With a Week Off Before Georgia, The Florida Gators Need an Offensive Rebirth

The Florida Gators don’t play this Saturday. Some of you may actually be breathing a sigh of relief knowing that. I am with you. I need a break, and I’m just a fan. I’m not a player and I’m definitely not the head coach or offensive coordinator. The players need a week off, Will Muschamp and Brent Pease need an extra week to determine the direction they’re going to head, and fans need a nice, relaxing Saturday with nothing on the line.

Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs

I will be perusing college football betting at TopBet, looking for games I can watch in a calm environment that doesn’t include me pacing in front of my television. Surprisingly, this season has been a calming one for me when experiencing our losses. I know that sounds, well, off and not right at all, but here’s the scenario: the losses to Miami and Missouri had me at home alone with my one-year-old son and the loss to LSU saw me in Minneapolis for a wedding. The losses stung like they always do, but I had plenty to distract me immediately following their conclusion. I didn’t have the opportunity to stew in the pain of defeat; I had to move on quickly. If another L works its way on to the Gators’ record, I hope I can find something else to take my mind away.

During the bye week, I’ll be relaxing (actually, I’ll be taking a redeye back from San Francisco only to return home to a pile of housework). The Gators, however, will not be. They will be wondering what happened to the defense against Missouri, but—most important—they will continue the hunt for offense. Are we at the point where tweaks are no longer the answer? Does the entire offense need to be re-imagined and reborn? The answer to both is yes. Muschamp, Pease and the Gators need to try something new. Slogging through the rest of the season with the current offense will see a team with talent crash and burn several more times.

We could make a list of aspects of the offense to look at. Actually, let’s go ahead and do it:

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Will Muschamp on John Brantley, Chris Dunkley, and CEO Coaches

Florida head coach Will Muschamp is making the rounds from Lakeland, FL to Bristol, CT and has plenty to say about the Gators and his role as leader of the orange and blue.  In Lakeland, Muschamp spoke with a local Gator club.  And in Bristol, it was ESPN (were you expecting me to say someone else?).  Here’s a recap of some of what he talked about (you can visit Alligator Army and Only Gators for more) and of course my thoughts:

• Muschamp supports John Brantley and reminds us that the quarterback position will always receive criticism.  If things go well, you’re the one that made them so.  If things go bad, it’s your fault and no one else’s.  This is true for the most part, but what else do we honestly expect Muschamp to say?  He’s not going to attack a kid who looked like he had confidence problems during his first season as a starter.  Muschamp has to play the role of not just coach, but motivator and supporter for Brantley.  #12 was in a tough position before last season and his performance throughout 2010 didn’t make anything easier for him.  To be honest, no one has any idea what the Gators have at the quarterback position until we all see it with our own eyes during the first game.  This is going to be the main topic of discussion for Florida fans and followers up until and even through the 2011 season.  The “issue” (that’s a nice way of saying problem) isn’t going away and as many guesses as we throw at it, none of us can predict what will happen.  We all just have to keep our fingers crossed for improvement of any kind.
• After the announcement was made that wide receiver Chris Dunkley would transfer, speculation regarding his destination immediately started.  Muschamp has said Florida will not restrict where he can transfer to in any way.  I’m a supporter of this.  Sure, I don’t want to see Dunkley (or Javares McRoy) leave, but it happens.  Losing such a small number during a coaching change might actually be a positive.  Florida isn’t for everyone.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  You can’t expect every kid to come in and love everything about the school they choose.  For Dunkley, this is what happened.  For whatever reason, it didn’t end up being the place for him.  Things might have been different if he had been eligible for the spring, but he wasn’t and so he’s moving on.  Good for Muschamp for allowing him to try to find the place that’s best for him with no restrictions.
• The big quote from Muschamp from today (which Andy Hutchins expands on here) was “I don’t want to be a CEO head coach.”  Instead of taking it as a statement of what Muschamp is or isn’t, it was immediately seen as a shot at either his former boss at Texas, Mack Brown, or former Gator head man Urban Meyer.  Every coach has a different style.  No two are alike, but it sounds like Muschamp doesn’t want the business-like, running a corporation approach.  You could read what he said as him wanting to just be a football coach.  Not wanting to worry about interviews, etc., but wanting to coach his team.  Muschamp loves being on the field, it doesn’t sound like he relishes some of the other stuff off of it.  He just wants to be himself and he seems to be doing that just fine so far.  It’s hard to question too much of what he’s done since being named a head coach for the first time and if you’re intent on hunting for jabs he might be throwing at others, keep searching.  Methinks he meant exactly what he said and was merely pointing out what he is and what he isn’t.  If it’s a shot at anyone in particular, so be it, but let’s not begin this sort of talk before he coaches his first game.  This was far from a Lane Kiffin-like shot fired.  As for what he said regarding Aubrey Hill and Miami, well…

