. And if he really wants to bring Florida “back,” he might as well knock off Alabama in an SEC Championship or two.

    Easy enough, right?

    If that happens in Mullen’s first year, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin will just give Mullen a blank check at season’s end to sign his lifetime contract. More realistically, though, the Gators will still be looking up at their division rivals. You don’t erase 42-7 that quickly against the national runners-up.

    Their realistic task for 2018 is getting back to respectability. What does respectability look like? It lies somewhere between what Florida and Georgia did last year.

    Mullen is capable of getting Florida to respectability. After all, he got Mississippi State to 8 consecutive bowl games. That was after a 5-7 first season in Starkville. So should Florida fans expect the same?

    Not exactly.

    To try and assess a possible win total for Year 1 of the Mullen era, we should probably try to figure out the keys to Florida’s success.

    Obviously the first thing that Florida fans want to see turned around is at the quarterback position. That production won’t be measured by passing yards. Ironically enough, Mississippi State actually finished No. 112 in passing offense compared to Florida at No. 101. Expecting Feleipe Franks or Emory Jones to start passing for 250 yards per game would be unrealistic.

    What is realistic is getting 25-30 touchdowns out of the quarterback position. Mississippi State got 37 scores from its signal-callers last year, and 40 the year before. That was without Dak Prescott.

    Florida got 10 touchdowns from the quarterback position in 2017. Ten.

    That’s rock bottom.
    I’d be surprised if either Franks or Jones had double digit touchdowns as a passer and as a rusher, but I’d be more surprised if Florida’s starting quarterback didn’t account for at least 20 scores.

    There’s no reason that Florida can’t improve its No. 108 scoring offense. Even if Mullen’s quarterback doesn’t turn into Tim Tebow overnight — that’s not happening — the Gators still have too many talented offensive weapons (Kadarius Toney, Lamical Perine, Jordan Scarlett and Malik Davis) for Mullen to struggle like Jim McElwain did.

    It’s not crazy to suggest that Florida finishes in the middle of the national rankings in terms of scoring. The 16-point showings against Missouri should be a thing of the past.

    The offense is going to get all the headlines early on in the Mullen era, but I’m intrigued by what comes of this new 3-4 defense.

    Nationally, I didn’t feel like Todd Grantham got enough love for the job he did completely turning around Mississippi State on that side of the ball. He helped maximize the freakish abilities of Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat, both of whom earned first-team All-SEC selections.

    Grantham is going to have similar talent to work with in Gainesville. Cece Jefferson probably doesn’t return to school if not for the chance to work with Grantham. Having other veteran playmakers like David Reese and Jabari Zuniga back is only going to help with the transition.

    It’s hard to judge Florida’s 2017 defensive numbers because of how horrific the offense was. Even the best units can’t hold strong if they don’t ever get a break. The Gators were a solid unit that finished with mediocre numbers after falling apart down the stretch.

    That shouldn’t be the case in 2018. In fact, I expect Grantham’s unit to be Florida’s backbone in the early stages of the Mullen era. That doesn’t mean there should be a drastic imbalance like there was in the McElwain era. Why can’t Florida have a top-25 scoring defense in 2018? Mississippi State did it in a tougher division in 2017. Surely that’s a perfectly realistic expectation.

    So what does that mean for Florida in 2018? If there’s going to be improvement on both sides of the ball, how much will that show up in the win total?

    I don’t think you see the Gators play down to their competition like they did for far too often with McElwain. That will go a long way toward easing the stress that Florida fans felt throughout SEC play. There should be actual offensive progression, which will be a new sight in Gainesville.

    If I had to set a way-too-early regular season win total, I’d probably put it at 7 or 8. Maybe Florida beats LSU or Mullen rallies the troops in his return to Starkville. They could still be subject to a disappointing loss in the first half of the season as the offense transitions. Still, a trip to the TaxSlayer Bowl doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world considering the mess that was 2017.

    Mullen’s task is not easy, but he can make Florida’s rebuild look a lot easier than McElwain did.
     
  2. MJMGator

    MJMGator Slightly amused
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    10,571
    Oxbucks:
    $1,242
    Ratings:
    +12,368 / -106
    I expect about 8 wins. I also expect to be competitive in every game and the team to not quit like we’ve seen time after time when adversity strikes.
     
  3. Acecustis

    Acecustis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Messages:
    167
    Oxbucks:
    $44
    Ratings:
    +113 / -13
    Just get back to a bowl game and beat the Noles. We still have a talent problem that isn’t getting fixed with one recruiting class
     
  4. Okeechobee Joe

    Okeechobee Joe Lost Ball in High Grass
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    3,140
    Oxbucks:
    $794
    Ratings:
    +5,213 / -15
    Play in a manner so we don't say: "Not this shyt again." That's all
     
  5. FireFoley

    FireFoley Senior Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,340
    Oxbucks:
    $255
    Ratings:
    +1,513 / -48
    I was never and still am not in the Cousin Eddie camp. but as I say about all our coaches and teams, I am not a numbers, scoreboard or records person in the short run. I am a quality of play and process person. If there seems to be an improvement in process (management included) and quality of play, that would be great. but it does not take long to see if it is not. Innate abilities are usually obvious quite early on.
     
