The Florida Gators lost their season opener on Thursday night, and it was never close.
From a loaded football-hotbed state in the South, they were manhandled by a program in Utah.
The reason? The alumni and fan base. Not the product on the field. Would you please take a cue from Guns 'N Roses (yeah, I know, most of you don't know that band - but you should): Have a little patience, or this losing trend will continue until rapture.
When are you all going to give a coach five years to recruit and build what he's pitching, as opposed to five months? The truth is, you're a bunch of spoiled brats.
Remember when you made fun of Tennessee for running off Phil Fulmer? That was after he'd won a national title and consistently led the Volunteers to 10 wins a season. Tennessee proceeded to give an onslaught of coaches a couple of years to reignite the Peyton Manning years, only to fire them shortly afterward. That's Florida now. That's Gainesville. You can't get past counting to step one, and you get impatient. You aren't even patient enough to count to step two.
Florida became arrogant after three national titles and more SEC titles between 1996 and 2008, plus countless close calls. Old-timers remember when Florida was rarely in the national discussion, but Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer changed that.
Before Spurrier, the Gators had Galen Hall with Emmitt Smith, Charley Pell with the 1984 season, Doug Dickey, and head coach Ray Graves (when Spurrier nabbed a Heisman). But as Alabama's Bear Bryant once said, nobody had ever woken up the SEC's sleeping giant in Gainesville.
But wanting to already run off Billy Napier because of a sub-par 2022 and a road loss to a good Utah team Thursday, Dan Mullen before that, even though he was a massive part of the Urban run everybody loved, and even Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp before that?
You all running off all these coaches is the reason the Gators have to battle subpar programs for 3-star recruits, and are an afterthought when it comes to the 5-star youngsters you all salivate over and we all know are necessary to compete in the SEC. The Gators have had four "interim" coaches dating back to 2004, for goodness sakes — not even letting the original head coaches finish the year.
That's the answer? Letting the college football world know that this program has a fuse of fewer than four or even three seasons?
Don't get me wrong, Florida's not the only program that has used this method. We already mentioned Tennessee. Florida State's messed with it, and so has Auburn and several others. It's all based on noise and lack of patience - and lack of logic.
Only one team can win it all, and only one team can win a conference title.
Folks, Spurrier left because he was sick of hearing that beating teams by "not enough" had gotten old - and likely never returned for the same reasons when Zook was canned quickly after Spurrier's exit. Urban left when the stress broke him, along with other reasons related to the pressure to win.
Five seasons minimum, folks. If you don't understand recruiting, you will if you just give a coach five seasons to build his team around his own recruits and system. The only reason you gave Urban more time was because he used Zook's recruits and won a Natty in year two, and then won another two years later. If Urban hadn't done that? The guy from Utah and Bowling Green would have been jettisoned quickly and we all know it.
Be introspective, Gator fans. You're the problem.
SIGNED - Brian McLaughlin, UofF graduate, c/o 2001
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