Morning Reading: Lane Kiffin Just Can’t Keep His Mouth Shut

As if you didn’t know that.
• There’s something broken in Lane Kiffin’s head.  Something that doesn’t allow him to filter what he says before it comes out.  We all know people like that, but luckily most of them don’t have the ability to become national news.  Watching Kiffin is like seeing a train wreck in slow motion.  Can’t look away.
During Thursday’s Pac-10 media event, Kiffin just couldn’t resist.  When asked about the lawsuit filed by the Tennessee Titans against him, he said “I think it has to do with the location of the team.”  Yeah that’s exactly it Lane.  The only reason the Titans are coming after you is because of their proximity to the school you ditched after one season.  It has nothing to do with the fact that you hired away one of their coaches.  Nothing at all.
One day we’ll find out if Kiffin can really coach.  Until them we have to sit back and watch the train.
David Tyree made one spectacular catch we’ll all remember forever.  Other than that, he caught a grand total of 55 passes in seven NFL seasons and is only 30 years old.  That second sentence is what makes him signing a one-day contract with the New York Giants so he can retire as a member of that franchise a joke.
I believe it’s marginally stupid when superstars do this.  I believe is over the top pointless when someone an average player does it.  There’s only one thing that could rival it.  The fact that Tyree will hold a conference call today to announce his retirement.
Apologies to Tyree who I’m sure is a stand-up individual, but signing with a team for one day simply so you can retire doesn’t make you a part of that team.  Not at all.  It makes the whole thing a show about you and only you.  Go out gracefully Tyree.  We want to remember your catch.  Not this.
• Have a player you think might have some maturity issues?  Hire his high school coach as an assistant to keep him in check.  That’s exactly what the Sacramento Kings have done.
Before and after DeMarcus Cousins was drafted, question marks were attached to the former Kentucky star.  Many wondered if he was mature enough to handle the NBA and truly become the superstar he was expected to be.  To help Cousins with his development and hopefully keep him on track, the Kings have hired Otis Hughley as an assistant.  Cousins played under Hughley at LeFlore in Mobile, AL.
Chris Bosh claims he didn’t mail it in last season when playing for the Toronto Raptors.  In fact, he says: “On the back of my jersey it says ‘Bosh’…The Boshes are hard workers.  We have a lot of pride in what we do, in our jobs and in life.”  Damn right.
• The front page of ESPN.com’s college basketball page had the following on it this morning: Purdue’s title hopes rest on Robbie Hummel’s health.”  Purdue?  Title worthy?  Really?  I really must not know as much about college basketball as I used to.
• If Ilya Kovalchuk really wants that 17-year deal, he might just get it.  There are rumors the KHL might be willing to match the deal he agreed to with the New Jersey Devils if Kovalchuk would consider switching leagues.  It would be a big blow to the NHL to lose one of its brightest stars in his prime.
• And finally, some baseball team acquired a big-name pitcher.

