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Florida’s Muschamp Says Every Game Is Winnable Next Season

Will Muschamp’s team just suffered the most injury-plagued season in recent SEC history.  His team’s offense was less than stellar for the third straight season.  He’s had to bring in offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to try and install and win with a brand new offensive system.  A number of key players have decided to transfer or head to the NFL early.  Last year’s squad finished 4-8 with seven consecutive losses to close the season.  Those losses included rivalry games with Georgia and Florida State (who just won the national title) and a contest with FCS foe Georgia Southern.

In short, it was the worst season of Florida football since the 1970s.  So how is Will Muschamp approaching what appears to be a must-win season in 2014?

 

“Every game on our schedule next year is winnable.  That’s not a far stretch at all… We’re not that far off.”

 

So said the Gator coach to Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com.  Either he’s danged sure his team really is ready to rebound, he’s an eternal optimist, or he’s been huffing paint.

We can assume that Muschamp knows he’ll be a goner if the Gators don’t win next year anyway, so why worry about setting high expectations?  Still, that’s a mouthful of a statement for a coach who suffered through a 4-8 nightmare.

Here’s how the Florida schedule sets up in 2014:

 

Home vs Idaho (winnable)

Home vs Eastern Michigan (winnable)

Home vs Kentucky (winnable)

at Alabama (The Tide will be rebuilding in some areas, but come on)

at Tennessee (winnable)

Home vs LSU (The Tigers will have rebuild their offense from almost scratch, so winnable)

Home vs Missouri (we’ve seen ‘em up and we’ve seen ‘em down, so winnable)

in Jacksonville vs Georgia (alway tough, but winnable)

at Vanderbilt (winnable)

Home vs South Carolina (The Gamecocks lose stars on both sides of the ball, so winnable)

Home vs Eastern Kentucky (winnable)

at Florida State (FSU romped the Gators last year, so no)

 

Technically, every game is winnable before it’s played.  For example, Georgia Southern could have looked at Florida last preseason and said, “winnable.”  But there’s a different between a game being winnable and a game being won.  We don’t think Florida will (or even can) beat Alabama or Florida State on the road next year.  Not with an all-new everything on offense.

We also don’t think think the Gators will win all of those toss-up games (LSU, Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina).

Muschamp has seen how quickly fortunes can change in the SEC.  His team went from 11-2 in 2012 to 4-8 in 2013.  Could his 2014 squad finish the regular season at 9-3 or 10-2?  Sure.  How big a turnaround it will take to save the coach’s job is another question.  Winning over the Florida fanbase is another matter entirely.

Kudos to the head Gator for not showing any fear to his players.  But “every game is winnable?”  Sorry.  Not buying that one.

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Georgia Comes Up Short In Gator Bowl Loss To Nebraska

postgame-links-150x1501Nebraska 24 – Georgia 19

1. Bulldogs try to rally late but a fourth down pass to tight end Arthur Lynch was dropped inside the 10-yard line with 25 seconds to play.

2. Lynch set a career-high with 6 catches for 69 yards.“You want to go out and represent Georgia and represent your teammates in the right way. I couldn’t do that.”

3. Georgia running back Todd Gurley rushes for 86 yards on the day but falls just short of a 1,000 yard season.

4. Georgia players optimistic about the future.  “We’re gonna do big things next year.”

5. Offensive coordinator Mike Bob is reportedly set to interview with Georgia Southern. ”I’m not trying to actively pick up the phone and call up people. If things happen, they happen.”

6. Bobo currently makes more than twice than than what Georgia Southern coach was making.

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Embarrassed In The Swamp, Florida Loses To FCS Program

postgame-links-150x1501Georgia Southern 26 – Florida. Video Highlights

1. Gators drop sixth straight game as Georgia Southern rushes for 429 yards. First loss ever for Florida to FCS program.

2. Eagles didn’t complete a single pass as triple-option attack confounds Florida.

3. Coach Will Muschamp focuses on the offense: ”You’ve got to be able to change the scoreboard, and we just struggled scoring points offensively. It’s been a week-in, week-out occurrence.”

