Gators Riding Karmic Wave Into 2011- How Far Can it Take Them?

First, before I even begin, I’d like say that it’s been a lot of fun posing as Steve Addazio and interacting with you guys. It’s been really fun, and I see that y’all have enjoyed it too.

Now, onto more serious stuff.

As you may or may not have heard, Charlie Weis has taken over the offensive command and play-calling duties. And as you may or may not have heard, Will Muschamp has taken over our defense.

Just joking. Of course you guys know that.

Since the time of those hires, Ryan and I have broken down pretty much every player and major coach on our new team. Ryan did a feature on Muschamp on firesteveaddazio.com, I did a couple of Rainey/Demps articles, Ryan did a fantastic job on a John Brantley piece, we both did one on the dearly departed Janoris Jenkins, Ryan did one on Weis, and then I did a humongous “Who’s Going to Break Out in 2011?” piece.

Then we went into breakdowns of what our offense and defense would look like in 2011.

That, unfortunately, wraps up our x’s and o’s football talk. There’s not much more to really do with our Gators- we’ve covered them to death. It gets old talking about different players over and over again, so I’m done with that.

What I will do is say this: karma is on our side this year.

Well, let’s back up a little bit.

Legend has it that anybody foolish enough to mock our Gator Chomp is forever cursed.

This was way, way back when Florida started playing football. In 1981, the Jaws music was played simultaneously with the action of the chomp itself to add a little more of a foreboding aura to it. Still, nobody thought much of it until Georgia coach Ray Goff, in his first year as UGA head coach, beat Florida in 1989 and ran around the stadium like a petulant child doing Gator Chomps at every section of the stadium.

Anybody know how the series has gone since then?

Yeah, that’s right. It’s been 18-3 Florida since.

That’s one sign. Here’s another.

Sebastian Janikowski, 1997. He kicks a ‘winning’ field goal to push FSU’s lead up to 4 points and does the chomp- only to watch UF go 80 yards in 3 plays and win the game. He tries again two years later, but this time waits until after the game is over. FSU has won just 3 of the past 11 since then.

Remember Wes Byrum mocking the Gators with the Gator Chomp in 2007? Of course you guys do. But what’s not as easy to remember was Auburn completely self destructing in 2008, bumbling and stumbling their way to a 5-7 season, Byrum pulling his groin in spring practice and Tommy Tuberville being fired.

More? OK.

Mark Ingram doing some Gator Chomps after the 09 SEC Championship game. The curse? How about his knee injury, which caused him to miss two games for Alabama and immediately ruin his Heisman chances? Who knows, maybe if he was healthy, and had been even better than in 2009, he would have won it over Newton?

Then there was Marcus Lattimore doing some Chompulation at our fans. Say Cam Newton had a hand in it, but what followed was by far the worst beating in SEC Championhip game history. And that was followed by getting knocked unconscious against FSU in a Chick-Fil-A Bowl loss.

And most recently, Shelvin Mack mocked Florida with the Gator Chomp. The result? How about the single most embarrassing championship game performance of all time? Butler was so bad against UConn that Florida’s 2010 football team scored more points on three different occasions- WITH ADDAZIO AND WITHOUT TEBOW!!!

Sweetest of all, this type of lightning has proven that it strikes more than once.

So look out FSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Auburn.

I’ll be doing a schedule breakdown soon, so I’m not going to do that here, but of the four, only Alabama has a legitimate shot to beat Florida. And they have to come to the Swamp. I don’t like their chances. Say bye bye to McElroy, Jones and Ingram- essentially their entire offense from last year. Enter Trent Richardson, an explosive running back. But what happens to great RB’s without a passing game? They fall apart. And in his first legit road test (Happy Valley sounds like a cemetary compared to the Swamp), I expect Florida’s defense to pressure and beat up AJ McCarron, their likely QB starter. Bama’s defense can do the same to Brantley, though. That will make it interesting. Stay tuned for my pick.

FSU isn’t going to beat Florida. Not quite yet, anyway. Muschamp may be friends with Jimbo, and they may own a beach house together, but he’ll have no mercy on him. EJ Manuel is a running quarterback, FSU fans? Well he better be. Because we’ll chase him all the way to Tallahassee if we feel like it. FSU’s offense is their strength, and we have the luxury of having both our units as ours. I do believe Fisher has evened the series out, though, and I believe each team will hold serve at home most years.

South Carolina has a pretty fearsome offense with Garcia-Lattimore-Alshon Jeffrey, but can their defense stop a team of suffragettes? We’ll soon find that out.

