Saturday night was a tough game for the Florida Gators but Gator Country breaks down the game on this edition of the podcast. plus they give you reason to be happy for the Gators.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down Treon Harris’ play on Saturday, plus tell you what the bright spots were for this Florida Gators football team on Saturday night.
Andrew and Nick also recap some recruiting news from Saturday, plus they take a look ahead to SEC championship week this week for the Florida Gators.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? It is a sad day in Gainesville after the Gators lose to Florida State, but at the end of the day Nick and I get to cover another week of football while the Noles sit at the house, while the Bulldogs sit at the house, and while the brick by brick team sits at the house. Nicholas, it’s better than expected, my good friend.
Nick: Two years ago, my first year on the job, my season was over right now. 4-8, and football games were done. Last year we had the Birmingham Bowl, but this was a free weekend for me. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Atlanta, never been to an SEC championship game. What a time.
Andrew: What a time to be alive.
Nick: Twitter fired everyone last night. Twitter fired Nussmeier. They fired Treon. They fired me. They fired you. Everyone was fired on Twitter last night, but all those people on Twitter doing the firings they wouldn’t have predicted 10 wins this year.
Andrew: I didn’t get fired, Nicholas, because I was actually…
Nick: You got fired. Everyone got fired.
Andrew: I was probably one of the people that were firing people. Let’s just be honest.
Nick: Did you fire me?
Andrew: Probably. I don’t remember last night. I was so frustrated, pissed off. Whatever. Then I woke up this morning, and it’s like this. 10-2, Nick, I think you would agree with me, I’m probably one of the more positive people about this Gator football team heading into the year. Would you agree with that?
Nick: Yes. I think you tried to convince me that Florida would win…
Andrew: 8-9 games.
Nick: 8, 9 games, and I was stuck on my 6, 7 with if everything breaks right probably 8 wins.
Andrew: Right. Even me, the guy who tries to see the positive, did not see this team heading to the SEC championship, and I hear the bullshit.
Nick: Hey, and everyone knew the SEC East wasn’t going to be very good this year.
Andrew: Right, but that’s what I’m saying. Everyone says the SEC East was bad. Sure it was. Will Muschamp didn’t get there though. At the end of the day, Florida had to beat Ole Miss. They played a tough game against LSU. The LSU loss doesn’t look good now, but it’s still there. At the end of the day this was going to be a building year for this team. You’re building by going to Atlanta. Now, do you get your butt kicked in Atlanta? Probably so. Once again it’s an opportunity to prove that you’re making stepping stones. The 27-2 loss, Nick you and I are taping this at 2:35 on Sunday, and the Gators have picked up two commits off that, and more are coming. It wasn’t a bad weekend.
Nick: Losing to FSU is always a bad weekend.
Andrew: It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Nick: It is 2:35 on Sunday, which means the sun did come up. Probably a little earlier than you and I, who were up pretty late last night, wanted it to come up. The program is moving in the right direction, and their further along than anybody, anybody’s who’s honest, they’re further along than you expected them to be.
Andrew: That’s what I was going to say. You hear people say, “This could have been what happened with Will Muschamp whenever he was there, because it was moving in the right direction somewhat there.” No. No. No. The program under Will Muschamp never moved in the right direction. The offense never improved from one day to the next with him. It never improved from one year to the next. You’ve seen what Jim McElwain can do with a quarterback that’s worth a darn in Will Grier at the beginning of the season. That offense looked good. It didn’t look great. It looked good. It looked really good against Ole Miss. Get a quarterback. See what happens. I can tell you one thing, Jim McElwain’s pissed off about this offense, whether he wants to admit it or not. He ain’t happy about the offense, and that is going to be fixed. If he has to literally go get Clarabelle to play quarterback I think he will. He is sick of this offense.
