Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain, and Why I’ll Be Renewing My Season Tickets Regardless

Somewhere along the line, Will Muschamp lost his way. The man that was hired to be the head coach of the Florida Gators nearly four years ago could no longer cut it as the leader of the orange and blue footballers.

Jim McElwain

It was sad at times to see our once great program fall to the depths of a 4-8 season and follow that up with a team that couldn’t finish close games. Along the way, we seemed to know one thing—that Muschamp’s tenure at the University of Florida was quickly coming to a close and there was little chance there would be a year five.

I’m not disappointed that Muschamp won’t return. We have to be honest with ourselves in saying that the Gators weren’t cutting it over the last two calendar years. Many only had good things to say about Muschamp the person once his firing (oh, sorry, he “resigned”) was announced. That’s all good and well, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that he wasn’t winning football games. Even Ron Zook went 16-8 in the SEC. Muschamp served up a paltry 17-15 conference record. That’s right; in eight more SEC games, Muschamp only managed one more conference win than Zook.

But let’s not harp on the latest former head coach—Muschamp will get paid handsomely to coordinate a defense and will eventually be asked to be a head coach again. I wish him well, but at the same time I am excited to see what the next era in Florida Gators football brings.

That era began on December 4, 2014 with the announcement that former Alabama offensive coordinator and Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain would lead the Gators into the future. Many of you immediately yelled (or, more accurately, tweeted) “COLORADO STATE?!?” I’m forced to remind you where we found Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer.

We had forgotten McElwain, he of Bama lore. He had gone to the Rams and turned around a team while we had turned our focus back to the SEC. His three-year progression from 4-8 to 8-6 to 10-2 is impressive. Even more so when you consider Zook and Muschamp HAD NEVER BEEN HEAD COACHES!!!

He’s not the sexy name, but who is these days? Nick Saban? Yeah, never going to happen. Chip Kelly? Really not a possibility. Bringing Spurrier back? The guy is now 69 years old. McElwain, for the record is 52, or 17 years younger than the man at South Carolina. (Side note: McElwain is 17 years old than I am. That’s some weird Bermuda triangle right there.)

He’s an offensive coach. Check. He’s a good recruiter. Check (although so many of them are these days). High school coaches like him. Check. Former and current players rave about him. Check. A lot of people a whole lot smarter and more connected than I am like the hire. Check. He’s not Lane Kiffin. Check.

We have a little bit of a project on our hands, but we also did on December 31, 1989 when Spurrier was announced as the next head coach of the Gators. Spurrier was given a pass from the critics because 1) Twitter didn’t exist, and 2) if his Wikipedia page is correct, he won a Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at the University of Florida. But here was Spurrier’s record in three years at Duke: 20-13-1. He’s McElwain’s in three years at CSU: 22-16. Spurrier won 59% of his college-coached games before coming to Florida; McElwain won 58% of his.

I’m not saying McElwain will be Florida’s savior. How could I possibly know that? How could anyone? But on paper (and the Internet), he looks like a good candidate and one that we—myself included—shouldn’t have overlooked. He could be great, he could fall flat on his face, but both of those are true of anyone that would have been named the next head coach. (REMINDER THAT SABAN AND KELLY WEREN’T COMING!)

It’s about two months until I’ll receive my notice for season ticket renewal. I’ll be honest again (I’m never not) and say that I would have renewed regardless. Muschamp, McElwain, whoever—I would still be a season ticket holder in 2015. I enjoy it despite the fact that there haven’t been a whole lot of wins I’ve seen in person since becoming one, but having season tickets to Florida Gators football pleases me. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I’ll have them for a long time. I’d like more wins, of course, but I’ll go through the painful times as well. Call me what you want for having that philosophy, but it’s my choice and will be for many years to come.

So here we are Florida fans. We have a bowl game and 60 minutes of D.J. Durkin the head coach. Then we have months and months and months of watching McElwain build his Gators. The 2015 season can’t get here soon enough.

