Best Posts


    NOLAGATOR Deep Behind Enemy Lines
    Lifetime Member

    Aug 20, 2018
    +11,375 / -1,046
    We are LIGHT YEARS ahead of the last 7 years!!!

    When breaks go against us, our lack of talent and/or depth shows

    We were missing Top 2 corners (DBs are THIN)

    Mullen is not panicking

    Mullen did not turn the ball over

    6 plays to go 1 yard and we hold UGA to 3…OUTSTANDING

    Mullen does not throw his team under the bus…See FSU

    We are not there yet and I did not hear any “Grading Out as Champions”

    Look at UGA’s Talent (#4-5****) and look at UF…WHO was out coached?

    Take those turnovers away and it is a different game.

    AND again…The SEC Refs SUCK this year.
    • alcoholica

      alcoholica I'm what Willis was talking about
      Lifetime Member

      Jun 11, 2014
      +16,927 / -762
      A lot of talk moving forward will be about next year. So why not look at the roster and see how we sit. Class will be as of 2019.

      QB – Franks (RJR), Trask (RJR), Jones (SO?), Jones (FR)

      If Jones takes over for Franks in the off season, I would expect Franks to transfer. I think a lot of that will depend on how much PT Jones gets this season and how well he responds to coaching. EJ could be a SO or a RSFR, but I expect that his RS is about to get burned.

      Trask is going nowhere and will be a backup. Jalon Jones should be getting plenty of reps to get him ready to be the backup. Toney and Jayin Jackson can be emergency backups.

      Even if Franks stays, this will be an improved group (not saying a lot). I think there is a good chance that Mullen gives Franks the reigns again, but plays EJ much more next year, but so much will depend on how EJ responds this year and the offseason.

      RB – Scarlett (RSSR), Perine (SR), Davis (Jr), Pierce (SO), Clement (SO)

      So the big question is whether of not Scarlett and Perine stay, and honestly there is no reason for either to stay. That would leave injury prone Davis, Pierce, and Clement as an unknown. We need a RB commit pretty bad in this class. Maybe two. Pierce and Davis have enough talent, Clement is an unknown. Lemons just couldn’t see 5 inches past his face.

      WR – Jefferson (RSSR), Hammond (SR), Swain (SR), Cleveland (SR), Toney (RSJR), Wells (RSJR), Green (JR), Grimes (JR), Copeland (RSFR), Jaylin Jackson (RSFR), Marks (FR), Weston (FR)

      I don’t expect any draft declarations, but you never know. I could see a transfer or two, but the big news is no Dre Massey, unless he gets a medical RS, which I haven’t seen discussion. The big concern here is what happens in 2020? I think we need one more legit WR in this class. Marks may be a sleeper, but Weston is a complete unknown. Will be a team strength in 2019.

      TE – Krull (RSJR), Gamble (RSSO), Pitts (SO), Lang (RSFR)

      We shoudn’t be any worse off next year. Have to wonder where Lang will end up. Probably need a TE in this class. Not sure if any of these guys can go inline and block. I think Gamble is a willing blocking, but not sure about size.

      OL – Taylor (SR), Banks (RSSR), McCoy (RSSR), Buchanan (RSSR), Forsythe (RSJR), Heggie (RSJR), Delance (RSJR), TJ Moore (RSSO), Gouraige (RSFR), Bleich (RSFR), McDowell (RSFR), Harrod (FR), Simonds (FR), White (FR), Wilson (FR)

      One of the more controversial groups heading into next season. A lot will be lost to graduation, and Taylor may decide to bolt for the NFL. Nothing about this OL makes me feel good right now. If Taylor stays, then you return him and Buchanan on the line, and Buchanan hasn’t exactly been a prize. Hopefully Heggie gets and stay healthy. At that point you hope that Delance and Moore are physically ready to step up. I really hope that Bleich can be ready skill wise, since he already appears ready physically. Good news is that numbers look to be up. Expect at least one more in this class and possibly a transfer. This is a young group that needs to hit the weights hard.

