Jeff Choate Named Florida Gators’ New Outside Linebackers Coach and Special Teams Coordinator

Will Muschamp has filled his staff with the hiring of Jeff Choate. On Wednesday, the Florida Gators announced the hiring of Choate as the new outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. Choate comes to the Gator from UTEP where he spent just the spring season.

Jeff Choate - Florida Gators

Yes, that’s correct. Choate came to the Miners as UTEP’s new defensive coordinator this spring after spending last season coaching linebackers under Mike Leach at Washington State. Despite not coaching with the Miners for even one regular season, Choate mentioned the opportunity to be a part of a program like Florida was just too good to pass up.

Choate has a few connections to the Gators. He visited Florida during spring practice a year ago and spent time with Muschamp while the Gators’ head coach was at Texas. Despite not working on the same staff until now, Muschamp and Choate had shared philosophies on numerous occasions. Choate also spent six years as an assistant coach at Boise State with current Florida offensive coorindator Brent Pease.

Muschamp hopes Choate will bring the same philosophies and intensity to the Gators that the head coach has tried to instill during his stint with the orange and blue.

It’s October 1 And The Florida Gators Are In The Top 10 (Of 1 Of The Polls At Least)

It’s October, which in college football means the real season has started. Plenty has happened over the first month of the season to make us all believe we know where the 2012 season is headed, but until now it meant little and we can’t predict the future as much as we think we may be able to. What does mean something, until it doesn’t, is that after the first five weeks of the season, the Florida Gators are a top-10 team. That’s only the case in one of the two major polls, but as fans we’ll take it, even if some of us don’t consider it to count for much.

Jeff Driskel - Florida Gators

Count me among those. While I’m happy (or content, or pleasantly surprised) with the state of the Florida Gators at the moment, I don’t put too much into that top-10 ranking. September is a trial of sorts during which teams find their way. While 4-0 is exactly where we’d want the Gators to be and 3-0 in the SEC is an added bonus, we all remember what October one year ago gave us. It wasn’t pretty and a month we hope to forget sooner rather than later.

Does that mean I’m not impressed with Florida’s play thus far? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. In fact, as stated above, I’m pleasantly surprised with what the Gators have put together. There are questions still to be answered and some holes to be filled, but overall the product we’re seeing on the field is headed in the direction we all had hoped. There’s still the very real possibility we have an 8-4 season on our hands, but if Florida continues to improve and show some of the positive signs they have, we would all be pleased with what the future will bring.

But we’re not there yet. We’re at the end of September, which means there are two-thirds of a season remaining and the biggest challenges are still to come. The No. 10 ranking in the AP Poll is nice, as is the No. 11 spot in the Coaches, but they are just that – nice. Sure, the Gators can climb even higher, but they can fall just as easily. In the blink of an eye by the name of October really. Let’s take a look at recent history, shall we?

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2012 Football Recruiting: Stefon Diggs Likes Brent Pease Hire; Refers To Florida Gators As “We”

There are about a million ways to take the words a prospect uses during his recruitment. Some say exactly what’s on their mind; others can be extremely cryptic. When an uncommitted prospect uses the word “we” when talking about a specific school, you take notice. When Stefon Diggs – one of the nation’s top wide receivers and a target of virtually every top program – says it in reference to the Florida Gators, you want need to find out more.

Diggs was quoted as being in support of the Gators’ hire of now former Boise State Broncos offensive coordinator Brent Pease. He mentioned that he likes what Pease has done and wants to play in a similar system. And he dropped this as well:

“I know he likes to throw the ball a lot, so I guess we got somebody good.” – Stefon Diggs

As I said, there are a million ways to look at that. It could be an indication of where Diggs is leaning. It could just be the way he speaks. It could have been a slip. It could have been nothing at all. If we’ve learned anything from following recruiting, it’s more likely any of the options that aren’t the first one. It was probably just something he said that we shouldn’t take to be the definitive moment of his recruitment. However, we did learn that Florida is still firmly among his options. Diggs has been hard to get a read on, but appears to be very pleased with the direction the Gators are going with Pease.

Be sure to read the entire article linked to above. Current commit Kent Taylor also has great things to say about Pease and believes the hire may go a long way with Nelson Agholor.

Florida Gators To Name Boise State’s Brent Pease Next Offensive Coordinator

These days, everyone has a source. Sources told us the Florida Gators were looking at Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease for the same job in Gainesville. Sources told us the Gators were close to an agreement with Pease. And now sources are telling us Florida will announce the hiring of Pease on Wednesday.