4. Florida has lost 18 players to injury this year.  Georgia Southern has lost 19.

5. Gators now assured of first losing season since 1979.

6. Gators freshman receiver DeMarcus Robinson hit with second suspension of the season – will not play against Florida State.

7. Florida guard Jon Halapio: “The morale on this team is at an all-time low.”

8. And the questions intensify about the future of Muschamp.  ”(Florida AD Jeremy) Foley has a huge mess on his hands.”

9. Headline: “Gators Choke On A Cupcake”

10. Pat Forde: “I like Muschamp personally. But if it were my call, I’d thank him for his service and hand him a buyout check.” 

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Georgia Southern 26 – Florida 20 (Video)

Video highlights of the Georgia Southern 26-20 win over Florida Saturday afternoon in The Swamp.



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Florida D-Coordinator Durkin Likes The Fight In His Gators

gfx - they said itFlorida hasn’t just been bitten by the injury bug in 2013.  The Gators have dealt with an infestation of injury bugs.  By our count, at least nine players have been lost for the season due to ailments, breaks, tears, bumps and bruises.  Many of those individuals have been lost from DJ Durkin’s defense.

But after watching his squad stymie Georgia in last weekend’s second half (turning a 23-3 halftime deficit into a 23-20 barnburner), Florida’s defensive coordinator says his guys aren’t hanging their heads:

 

“… look how the guys responded in the second half (against Georgia) and how they played.  I think our guys, we have great morale in our locker room.  They continue to play hard and fight, and I expect them to do that his coming week and the weeks to come.

I was really proud of our guys (and) how they responded.  Obviously, that first half was not the way we wanted it to go, but they came out and fought and put us right back in it and we had a chance to win the game.  It’s been one of those deals here, but I think our guys, that really spoke to what their character is and what the morale is of the team.”

 

The Gators will need that fighting spirit over the next four weeks.  At 4-4 they need two more wins to go bowling and three of their last four contests figure to be tough — Vanderbilt, at South Carolina, then Florida State in the season finale.  In the middle of that run comes a home game with Georgia Southern.

Florida fans might feel like hanging their heads, but their team can’t afford to.

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New Schedules: The SEC Is Doing A Better Job Of Laying Out Games For TV

gfx - honest opinionNovember 17th, 2012.  That date about 10 months ago represented the nadir of Southeastern Conference football scheduling.

The lineup of action on that day was as follows:

 

Alabama versus Western Carolina

Arkansas versus Mississippi State

Auburn versus Alabama A&M

Florida versus Jacksonville State

Georgia versus Georgia Southern

Kentucky versus Samford

LSU versus Ole Miss

Missouri versus Syracuse

South Carolina versus Wofford

Tennessee versus Vanderbilt

Texas A&M versus Sam Houston State

 

If you ever wonder why the SEC is so often chastised for scheduling creampuffs, there’s your answer.  On one weekend SEC teams feasted on Western Carolina, Alabama A&M, Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern, Samford, Wofford and Sam Houston State.

Hey, if you’re going to schedule laughers, don’t put ‘em all on one day late in the season.  Get ‘em out of the way early and/or break ‘em up from school to school.  When that isn’t done, the SEC opens itself up for criticism.  Worse, it also ticks off those TV executives who happen to be paying the league billions of dollars for the broadcast rights to… Kentucky versus Samford?

The good news is that the SEC seems to be addressing the issue.  On no date this fall will SEC squads matchup with seven FCS foes as they did last November.  There will be five such games on September 7th, but that’s at the start of the football calendar — and it’s not an issue.  September is cupcake time across the nation.

More impressively, over the course of five football Saturdays in November 2013, only five FCS opponents will face SEC teams.  That’s a helluva lot better than playing seven on one weekend a year ago.

In 2014, SEC schools will battle seven FCS foes total.  While that is better than hosting seven on one day, four — Alabama/Western Carolina, Auburn/Samford, Florida/Eastern Kentucky, and Georgia/Charleston Southern — will all be played on November 22nd.