Year Four of Will Muschamp is a Certainty, But First the Gamecocks

Will Muschamp was given a vote of confidence this week—he will be the head coach of the Florida Gators in 2014. Both athletic director Jeremy Foley and University of Florida president Bernie Machen have come out in support on Muschamp; Foley going as far as to say he is 1,000% convinced Muschamp is the right man for the job. Debates will rage on, but are now as pointless as are those regarding possible future coaches. Will Muschamp will return, as far as we know.

Will Muschamp - Florida Gators

With the votes of confidence from Foley and Machen, Muschamp can focus on what is sure to be a tough run of final games. The regular season, and in all likelihood the entire season, comes to an end on November 30 with a visit from the currently undefeated Florida State Seminoles. One week before that, the Gators host Georgia Southern in what at one time was thought to be an easy victory. Easy victories have become a thing of the distant past. Prior to both of those games, there is Saturday’s trip to Columbia, South Carolina to face an old friend and another ranked opponent.

I will always have a feeling of admiration for Steve Spurrier, and maybe that makes me a different sort of Florida fan. There are those, and they still seem many in numbers, that despise the man that once led the Gators to glorious moment after glorious moment. After all, he left the Gators and that is the sin of all sins. You don’t win and win plenty at the University of Florida and then leave for a new opportunity or because the pressure was too much. The Gators have had two national championship winning head coaches do so, and many fans are not pleased about it and never will be.

There are some of us, though, that have moved on. I don’t blame Spurrier for leaving; I praise him for what he built. You can argue that the Florida Gators were destined for greatness regardless of the man that led them there. The school is large enough and the state in which it resides is plentiful of star high school prospects. While the 1970s had low points, the 1980s had high ones before Spurrier arrived. In 1990, things changed though. Spurrier returned to Gainesville and took the Gators to new heights. No one can predict what would have happened if he hadn’t, but I like to think those 12 seasons and 122 wins helped pave the way for SEC titles and national championships after Spurrier had long left the orange and blue.

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[INSERT TITLE THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE FLORIDA GATORS STRUGGLING OFFENSE, AGAIN]

My calm is my 15-month-old son. No, his name isn’t Tim or Percy or Danny or Reggie, but he’s awesome all the same. He’s at the perfect age where he loves the Florida Gators, but also doesn’t know they exist. I can say “Where’s chomp chomp?” and he’ll run to his playroom, find his football with the Florida Gators logo, run back to me, and point at the logo. He does so smiling the entire time as if nothing could make him happier. When the games start, he points at the television, cheers and sometimes even claps (he does the same for Chugginton and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). The key, though, is that he has no idea what’s really happening. He doesn’t know they are playing football and has no idea who wins or loses. Not only does he not know the outcome, he doesn’t care. He likes chomp chomp, but has no concern over silly things like scores. The game ends and it just means it’s time to play with Daddy. That makes him happy and it makes me happy. He is my calm and the reason I haven’t seriously thought about seeing how far I can launch my Gators garden gnome into the conservation area behind our house.

Tyler Murphy Florida Gators

This season has given us all many reasons to not be calm. There is an offense ranked in the 100s, where it has been during Will Muschamp’s entire tenure. Even without injuries to its starting quarterback and running back, the offense was far from productive. It was a case of “let’s hope this works, but not get too risky in the process.” You know, because taking chances is highly overrated. It has essentially become the opposite of exciting. And there’s nothing we can do about it, but watch, shrug and laugh (painfully).

We have to make it through four more games. I won’t say five because there’s a serious concern that the Gators won’t become bowl eligible. You’re looking at Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern and wondering how that could be possible. I’m looking at the Commodores win over Georgia and last season’s miracle victory over Louisiana-Lafayette and not penciling in game number 13 just yet. It’s so far from guaranteed, we barely want to mention a bowl. That’s not how Florida football should be, at all.

