Everything’s Bigger In Texas But Combine the Florida Two Step and the Texas Two Step….

I know that sounds a little difficult to understand, so let me clarify that: In order to be a successful football player at Florida, you need to do two things.

Two steps. Thats what it takes to succeed at Florida on offense- you need to play at least two different positions.

Tim Tebow, the best college football player of all time (I’ll defend that to anybody who wants to argue) played five positions.

Quarterback, running back, wildcat QB, co-offensive coordinator and cheerleader.

We all know that Tebow was a QB by position. We also know that he was a powerful runner, and let’s face it- Florida basically ran the Wildcat with Tebow for four years because he was a threat to run for big chunks of yardage, only difference was, Tebow could throw like a real quarterback, I don’t especially care what Deonte Strangegloves Thompson said.

He was also a huge part of planning- he met with Mullen at least once and sometimes twice a day, and for all the fist pumps, Gator Chomps and raising his arms, he’s a cheerleader.

And we apparently just signed another Tebow type player- Jeff Driskel.

But it wasn’t just Tebow. Percy Harvin, Brandon James, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps all played both running back and receiver during their time at Florida, and James returned 95% of punts and kicks.

Aaron Hernandez and Cornelius Ingram played tight end and some wide receiver in some packages created to throw off opponents, and Riley Cooper was a receiver by position but did a significant amount of blocking, more than you might expect from a receiver.

Louis Murphy and Andre Caldwell played both wideout and slot receiver, two similar yet distinguishably different positions, and they had fine careers.

All of those players had pretty damned good careers, didn’t they?

Now look at players who only played one position in recent years. Kestahn Moore, Emmanuel Moody, Carl Moore, David Nelson, DeShawn Wynn, Chris Leak, etc.

They all had good careers at Florida, sure, but were any of them really great?

No.

So where is this headed?

Well, I’m not exactly sure why that is, in fact, I would think that the opposite is true for offensive players- when you do more, your production drops. And it is true for everybody else- Chas Henry was forced to kick field goals, and didn’t do especially well at it and his punting dropped a little bit. Oh and he won the Ray Guy Award. Our good buddy Steve Addazio, was actually a great offensive line coach but could he call an effective drive to save his life? No. I’m not defending Addazio, he’s a moron, but he had too much on his plate and he was no longer useful to us (though he was extremely helpful to opponents).

The bottom line- the really good players that Florida hauls in are freaks of nature, and who recruited them? Mainly Meyer- and if Muschamp is half the recruiter that he has shown himself to be this far, he’ll keep it up.

Muschamp will hopefully do that for defense, too- numerous guys who played for him were linebackers/defensive linemen, or linebackers/safeties. I hear everything is bigger in Texas- including the number of recruits.

With Muschamp’s ties in Texas, and UF being the flagship university of the state of Florida, Muschamp can select pretty much anybody he wants- and he’ll probably want guys that can play two positions.

Oh, and I hear that Weis guy isn’t a half bad recruiter, either.

13 thoughts on “Everything’s Bigger In Texas But Combine the Florida Two Step and the Texas Two Step….

  1. Nice work Neil, its always great to have versatile players. I do have to say I think Leak was a great college QB I mean the guy did what Brantley couldn’t do. BOOM

  2. “Quarterback, running back, wildcat QB, co-offensive coordinator and cheerleader………….

    He was also a huge part of planning- he met with Mullen at least once and sometimes twice a day,”

    Come on now. we are making believe Tebow was a mold breaking quarterback. It seems the younger generation doesn’t remember that part of what made Spurrier and his QBs pile up “impressive” numbers is that college football, as recently as 15 years ago, was still heavily running qb sport.

    Urban is a Notre Dame disciple and more or less created an offense that turned his teams into a varied Notre Dame. In the case of Florida, he created a combination of Notre and the Bill Walsh 49ers.

    In spite of having great success, do you not remember Meyer’s obsession with finding running backs and using the running game ? So much so that in 2010……never mind.

    Remember, when Meyer coached at Notre Dame he saw the likes of Ron Powlus, Jarious Jackson and Arnaz Battle all taking snaps. He watched the option game excel with multiple backs and an athletic qb. He watched a poor kid come in to an option offense as a pocket passer and he did so as the most hyped player in history, never having lived up to the absolutely unrealistic expectations.

    Side note – that’s why I am convinced the Brantley thing was the Brantley family forcing JB on the coaches. it’s what Forced Newton out. It’s what forced Meyer to resign, flip flop, zombie walk, then resign again.