Pease comes to Florida from Boise State where he was an assistant for the past six seasons. He took over as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator in 2011 after Bryan Harsin left for Texas. You don’t need me to tell you that Boise State had one of the nation’s more explosive offenses. At first glance, Pease looks like a good hire, but we will be watching to see how he translates his methods to the SEC. The increased speed of defenses in the conference is something Pease didn’t see challenging the Broncos every week. While Boise State did beat Georgia in the opening game of this past season, that’s just one week. That doesn’t mean I’m not in Pease’s corner; it simply means I’ll be keeping an eye on how he adapts.

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The Bull Gator Week 12 BlogPoll Top 25

The TBG entry in the BlogPoll in all its glory with expanded commentary below…

LSU and Oklahoma State hold the inside track to play for the national title, but you already knew that. Houston keeps winning, but is as much of a long shot as Boise State is year after year. The Broncos and Stanford did make the picture a little clearer though by bowing out of the race. Where things will get interesting is if the Tigers or Cowboys lose.

If LSU does lose a game, can you realistically take Alabama or Oregon – two teams the Tigers beat – over them? No you can’t, but as we’ve seen in the past, losing late in the season hurts more than losing early. The Ducks’ loss to the Tigers has almost reached out of site, out of mind status.

If Oklahoma State drops one, is the possibility of a LSU-Bama rematch restored? The Crimson Tide would be the most attractive team to play for the title with only one very close loss to the nation’s top team, but they also wouldn’t have won their own conference. Of course, the alternative isn’t much better. The Ducks could win the Pac-12, but like Bama, Oregon has already lost to LSU.

All of that and it boils down to this, the picture is only clear if the Tigers and Cowboys win out. If one, or both, don’t, enjoy the chaos.

The big climbers of the week are Georgia (up four spots) and Michigan (up five). The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East, which is almost laughable considering none of us expected that before the season. It wouldn’t be the first time the “experts” crowned a champion too early. The Wolverines are part of a Big Ten contingent at 8-2 that makes that conference about as easy to figure out as all the scandal surrounding it.

The biggest losers of the week are Cincinnati (falling 10 spots) and Penn State (a 12-spot drop and a season that will be difficult to salvage due to one of the darkest clouds hanging over it we’ve ever seen). The Bearcats still have the inside track to the Big East while the Nittany Lions 5-1 Big Ten record could quickly become 5-3 with visits to Ohio State and Wisconsin to close the regular season.

One team to keep an eye on is Southern Miss who could quietly move into the top 10 before all is said and done.

The Bull Gator Week 11 BlogPoll Top 25

Plenty more to come on this Monday, but we start with this week’s TBG entry into the SB Nation BlogPoll. A three-loss team enters the poll for the first time and while the undefeateds rule, Alabama still has the upper hand over Boise State and Houston.

SB Nation Week 10 BlogPoll Top 25

The entire SB Nation BlogPoll in all its glory. The TBG ballot here.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 10

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 LSU Tigers (76) 25.11 2.61
2 Alabama Crimson Tide (15) 24.41 2.53
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 22.82 2.27
4 Stanford Cardinal 22.20 2.21
5 Boise St. Broncos 21.32 1.82 Arrow_up 1
6 Oregon Ducks 19.91 1.90 Arrow_up 1
7 Oklahoma Sooners 18.97 1.24 Arrow_up 4
8 Arkansas Razorbacks 17.18 2.02 Arrow_up 1
9 Nebraska Cornhuskers 16.68 1.67 Arrow_up 4
10 Clemson Tigers 15.36 2.16 Arrow_down -5
11 South Carolina Gamecocks 13.92 2.81 Arrow_up 4
12 Virginia Tech Hokies 13.06 2.72 Arrow_up 2
13 Houston Cougars 11.84 4.10 Arrow_up 5
14 Michigan Wolverines 11.43 3.21 Arrow_up 3
15 Penn St. Nittany Lions 10.57 3.47 Arrow_up 4
16 Michigan St. Spartans 10.07 2.37 Arrow_down -6
17 Kansas St. Wildcats 9.87 3.75 Arrow_down -9
18 Wisconsin Badgers 7.99 3.18 Arrow_down -6
19 Georgia Bulldogs 6.79 3.07 Arrow_up 4
20 Arizona St. Sun Devils 6.56 2.82 Arrow_up 2
21 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 4.58 3.04 Arrow_up 9
22 USC Trojans 3.87 3.97 Arrow_down -1
23 Cincinnati Bearcats 3.76 3.50 Arrow_up 1
24 Southern Miss. Golden Eagles 2.26 2.81 Arrow_up 2
25 West Virginia Mountaineers 2.24 2.73
Others Receiving Votes: Texas Longhorns | Auburn Tigers | Washington Huskies | Texas A&M Aggies | Ohio St. Buckeyes | TCU Horned Frogs | Notre Dame Fighting Irish | Florida St. Seminoles | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Missouri Tigers | Arkansas St. Red Wolves | Florida Gators | North Carolina Tar Heels | Virginia Cavaliers | Wyoming Cowboys
Updated: Nov 1, 2011 9:51 AM EDT