      DL – Ancrum (RSSR), Shuler (RSSR), Zuniga (RSSR), Dunlap (SR), Clayton (SR), Polite (SR), Conliffe (JR), Slaton (JR), Campbell (JR), Carter (RSSO), Langham (RSFR), Diabate (FR), Humphries (FR)

      Another controversial group. Will Polite and/or Zuniga declare? Will Clayton stay (does it matter)? Assuming Polite and Zuniga leave, we should have a competent DL, but anything beyond that will require some guys to step up. This class needs a lot more upfront before signing day.

      LB – Johnson (RSSR), Jackson (RSSR), Reese (SR), Moon (RSJR), Joseph (JR), Brunson (RSSO), Smith (RSSO), Houston (RSSO), Miller (RSSO), Chatfield (RSFR), Black (FR), Hopper (FR), Pierre (FR)

      No one is lost to graduation, take that how you will. We should see some improvement here for no other reason than physical development and a year in the system. We have some talented young guys that I hope can see the field. Some upperclassman have already hit their ceiling. There is there possibility that young guys could step up and take some roles. Class is pretty well filled out, but some discussion if we’ll take another.

      DB – Gardner (SR), Taylor (SR), Lenton (RSJR), Davis (JR), Stiner (JR), Stewart (JR), Henderson (JR), Wilson (JR), Edwards (JR), McWilliams (RSJR), Dean (SO), Burney (SO), Reese (RSFR), Huggins (RSFR), Whittemore (FR), Kimborough (FR), Hill (FR)

      Potentially a great unit next year. Gardner could leave earlier which would create a big void. We will return two of the best CB’s in college football. Stewart has been great recently at S. If Dean can make the transition to S, that would be huge. I think Burney will be able to contribute and Davis is a capable backup. I’m not really sure why Reese is listed at DB, but he must have some great athleticism or a hybrid position?

      I’d like to see another quality CB in this class a S wouldn’t hurt. As much talent as we’ll have on the one’s, there is a lot of waste here too.

      ST – McPherson (SO), Townsend (RSSR)

      Should be one of the best kicking tandems in college football.

      Overall, Mullen is having to rebuild the talent on this roster. We need consistent Top 10 classes just so we can start processing guys out. Top 7 classes should be required for next year and beyond. Probably just too late this year unless we can pull Sanders, Thibodeaux and Steele.
      #1 alcoholica, Oct 28, 2018
      Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
      • Ninjax

        Ninjax Member

        Nov 21, 2017
        +95 / -10
        And it will be a great season, with plenty to look forward to next season.

        Go Gators
        • SECund2nun

          SECund2nun Member

          Oct 13, 2018
          +29 / -13
          Mullen's first season has been great. I was thrilled with the hire and expect Mullen to win national championships here, but his first season even surprised me. Though if you translate his results at MSU and project UF results based off of that it should be no surprise.

          In his final 8 seasons at MSU Mullen averaged 8.25 wins per season. Had he coached the bowl game last year 3 of his final 4 seasons at MSU would have resulted in 9 or more wins.

          Compare the MSU football program vs the UF football program:

          *Average in state talent pool vs the best talent pool. Also the state of Mississippi gets raided by Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss was paying off recruits during Mullen's time there (and their budget is much larger). Ole Miss is also the top dog U of the state. He had to settle for reject recruits. UF gets to pick the best recruits, is the best funded Florida program, and has equal prestige to FSU and UM, if not more.
          *MSU has no prestige and little ability to attract quality OOS recruits. UF is the opposite.
          *MSU has one of the smallest football budgets in the SEC. UF is near the top. This especially affects the quality of his staff
          *Mullen walked into MSU with no HC experience. He walked into UF as a seasoned veteran.
          *He has a QB dependent system. At UF he will be able to consistently reel in 4 star and 5 star QB recruits. At MSU he had to settle for under the radar 3 stars.

          I would say MSU is almost as hard of a job as Vandy. MSU has a little more in state talent to work with (even as back up options) but the SEC West has been much better than the East since 2009.

          8.25 wins per season at MSU= ??? wins per season at UF. It's night and day.
          • Marine1

            Marine1 Semper Fidelis

            Dec 20, 2015
            +7,330 / -154
            Like clockwork.


            Get hyped

            Blow winnable games.