Auburn has one thing going for them- they’re home. That’s never good for a visiting East team. But player-by-player UF is far more talented. Kiehl Frazier is no Newton, and while Michael Dyer is fantastic, he’s just one player. 11 is more than one.

So if Florida succeeds against these teams, and win them all, the Curse of the Gator Chomp will prove to be a real phenomonon.

Or at least a test for morons to fail.

10 thoughts on “Gators Riding Karmic Wave Into 2011- How Far Can it Take Them?

  1. A few issues with your post –

    [i]”Remember Wes Byrum mocking the Gators with the Gator Chomp in 2007? Of course you guys do. But what’s not as easy to remember was Auburn completely self destructing in 2008, bumbling and stumbling their way to a 5-7 season, Byrum pulling his groin in spring practice and Tommy Tuberville being fired.”[/i]

    Remember last year when Byrum was the kicker of the undefeated BCS championship team ?

    [i]”More? OK.

    Mark Ingram doing some Gator Chomps after the 09 SEC Championship game. The curse? How about his knee injury, which caused him to miss two games for Alabama and immediately ruin his Heisman chances? Who knows, maybe if he was healthy, and had been even better than in 2009, he would have won it over Newton?”[/i]

    Remember Alabama also winning the BCS title that year with an undefeated season.

    BTW his knee wasn’t injured at all; The repeat talk had died off because of 9 new D starters so Ingram missed time to get rid of the ridiculous Heisman talk right away.

    But, since we’re on the topic of curses, Alabama and Auburn were such cursed teams they both had the Heisman winner on their teams and both spat on the “Heisman Curse”

    If being cursed means winning a BCS title AND having the Heisman winner on it, then I’ll head to Gainesville and pay off a security to let me run around the field like an idiot.

    All you’ve really done at this point is show that modern teams who mock the chomp actually go on to attain a level of success greater than Florida has achieved.

    [i]”FSU’s offense is their strength, and we have the luxury of having both our units as ours.”[/i]

    What two units are you referring to ? We have a good idea the defense might be tough. However, we have absolutely NO evidence it will be. Physically talented players and some great defensive coaches are in place SUGGESTING it, but it hasn’t happened.

    As for offense…..come. We have seen LESS than nothing. The Kleenex is still the tirggerman. Charlie Weis or not, until the Kleenex shows he can make a decent single read (doesn’t even have to be the best, just decent at this point) there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to even begin to consider toying with the idea of thinking about saying Florida’s offense is anywhere close to FSU’s.

    Jimbo Fisher is an offensive guy and EJM is a mobile guy but lost in all of this is the fact that FSU has been stockpiling defensive talent. In fact, they scooped Florida for several gems.

    And remember – Florida’s defense is young, unproven highly rated recruits long on praise and physical ability, lean on experience and accomplishments. The exact same situation as FSU. So if we’re going to say Florida’s D is going to be deadly based almost solely on their star ratings, then the same courtesy has to be extended to FSU’s highly rated young defenders.

  2. Curses wear off. I never said it was permanent. It might strike them once, go away, and then come back later on. As for offense, I refuse to believe a Weis led offense can be anything less than decent.

  3. Then it’s not a curse, especially if it’s only for a few years.

    The Curse of the Bambino.

    Black Sox.

    Cubs.

    Those are curses, if you believe such madness.

    Resting your knee from offseason surgery after a year in which you won the Heisman and did the rounds of the Heisman circuit, cutting into your training time, is hardly a curse.

    That Tuberville collapse led to his firing which led to the hiring of Chizik which led to the best season in team history. Byrum was still the kicker. Doesn’t seem like much of a curse.

    Ingram is going to make 1st round money, not have to take a pounding because of platoon backs thus increasing the potential of his shelf life, and he has ZERO pressure; he’s going to a powerhouse team with one of the greatest RB busts of all time on a team that favors the aerial attack with one of the all time great slingers – yeah, what an uncharmed life he leads.

    His life totally spiraled out of control for mocking the chomp. LMAO

    As for offense, I refuse to believe that a Brantley led offense can be anything other than middling, teasing with ineptitude.

  4. No, Cam Newton was the best thing to ever happen to Auburn. Sure, Chizik had a hand in it, but it was Newton (and Fairley) that made the championship team. Without Newton Auburn did the exact same thing that Florida did last year- 8-5, close Outback Bowl win over a mediocre Big Ten team.

    Getting injured is never a good thing, whether it’s a blessing in disguise or not. He lost a chance at a repeat Heisman- who wouldn’t want that? Then Alabama choked away the biggest lead in Iron Bowl recent memory and lost. Yes, they beat Florida, but they also lost to two other teams that they were more talented than. Nick Saban’s team underachieving? Yeah I’d say that’s a curse.