SB Nation Week 9 BlogPoll Top 25

You’ve seen the TBG submission; now view the whole thing. And yes, Florida got votes. For the full write up and a number of awards passed about, go here.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 9

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 LSU Tigers (74) 25.44 3.86
2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12) 24.65 3.73
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 22.65 3.28 Arrow_up 2
4 Stanford Cardinal 22.20 3.18 Arrow_up 3
5 Clemson Tigers 21.25 2.84 Arrow_up 3
6 Boise St. Broncos 21.12 2.66
7 Oregon Ducks 19.13 2.53 Arrow_up 2
8 Kansas St. Wildcats 17.02 0.96 Arrow_up 3
9 Arkansas Razorbacks 16.69 1.35 Arrow_up 1
10 Michigan St. Spartans 16.33 1.89 Arrow_up 4
11 Oklahoma Sooners 15.44 0.85 Arrow_down -8
12 Wisconsin Badgers 14.67 1.50 Arrow_down -8
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers 12.32 2.69 Arrow_down -1
14 Virginia Tech Hokies 11.74 2.33 Arrow_up 1
15 South Carolina Gamecocks 10.85 2.94 Arrow_up 1
16 Texas A&M Aggies 8.89 3.22 Arrow_up 2
17 Michigan Wolverines 8.50 2.00
18 Houston Cougars 8.45 3.81 Arrow_up 2
19 Penn St. Nittany Lions 6.70 3.15 Arrow_up 5
20 Texas Tech Red Raiders 5.42 3.40
21 USC Trojans 5.07 3.63 Arrow_up 7
22 Arizona St. Sun Devils 4.89 3.12 Arrow_up 3
23 Georgia Bulldogs 3.63 2.73 Arrow_up 3
24 Cincinnati Bearcats 2.86 2.68 Arrow_up 6
25 West Virginia Mountaineers 1.25 2.02 Arrow_down -12
Others Receiving Votes: Southern Miss. Golden Eagles | Texas Longhorns | Auburn Tigers | Baylor Bears | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets | Syracuse Orange | Florida St. Seminoles | Washington Huskies | Miami Hurricanes | Illinois Fighting Illini | TCU Horned Frogs | Notre Dame Fighting Irish | SMU Mustangs | Florida Gators | Iowa Hawkeyes | Wake Forest Demon Deacons | BYU Cougars | Louisiana Ragin Cajuns | Arkansas St. Red Wolves
Updated: Oct 25, 2011 9:02 AM EDT

The Bull Gator Week 9 BlogPoll Top 25

Plenty of movement this week as we lost a few among the ranks of the undefeated. It starts to get interesting now with few left with no losses. LSU and Alabama will play each other, so another will fall soon, giving any of those next few in line a chance to move into the top two.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

The Bull Gator Ballot – Week 9

Rank Team Delta
1 LSU Tigers Arrow_up 1
2 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_down -1
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys Arrow_up 2
4 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_up 2
5 Boise St. Broncos Arrow_up 2
6 Clemson Tigers Arrow_up 3
7 Kansas St. Wildcats Arrow_up 4
8 Oregon Ducks
9 Houston Cougars Arrow_up 5
10 Arkansas Razorbacks
11 Michigan St. Spartans Arrow_up 7
12 Wisconsin Badgers Arrow_down -8
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers
14 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_down -11
15 Penn St. Nittany Lions Arrow_up 1
16 South Carolina Gamecocks Arrow_down -1
17 Virginia Tech Hokies
18 Michigan Wolverines Arrow_up 1
19 USC Trojans
20 Texas A&M Aggies Arrow_up 3
21 Georgia Bulldogs
22 Texas Tech Red Raiders
23 Texas Longhorns
24 Arizona St. Sun Devils
25 Cincinnati Bearcats
Dropouts: West Virginia Mountaineers, Washington Huskies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Illinois Fighting Illini, Auburn Tigers, SMU Mustangs
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

The Bull Gator Week 8 BlogPoll Top 25

Top 10 unchanged. No real reason to change it. Some movement after that, but not a lot. We do have the addition of two-loss teams to the poll for the first time this season. Congrats Texas A&M and Auburn, you have made it.