Heading into the bye week, the Florida Gators are in serious danger of missing out on bowl eligibility. Assuming a win over Georgia Southern, they need to win one of their remaining games: against Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Florida State. In all but Vandy they will likely be the underdog, and Vandy just beat Georgia.
So, what's wrong with 2013 Florida Gators football?
Let's not dwell on injuries. Yes, there are a lot of them. Yes, it certainly plays a huge factor, in particular when you're talking about the RT, QB, and a DT that probably should've gone pro last year. And that's not all of the injuries. Anyway, injuries are part of what's gone wrong. But there's not much to analyze there. And Georgia, among other teams, has also had a rash of injuries. Missouri just beat us with their backup QB. Does this count as dwelling? Let's move on.
This is the easy one to point to. Is Brent Pease just bad? I don't think it's that simple, I actually think last year we saw him get more out of limited personnel than Charlie Weis did. It doesn't necessarily mean Pease is great, but it's an argument in his favor. I also tend to distrust using his offensive totals from Baylor and Kentucky (outside of very recent history for Baylor, both of those programs are regularly the worst or second-worst programs in their conference) to predict anything. He was playing teams where he was very much outmatched. Still, the expectation at Florida is to have an offense much closer to 'best in the nation' than 'worst in the nation', and the numbers aren't lying in that regard, these last two years. However, if Pease continues to stick with the BurtonCat, I may have to question his aptitude and call for his head like the rest of you.
We will never be a spread team under Muschamp, but Pease is at least getting some interesting formations out there, with extra linemen and several players in the backfield, and interesting shifts. I just think he's hamstrung by one particularly bad unit...
There, more specific is better. Our (backup) QB doesn't have any time to throw. Guys are getting penalties at terrible times (preventing the longshot FG-then-onside-kick-then-TD victory scenario at LSU). Some are ready to run Tim Davis out of town, but I think this blog on offensive line recruiting points out the most glaring issue: lack of bodies. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, we only signed 6 total offensive linemen. That is terrible. A lot of that may be due to the Urban Meyer Retiring-Just-Kidding Saga, and changing offensive coordinators and offensive line coaches twice during that time. We have brought in some highly regarded talent, but at this position in particular, it's a numbers game and a war of attrition to fill out an SEC-quality starting lineup each week. The frustrating part, here, is that there aren't any quick fixes.
Tim Davis has a great resume, is from the Saban coaching tree, and I'm willing to give him a little longer. We've gotten more bodies in now, let's give the man some time to work. It's possible that Frank Verducci was just a disaster, as well. I didn't see him immediately get scooped up by some better job.
As bad as the Gators have looked, they have 3 road losses to the current 5th, 7th, and 13th BCS ranked teams. Ohio State hasn't even played one top 15 team in the Urban Meyer Era, much less on the road. With that in mind, the losses maybe are somewhat more palatable, but as Billy D once said, 'I think you should play a tough schedule, but I also think you should win some games'. Hopefully, these tough ones don't keep falling against the Gators.
What do you think? What is wrong with 2013 Florida Gators football?