Morning Reading: Pete Carroll Thinks the NCAA Overdid It

The NCAA may have gone a little far in its punishment of USC.  A two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships can seem like a little much.  But the NCAA wanted to make an example out of the Trojans and for the rest of us, well, it’s funny.  We like watching Lane Kiffin struggle.  It’s like watching a beetle writhe around on its back.  Ultimately it’s going to die and we can get back to a world with one less disgusting bug.
It’s also fun for those of us that just don’t like the Trojans.  USC went from that program with a great history that had become nothing more than average to a power with explosive offenses that we admittedly liked to watch.  Mike Williams made jaw-dropping catch after jaw-dropping catch.  Matt Leinart made throwing a football look abnormally easy.  And the combo of Reggie Bush and LenDale White made Trojan football fun to watch.  It’s okay.  You can admit it. You enjoyed the show they put on.
But after a while it became too much.  There were stories of illegal benefits given to players, the recruiting reach of the program became more than frustrating (I’m still a little peeved Keith Rivers went out west), and we had had enough.  Enter Kiffin.
Although we had developed a number of reasons to not like USC (and yes, most of them were because they were so damn good), Kiffin gave us a reason to hate them.  And we did.  We welcomed the fact that recruits will continue to come, but Kiffin couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag (apologies for the super lame analogy, I haven’t had my coffee yet) so we weren’t all that concerned.  We figured the Kiffin coaching cycle lasted no more than 2-3 years and he would be a coordinator at Second Tier Program State before we could blink.
But the hatred of the Trojans continued.  We welcomed the NCAA investigations and hoped the hammer would come down on USC.  And down it came.  Crushing the next few years of the program.  Making it even harder for Kiffin to finish a season with a, you know, decent record.  The penalties were harsh, but we laughed and laughed some more.  But if we were USC fans, we would be crying and yelling out that the NCAA had gone too far.  Pete Carroll is doing just that.
The former USC head coach is lashing out at the NCAA because he believes the Trojans, his Trojans, were punished for nothing.  Carroll wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing so there must not have been any.  Of course, he has the easy way out.  He’s not the coach anymore.  He’s not even in the NCAA anymore.  Carroll has the cushy pillow that is another job with another employer.  He can say all he wants and not be reprimanded for it.  But at the same time, the NCAA can simply choose to ignore him.  Which is exactly what they will do.

The Long Snapper (6/14/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
The next time I receive a text message from a friend that says “check out the mug shots on Gainesville.com I’m ignoring it.  In fact, I’m deleting it and pretending I never saw it.  Yesterday morning I followed through with the request and to my surprise found Frankie Hammond.  The Florida wide receiver was arrested on Sunday morning on charges of DUI and liquor possession.  Hammond was pulled over after driving recklessly.  In his car, police found two open bottles of Crown Royal (keep it classy Frankie).  Hammond’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.  This is a solid four out of five on the UGH! meter.
Switching to the positive side of the Gator wide receivers coin, Florida added another member to their 2011 recruiting class in the form of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL) wide receiver Javares McRoy.  McRoy was originally committed to Texas Tech – where he had hoped to play with his brother – but pulled the trigger on a switch to the Gators citing a desire to stay close to home.  McRoy is a legitimate star and is rated at the 148th-best prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com.  Although getting the opportunity to carry the ball a great deal in Lakeland’s offense, McRoy will use his speed at receiver at Florida.
With USC in a heap of trouble (Lane Kiffin…hehe), speculation will continue to build over where some of their better players may end up.  While upperclassmen can be contacted by other schools, underclassman cannot.  They are free to transfer if they wish, but would have to sit out a year before being eligible to play.  One of the bigger names in USC’s 2010 signing class is claiming he has been contacted by five schools all attempting to recruit him.  Dillon Baxter – who the Gators did indeed recruit previously – is claiming Florida is one of the schools after him again.  Baxter informed the Trojan’s director of compliance that he had received phone calls from the schools which of course would be against the rules (something USC might know a little something about).  Florida denies they made any such contact.
If the Big 12 does crumble (which after today’s rumors might not be as sure of a happening as it was late last week), where do the remaining teams go?  One thought is the Big East.  Depending on where all of this ends, Kansas and Missouri may be looking for new homes.  The Big East may be able to provide them a pretty good one.  The conference really has no idea what it is doing at this exact moment and may have to wait until the dust settles to finally make a move.  Making a play for the Jayhawks and Tigers might not be a bad idea.  Both add to the Big East’s television reach and both provide solid programs that should fit in fairly well.  And USF would get to consistently play the team it has one of its program’s defining wins over.

Does This Mean Lane Kiffin Has More Time to Recruit?