            Every year.
            • heversle

              heversle Baba Booey Tata Toothy
              Lifetime Member

              Jun 12, 2014
              +1,455 / -40
              Time to put some respect on this man's name. He's been absolutely huge for us all year. We haven't had a dominant pass rusher like this kid in a while.
              • Slevin

                Slevin Law’s Alter-Ego

                Aug 12, 2014
                +16,049 / -380
                Mick Hubert's call for the Stiner sack

                • Slevin

                  Slevin Law’s Alter-Ego

                  Aug 12, 2014
                  +16,049 / -380
                  • leogator

                    leogator Well-Known Member

                    May 5, 2018
                    +2,856 / -203
                    While I don't want to slight anybody else on defense, I want to highlight these two guys' performance: David Reese 11 tackles, 2 unassisted, .5 TFL, Adam Shuler 9 and 2, 1TFL, 1 QB hurry. Kyree Campbell also played well: 7 tackles 1 unassisted.
                    #1 leogator, Sep 23, 2018
                    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
                    • ProcrastiGATOR

                      ProcrastiGATOR 2019 GatorChatter March Madness Bracket CHAMPION!
                      Lifetime Member

                      Oct 30, 2015
                      +192 / -12
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                      • G. Gordon Gator

                        G. Gordon Gator Intrepid Chauvinist
                        Lifetime Member

                        Aug 14, 2018
                        +14,327 / -1,749
                        Let's see:
                        Mighty Gators? WIN! :dance::bananadance2::brad::sohappy::yes::stars::fistbump:

                        Hated Vols? LOSS! :loser::lol::lol2: :bwahaha::rotfl:

                        Hated Canes? LOSS! :loser::lol::lol2: :bwahaha::rotfl:

                        Hated Noles? LOSS! :loser::lol::lol2: :bwahaha::rotfl:

                        I don't remember the last time a Florida win on opening weekend was accompanied by losses by not one...not two...but THREE of our most hated rivals!

                        And to top it off our win, even thought it was against a cupcake, was the start of a new coaching regime and looked as encouraging as you would want it to look. In short, I am pretty much on top of the world right now.

                        So that just leaves one question.

                        CONAN! What is best in life??

                        • Tilly

                          Tilly The bad kid from across the tracks.

                          Aug 27, 2018
                          +346 / -52
                          • GatorTruth133

                            Lifetime Member

                            Oct 5, 2017
                            +4,012 / -107
                            Well, here it is, looking at part 3 of why the Gators could win 10 this year. This time it's looking at our schedule, which I think is advantageous. I'll be more in depth on some more than others. I will give why I think the Gators can win these games at this point in time. Obviously, things like injuries/suspensions can have an impact.It doesn't mean that we won't drop a game we shouldn't or win one we probably shouldn't. I'm not here saying "12-0 for the first time ever". I'm saying why it's winnable and in these games, we could find 10 wins.

                            Charleston Southern
                            In 2009, when the offense began to decline under Addazio, who was our first opponent? Charleston Southern. Could they be the beginning of our incline? I'll have more later in the week about this game, but this is a game that you need to win, and big. Easy W.

                            If there was ever a year that Kentucky was set up to beat us, it was last year. Losing Stephen Johnson among other big names isn't going to help them in their first road game of the season in the Swamp. The streak continues. W.

                            Colorado State
                            7-6 a year ago. This is a W. If that comes back to bite me, we have a losing record staring us down.

                            Recently, in an interaction with a UT fan on twitter, I was asked why I believed that the coaching overall was more drastic and could turn the program around faster than the change at UT. One, I don't think UT players had such a poor S&C program players were paying private gyms for workouts. Two, the HC debacle with Schiano. Three, your running back coach is Chris Weinke, a former FSU QB who was an analyst last season. Also, that defense is in further shambles than ours. Btw, Chris Rumph really is the OLB coach? Not the DL where he was good for Bama and UF? Also, is there any returning player on this Vols team that scares you other than possibly Jennings returning from injury? Is there a possibility the Vols win this in Knoxville? Yea, but although possible, I don't see probable. This goes back to the above discussion and part one, I think our coaching upgrades (S&C, QB, OC, WR, & TE/ST) are a significantly bigger gap filler than any change at Tennessee. The 19 returning starters at UF who beat UT last year, is also a difference maker here.