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The Night the Florida Gators Hit a Brick Wall, and Then Were Run Over By It

A Florida Gators’ fan is asked a question–“best college football team ever?” What’s their answer? The 1996 Gators? The 2006 squad? What about the 2008 team? Sadly, it’s not a Florida team. Sadder, the answer is an easy one that brings on instant nausea. They begrudgingly respond with the only logical answer in their mind.

Tommie Frazier - 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers

“The 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers.”

In 1995, I was a junior in high school. I had already decided my college destination. Even if I wouldn’t apply for a few months, I had known I would attend the University of Florida for years. For many of those years, I’ll admit that I knew very little of the school itself. I didn’t have a family full of alums or even neighbors that openly touted their affiliation with UF. What I did have was an unhealthy obsession with a football team. And in 1995, that obsession reached new, glorious heights.

The Gators would beat Tennessee and that Peyton Manning guy by 25 points. They would travel to LSU and Auburn on consecutive Saturdays and come away with victories against two ranked opponents. Georgia? Ha! 52-17. No. 6 FSU fell to the mighty Gators 35-24. Arkansas stood no chance in the SEC Championship Game and Florida came away with a 34-3 win, securing their spot in the national title game. That meant the 12-0 (yes, an undefeated season prior to the bowl game) Gators were headed to Tempe, Arizona to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Fiesta Bowl for all the marbles, the whole shebang, all that and a bag of chips, and whatever else you want to use to describe the national championship.

And Florida had stars, plenty of them, but one above all others. Danny Wuerffel was front and center, and rightfully so. His dream of a national championship would be fulfilled just one year later, but it felt within reach following the 1995 season. There he was, with Steve Spurrier behind him, directing one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. Nebraska was favored by three, but many believed Wuerffel and the Gators would be too much for the Cornhuskers’ defense. This, despite the fact that Nebraska had faced three top-10 teams during the regular season and had held them to an average of 16.3 points (admittedly skewed by allowing No. 10 Kansas only three points, but impressive nonetheless).

Wuerffel’s counterpart on Nebraska’s offense was Tommie Frazier (a name ever ingrained in the minds of Florida fans, and not in a good way). Frazier threw the ball half as much as Wuerffel did, wasn’t as accurate, and didn’t account for nearly as many touchdowns through the air. Frazier excelled, though, at managing one of the deadliest offenses we’ve ever seen in college football. The ‘Huskers option offense produced six players that would carry that ball at least 50 times. Only one averaged under 6.2 yards per carry. Two others carried the ball 22 times or more and both averaged over 8.4 yards per carry. By comparison, Nebraska didn’t throw the ball much, but they didn’t need to.

Heading into the game, the Gators were scoring 44.5 points per game, an impressive number. They had never scored less than 28 and had gone over 50 four times (and scored 49 once). I liked it. We all liked it. Very much. Then there was Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were averaging 52.4 points per game, had never scored less than 35, and had scored over 50 five times (with two games in which they put up 49). From a pure points-production standpoint, if the Gators were good, the ‘Huskers were better. There are many other factors to take into consideration when looking at these numbers. For instance, Florida’s strength of schedule ranked in at No. 16 that season. But Nebraska’s wasn’t much further down the list at No. 24.

The game began with hope. Florida scored first and, after allowing Nebraska to get on the board, scored again. The Gators were ahead 10-6 at the end of the first quarter and the outlook was bright. While the ‘Huskers had reached the end zone, so had the Gators and many were still wondering if the Nebraska defense could stop Florida. Then would come the second quarter.

Getting punched in the gut hurts. You momentarily lose your breath and struggle to find it as the pain in your stomach builds. This wasn’t that. This was much worse. This was November 26, 1994 (look it up if you must) all over again with the exception that that game ended in a tie at least (we can salvage that much, can’t we?). This would not end that way. Not even close. This was having Ryu come to life and hadouken you into a new zip code, to the tune of 29-0.

