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Comparing UK-U of L football by the numbers

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

Mark Story had interesting column this morning comparing Joker Phillips’ first year with Charlie Strong’s first year.

Personally, I’d give Strong a little more credit than Mark offers, but thought I’d look up some other numbers.

Here is how the two seasons compared, using the Sagarin Ratings.

The other statistical categories are by the latest NCAA statistical rankings.

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UF assistant McCarney takes North Texas Job

Florida fans are rejoicing this morning over news that a Gator assistant coach will not return to Gainesville next year. 

What?  It’s not Steve Addazio?  It’s D-line coach Dan McCarney who’s leaving?

Oh. 

Nevermind.

ESPNDallas.com reported over the weekend that McCarney had accepted the head coaching job at North Texas.  That report has now been confirmed by The Gainesville Sun.

McCarney previously served as the head coach at Iowa State from 1995 to 2006.  He is the third Urban Meyer assistant to take a head coaching job in as many years… joining Dan Mullen at Mississippi State and Charlie Strong at Louisville.

Interestingly, Meyer had the following to say when asked Saturday night if the initial ESPNDallas.com report were true: “No.  I mean, not that I know of.  I have not been made aware of that.”

When Addazio was made UF’s interim head coach during Meyer’s quick retirement/sabbatical/vacation/siesta, McCarney — a former head coach — seemed to be the man who was snubbed.  He said at the time that that was not the case and that he was fine with just handling the D-line duties.  Maybe he felt a bit more snubbed than he let on.

Meanwhile, many Gator backers have their fingers crossed that Meyer will reverse field and make a change with Addazio.  But for now, it still appears that UF’s offensive coordinator will be back next year.

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Dan Mullen, Charlie Strong high on Miami list?

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Big news Saturday night was Miami taking the axe to head coach Randy Shannon after the ‘Canes loss to South Florida. And in such situations, doesn’t take long for the speculation machine to start humming.

Two names receiving a large amount of play: Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Louisville’s Charlie Strong.

Mullen is well-known to Miami fans for his tenure as offensive coordinator at Florida. All the Gators did was win a pair of national championships during Mullen’s stay. And the Florida offense has turned into a popgun since he departed for Starkville. Meanwhile, Mullen has State in a bowl game in just his second season.

Strong was the defensive coordinator on the Urban Meyer staff that included Mullen. Strong has been a head coach for just one season, but coaxed Louisville to a 6-6 record and bowl eligibility. After three dry years of Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville is on the uptick again.

An excerpt from Andy Staples’ take on SI.com:

Another name to consider is Louisville’s Charlie Strong. Strong has only coached the Cardinals for a season, but he took them from 4-8 to a bowl eligible 6-6, and they were competitive in every game except a 20-3 loss to Pittsburgh. That may not sound impressive, but Strong inherited a depleted roster. Plus, his name has instant credibility in the Sunshine State because of his work as Florida’s defensive coordinator. He also probably would bring defensive coordinator Vance Bedford — a well-connected recruiter in South Florida — and assistant Clint Hurtt, a Miami alum who served as the Hurricanes’ recruiting coordinator from 2007-09.

My guess is that Mullen is the more viable candidate of the two. He is offense-oriented, which Miami is said to prefer. Plus, he has been a head coach a year longer than Strong. Still, Strong is another Louisville coach, who if he continues his success, will be in high demand.

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Across Enemy Lines: Q & A with Alligator Army

South Carolina
Content provided by Garnet And Black Attack.

I got together with the editor of the fine SBN Gators blog Alligator Army to discuss this weekend’s game. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading his answers to my questions. Many thanks to him for participating.

1. It’s life after Tebow for the Gators–discuss.

The problem is that Florida fans can’t move past Tebow when the coaching staff can’t move past Tebow either. As has been demonstrated with John Brantley, Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio are unable or refused to design an offense around a pocket passer. Mercifully, they no longer make Brantley run the option, instead using Jordan Reed and Trey Burton to do that. Plus, Brantley is blitzed on nearly every down, since Addazio cannot come up with a blitz pick-up package. Florida is finally moving the ball in exchange for giving up on Brantley being a long-term solution at quarterback. You will see three quarterbacks on Saturday and for the remainder of Florida’s season.

2. Carolina’s Achilles Heel, especially since the Kentucky game, has been an atrocious pass defense. Will the

Gators be able to take advantage after having struggled to throw the ball for most of the season?

Probably not. Everyone has passed against Alabama, but not Florida. Against Georgia, UF stuck with the running game, despite that being UGA’s strength. UF’s biggest problems on offense are that Brantley is not accurate, the line cannot protect him, and UF cannot figure out a way to feature a receiver. In a better system, Carl Moore and Omarius Hines would be All-SEC. Under Florida’s 2010 offense, they are edge blockers who have to catch a pass on 3rd and 7. The Gators could hit some big plays, but don’t expect a consistent passing attack, no matter who the Gators’ quarterback is.

3. A lot of folks believed that the Gators defense would suffer due to the loss of Charlie Strong, but it’s generally been OK this year. How do you feel that Strong’s departure has affected Florida?

It has had zero impact. Florida’s problems with youth and a smaller front seven were expected. Teryl Austin is similar to Strong in using multiple looks and locking up the opponent’s best receiver. I really don’t think Strong could have done better because the greatest coach in the world can’t fix youth and undersized players. Florida will keep taking two steps forward and one step back on defense, no matter who was coordinator this season.

4. Name one Carolina player who you’d love to have on the Gators’ roster and discuss why.

Marcus Lattimore is the closest my generation will get to Bo Jackson or Herschel Walker, but Alshon Jeffrey is my pick. To have an All-American receiver, who almost never gets locked up, is a huge advantage. You can stack the box and stop a back. But a receiver can hide in the formation and get open on every play. Plus, he is a deep threat because of his speed and size. Guys who are 6-foot-4 should not run like he does.


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