It better.  He’ll need it.
The NCAA finally let USC know its punishment for being lowdown, dirty cheaters.  The Trojans’ football program faces a two-year postseason ban, a loss of 30 scholarships, and the forfeiture of a number of wins.
Let’s move right pass the forfeiture of wins.  This is always a silly (sorry, there’s really no better word) punishment.  Those games happened.  We can’t erase them from our minds.  We can’t magically believe USC didn’t win those games.  We saw them happen and still have memories of who came out on top.
The two-year bowl ban and loss of scholarships is what really hurts the Trojans and head coach Lane Kiffin (hehe).  Given the number of high-quality recruits USC pulls in, this could be detrimental to the immediate future of the program.
Think of a kid who has the definite potential to be put into the “three-and-done” category.  He’s all ready to come into USC as a true freshman this fall and is suddenly faced with the prospect that he’ll only get a chance to play in one bowl game during his time there.
This is where the NCAA needs to step in.  This is the typical problem where current players are being punished for what former players did.  Sure a kid could choose to transfer, but then he has to sit out a year.  The NCAA should provide athletes in the situations like this with the ability to move on with no lost eligibility.  After all, they aren’t the ones who broke the rules in the first place.
The NCAA had to do something to USC – they can’t punish Pete Carroll or Reggie Bush – but give these kids a chance to continue their careers at a place that didn’t just get hit with huge sanctions over something that occurred when these athletes weren’t even in high school yet.  They are the ones that suffer in the end (of course, all of this assumes they are squeaky clean as well).

The Long Snapper (5/20/10)

Jamar Taylor will not be moving to linebacker.  In fact, Taylor won’t be playing any position at USF anymore.  The senior running back is no longer a Bull.  Over his career, Taylor showed some flashes, but injuries kept him from getting a chance to really prove himself on the field.  There was talk about him moving to LB for his final year, but that won’t materialize.  Although Taylor wasn’t dismissed from the team, it sounds like academics may have had something to do with him leaving the team.  Taylor will still have one year of eligibility remaining, if he chooses to use it.
I need to figure out a way to get an apparel contract.  The Bull Gator sponsored by adidas or something like that.  Each of the Florida assistants gets $10,000 as part of the program’s contract with Nike.  Not a bad deal if you can get it.  Each coach will also get the use of a dealership car (whatever that means…I’m assuming some sort of loaner deal).  And, oh yeah, the money.  The assistants will earn a total of $2.66 million in 2010, led by new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin at $440,000.  I really should have taken up coaching.  Sadly, I think I’m already past my prime.
Star Jackson is leaving Alabama.  The quarterback was passed on the depth chart, meaning he most likely wouldn’t start once Greg McElroy exhausted his eligibility.  Because of that, Jackson will transfer.  First rumors are that he ends up at Georgia State where one of his high school assistant coaches is now.  By moving to GSU, Jackson will be eligible immediately and have the inside track to start.  And for fun, Georgia State faces Alabama during the upcoming season.  How’s that for a storyline?
What does going 7-6 in your first year as a college football head coach get you?  A $4 million salaryLane Kiffin is getting paid twice as much at USC as he did during his only year at Tennessee.  The Trojans will pay him a salary similar to what some of the best coaches in the nation are getting.  Coaches that typically win more than seven games in a season (Alabama’s Nick Saban won twice that many in 2009).  USC has decided Kiffin is worth it though and they will pay him nearly what they paid Pete Carroll.  Kiffin’s defensive coordinator, his father Monte Kiffin, will make somewhere in the ballpark of $2 million in 2010.  Roughly what he made when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we all still respected him.  That is if you believe the numbers.  Sources close to Kiffin say they’re exaggerated.  As is the idea Kiffin has the talent to warrant such a deal.
The List: Time for random.
1. I’m thinking the Montreal Canadiens might need to score if they want to win a game in the Eastern Conference Finals.
2. The World Cup is coming.
3. Rafael Soriano
4. John Wall in D.C.
The Sixth Man: Jordan Heath has decided to play for his dad in college.  Stan Heath’s son will walk-on at USF.  He played high school ball at Tampa Prep where he was a two-year starter at point guard.  Heath’s options were limited to mostly smaller schools, but he decided to stay near home and play for the elder Heath.

