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…
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.
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.