Nick: Yeah. I think Jim McElwain is a confident guy, a prideful guy, and I really think that his pride is taking a hit. This is not what he thought the offense would be like. This is not what he thought it would look like at this point in the year, and really I think it’s going to fuel him. He’s a guy who takes a lot of this personally, and he’s going to take the way Florida lost this game personally. He’s going to make sure everybody on the team takes it personally.
Andrew: It’s one of those deals where I think Mac really thought he could make do with Treon, but I think as he sees it it’s not. That kind of leads me to my next point. Nick, I’ve been alive for 28 years. I’ve seen Jeff Driskel play quarterback. I’ve seen John Brantley play quarterback. Bro, I have never in my entire life seen a quarterback look as incompetent as Treon Harris did on Saturday night. It’s stuff you learn in Pop Warner football. Hot read means you throw it to the guy that’s your hot guy. That was Callaway a lot of times. I don’t know what’s wrong with Treon Harris. He can’t be as bad a football player as he’s shown. I’ve seen him play better than that. Treon Harris has played in big football games in his entire life. I don’t know what’s going on with the man. I don’t know if he just has got so much in his brain going on that he’s thinking too much. I don’t know what it is, but that was the worst performance of a quarterback I have seen in a long time, and we had to watch Skylar Mornhinweg. It was crazy. I don’t know.
Nick: I can not make that statement, because I have seen Skylar Mornhinweg play football live and in color and in person, so I can’t make that statement. I can say that the stats kind of back it up. With Will Grier in the lineup, and yes I know that Treon played in some of these games, but with Will Grier in the lineup Florida’s averaging 384.6 yards per game. That number drops to 319, 65 less yards per game on offense without Will Grier and with Treon leading the team. Passing yards, still the same. It’s down 62 passing yards, with Will Grier 246, with Treon, 183. Everything is kind of taking a hit. Florida’s even averaging 3 less yards running per game.
Andrew: That makes my next point, Nick. It’s this. People bashed the offensive line last night. That offensive line played pretty darn good football.
Nick: They did, and you’re talking about an offensive line with two true freshmen starting.
Andrew: Yeah. Tyler Jordan played really good football. Ivey was probably the weak link again. I don’t know. I’d have to rewatch the game. Quite frankly I can’t stomach watching that game again. I can’t stand poor quarterback play. Whatever. Halter is what he is. That’s no reason to bash on the guy. Trip Thurman the first time playing center with that bad arm. That’s tough. That offensive line played really well. Here’s the difference. Florida State never respects the pass. They got 9 guys in the box. They’re playing man on man on the outside, because why? Because they knew Treon couldn’t do it, so that does affect the offensive line. The best offensive line in the country, at Alabama, at Clemson, wherever you want to go, 5 offensive linemen aren’t going to block 7 defensive linemen with a very good Florida State defense. I’ll admit Florida State’s got a really good defense. Quarterback play affects everything around that, including offensive line, running game, and everything else. Then it makes it look bad, but the offensive line played really well. The offensive line is not the reason that that game was lost yesterday for the Gators.
Nick: No. The offensive line played really well. The reason Florida lost is because they couldn’t do anything on offense. You look at the final score, and you see 27 points. That’s not on the defense. Florida did a great job for three quarters playing defense before finally wearing down, and FSU holds onto the ball for almost 9 minutes in that 4th quarter. At some point on defense the offense not being able to help you even a little bit starts to wear on you physically, as you saw them get a little tired, but also mentally it starts to wear you down. You come out in the 3rd quarter, force a big 3 and out, the crowd finally gets back into the game. Offense comes out, and right away, you don’t even have time to take a second sip of Gatorade on the sideline if you’re a defensive player, because you’re back out on the field.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. That’s the thing. It’s bad. Again, this is not blamed on the defense at all. You can’t blame it at all on them. Those guys played hard. Again, you look at the stats. Florida State had 304 yards, about 100 of those, 150 of those, probably came in the 4th quarter. I believe at the end of the 3rd quarter they had 153 yards. You can’t blame the defense at all. It’s piss poor, and I’m sorry to have to say it that way, quarterback play. Coach Mac can say it’s not Treon. I respect Coach Mac. You and I have been told he likes to coddle his guys after a loss, and then tear them down after a win, and that’s fine and dandy. I like that. I’ll never say a bad word about Coach Mac. He’s a great guy, but this game’s on Treon Harris, and Treon Harris alone. He’s playing very bad football right now.