  6. Gatorraid81

    Gatorraid81 Well-Known Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,771
    Oxbucks:
    $220
    Ratings:
    +1,278 / -29
    I expect to win them all.
     
  7. LagoonGator68

    LagoonGator68 Well-Used Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4,468
    Oxbucks:
    $139
    Ratings:
    +2,274 / -89
    Little head vs. Big head....such a quandary for Feleipe.....
     
  8. LagoonGator68

    LagoonGator68 Well-Used Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4,468
    Oxbucks:
    $139
    Ratings:
    +2,274 / -89
    Pussy is 15-0 every damn year!
     
  9. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    7,913
    Oxbucks:
    $1,932
    Ratings:
    +7,778 / -97
    Franks' job is to come in the game on third-and-31 and heave the ball as far as he can.
     
  10. LagoonGator68

    LagoonGator68 Well-Used Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4,468
    Oxbucks:
    $139
    Ratings:
    +2,274 / -89
    That would suit me just fine
     
  11. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    7,913
    Oxbucks:
    $1,932
    Ratings:
    +7,778 / -97
    Are you saying you always score?
     
  12. LagoonGator68

    LagoonGator68 Well-Used Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    4,468
    Oxbucks:
    $139
    Ratings:
    +2,274 / -89

    That's not what I was saying, but it is true.
     
  13. Swamp Donkey

    Swamp Donkey 98.2% sarcasm 1.8% full of shyt
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    29,161
    Oxbucks:
    $6,129
    Ratings:
    +29,175 / -625
    I dont find that ironic.

    Prophetic is probaly the better word.
    mmmmm.... right.

    Yeah.... ok. SOS never went to Taxslayer bowls. Tough sell for those trying who claimed we just hired an offensive guru.

    I agree that that Taxslayer or similar is likely however. We will grind the ball into the teeth of SEC defenses built to stop the other 14 grind the ball offenses.
     
    #13 Swamp Donkey, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  14. Alumni Guy

    Alumni Guy Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    443
    Oxbucks:
    $361
    Ratings:
    +878 / -17
    Tax Slayer Bowl is reason to be happy. Sad to say, but there's some truth to that...

    Thanks Butters. Butters is like the smell when you leave your car windows down and it rains. Stinky and takes for ever to leave.
     
  15. ltraz

    ltraz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Messages:
    987
    Oxbucks:
    $804
    Ratings:
    +918 / -69
    Great response.

    I just don't want us to be outcoached. I don't want us to look like msu did against umass last season and I definitely don't want our D to look like they did against uga or auburn; like they knew what plays grantham was running. That's so much more important than wins & losses, bc it would indicate that we actually have the chance of being elite once we get the talent. If that staff looks like it has then we're still going to sh!t the bed a couple times a year even with talent and never make a playoff.
     
  16. NVGator

    NVGator Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    6,735
    Oxbucks:
    $766
    Ratings:
    +4,591 / -102
    W- Charleston Southern
    Toss- Kentucky
    W- Colorado State
    W- @ Tennessee
    L- @ Mississippi State
    L- LSU
    L- @ Vanderbilt
    L- Georgia (Jax)
    W- Missouri
    W- South Carolina
    W- Idaho
    L- @ FSU

    I see 6-6 to at best 8-4.
     
  17. BMF

    BMF Junior Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6,894
    Oxbucks:
    $1,630
    Ratings:
    +7,048 / -81
    Spurrier went to the Taxslayer (Gator bowl) in 1992, beating NC State.
     
  18. Theologator

    Theologator Enchanter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,388
    Oxbucks:
    $865
    Ratings:
    +1,687 / -18
    Year after year there is some faint hope of the offense improving to at least average. Here I go again...

    I start with expecting our team to be tougher & higher effort. There’s no doubt the loss of Scarlett & Callaway and others hurt badly in terms of X’s & O’s, but maybe worse in terms of team chemistry. That should be much improved. I don’t expect much from the xfers even if they are cleared to play. But there MUST be 3-5 decent WRs among those 12 and 2-3 TEs that can play. The huge question mark is how fast Jones or Franks can learn and excel.

    7-5 or 8-4 and fighting hard all season is reasonable to expect.
     
  19. CaseyGator

    CaseyGator Ox’s Favorite Poster
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Oxbucks:
    $281
    Ratings:
    +236 / -2
    You’ve just made me realize I’m one of the unreasonable fans who expect too much. I was thinking 10-2. :banghead:
     
  20. Gatorraid81

    Gatorraid81 Well-Known Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    1,771
    Oxbucks:
    $220
    Ratings:
    +1,278 / -29

    Mullen should be able to find a way to beat Vandy, all the other games you have as losses seems reasonable. I’ll gladly take a loss to Vandy if it meant we’d beat the Noles.
     

Share This Page

Chat

Help

You don't have the necessary permissions to use the chat.

  1. There are currently no users chatting.
  • About Us

    Our community sprung up when the Gatorsports message board was shut down in the summer of 2014. We pride ourselves on offering Gator-biased, yet critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds. We are working every day to make sure our community is the best Gator message board you will find.
  • Quick Navigation

  • Buy us a Zima!

    The management works very hard to make sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. Care to buy us a non-alcoholic Zima? We'd really appreciate it! Just click the "Donate" tab at the top of the page.