    Meyer lived through John Brantley already. He was known as Ron Powlus back then. The difference being, Powlus was never anything truly special. “Experts” completely overblew him so Powlus had to be something he wasn’t. He wasn’t replacing a legend or anything; he was made into a legend before he took a snap in practice.

    Anyhow, back on topic. There’s been a lot of Tebows out there. The problem is, coaches misused them in the past by either:

    1. Using the cautious NFL nonsensical approach of turning them into glorified dart players
    2. Playing way too conservative football by running running running and never airing it out

    Meyer merely blended WCO principles into a ND style offense.

    As for the “Quarterback, running back, wildcat QB” come on now – there are plenty of those types presently, and historically.

    As far as CO-OC, people also seem to forget that Tebow the home schooled (lacking social interaction skills at times) REFUSED coaching. Admittedly, Tebow is a “rub some dirt on it and walk it off” type of throwback player, but he did defy coaches a lot.

    “The Promise” was him saying “I’m Tim Tebow and I am playing how I want to play and if you don’t like it, leave”

    Refused to work on his delivery in 2009. Now, I tend to agree his philosophy of not tinkering with what’s worked. Alas, 2009 also saw teams finally catch on – how many times did Tebow get stripped because linemen started throwing their hands out at that helicopter delivery ? And it wasn’t line failure either – it was indecisiveness in the pocket. So ultimately, he didn’t want to change his wind up, but he changed his style ?

    Oh, and the meeting with Mullen thing, let’s hope the NCAA doesn’t pass you off as an insider because Florida would be looking at some serious investigation.

    Tebow is clearly one of the best ever. He actually WILLED Florida to victories. That takes character. However, let’s not deify him. He WAS a selfish person/player. It benefited Florida greatly. It might even be what drove Mullen away. People think Mullen just wanted a shot. People think Mullen saw Brantley coming and his stock would drop. Nonsense. he knew Tebow was coming back. Still he chose MSU when he could have led Florida to another excellent season and gotten a prime gig in 2010.

    As for best players ever, there are two names that have to be considered alongside Tebow:

    Vince Young. I don’t care if he had the one magical season. his magical season resulted in a title and in the title game he put on a performance that may never be matched against a team many were touting as one of the greatest ever. His record was 30–2. oh, and he totally legitimized a TRUE dual threat QB. IE he opened the door for Tebow.

    Tommie Frazier. 2 championships back to back. A 2 point loss with 20 seconds remaining away from 3 consecutive. 33-3 record as a starter. He was 9-2 as a true. He then went on to lose only ONE game over the next three years. Nebraska won 24 consecutive games during back to back unbeaten season with Frazier.

    Of course, I realize the reluctance of some Florida fans to acknowledge TF as the best ever, especially considering who his last game was played against and what he did to them.

    Put it this way – Tommy Frazier was so good, he not only reshaped SEC football but Big 12 football, in a circuitous way, was reshaped as a result (when Stoops and the SEC crew invaded Big 12 country)

  3. Of course, there are a handful of QB’s that were like Tebow, but Tebow did it for three years straight. Cam Newton was talked about being better than Tebow by some but I would love to see him take a run through the SEC where Auburn is everybody’s bowl game, everybody’s keying in on him.

    Tommy Frazier is definitely in my Top 5 for best ever. Vince Young is in there, too, as is Archie Griffin. But Tebow tops the list.

    2 BCS Championships (and he played a significant role in 2006, whether he started or not), 3 BCS Bowl wins, a Heisman as a sophomore, 3 Heisman finalist years, first ever QB to run for and throw 20 TD’s and rush for 20, I can keep on going, Tebow is slightly better.

    Because Tebow had the willpower to guide Florida back after the Mississippi loss. Florida never lost again that year, and were not challenged until the SEC Championship. They trailed after 3 quarters. What did Tebow do? Make play after play, many of them on key third downs, and many of them to receivers, who, wuite frankly, WEREN’T OPEN. He capped it off with the dagger pass to Riley Cooper.

    In the BCS Championship, Florida’s offense struggled. Then Tebow got involved, converting countless third and 7’s or more by either running or throwing. The fire Tebow lit into his team was unmatched. The intangibles everybody’s talking about are there.

    I am doing an all-time college football team soon, and I guarantee you, Tebow is first on the list for QB.

  4. Yeah I really liked Leak as well. The guy was a great leader and pretty good QB. Whenever you win a National Championship I think that you had a pretty good college career.

  5. Heismans are irrelevant – it’s a popularity contest that rarely honors the actual best/outstanding player. Besides, evryeon outside of Pac 10 country would agree VY was miles better than Bush.