The Long Snapper (5/13/10)

Mike HillFlorida’s associate athletic director of external affairs – has some good news for those Gator fans with taste: the futuristic Nike uniforms are out.  During the 2010 season, Florida is expected to stick to the norm and go with the uniforms they’ve worn for several years now.  No odd designs and no helmet changes.  I’ve been a big fan of white helmets for some time and was especially fond of the throwbacks the Gators wore during their 2006 matchup with Alabama.  But the helmets worn in 2009 against FSU and the Crimson Tide?  No, no, no.  Most Gator fans (at least most of the fans I know) HATE the Florida font.  Not the script on the side of the standard helmets.  That “edgy” font mostly utilized by the basketball team.  Use the white helmets that were used in 2006 from time to time and I might get on board.  But replace the traditional, simple F with one that belongs in a made-for-TV sci-fi movie and a change has been made for the worse.  Stick with the standard Florida.
Write this one down.  Remember it for the future.  Impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the USF football program.  Who was the first Bull to transfer under Skip Holtz’s tenure?  Charlton Sinclair.  The safety will have three years of eligibility left wherever he ends up.  It sounds like he’s leaning toward a FCS school at the moment.  Sinclair didn’t play last season and probably wants to get on a football field as quick as he can.  He wasn’t expected to do more than provide depth on special teams for the Bulls in 2010.
Read this article and you’ll be smacked about the face with a point both Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron make about the difference between their plan at USC and their plan at Tennessee.  The reason they were so…so…so…what’s the word I’m looking for?…asinine when they ran the Vols was because they had to be.  They had to get the attention of the nation.  They had to put Tennessee back on the map in any way they could.  Their words people.  Not mine.  At USC, they have seemed quieter and they state it’s because they don’t have to do that with the Trojans.  Everyone is aware of USC’s recent success so they can spend more time coaching and less time on a national stage in ape costumes.  But the question that begs to be asked is how did it all work out at Tennessee?  Kiffin didn’t get a large enough sample to work with.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say you can’t judge only one season, but it sure seems like their plan failed.  Miserably.  Sure the recruiting class ranked as one of the best in the nation, but one year later, the Vols ended up 7-6 with a program that off the field was the laughingstock of the nation.  Now Tennessee is left to undo what Kiffin and company did.  A program coming off a winning record (although just barely) is essentially rebuilding.
Logan Gray will remain a Bulldog.  After realizing his future probably isn’t at quarterback (okay, so he’s not realizing it as much as I’m saying it), Gray will stay at Georgia and take a stab at wide receiver.  He’ll still be a QB, but also a WR.  For you USF fans, it sounds a lot like the Evan Landi role.  Gray stays has to be good for the Dawgs though because it gives them a backup with at least a little experience.  They were Aaron Murray or bust for a minute there.  Now they have Murray and a guy who’d be best suited at another position.  BRILLIANT!  And here I was concerned about Florida’s quarterback depth.
The List: Thursday is Canadian for random.
1. Mike Cammalleri
2. Florida baseball and softball
3. Zak Boggs
4. Getting pulled in a game seven
5. Brian Cushing
The Sixth Man: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting the use of drugs in any way, but I wasn’t aware that there were laws against being in a room where drugs may be.  Florida basketball signee Cody Larson faces a misdemeanor charge for exactly that.  Apparently Florida was aware of the situation before they allowed the forward to sign with the Gators.  It’s hard to have an opinion on this one because no one really knows what Larson did.  He may have simply been somewhere where someone wasn’t doing something they shouldn’t have.  We’ve all been there before.  For now, I’ll stand behind the new Gator.  (H/T: One Eyed Willy)

The Long Snapper (4/30/10)