                            Mississippi State
                            Starkville, Davis Wade Stadium, Cow Bells. Spurrier didn't win here. Zook got fired for not winning here. Meyer barely won here against an awful team. This stadium is the reason why UF doesn't play on any day but Saturday. There is a history here. Now a new storyline, Dan Mullen returns to #FailState to face the very team he recruited. This is, in my opinion, one of the two toughest games on our schedule. For reasons already listed and the team that is there. The question that people don't want to answer is, if Mullen and this crew cannot get or develop talent, why is this trip as ominous as it is.

                            Why can UF win in Starkville?
                            Bob Shoop. I could argue Nick Fitzgerald and his inconsistent passing, but I'll go with the defense. They were 110 in 2016, Grantham got them to 10 last year. Yes, a 100 spot jump in Total Defense. Bob Shoop, was 82nd at UT and allowed over 3000 yards rushing. Talent may help Shoop some, but with our backfield, we might be able to run a train through Mississippi. Question is, what #FailState D shows up? 2016 or 2017? I'd say Shoop is closer to 2016.

                            People question why I don't put Eddy Pineiro in as a top 2 UF Kicker of all time. Because we lost to LSU on a missed extra point last year. Ok, not my only reason why I prefer Jeff Chandler, Caleb Sturgis, and Collins Cooper (JUST KIDDING ON THAT ONE, DON'T HAVE A HEART ATTACK). I just bring it up that there isn't much change on LSU's side from a one point game other than some talent loss. However, our talent gains and coaching gains, I think make up for that one point and more. Throw in motivation after the Petty tribute deal last year, avenging a loss, this being at home, and maybe a cat skeleton and we have ourselves a good shot here.

                            Why UF can win at home, while celebrating Tebow:
                            Ed Orgeron. Is there any guy who fails upwards better? Also, see above.

                            Remember when UF had a consistent SEC East Schedule? I member. Vandy is the game that has been moved around a lot lately. It's Vandy, Shurmur is underrated and would have won the game last year if not for Davis' First Down/TD late. We win here in what I'm still thinking may be my first trip to Nashville (the wife and I have considered making the road trip and tickets aren't selling out any time soon).

                            #2 of 2 in the toughest games for 2018 in my opinion. UGA lost a bit, but didn't lose enough for me to believe they are taking a significant step backwards this season. I do think we take a significant step forward, enough to make this a game.

                            Why UF can win in Jax:
                            1. Being blessed to go to every UF-UGA game since the '93 TO game except '95, '98, and '05 I've seen the underdog win, and even win big, more than my fair share of times. Whether it was the damn bubble screens, the endzone celebration, or even Matt Jones/Kelvin Taylor (the day Fred Taylor said I answered trivia questions too fast) going off, I've seen each side pull off improbable victories.
                            2. Still not convinced about Fromm's arm. If we can make him throw, we could have a good chance. "But Truth, he had that long passing TD last year, I checked the box score", yeah, on a screen pass the one time Randy Shannon decided to blitz. Imagine that.
                            3. There probably won't be a death threats distraction and rumors of a coach being fired for cause the following day that the coach has to address at breakfast this year. But stranger things...

                            I put 0 stock in last year's game for analyzing this years. Is that different than I will other games? Yes. Why? Circumstances. That team wasn't winning the week Mac got fired while Nuss got to stay on with Shannon at the helm, sorry. This is at home, and I think we will be doing well enough the Swamp will be rocking.

                            Why UF can win at home against Mizzou:
                            Derek Dooley. Heupel was the perfect hire for UCF in my opinion. So, who do you replace a wide open, up tempo, cutting edge offensive guru with? Derek Dooley. HAHAHA. Poor Drew Lock, he's a good QB. But bring on a position coach who did wonders for UT. I'd be shocked if Mizzou averages over 350 ypg this season (502 last season).

                            South Carolina
                            Last season, this game was a cluster and featured a sure INT return for a TD (maybe just short) being fumbled at the goal line, two receivers running into each other while wide open behind the D, and other shenanigans. "But Truth, they have Deebo Samuel returning:fear:". Thank you Mr. Straw, I'll give you Deebo Samuel returning :jerkit: and raise you Malik Davis, Jordan Scarlett, Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson returning or joining the team along with our coaching upgrades. I don't get the love for a team that had an evenly bad offense with us last year. Jake Bentley is decent, but I will not trust that Muschamp knows what an offense is until I see it.