  5. You’re going to have to make up your mind; either Newton was an imbecile who was uncoachable and couldn’t remember a single play, or it was all him on offense.

    Regardless, if Tuberville is still the coach, Newton isn’t at Auburn. Chizik and Malzahn facilitated that. So yes, Tuberville’s ousting was a blessing for Auburn and Newton. otherwise, he goes to MSU with Mullen, or Oregon to play in Chip Kelly’s offense.

    As far as getting injured, it wasn’t an injury. He had a scope job, which is nothing. Who wouldn’t want a repeat chance at a Heisman ? Ask all the players not named Archie Griffin.

    It’s pretty much a given that you have to have a better season after you win the Heisman, and it had better be miles better. Ingram had a good, not great, Heisman year. He won because of the team he played for, the name, the sob story etc.

    Trent Richardson was to take a bigger workload in his sophomore year, making it IMPOSSIBLE for Ingram to repeat, so the best plan is to get the ridiculous hype over with as early as possible.

    Saban dreads complacency and, breaking in 9 new D starters, who the hell would want a PR machine hanging around all season – he saw what happened to Florida in 2009 with the players feeling entitled.

    A team with 9 new starters on defense lost a grand total of 3 games by a whopping 18 points. As far as being more talented than their opponents, we don’t know that. They had higher rated RECRUITS on their team, but their D had 9 new starters

    They lost 2 on the road, and the young D wilted in front of a national audience.

    As for being more talented than LSU, let’s get real. LSU is loaded and the 3 point differential at home showed they are Bama’s equal. Bama was a smidgen better than LSU defensively, but LSU played a ranked OOC opponent on a neutral field to start the season, whereas Bama played theirs at home.

    So, since Ingram mocked the chomp we’ve seen:

    Bama win the BCS

    Ingram get 1st round money when he was a second round talent.

    Ingram go to possibly the most ideal situation a young RB could want.

    Again, all we’ve really established is that by mocking the chomp a team might well end up with a Heisman winner who breaks the Heisman curse on the way to a BCS championship in an unbeaten season. Something Florida has never done.

  6. Newton was a fantastic athlete who could just do anything he felt like in college. I’ve never disputed his athleticism. Rather, I said he was dumbass and that’s not going to bode well for him in the NFL.

    The Ingram one was questionable, admitted. What you cannot dispute is this: Nobody in their right mind would be anything less than devastated if their shot at a second Heisman was destroyed. Sure, tell me Ingram was a team guy. Tell me it didn’t bother him, he just wanted the team to do well. More, more, more. He lost a shot at a second Heisman trophy and was injured following the chomp. And you, me and some random sedated savannah baboon all know that Alabama did not play up to their potential in 2010. We all know that. Never before have I seen a Nick Saban led college team with his own players (so not counting 2007) flop like that before.

  7. He may have felt a twinge for a moment. That’s it.

    He knew he wasn’t winning because TR was going to get an increased workload.

    Had he been an RS he’d have declared after 2009. Alas he was a true.

    You’ve never seen a Nick Saban led team flop like that before ?

    I guess you don’t remember 2008 or 2009 ?

    In 2008 they raced out to a sick lead vs Georgia and took their foot off the gas.

    The folded vs Florida. They choked vs Utah.

    In 2009 is was very similar, except they had the experience to prevent a total collapse.

    The recurring motif in Saban’s Bama tenure is his team’s tendency to take its foot off the gas, not play 4 solid quarters.

    All that happened last year was a case of a bunch of first time starters doing what usually happens and not having the experience to overcome it.

    At the end of the day, not winning a second Heisman had no negative impact on his fortunes. He gets first round money. He got picked higher than his talent because of how he was coached, and his bloodlines.

    Ingram will always be the Heisman winning BCS champion who is the son of a former NFL player and make millions doing so.

    He’s really isn’t that cursed.

    IN keeping with that, how about this – was the 2009 season for Florida punishment for sweet little Timmy chomping the Sooners in the BCS game ? Remember when his ball washers were saying “that’s the first thing he’s done wrong in his life”

  8. Maybe you should create some kind of “Chomp-O-Meter” Neil. That way you can keep an accurate count on the number of times a douche bag mocks us. That way we’ll know who’s due for an ass kicking or having karma bite them in the ass some other way. IDK, just a thought. 😀

  9. I enjoy reading Neil and Coach go at it almost as much as reading the article… Lets hope we have a decent year, and pray Brantley doesn’t start past week 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*