    Young had 2 full years as a starter. 2 BCS bowl wins. 1 NC.

    First qb to do 3,000/1000.

    Remember – the 2005 Longhorns were in their first true year of full time spread conversion, having decided to make the switch DURING the 2004 year. In other words, they hadn’t even bloomed one recruiting class full of spread players, having done the ricky williams/cedric benson thing for years.

    The 2008 Gators were the results of 2005, 2006 and 2007 classes. What am I saying ? I am saying it was Vince Young and some other guys.

    With the 2008 Gators you had Harvin, Murphy, Hernandez, Demps, Rainey. As mentioned in a blog that happened a few weeks ago, the 2008 team was stacked. So it wasn’t Tebow and a bunch of guys. Young was Texas.

    And also, let’s not let home team bias take effect – Florida is everyone’s bowl game ? Texas IS the Big 12. Oklahoma’s prowess is a result of raiding Texas. Everything is Texas. That’s why Nebraska left – the SWC teams that followed Texas to turn the Big 8 into the Big 12 created a monopoly, and the old Big 8 teams were feeling like second class citizens because it became all Texas all the time.

    The hatred for Texas inside their conference is unmatched anywhere, except for MAYBE Michigan-OSU, Auburn-Alabama, Florida-Georgia/UT.

    What Tebow did was impressive; what VY did was unbelievable.

  6. Tebow has two NC’s to VY’s one, and Heisman to VY’s none. And yes, when a top 5 team is your opponent, you spend the week leading up to the game going psycho and revving up your school for it. And Florida was Top 5 for all of 2009 and all but two games of 2008. Tebow had just won the Heisman, which may be a popularity contest to some degree but if a vote is ludicrous it will be tossed out. Actually, that makes my argument more compelling- everybody’s gunning for a guy who won the National Popularity Contest!!!

  7. Yes, but Tebow didn’t win the SEC or BCS in 2009 when teams focused on shutting him down.

    Tebow was not the starter on the first NC team. it’s not his. He was a contributor.

    1 each as Starters.

    1 conference championship as a starter.

    PS Coaches don’t gameplan for the popular guy – the gameplan for the most dangerous guy. If they gameplanned for the most popular guy, it would ALWAYS be the QB.

    Regardless, when you can show me the equivalent of Hernandez, Harvin and Murphy on that 2005 Texas team, then we’d have a discussion.

    You know who guns for people who win popularity contests ? Morons like Geno Hayes and Ricky Jean Louis. What did Hayes do ? He spent so much time trying to take out Tebow that Percy went to town.

    Fact – Tebow wasn’t even the best player on his title winning teams. That distinction belongs to Harvin.

    Fact – Texas was #2 all season in 2005, second to USC.

    Fact – 2008 Florida lost AT HOME.

    Sorry, VY gets my vote. His performance vs USC will likely NEVER be matched. As good as Tebow was vs Cincy, Young was better vs USC, a team that hadn’t lost in years and was an NFL factory.

    Not to mention, Vince Young had many shadows looming over his shoulders, not the least of which was the entire state of Texas itself, his race, and the “Mack Brown can’t win the big one” ghost.

    Vince Young was Mario Lemieux and Tebow was Sidney Crosby.

  8. Further to that, if you think Florida has a bigger target on its back than Texas, you’re out of your mind and clearly have never traveled far alone.

    Football in Florida is Catholicism; football in Texas in Islam.

  9. Further to the further – Mike Pouncey was voted All SEC. Shall we declare him the best in the conference because he won a popularity contest ?

  10. Tim Tebow was a great player, though I do agree, as much heresy as involved, that he was somewhat overrated based on the defenses he played with and how likable of a player and person he was.

    Florida would never won the national championship in 2008 and gone 12-0 to start 2009 without the #1 defense in the nation. The same can be said for the 2006 Florida team.

    That said, I think you’re putting Vince Young onto a similar pedestal as you’re accusing others of putting Tebow onto. Like Tebow, every champion, and every great player is surrounded by other great players. How many titles would Joe Montana have won without Rice and Belicheck? How many would Leinart have won without Bush and that O-line? How many would Roethlisberger or Brady have won without the defenses they had in their championship years?

    Let’s not pretend like Vince Young was on some terrible team in 2005 that he made all on his own. They also had this little guy named Jamaal Charles, who wants he gets 3 more carries to qualify will have the highest YPC average in the history of the NFL. Quan Crosby and Limas Sweed were both very good college receivers. And of course, he had what most champions have, a great defense (though he never really relied on it).