                            Why UF can beat Muschamp in Gainesville:
                            It's at home. It's Muschamp. I don't see South Carolina taking the jump that UF does this year for reasons stated above and in parts 1 and 2 of the series.

                            I can't believe that we play two FCS teams...oh, this was a re-schedule of the cancelled 2014 game? Oh, Idaho was FBS when scheduled? Oh, people whining mostly don't acknowledge or realize this? If Mullen loses this there shouldn't be a year 2. Win.

                            FSU, UT and UF all with new staffs. I'd put UF at a higher upgrade level. This is in Joke Campbell, but I like our offensive firepower upgrades over those in Tally. I like our defense more than those in Tally. We had nothing to play for last year, they had something to play for. We have a major losing streak and if you think Mullen doesn't see or hear about all the desire to beat FSU and its impact on recruiting, welcome to this site. I am sure Mullen knows the importance of this game. I know he knows the streak must be broken. I don't think he will motivate the team more for any game than this one.

                            Why UF can when in Ron Zook Field at Joke Campbell Stadium:
                            See above. See Taggart's overall poor record. See our skill position talent. See the RS Seniors who witnessed the only other RS Seniors to never beat FSU last year and the disappointment. If this team isn't motivated here, against a team in FSU that was poor last year as well, then they don't deserve to play the game. For this team, there is no other game, just this game. If I could get one win out of UT, LSU, UGA, and FSU this year, it's FSU. I know this isn't a great argument, but it's what it is. If Dan Mullen is who we hear he is, and if Taggart is who we think he is, this should be a W.

                            When you look at the coaching upgrades, even if from poor to average at some positions we have, it's a big change from last year, if you look at the returning talent overall, and the impact of S&C, experience, and coaching on that talent, it's a big change from last season, and if you look at the mostly static teams we face this season, our big changes take us over the small margin of loss from last season. We gain two wins from dropping Michigan for Charleston Southern and playing 12 instead of 11, we shouldn't lose to LSU by a missed xp at home this year and they've lost more talent while we've gained that and coaching, the joke circumstances that were South Carolina and Mizzou last year aren't happening and we've gained a lot while they've lost plenty (LOL @ Derek Dooley), and FSU will be circled on this team's calendar whether they admit it or not. There's your 10 wins with punching chances with #failstate and uga. Could we drop one of the 10 I think should be wins? Yes. Could we pull out a surprise at one of the two I think will be most difficult? Yes. This is college football. One week to kickoff. And knock off that Chomp Chomp bs I never saw until Mac came here. And stop chanting for kickers unless its after a game winning kick as time expires. Be better than that.

                            Time to believe until we are given reasons not to. Buckle up. Gonna be fun ride.

                            • crosscreekcooter

                              crosscreekcooter Cunning Linguist; RIP
                              Lifetime Member

                              Jun 11, 2014
                              +12,254 / -84
                              Boy with deformed legs undergoes life-changing surgery at Tebow CURE Hospital
                              An 11-year-old boy in the Philippines is recovering from a life-changing corrective surgery on his legs that was made possible by the Tim Tebow Foundation and CURE International. Aldrin, whose last name was not disclosed, was born with a severe leg deformity that left him in unbearable pain from simply standing, and prevented him from walking long distances, Fox 35 Orlando reported.

                              According to the CURE International blog, Aldrin’s condition was identified as congenital knee dislocation, which caused his knees to bed the wrong way. His stature left him subject to bullying from peers, and prevented him from participating in everyday activities.

                              “Essentially, Aldrin’s knee bends the wrong way like a flamingo,” Dr. Tim Mead, medical director of CURE and one of Aldrin’s lead surgeons, wrote on his blog. “Look at his picture and be amazed he could even get around at all.”

                              A team of three surgeons worked to correct and realign Aldrin’s joints, tendons and femur bones in a four-hour surgery before his legs were cast to protect the soft tissue and tendon repairs.

                              “When he had surgery it was OK because their staff gave us encouragement and they take care of us very well," Aldrin's mother, who was not identified, said in a video released by the Tim Tebow Foundation. "They encourage me and gave me strength that God knows and has an idea on what is best for him. God is in control just like your doctors and whatever is good for Aldrin.”

