The Gator Nation expected a lot of fireworks this season offensively, and, well, it didn’t quite happen that way. Now, there are fireworks going off in Kansas- from the local Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s. Too bad we didn’t get to experience any offensive improvement this year, and it’s even more devastating to not have an offensive coordinator on staff for a huge bowl game against the team that we crushed five years ago for the BCS Title, Olieo State.
That’s a huge concern, but the bigget concern of all is the mindset of this team.
I’d love to crush Ohio State and give Urban a bad memory to try to erase for recruits that are now on the fence about joining Meyer’s elite army.
But I’m not sure the Gators all feel the same way.
The bowl game letdown can happen to any team, and for any number of reasons. The players might not want to be at that particular game, their opponent accomplishes a lot more in the extra practice than they do and unveil a huge bag of tricks, it’s hard to get back in game day mode after being out of it for 5 weeks, etc.
Oklahoma and FSU are the worst of them all when it comes to big bowl games. Before last year, the Sooners lost 5 straight BCS bowl games/national championship games. FSU is even worse. They’ve played in seven BCS bowl games/championships since 1998. They’ve lost six of them. That’s terrible (even for a girls’ school).
But this isn’t meant to make fun of FSU (well, maybe a little). This bowl game flop doesn’t just apply to championship contending teams. It also happens to teams that believe they are too good for the bowl game they are in. See the embarrassing Sugar Bowl only three years ago where Alabama just fell flat on their faces as Utah cruised for a 31-17 shocker. This was partly due to Tim Tebow rolling the Tide in the SEC Championship Game, but whatever Alabama wants to say about it, they just didn’t care. They didn’t show up. SEC teams don’t lose to midmajors, even good ones. Or do they?
Ask Georgia that. They’ve surely put the ugly memory of a 10-6 loss to our toddler cousin Central Florida in the Libery Bowl away for good, as they prepare for a much better bowl game this year, a rematch against Michigan State. But I haven’t and I’m sure that Georgia Tech fans and Florida fans haven’t either. UGA just didn’t care. Let’s face it. Georgia was good in 2010. They were much better than 6-6. They easily could have beaten Florida, easily could have beaten Mississippi State, easily could have beaten Colorado, and they easily could have beaten Arkansas. Auburn was a tough game but they played the Tigers well to the end, and they were never out of the South Carolina game. They just didn’t care for an admittedly inferior opponent from a weak conference in a bowl nobody cares about.
Was that the most humiliated a team has felt in the past few years after a bowl game? Or was it when Texas Tech got upended by Ole Miss? The Red Raiders felt they had been raided of a BCS Bowl berth. They went up 14-0 on Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl- and then sat back and watched as Ole Miss went on a 47-13 rampage. As the Raiders scored one more meaningless touchdown, the Rebels were ecstatic on the sideline, jumping around, writing things on poster boards and showing them to the fans, etc.
The point is, the bowl malaise can hit any team for any reason. I’d much appreciate it if it didn’t hit Florida, as recruiting is still going on and there could be some guys that might jump from Florida to Ohio State. A Gator Bowl win over OSU would at least make them think twice.
I’ll get all my bowl picks out soon, but I’m not feeling too good about this game. We’re just not a good team, plain and simple. Our one saving grace is that Ohio State sucks just as much as we do, so we could very well see a replay of the Florida-FSU mess instead of an LSU type blowout.
Please, offensive line, just please block for Brantley for just one game….