Gators’ 2016 Christmas wish list

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We all have our own things we want for Christmas. Unfortunately, these presents wouldn’t come before Christmas and thus won’t be opened until after, but maybe if we ask nicely enough, Santa will see to it that we get these things when the time comes…

-A quarterback

I’m pretty certain the Gators already have one in Jake Allen, or if not him then Feleipe Franks. Both have potential through the roof, but, um, things have happened to highly touted Gator QB’s in recent years, like injury, (Jeff Driskel) not living up to the hype (Jeff Driskel, John Brantley) and getting suspended for PED use (Will Grier). Please, Santa. Give us a quarterback who plays to his potential, stays healthy and doesn’t get suspended.

-A bowl win over Iowa

OK, so we can actually open this present two weeks from now if we get it. But winning your bowl game has a way of carrying momentum into the home stretch of the recruiting cycle, not to mention the next season. All four teams in this year’s College Football Playoff won their bowl games last year. Furthermore, Florida has only won one bowl game in the last five years, and it would just be nice to end a trying season on a high note.

-Aubrey Solomon

Jim McElwain has taken some heat for his results on the recruiting trail, but pull in this one five star and the whining stops immediately. The Gators will have a need for monster defensive tackles once Caleb Brantley leaves for the NFL, and Solomon can create havoc all by himself. It would be a pretty big middle finger to Georgia if the Gators poached him out of Leesburg, but more importantly, what a monster Florida would be getting if they do.

-Collective team health

Many of the problems the Gators faced this year stemmed from injuries. Conversely, the Gators don’t face those problems and probably win more games than they did if they’re fully healthy (or at least much closer to it) for the duration of the season. Only the secondary seemed untouched by the injury bug, and while Florida managed to survive the lack of depth on the offensive line and front seven against LSU, the effects eventually came around and killed them against FSU. Injuries can happen to anybody, and any team, but damn it, I’m getting pretty tired of seeing them happen to my team.

-A win over FSU next year

Speaking of playing FSU, that’s not something that has been particularly enjoyable to watch the last few years. Florida would have almost certainly beaten FSU in 2015 with Will Grier, and probably would have beaten FSU last year with a healthy front seven to complement the tenacious secondary. Guess what? They beat FSU in neither of those games, and now the losing streak is at four. If it becomes five next Thanksgiving in Gainesville, it may be time to start thinking about a new coach unless that’s the Gators’ only loss of the season.

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16 thoughts on “Gators’ 2016 Christmas wish list

  1. Agreed with every word of every sentence of every “gift” until the very last one. You’re saying we fire Mac if we lose to FSU and it puts us at 10-2?

    1. John Cooper was one of the better coaches in Ohio State (111–43–4) in history.

      But a 3-8 bowl record and, more importantly, 2-10-1 record versus Michigan did him in.

      Lloyd Carr at Michigan same thing. Career 122–40

      But he never beat Tressel at OSU and that cost him.

      At this rate Mac will never beat Jimbo

      1. Jimbo, wasn’t left with a mess like Mac was. When Mac rebuilds from the mess that he was left. you haters will eat your words. Better yet, join the Gamecocks where you can compline about the coach

        1. Yes, he was.

          Their 2007 class, which matured when he took over, was a disaster.

          They’d been mediocre for years, misrecruiting.

          Florida had them under their thumb with Meyer.

          Now Jimbo is in the driver’s seat.

          You’re mistaking concern with hating.

          Mac was not even the best coach in his conference. He might not even have been second best.

          What has be accomplished? Recruited well at Bama ? All Bama accomplishments mean nothing. The program hasn’t skipped a beat without him. Nuss revisited well and won their. Kiffin did. Sark will. Smart did. Now Pruitt will. The Saban flag waved with the Bama brand is what makes those guys.

          Based on his first two years, Mac is a terrible recruiter. They should have been able to flip Eason with ease.

          But they were outdone by a first time head coach from a defensive background.

          The guys who gave the world Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and made AJ McCarron look good could not outsell a first time head coach that was a DC

          Now Georgia is a year ahead of Florida.

  2. Neil, I can’t believe you are suggesting firing Coach Mac. Do you remember how anemic that Muschamp Left the offence? The Gator football program is going in a positive direction. When is the last time that the Gators were penalized, only five yards in a game. I am willing to give our coach time to build depth in a offence that was neglected for four years. You are wrong.

  3. 1. A new strength and conditioning coach. Enough with the weight guys. Florida is a state of fast guys. Stop trying to build line of scrimmage players out of finesse guys. Work on muscle tone, core strength, flexibility and agility. In other words find someone from the Mickey Marotti school of thought.

    2. Expanded support staff. Facilities aren’t enough; you need an Armada of assistants in the modern arms race.

    3. A new offensive coordinator. Nuss might work fine in line of scrimmage schools with pro style players. This is Florida. Use it.

    4. A slew of new coaches with strong recruiting backgrounds mixed with guys with Florida ties. The recruiting at Florida is troubling under Mac. They need a monster class this class. Like top 5 at least. If they don’t pull off in this year he’s toast in a couple of years and shouldn’t get a 5th season

  4. Had to go back and read that last sentence a few times to make sure I was reading it right.

    Not only do I wholeheartedly disagree with that, but I’m also very disappointed you wrote it.
    Already fanning the flames, Neil? Irresponsible of you, to say the least.