Nick: I think a lot can be said, and we’ve talked before about how you kind of have to read in between the lines with Coach McElwain. I think Grayson Lambert told you, and then…
Andrew: Garrett Grayson.
Nick: Garrett Grayson. Sorry. Then who did we have on the podcast?
Andrew: Was it Max Starks or Ben Troop that also said that?
Nick: No. It was quarterback from Alabama.
Nick: McElroy also said that. He said he does a really good job, Jim McElwain does, of when you’re playing badly keeping you up, coddling you a little bit, making sure your confidence stays up, and that when you’re doing well he’s going to make sure that you remain levelheaded. After every game that Will Grier played it was, I thought he did okay. He was just all right. He needs to play a little bit better. I think he would tell you that. To me, the entire season has been we need the guys around Treon to play a little bit better. He would not take that same stance with Treon that he took with Will Grier. To me that says he doesn’t expect the same from Treon Harris as he expected from Will Grier. He’s trying to coddle Harris to keep his confidence up, because his play on the field is not keeping it up on its own.
Andrew: That’s a good point. That’s a point that I hadn’t really looked at.
Nick: When you think about it, and you go back, because now it’s been about six weeks, when you think about it and you go back, you can’t really point to a time where McElwain was as harsh, and I don’t think saying, “Will Grier missed some throws that he’d like to have back. He just played okay,” I don’t think that’s harsh. It’s much more harsh than the way he’s treated Treon Harris in the media.
Andrew: Right. A lot of that is, like you say, I think it’s a good point, he knows Treon Harris is a bad football player. I laugh about it, because it’s bad. It’s really bad. I’m sorry. I made the joke, you didn’t like my joke. I thought it was my best tweet of all time when I said that I thought that was probably a game that Clarabelle could have came in and won the game by hitting it with her nose, the football. You didn’t like that joke, but it’s probably the truth. I’m fat, and I’m out of shape, and I probably could have done that. I don’t know. It’s bad. I don’t know what the answer is for next week against Alabama. I think that one thing is that Treon has the zone reads available, and he’s not taking it. To me that’s confidence.
Nick: Maybe. Do we know that those are zone reads? You know what I’m saying? Do we know that it’s not maybe just a play designed to look like a zone read, but it’s really just a handoff?
Andrew: You don’t. We don’t. I should say that. I say that because most coaches allow that to be pulled if they see it. I say that.
Nick: Then that also goes into the coaching staff giving somebody the green light. Kind of like in baseball where if I’m Miguel Carrera’s manager there is no red light. If I don’t have a player like that, maybe they’re not getting the green light to tuck it and run.
Andrew: Right. Again, that was me speaking more out of context than I should have. I should have said I think he’s getting that. If Florida’s beating Alabama on Saturday in Atlanta there better be some zone reads, because those monsters up front are coming, and that ain’t stopping it. I will say this. Florida’s defense will be able to play ball against Alabama’s offense. You can bet on that. On that point, props to Jonathan Bullard. That is a man right there. That is a man wanting to play football. He is the opposite of Demarcus Robinson. Demarcus Robinson does not give a dang about his teammates. Jonathan Bullard does. Props to 90.
Nick: Yeah. We don’t want to put it out there, respecting him and his family’s wishes, but Jonathan Bullard probably should not have played football last night.
Nick: As far as making a business decision for the NFL, where he’s headed, but he’ll be able to sit there in interviews with NFL teams and impress the hell out of them when he tells them what he went through to come back and play this game for his teammates.