Ah the co-starter designation.  USF currently has two positions that have that designation.  Middle linebacker and weakside linebacker.  It obviously won’t be that way forever – unless the NCAA instituted a new rule in which you can play 13 players on defense.  I’m not up on all the new rules, but I don’t think that one made the cut.  The co-starters are listed because neither has taken full control of the position so far.  Sometimes that’s a bad thing, but in this case it sounds like it’s actually a good thing.  Both players have been performing well and either could start.  Fingers crossed.  The battle at middle linebacker is between Sam Barrington (a TBG favorite) and Mike Lanaris.  The edge would seem to go to Barrington and is probably the fan pick, but Lanaris stepped it up during practices when Barrington couldn’t participate in due to injury.  I’ll give the edge to Barrington, but having Lanaris push him benefits both players.  At weakside linebacker, Sabbath Joseph is fighting with DeDe Lattimore for the starting position.  Joseph has the edge in terms of experience, but don’t be surprised if Lattimore is on the field a lot during the fall.  Good battles going on.  Much better than those you get when neither player is worthy of a starting spot.
Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is the only assistant coach without an assigned recruiting area in the state.  The reason is simple.  Austin is new to this.  Well, not new to it – he does have college coaching experience – but getting adjusted to it again.  Due to that, Austin won’t manage a section of Florida this year, but may in the future.  What he will recruit is the ever important Atlanta area as well as western Pennsylvania.  Hopefully Austin takes to recruiting better than former (can we really call him that?) defensive coordinator George Edwards.  Rumors were Edwards really never wanted a part of it.  Austin’s recent NFL experience should help him throughout the process.  Being able to talk NFL to kids who have the pro league as an ultimate dream never hurts.
Speaking of recruits from Atlanta, Cameron Newton has been named Auburn’s starting quarterback.  For now.  The former Gator has claimed the top spot following the spring and should be able to hold on to it through the fall.  Newton will have some competition for the job, but being named the top guy now speaks volumes to how the depth chart will end up.  Be afraid those of you on the Tigers’ schedule.  Although many Gator fans won’t admit it, Newton is a premier talent.  His ability to pass and run at his size makes him a threat to any defense.  Auburn is a team on the rise and Newton could push them to the next level in 2010.
Finish the regular season with a losing record, go bowling!  Why not?  The more bowls, the more money.  Why not allow losing teams into the “postseason?”  Because it’s one of the stupidest ideas ever.  With the number of bowls recently being increased to 35, we could end up rewarding losers.  A team that lost more games than it won could sneak into a bowl game.  Meaning a team could actually win their bowl game and still end up with a losing record.  My head hurts just thinking about that.  The NCAA is truly all about money and not the competitive nature of sports.  5-7 teams shouldn’t be rewarded.  In my opinion, 6-6 teams shouldn’t be rewarded either.  If I had any say, I would declare you have to win at least 75% of your games to go bowling.  8-4 sounds good enough to me.  But forcing teams to win twice as many games as they lose, severely limits the number of bowl games.  Many fans probably think that’s okay.  The NCAA does not.  So we’ll continue to get matchups of 6-6 teams and a loser may even be thrown in there from time to time.  Stupidity at its best.
The Friday Fifth (because The Long Snapper needs more sections that start with “The”): Lane Kiffin is cleaning up USC.  I have no jokes or anything to go along with that.  That one sentence is humorous enough.  At least I can agree with Tennessee fans on one thing now; they hate the guy as much as (or more than) the rest of us do.
The List: Sporting type things you should be watching this weekend.  In neat and tidy chronological order.
1. Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Game 1 – Friday, 7:00
2. Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder – Game 6 (Lakers lead 3-2) – Friday, 9:30
3. Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins – Game 1 – Saturday, 12:30
4. The Kentucky Derby – Saturday, 6:24
5. Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers – Game 1 – Saturday, 8:00
6. Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Game 2 – Sunday, 2:00
The Sixth Man: Florida has added Ohio State to its schedule for the next two years.  On November 16, the two teams will play in Gainesville and then in Columbus during the 2011-2012 season.  The Gators’ schedule is shaping up to be a good one next year with Xavier on the slate as well as the Buckeyes.  Maybe one of these years, the football team can take note.

The Long Snapper (3/4/10)