In other words, the scheduling of the league’s nonconference cupcakes is getting better… but there’s still more work to be done from a television perspective.

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Wow Sunday Headlines 11/18/2012

Derek Dooley fired as coach at Tennessee – offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will be interim coach Saturday against Kentucky
Kentucky denies offering head football coaching job to University of Cincinnati coach Butch Jones
Saturday SEC Football Finals
Mississippi State 45 – Arkansas 14
Alabama 49- Western Carolina 0
Florida 23 – Jacksonville State 0
South Carolina 24- Wofford 7
Auburn 51 – Alabama A&M 7
Georgia 45 – Georgia Southern 14
LSU 41 – Ole Miss 35
Texas A&M 47 – Sam Houston State 28
Vanderbilt 41 – Tennessee 18
Syracuse 31 – Missouri 27
Kentucky 34 – Samford 3

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LSU Survives Ole Miss Scare, South Carolina, Auburn & Georgia Get Wins Over FCS Foes

LSU 41 – Ole Miss 35

1, LSU freshman Jeremy Hill scores a tochdown  with 15 seconds left to give the Tigers the winning margin.  Les Miles: “Wow, what a spectacular game that was. Are you kidding me?

2. Scott Rabalais:” LSU-Ole Miss delivers over and over again, like no other rivalry the Tigers have.”

3. On game-winning drive, Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Mkemdiche called for a personal foul on a hit against LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger: I’d have to jump to get helmet to helmet with him,” Nkemdiche said. “I was absolutely shocked.”

4. Ole Miss athlete Randall Mackey: “We let it slip away.”

South Carolina 24- Wofford 7

5. Career-high 127 yards for running back Kenny Miles.

6. Steve Spurrier: I was relieved, because they beat us in 1917. Was that the last time?”

Auburn 51 – Alabama A&M 7

7. It’s on to the Iron Bowl for the Tigers: Gene Chizik: ”The challenge of next week will be huge.”

8. Kevin Scarbinsky; “The best thing Auburn has done this season is schedule Alabama A&M.”

Georgia 45 – Georgia Southern 14

9. Bulldogs survive first triple-option test.  Running back Todd Gurley becomes the first Georgia true freshman since Herschel Walker to surpass 1,000 yards in a season.

10. Cornerback Sanders Commings tweet: “Thank you Baylor, thank you Stanford.”

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Wow Saturday Headlines 11/17/2012

Saturday SEC Football Finals
Mississippi State 45 – Arkansas 14
Alabama 49- Western Carolina 0
Florida 23 – Jacksonville State 0
South Carolina 24- Wofford 7
Auburn 51 – Alabama A&M 7
Georgia 45 – Georgia Southern 14
LSU 41 – Ole Miss 35
Texas A&M 47 – Sam Houston State 28
Vanderbilt 41 – Tennessee 18
Syracuse 31 – Missouri 27
Kentucky 34 – Samford 3

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Wow Friday Headlines 11/16/2012

Saturday SEC Football Schedule
Arkansas at Mississippi State. MrSEC Pick:  Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 27
Western Carolina at Alabama. MrSEC Pick:  Alabama 42, Western Carolina 9
Jacksonville State at Florida. MrSEC Pick:  Florida 28, Jacksonville State 10
Wofford at South Carolina. MrSEC Pick:  South Carolina 35, Wofford 14
Alabama A&M at Auburn. MrSEC Pick:  Auburn 35, Alabama A&M 13
Georgia Southern at Georgia MrSEC Pick:  Georgia 42, Georgia Southern 17
Ole Miss at LSU. MrSEC Pick:  LSU 37, Ole Miss 14
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M. MrSEC Pick:  Texas A&M 66, Sam Houston State 7
Tennessee at Vanderbilt. MrSEC Pick:  Vanderbilt 34, Tennessee 31
Syracuse at Missouri. MrSEC Pick:  Missouri 31, Syracuse 30
Samford at Kentucky MrSEC Pick:  Kentucky 27, Samford 17

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