I can’t imagine what was said in the Gators’ locker room during halftime, nor do I want to. I heard my share of angry halftime locker room speeches during high school. I’m sure they didn’t register on the same level as this one. Florida was down 35-10 with a half to play. It wasn’t looking good. Even if the Gators could kick start their offense, how would they stop Nebraska? Well, they wouldn’t. While the fireworks wouldn’t continue as rapidly, the grand finale hadn’t come either. It would, with less than one minute remaining in the third quarter.

Florida had scored to cut (ha) the lead to 42-18. Nebraska got the ball back and on second down from their own 25 unleashed one of the most memorable plays in the history of college football (which is also possibly the most painful for Gators’ fans despite it happening when the game was already out of reach). Actually, Frazier unleashed it. There was nothing spectacular about what the other ‘Huskers on the field at the time did. It wasn’t a case of a perfect play or an amazing block that sprung Frazier into the opening. In reality, five Gators had a more than great opportunity to bring Frazier down (your count may be slightly different depending on how you define a true missed tackle). At the time, it felt like closer to 50.

I just rewatched the play for the first time in many, many years. It doesn’t hurt any less. It was the game’s most dangerous offensive weapon taking over on the game’s most important stage. If the game was out of reach before the play, the mercy rule should have been put into effect after Frazier’s run. Frazier rushed for 604 yards during the 1995 regular season. He rushed for 199 against the Gators.

When it all came to an end, Florida had fallen to Nebraska 62-24. What could have been the biggest moment in the program’s history became one of the worst. Attempting to put a cap on what had been a great season, the Gators ran into the best team in the history of college football. Some will say 1971 Oklahoma and others will mention 1972 USC. For this fan and many others out there, there is no debate. Even without suiting up in orange and blue and being on that field, we felt the shear power that Nebraska team had. It was painfully amazing and at the same time amazingly painful.

Exactly one year later, the Gators would accomplish what they hoped they would have on January 2, 1996. There would be three national titles in all following the destruction in Tempe. We like to think that loss propelled the Gators into the 1996 season with a chip on their shoulders. That 38-point championship game loss became a 32-point championship game win. As much as we’d love to have that game back, the result may not have been different. Whatever fuel it gave the Gators to power them to the 1996 championship is all we can take from it. That has been good enough for us for many years and will have to be for many more.

Florida Gators Vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks; 10th Win Is On The Horizon

There are milestones each team sets for the season. Steve Spurrier made sure the Florida Gators’ goal was to get to Atlanta and the SEC Championship Game. That was goal number one. Following that came the goal of playing for a National Championship. Spurrier’s Gators teams made good on that first goal numerous times, so did Urban Meyer’s squads. In year two, Will Muschamp’s Gators won’t make it to Atlanta, but at 9-1 (7-1 SEC) this season has been a step in the right direction and Florida now sits one victory away from another goal.

Jacoby Brissett - Florida Gators

I don’t run the Florida Gators’ football program (I think I’ve mentioned that before), but I have a goal of my own. It’s not a lone goal independent of the other two because it lends to their accomplishment. That goal is to get to 10 wins. A conveniently neat number, 10 wins makes a season stand out. It gives you a measure of success. If you can win 10 out of 12, 13 or 14 games, you’re doing something right. If you can get to those 10 without the help of a conference championship or a bowl game, even better. At 9-1, the Gators have a chance to reach that milestone in only game number 11.

That wasn’t expected at the beginning of the season. 10 wins was a possibility, but not necessarily by game 11. Many–myself included–thought a 9-3 regular season was in the cards with a chance of one win worse at 8-4. 10 wins could have come, but the Gators would have needed the added advantage of a second-tier bowl against a middle-of-the-road Big Ten opponent. Then the season began to unfold and that goal came to light quicker than we could have imagined. The Gators were 7-0 before we knew it and were in the SEC Championship Game hunt right up until last week. At 9-1, this team has had a phenomenal season, even if at times you really had to wonder how that record could possibly be what it was.