    You also mentioned that Young never really ran the spread offense until his last year, which attributed to his poor early years. Remember though, he also never had to play with Steve Addazio. I know that sounds like a cheesy excuse given my history with Stevie Wonder, but consider the difference between 2007 Tebow and 2008 Tebow. While Tebow might not have single-handidly been responsible for the 2008 championship (or even the most important part of it), he was key part responsible for that 2007 offense being possibly the greatest offense the Gators have ever had, with only the ’96 and ’01 teams even coming close. Had he not been playing alongside the worst defense the Gators have had since the start of the Spurrier (coaching) era, that easily could have been another championship year.

    I do agree with you that Tebow didn’t innovate the dual threat role. What he innovated at the quarterback position was a new kind of toughness, and a new mentality. I’m not talking toughness like Byron Leftwich playing through a bad injury, but rather toughness as a quarterback attacking a defense to a greater extent than they were attacking him. There is no denying that, while Tim Tebow may not make you a better person just for spending 15 minutes with him, his playing style and attitude certainly did make the players around him play better.

    I can’t really comment on the “selfish” part, as I’ve never been close to him consistently, but I’m not sure where you got that impression, and I don’t particularly agree with any of your points on that front. He wouldn’t change his throwing motion so that makes him selfish? If anything, it’s the total opposite. The drive to change his throwing motion was meant to make him a better NFL prospect, at the expense of temporarily becoming a worse college player. He fumbled more late in his career but that had nothing to do with people adjusting to his throwing motion, as his increase in fumbles came more on plays where he was running than passing. Also, I don’t agree with your take on his Ole Miss speech. There was nothing selfish about that, he promised that the team, along with himself, would never play and push each other harder.

  11. Charles, Sweed and Cosby were products of Young’s terrifying defenses. Tebow was an up the middle bruiser; VY could actually beat you with his legs on the perimeter.

    Whereas LBs were used to spy Tebow, safeties were used to spy VY. When safeties are busy spying the qb, do you know what they’re NOT doing ?

    Here’s a hint – they’re letting guys like Sweed look like they might be pro material.

    Cosby was a freshman in 05 seeing marginal playing time with marginal production.

    As for the selfish thing, let’s revisit 07. Heisman year. Running up stats, not coming out of the game. Bruised shoulder that hurt them vs Georgia. Broken hand suffered vs FSU that hurt bowl prep. However, he got his Heisman, as promised.

    If you remember, the plan was to limit his carries to reduce punishment. However, the Ole Miss game was him throwing a tantrum.

    Hey, remember how Florida’s backups never got a lot of snaps in spite of some huge leads ? Why was that ?

    Don’t be fooled by Tebow’s smile and jesus-y nature – he’s a home schooled kid, a “miracle baby” who did things his way.

    Regarding the fumbles late in his career, you’re damn right he was stripped a lot throwing because of that motion. It was one of the ongoing talking points because he was a senior. Maybe you watched replays on SUN and their constant worship affected what you saw, but a strip from the windup has ZERO to do with running; teams backed off tackling him and pressuring him directly, which would result in him scrambling in the past, and now were letting him feel comfortable in the pocket so he could telegraph his throws and leave the ball exposed on his windup.

    Regarding the Adazzio era, they were still a spread team with spread pieces. Poorly run, but the same system; VY went from an I team to a spread on the fly.

    However, if you WANT to compare different philosophies vs bad coordinators in the same philosophy, may I direct you to the 2010 Longhorns. The team that finished 5-7 (worse than Florida despite having more talent)

    The team that fired their OC who was incapable of consistently getting the ball to move.

    The 2010 Longhorns illustrated just how good Applewhite, Young and McCoy really were – they all were very productive in spite of the bumbling buffoon who made Adazzio look like Mike Martz circa 1999.

    As for the great Texas defense, is that the one that didn’t crack the top 40 in rushing yards per game ? Didn’t crack the top 40 in ints ? Didn’t crack the top 40 in sacks ?

    Sure, they finished near the top of the rankings in total, passing and scoring, but that’s what happens when you destroy everything in your path – teams were out of the game by halftime and then in came the “let’s just get it over with” calls. That, and VY played under the old clock rules which forced qbs to make more frantic calls.

    Am I glad Tebow was a Gator ? Of course. Do I wish VY was a Gator ? No. But I’m not that much of a homer/fanboy that I can’t admit someone was better than Tebow.

  12. Everybody makes strong points I have to agree with everybody Vince and Tebow its a tie for first. If cam newton played for three seasons in college he would be the clear cut favorite. Urban knew cam would be the next great thing but the Gator boosters and Brantley family took that away from us.

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