                              Mead wrote that with strenuous physical therapy, Aldrin should be able to walk normally and stand tall. In the foundation's video, Aldrin was seen working with therapists in braces and taking steps with the help of a walker.

                              “Every day, lives are being changed at the Tebow CURE Hospital and I’m so thankful for that,” Tim Tebow said in a video about Aldrin.

                              • ATXGator

                                ATXGator Austin Gator
                                Lifetime Member

                                Jun 14, 2014
                                +4,522 / -70
                                3 star JUCO who can add depth right away and obviously key family connection

                                • BMF

                                  BMF Bad Mother....
                                  Lifetime Member

                                  Sep 8, 2014
                                  +34,433 / -528
                                  Mullen cultivating open, inviting atmosphere around program
                                  New Florida coach Dan Mullen has done a great job of creating an open, welcoming environment around the football program.


                                  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As Florida coach Dan Mullen travels around the state over the course of the next few days, there's an inescapable feeling that he's extremely comfortable in his new role.

                                  Mullen practically oozes confidence. He's thrown open the doors on his speeches to various Gator clubs around the state and he's been open with the media about his expectations and what he can and can't tell about his team right now.

                                  In short, he feels like a guy well-equipped for the job.

                                  And his enthusiasm appears to be bleeding over to the fanbase, as a crowd Monday night in Jacksonville stood to give him a standing ovation upon arrival and exploded in applause several times during his speech.

                                  "I feel I'm one of the most blessed people in the world to have the opportunity to do what I do," Mullen said. "I love coaching football. I love developing young people to be successful in life. But the opportunity to do that at one of the premier, if not the premier, not just universities, but football programs in America is a dream come true for me."

                                  Mullen's preached loyalty throughout his career, and after a nine-year stint at Mississippi State, there's certainly a feeling that if he's successful in Gainesville he could be in town for a long time.

                                  The Gators could certainly use the stability in the coaching ranks, and optimism is high as Mullen begins building his program.

                                  For his part, Mullen wants to make a long stay a reality.

                                  "I loved being at Florida when I was here before. I'm thrilled to be back here at Florida," he said. "Hopefully one of these days I can have an office next to coach (Steve) Spurrier after I have a good, long career here and get an office next to him and be here the rest of my life."

                                  The new Florida coach can't tell fans just yet what to expect. He doesn't know what type of offense he'll run just yet. He doesn't know which quarterback will win the starting role.

                                  What he can promise, though is flexibility. Adaptability.

                                  "Every year we're going to have a different style team," Mullen said. "Every year. We might be some years ball control, some years super up-tempo, some years we might lead the league in time of possession, some years we might be last. I don't know that dictates wins.

                                  "We might throw it, we might be more of a running team, more of a throwing team... I'm great. Whatever our guys do well. But one thing we will always do is be a team that plays with relentless effort. In everything we do, you come watch us play, you're going to see relentless effort."

                                  More than anything, Mullen wants to make sure gamedays are fun for fans again. He has promised that Florida will add some new traditions to go along with the old ones.

                                  He described a vision for fall Saturdays in Gainesville. He wants it to be a combination of "a state fair, a rock concert, a Broadway show and a football game."

                                  Something for the whole family.

                                  Of course, winning makes gameday the most fun. And Mullen wants fans to see they're moving toward that as a program. So he's throwing open the doors to Florida football and encouraging everyone to come take a look.

                                  It's a refreshing change of pace.

                                  "I think some practices will be open. We're not going to open every practice getting certain things done, but I think people are excited," he said. "The Gator Nation is excited. So we want to make sure there are certain opportunities for them to get out and come see some of these new players and see how things are going to be a little different."
                                  • BMF

                                    BMF Bad Mother....
                                    Lifetime Member

                                    Sep 8, 2014
                                    +34,433 / -528
                                    Florida’s Scott Stricklin: Hiring a football coach more difficult than fans realize


                                    GAINESVILLE, FLA. — The 2017 SEC football season will be remembered as the season all the coaches were fired. Some schools hired their new coach without any drama. Others? Well, that wasn’t the case.

                                    Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin had to both fire and hire a football coach in his first year on the job. I had the chance to meet with him in his office recently, and wanted to ask one question above all others: What makes hiring a football coach more difficult than fans realize?