On Saturday, the Gators face their first non-FBS opponent of the season–the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Florida has already accomplished a lot this season in terms of their record, and looks to accomplish more on Saturday. The Gators have a chance to go 7-0 at home for only the third time in school history. They are only the 14th Florida squad to go 9-1 in their first 10 games and can become only the 7th to go 10-1 in their first 11. There’s some prestigious company among those other six seasons: four of those Gators’ teams played for a national title (three won) and another finished the season 13-1. And the Gators have done that this season while facing the nation’s toughest schedule.

Jacksonville State is not the Gators’ toughest opponent of the season, but Louisiana-Lafayette wasn’t supposed to be either. We all saw what happened last week and I’m fairly certain not a single one of us could handle something like that again. At this point in the season, we want Brent Pease’s 50 points more than he might. In order to do so though, the Gators’ offense will be in the hands of the backup quarterback. Jeff Driskel is out; Jacoby Brissett is in. The (necessary-due-to-injury) change is intriguing and there isn’t a single fan that isn’t somewhat curious about Brissett’s ability. Do the Gators open up the offense and go for broke? Or do they play it safe and give us another win typical of all the rest we’ve seen in 2012?

Saturday marks another test. I’d like to say that test doesn’t involve getting the win because that’s guaranteed, but…well…that doesn’t seem like the right thing to say this season. The real test is how the offense performs. Perhaps most important is how the offensive line performs. The line looked much better early in the season, but has regressed the last few weeks. There are times (too many times) where linemen are turning around to watch Driskel get sacked or running backs get tackled behind the line of scrimmage. A very good defensive team takes on the Gators in only one week’s time and all of that has to stop. The key to the offense starts with the line. As green as you may want to believe Driskel (or Brissett) is, no quarterback can work miracles without time. The challenge is on the line. Get that 10th win and get the offense going.

I’ll enjoy my Saturday; I always do. I want to enjoy it more though. I want last week’s maniacal laugh to turn into a joyous one. First though, I want win number 10. Go Gators. Just win.

Florida Gators 44 – South Carolina Gamecocks 11; Gators Take Control Of SEC East In Big Victory

With a 44-11 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Florida Gators took control of the SEC East. At 7-0 (6-0 SEC), the Gators have two more conference games to get through before a possible trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. It seemed a year away before the 2012 season began, but after seven games, it’s now a very real possibility.

Florida Gators Fans

Watching the first half, you felt that the Gators had control of the game despite a (beyond) subpar offensive performance. It was an odd feeling, but when the Gators entered the locker room leading 21-6, there was a definite aura of victory. While Florida wasn’t moving the ball particularly well, they were winning by two scores and the defense was playing up to its high expectations. If you told me a team with 29 total yards of offense could lead a football game by 15 after 30 minutes of play, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. But you would have been right and that’s all that matters.

The second half was more kind to the Gators offense. Although, after 60 minutes, Florida was still outgained. The Gators scored an unfathomable 44 points on 181 total yards. Turnovers and special teams will do that for you though. And it doesn’t hurt to have a ridiculously unbelievable statline like this one…

Jeff Driskel – 11/16, 93 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Amazed? Well, here were the numbers at the half…

Jeff Driskel – 5/7, 15 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

The Gators have passed for less than 100 yards in three-straight games for the first time since before Steve Spurrier roamed the home team’s sidelines. They have also won all three of those games and two against top-10 teams. I’ll say that again to be sure you’ve heard me. The Gators have won three-straight games–two against top-10 teams–while passing for less than 100 yards in each.

In this one, they didn’t run it particular well either. That’s saying something for South Carolina’s defense and not necessarily a lack of production from Florida. The Gators had trouble blocking the Gamecocks front four to no surprise to anyone. It’s a talented South Carolina defense, but Florida managed to do enough to win. I would say just enough by looking at the stats, but then I glance at the final score. A 33-point win classifies as much more than “just enough.”