  5. I actually agree with Neil on the last sentence. Our home schedule next year is insane and all games are no doubt winnable. Would be severely disappointed if the “offensive mastermind” can’t beat FSU the 3 years he’s been here. Now that he’s got a quarterback of his choice, I expect him to win every game next year.

  6. UF ISN’t beating FSU next year. To do so, you’d need a competent coach and parity in talent. UF has neither. McElwain is a joke compared to Fisher and FSU dominates UF on the line of scrimmage. Saying “if’ this or that happens and UF beats FSU is ludicrous. First, Will Grier wasn’t going to be the difference against a team that beats you 27-2. FSU crushed UF with Sean Maguire for crying out loud. Maguire is not any better than Austin Appleby, but FSU still scored their usual points against UF under Fisher. That is 28, by the way, and Fisher has won six of seven against THREE UF coaches. He’s just a much better coach and UF needs to step up and pay for someone who would pose more than a speed bump to him. Instead of whining about injuries, you need to realize that EVERYONE has them. FSU had FOUR starters on offense out against UF. Three offensive linemen and a receiver. They also were missing both starters at safety.
    FSU is just a whole lot BETTER than UF right now. Even a blind man can see that. It’s not changing either. In fact, it’s getting worse. FSU just got another five star defensive end and, as is customary with McElwain in charge, is dominating UF in recruiting. Instead of “ifs”, reality shows that UF has inferior coaching and players. Now we can look forward to when Muschamp’s players, who were much more touted than McElwain’s out of high school, are gone and we are stuck with the fruits of McElwain’s efforts? I think the writer is on drugs. What else could explain the flights of fantasy he has?

    1. We don’t know if Fisher is better than Mac.

      All those talent soaked teams and 1 NC, 1 CFP appearance and 3 ACC titles? He’s pulling in Saban level classes, yet those are his results in an inferior conference ?

      Swinney is a ring below him on the accomplishment chart, yet Fisher pulls in superior talent.

      That tells me that Swinney is his equal and maybe a bit better.

      Mac’s problem is he can’t recruit. And aside from a smart hire in Shannon, he doesn’t can’t attract top recruiters.

      A key element of a college coach is being a salesman. The best coaches are great salesmen. I keep hearing/reading how the program was a mess after Muschamp. That’s a cop out. A good salesman can overcome that.

      About the only sales pitch that worked for him was facilities upgrades but I with wouldn’t even put that as his seeing how the queue world knew about it and it was broached during the Muschamp firing press conference.

      He just comes off as a greasy used car salesman with his fake folksy attitude. He reminds me of Buddy Garrity from Friday Night Lights.

      Should they fire him now? No. They have it give it another season. But he never should have been hired in the first place. A Mountain West coach whose best finish was a second place division finish. This is a post TCU and Utah mountain West at that.

      I mean they didn’t even go after the actual elite coach in the conference. Troy Calhoun would be the guy. Newer guys like Bryan Hardin or Matt Wells.

      And to top it off they made a big production out of going after this mountain West coach who accomplished SQUAT as a head coach, as though they were getting Urban Meyer part 2.

      Foley was the best A.D. in the country but boy was he a football moron.

      1. Not likely. To be an elite team you need to pull in at least 50% blue chips every class.

        He’s not doing that.

        The elite coaches have the first recruiting cycle struggles but their second cycle netted them at least a 50% blue chip haul. Mac’s second cycle was 39%; a bump from the first but nowhere near what’s needed.

        His classes are not even close to the top of the SEC.

        Fisher owns the state of Florida.

        And now Mac has Strong, Kiffin and Butch Davis to contend with. They’re not going to haul in massive blue chip guys but even if they land between 3-5 between them, that’s 3-5 not going to Mac.

        Mac needs to bring in elite recruiters because his offense isn’t unique. And when you run what everyone else runs, scheme and development only carries you so far. Talent wins out. Now he’s losing the Muschamp D talent

        1. Fisher walked into a winning program that is now going down. Florida will get it’s share of top recruits. You canVT cover up the fact that you wish better for Fsu than UF, but the Gators are climbing out of the hole that Muschamp left. Mc will do great things.

          1. No Fisher did not. The whole reason he was hired is because Bowden lost his way and had his unqualified son running things.

            FSU was a mess also because teams would negative recruit against Bowden and the age factor.

            You’re being a homer.

            I have no earthly idea how you figure I am pro FSU. I said I don’t know if Fisher is a good coach. He’s pulling in Bama/OSU level talent yet doesn’t have very good results in comparison. And he plays in an easier conference. I realize that comment might look silly on the surface since Clemson just won it all but there we go – Fisher pulls in more talent than Clemson yet Swinney has been just as good. Thus…Swinney is a better coach.

            But if you don’t believe me how about this:


            Or this:


            My biggest gripe is Mac is a terrible recruiter. But hiring Shannon is a huge first step. If the Locksley thing is true another huge step. And if Cristobal is actually coming then look out. The balance of power will have swung

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