There’s still a chance Seantrel Henderson doesn’t end up playing for Lane Kiffin at USC.  It’s a small chance, but it’s still there.  “So you’re saying there’s a chance?”  Of course, it doesn’t appear that there’s much of a chance at all that he ends up at Florida“Like one in a million.”  The Gators are perfectly happy with the way their 2010 recruiting class ended up (as are all of us) and while Henderson would make a great addition, no one is losing sleep over it.  Should Henderson not end up with the Trojans, it looks like Miami or Ohio State top the list of his likely destinations, but don’t tell that to all-world all-everything super recruit Ronald Powell.  Powell became good friends with Henderson over the past year or so and would love for the talented offensive lineman to end up a Gator (maybe he can just leave his dad behind).  Powell hopes all his friend needs is some convincing that he’ll look best in orange and blue.  Don’t bet on it though.  The ship may have officially sailed on Henderson coming to Florida weeks ago.
Looking ahead to the 2011 recruiting class, Florida has made an offer to Plant City tight end Jordan Prestwood.  Prestwood figures to be one of the higher ranked TEs in the 2011 class and is even being looked at to move inside to offensive tackle by some schools.  A move he doesn’t seem to really want to make.  He already has offers from 14 schools and big names at that.  A big senior season should have Prestwood wanted by virtually every school in the nation.  He admits he grew up a fan of FSU (nobody’s perfect), but is wide open when it comes to where he’ll end up playing college ball.  At 6’6”, 250 lbs., Prestwood is already a great size for a versatile tight end at the collegiate level.  The way the TE is used in Urban Meyer’s system, Prestwood seems like he would be a perfect fit.  Good size, solid speed, great hands, big enough to block if asked to.  But don’t expect any kind of commitment anytime soon though.  Prestwood plans to wait until after his senior season is over.
After dropping Adarius Bellamy from the 2010 recruiting class and dismissing Mike Ford from the team (sigh), USF fans needed some good news in the running back department.  That came with the announcement that Mo Plancher has been granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA (my application for additional years are apparently still being reviewed).  Plancher was the leading rusher among RBs in 2009 and his experience was greatly needed to return.  He will anchor a running back corps that could be a strong point of the Bulls’ offense.  New head coach Skip Holtz has mentioned wanting to get the carries to the backs and away from B.J. Daniels.  Daniels’ scrambling ability is a plus, but he shouldn’t be leading the team in carries and yards.  Plancher’s return gives USF a definite starter and a good looking three-back rotation with Lindsey Lamar and Jamar Taylor.
Holtz recently answer some questions posed by USF fans.  Among those was possible changes to the Bulls’ uniforms and Holtz didn’t shy away from saying change could come.  He mentioned being approached by several players regarding the white helmets.  Count me in on that one.  Nothing against the gold helmets, but in my humble opinion, the whites are much, MUCH better.  Not every team needs white helmets (after watching Florida lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, I hope to never see the “futuristic” Gator helmets again…although I do love me the throwbacks), but USF looks great in them.  The subtle differences in the uniforms with the white over the gold are a nice touch and one I’d like to see made permanent.  Either that or bring back the yellow!  Just kidding on that one of course.  We don’t need an Oregon clone.  The Ducks clone themselves enough for everyone’s viewing displeasure.  And to my knowledge, the football team may be one of the few Bulls’ programs to never actually wear the yellow.
Today’s list should be titled nothing more than simply “Girls are Mean!”  Kudos to One Eyed Willy on that one.  Sugar and spice and everything mean.  At least that’s what today’s list indicates.
1. Maybe I had it all wrong about women’s basketball!

2. All’s fair in the MWC Tournament.
3. Rhode Island may be small, but the residents have some fight in them.
4. You need some water polo in your life.
The Sixth Man: That’s right, USF is the most improved basketball team in any of the six major conferences (they can also be referred to as the BCS conferences for those of you that are still stuck in the world of the pigskin).  The Bulls currently sit at 18-11 after finishing last season at 9-22.  Double your wins and halve your losses and you’re probably in store for a pretty good season.  What could be more impressive is the fact that USF has a chance to finish .500 in the Big East.  Considering the conference’s basketball success, that isn’t an easy feat at all.  The Bulls are currently 8-9 in conference play.  That’s twice as many Big East wins as last year and one more than each of the last two seasons combined.  With one game left against UConn, USF has a very real chance to get to 9-9.  The Huskies have struggled this year and are actually behind the Bulls in the Big East standings.  A win against UConn and a strong showing in the Big East Tournament and USF could actually find itself in the midst of Big Dance talk.  Although that would be the ultimate goal, even if the Bulls don’t get a bid, the season shouldn’t be look at as a disappointment.  Stan Heath is building something in arguably the nation’s toughest conference.  I’ll say it, USF basketball is actually fun to watch.  And that’s coming from someone who would rather have football player year round.