There you have it Gators fans. Another win–the seventh off the season. During Will Muschamp’s first season as head coach, the Gators won a total of seven games and needed the bowl game to hit that mark. This time around, it took seven games to get to seven. If you’re out tonight celebrating the victory, go ahead and order yourself a seven and seven. You deserve it. We all do. But the biggest congrats goes to the Florida Gators; our Florida Gators. 7-0 is so sweet and it’s always great to be a Florida Gator.

Preview: Florida Gators Vs. South Carolina Gamecocks; SEC East Control Up For Grabs

The Florida Gators host the South Carolina Gamecocks today in what could amount to a battle for control of the SEC East. I’ll keep this short because the die-hards among you have already joined the tailgate of champions. The weather is pretty close to perfect and Fall is here. That makes for a great day of football, not only in Gainesville, but across the SEC.

Jarvis Moss - Florida Gators

As you await kickoff and another matchup between two great programs, build your anticipation for this one accordingly. Yes, I used the word great for the Gamecocks as well. Our once head coach has led them to heights never before experienced in Columbia and good for them. Rivalries are a great part of the sport and this one may never have reached this level without an injection of Steve Spurrier.

There are those among us that still love Spurrier–I’m one of them. There are also those that don’t feel anything positive toward the man. My guess is that second group has calmed its stance slightly after the Urban Meyer situation. Hopefully they realize what Spurrier did for the mighty Florida Gators. Without him, mighty may not be the right descriptor. But today, he’s the enemy. We can praise his accomplishments as a player and a coach at the University of Florida and we can thank him for what he did. One day, I’ll tell my son about the man that propelled the orange and blue to greatness. Not today.

Today, Spurrier is just that man leading the other team. He is Derek Dooley, Les Miles, Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher. There is no connection today. Today he must be beat. The winner controls the SEC East. Both teams control their own destiny; all they have to do is keep winning to punch their ticket to Atlanta. It’s about who wants it more. We know which side we’re on and we’re ready to see those mighty Florida Gators take care of business once more.

Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the fall. Enjoy another college football Saturday. And, as always, Go Gators!

Bruised Hip May Limit Marcus Lattimore; Florida Gators Game Plan Shouldn’t Change

When news broke on Wednesday that South Carolina star running back Marcus Lattimore had missed practice with a bruised hip, the outlook of Saturday’s game changed. With their offensive star far from 100%, the Gamecocks’ chances against the Florida Gators took a hit. That is, if he is truly limited.

Marcus Lattimore - South Carolina Gamecocks

At this point, we’re hearing that Lattimore “might not start.” That’s very different than “will be out.” If Lattimore doesn’t start, but is available, it means he can play if needed. If South Carolina takes care of business without him, Steve Spurrier and the rest of the Gamecocks’ staff would be comfortable with him watching from the sidelines. That, though, isn’t desired. South Carolina wants Lattimore to play and may even need him to play.

The Gamecocks are much more than Lattimore and what he brings to the team, but there’s no denying his star status and what he brings to their offense. He has three 100-yards games and has scored each time South Carolina has taken the field this season. If you need proof of what he can do, you can simply go to his stat line from the 2010 game against the Gators: 40 carries, 212 yards, three touchdowns. He was a true freshman at the time and the Gamecocks won by 22.

But, as I said, he isn’t the entire team. South Carolina took care of business in 2011 against Florida without him. Sure, it was a very different Gators’ team just one season ago, but a win is a win is a win and the Gamecocks are 6-1 in games he hasn’t appeared in. Think about that for just a moment. They are 20-7 with Lattimore, but their win percentage is actually better without him. Is he an important part of their offense? Definitely. Can they win without him? They sure can.

For now, his status is uncertain. It shouldn’t matter to the Gators though. In the first half of the regular season, Florida has proven to have one of the better defenses in the nation. The Gators are playing fast (which is nothing new), but are also playing a physical style of football that was missing at times the past two seasons. Marcus Lattimore or not, the Gators’ game plan doesn’t change.