                                    “Not everybody wants your job,” Stricklin said.

                                    That will be difficult for Florida fans to hear. Or Tennessee fans. Or fans of any school who can’t imagine why all coaches wouldn’t be honored to put that whistle around his neck. That’s the nature of fans.

                                    Fans don’t understand why an athletic director can’t “just go and get him,” Stricklin said.

                                    “It’s not like going to Best Buy and buying a television,” Stricklin said.

                                    Used to be, before college football revenues exploded, a school such as Florida would have such vastly greater resources than a school such as Purdue or Kansas State or Washington State — and those schools greater resources than a Houston or a USF ora Memphis — a school from the upper tier could double or triple the salary of a coach it wanted from a lower tier and the offer was simply too large for that coach to turn down. When coaches were earning $1 million or $2 million a year, instead of $4 million or $5 million or $6 million, a big raise from a new school could put aside fears of fit or comfort.

                                    A 50 percent raise to a person making $50,000 a year is more meaningful than a 50 percent raise to a person making $5,000,000 a year.

                                    Now, coaches across the country in all Power Five conferences – and, increasingly, Group of Five conferences – are making more money than they ever could have imagined. That being the case, Florida or Tennessee or any other “big” school can’t simply offer a coach they want more money and have them drop everything and come running.

                                    “There are family and geographic and other considerations,” Stricklin said when explaining why waving a big check in front of a candidate is no longer enough.

                                    Fans think about salary and stadium size and how many national titles a school won 50 years ago when determining the attractiveness of an open job. They don’t think about the same factors they would consider if they were moving across the country to switch jobs: what does the spouse think, where would the kids go to school, are you happy at your current job, do you want to live in a new city and work for new bosses who may not have the same vision as you do.

                                    Another complication fans don’t deal with when playing fantasy athletic director and hiring coaches: agents.

                                    Stricklin admitted finding it difficult when talking to agents to accurately gauge their clients’ genuine interest in the Florida job as opposed to their just trying to use the Florida job to leverage their client’s current employer for more money. He admitted the same difficulty when receiving a call from a sitting Power Five coach who also expressed his interest in the position.

                                    Agents have a job to do. With the college football media ever larger and more aggressive, all of them looking for juicy, coaching-search tidbits from “sources with knowledge of the situation” to share with their audiences, agents have an ocean of parrots eager to share information that puts their clients in demand – regardless of how it can make an athletic director’s job more difficult.

                                    Limiting loose talk about the job was the primary reason Stricklin decided not to employ a search firm to help find a new coach. While Stricklin respects the work of search firms, he didn’t want more people with knowledge of the search sharing information with the media.

                                    One candidate’s name that did reach the media was Chip Kelly.

                                    You don’t have to talk to Stricklin long to recognize the fondness he has – still – for Kelly.

                                    “Chip is one of those guys who you sit down to have a conversation with, and five hours later you look at your watch and feel like it’s only been 40 minutes,” Stricklin said.

                                    Stricklin said he and Kelly have no hard feelings after the conversations they had regarding the Florida vacancy. Stricklin said Kelly called him just before Christmas, unprompted, simply to chat and see how he was doing.

                                    Stricklin expressed no disappointment in not being able to hire Kelly when we spoke. His enthusiasm and confidence in Dan Mullen’s ability to do the job are over the moon, and his optimism for the future of Gator football is sky-high.

                                    That almost wasn’t the case.

                                    “If Dan said ‘no,’ we could have been in a situation similar to Tennessee,” Stricklin said. “The pool of a candidates is more like a puddle.”

                                    That’s another reality fans don’t recognize. If there is a major vacancy, like Florida or Tennessee, and certain coaches from lower-tier schools no longer are available for the reasons discussed above, you quickly run out of candidates with a proven track record of high-level success on the field, recruiting and running a program.

                                    Stricklin thinks the rate at which universities turn over not only football coaches, but athletic directors and presidents as well, contributes to their being a shortage of all three to fill high-profile vacancies.

                                    Athletic directors have many important responsibilities, none more so than hiring a football coach, and doing so successfully is a lot more difficult than it seems from the outside.
                                    • Swamp Donkey

                                      Swamp Donkey 1-5 in the last 6 P5 games
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                                      Jun 9, 2014
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