If Lattimore can go, they have to contain him. If he can’t, they shift their attention to Kenny Miles and Mike Davis (yes, that Mike Davis). Miles, a senior, has gone over 10 carries 11 times in his career. Six of those times came way back in 2009. Davis, a freshman, has 13 career carries to his credit. He’s averaging 9 yards per carry, but that number is lifted by a 50-yard gain against UAB. There isn’t a lot to the Gamecocks’ run game from the running backs not named Marcus Lattimore, but the Gators should still stick to their plan. And they will.

This game means too much to Florida to deviate from what works and what they hope to do. Injury reports, whether real or not (as some speculate Spurrier is playing mind games with the Gators), don’t matter much. The Gators are preparing for another hard-fought SEC battle. The Gamecocks without Lattimore are still a very good, talented team. They still have playmakers on offense and a frightening defense. And that describes Florida as well. Lattimore or no Lattimore, the Gators can win this game, if they prepare for it and play it their way.

As If You Need More Reasons To Dislike Former Florida Gators Head Coach Urban Meyer

Yesterday brought us this – an article by Matt Hayes of the Sporting News exposing the real Florida Gators under former head coach Urban Meyer. For some, it was shocking. For most, it was on par with many of the rumors we’ve heard over the last few years. For all, it put another item (or two, or three) under “Cons” on the list of our thoughts about Meyer.

I’m not a Meyer supporter – although some would paint me as such – I just choose to remember certain things. That selective memory is because of a desire to be happy for certain things that occurred while not wasting the time to be upset about other things that can’t be changed. If the article by Hayes is true and former Florida defensive back Bryan Thomas is telling us what really happened under Meyer, so be it. It doesn’t make me proud as a fan by any means, but I’m also much more interested in discussing Will Muschamp and season two under the man we currently refer to as the head coach.

What I do choose to remember and bask in when it comes to Meyer are the two national championships and the athletes we had a chance to witness – Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes to name a few. I don’t know if there was preferential treatment for those three and the other Gators stars during Meyer’s tenure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was. That’s not an admission that I believe it’s right, it’s just a statement that, again, those rumors have been present well before Monday when the article was posted.

What the article does provide is justification – justification to those Florida fans that no longer consider Meyer a friend. Gators fans are a passionate bunch and among that passion will be certain feelings for not only Meyer, but also Steve Spurrier and any other coach or player that ever spent a day in The Swamp. What they choose to celebrate or condemn is their choice and they should be proud of whatever stance they take. My stance just happens to be one of the now and not the past.

That doesn’t mean I believe the arrests are justified in any way and it doesn’t mean I will go home today and dust off my Urban Meyer shrine. It simply means I don’t treat Monday as a groundbreaking day in the history of the Florida Gators football program. It keeps my feelings right about where they were when Meyer was named the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, which is somewhere between “meh” and “sigh.”

Meyer’s tenure will be discussed at length for years to come. It will probably even be summed up by many just as Thomas did when asked to comment for the article:

“As far as coaching, there’s no one else like (Meyer); he’s a great coach. He gets players to do things you never thought you could do. But he’s a bad person.” – Bryan Thomas, Former Florida Gators Defensive Back

That may be accurate and, if you believe the article and the rumors you’ve surely heard, you probably don’t doubt it. I don’t either, but I am continuing to look forward more than I’m looking back. For your own sanity, I recommend you try to do the same.

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Former Florida Gators Kicker Judd Davis Plays…Jai Alai?!?

It’s not always easy to find out what former Florida Gators’ greats are up to, but when you do it can be very surprising. That’s the case with former Gators’ kicker and Groza Award winner Judd Davis who is currently playing Jai Alai in Ocala, FL.

I’ll be honest by saying I don’t really understand a lot in that article. That’s not meant to disparage the sport in any way, but I hadn’t heard of a “fronton” until today. The issue it seems is that Ocala Poker and Jai Alai only has two players participating in the current season. Davis is one of them.

Those of you that remember Davis, recall one of the greatest kickers in Florida history. Davis went from walk-on to best-in-the-nation and was a key player on some of Steve Spurrier’s earlier squads. Davis is truly a Gators’ great.