Andrew: Most people, and I have no problem calling this out either, Matt Jones sat out the Birmingham Bowl with a shoulder injury.
Nick: I have no problem with that.
Andrew: No. That’s what I’m saying. I have no problem with that. Granted, that was the Birmingham Bowl, and he did. I have no problem with that at all, but to tell me you’re going to go out there, and we’re going to respect the wishes of his family and just say that he has a knee injury that will require a medical procedure at the end of the year, and he goes out and plays ball, and plays effective ball. He played good ball. It’s not like he was just a dead fish out there, as Mac says. He played good football.
Nick: Yeah. To me what that says about him as a football player, as a competitor, it says a lot, but it doesn’t say as much as what it says about Jon Bullard as the person. How much he cares, really putting the team over himself, much like you compared him to Demarcus Robinson, who is doing quite the opposite. Based on Jim McElwain’s statement after the game I would not be surprised if we’ve seen the last of Demarcus Robinson in orange and blue. When Jim McElwain has talked about choices in the past it’s always been a clear cut, he made a choice for this game, and he’ll be back here. When asked about it point blank, is Demarcus Robinson a one game deal, or is he coming back? McElwain just said, “That’s up to the team.” It seemed like he had kind of washed his hands of the situation.
Andrew: This is my thing with Demarcus Robinson. I don’t know Demarcus Robinson very well, so I won’t make a statement that I know him very well. I don’t. I do know people who have told me a lot of things about him. He needs to get his head on straight. He has a chance to be a good football player if he’d get his head on straight. For me, there is no way, shape, or form Demarcus Robinson should be a part of this football team heading to Atlanta. Before someone hits me on Twitter telling me he just left the hotel on game day. No. It’s not about just this time. It’s about the other times that he’s continued to do this. When Mac says he let down his teammates, he did. Whether Demarcus Robinson would have put up 0 yards or 400, a guy like Jonathan Bullard playing on one knee is able to do what he’s supposed to do, but Demarcus Robinson can’t stay in a hotel for 4 hours instead of leaving. It’s whatever. To me Demarcus Robinson hasn’t earned, doesn’t deserve, an opportunity to be on this Gator football team. I think he should be removed ASAP, and if Jim McElwain does that I will be his biggest supporter of doing that.
Nick: I think his plan was always to leave after this season anyway, and maybe with this final choice that he made, to steal McElwain’s term…
Andrew: Let me ask you this, Nick. I’m being completely honest here and real here. Anywhere else, any business is Demarcus Robinson still around? If he’s working in a business.
Nick: No. Absolutely not.
Andrew: That’s my point.
Nick: Twitter would have fired him a while ago.
Andrew: Your father has a big time job. We won’t disclose what that is. If he fails multiple drug tests, violates multiple team law, stuff like that, he’s gone. He’s gone. It’s everywhere, he’s gone. No way, shape, or form do I have any sympathy for that guy.
Nick: No. I’m with you. I think Jim McElwain’s really just washed his hands. To me, when he says, “He can come back if his teammates want him back,” to me that’s saying I don’t want him back personally, but I’m a players’ coach, and if the players and the team accepts him back then I’ll find a way to deal with it.
Nick: To me, that’s what Jim McElwain is saying. I do want to point out somebody else. We’ve talked about Jon Bullard playing for the team. Talked about Demarcus Robinson doing the exact opposite. Kelvin Taylor last night. We kind of get stuck in this in today’s society where whatever happened most recently is the best ever, but I think, I know he’s rushed and killed Georgia, but I think what Kelvin Taylor did yesterday might be his best performance. He was running on a completely different level last night in a completely different gear, and he’s been running in a different gear all year. I think he took it to another level last night. To me, he wouldn’t say it, but to me he looked like somebody who knew this was his last game in the Swamp, and he wanted it to be special.
Andrew: How cool was it? The first play after his dad gets introduced on the field he busts a 24 yard gain.
Nick: Fred doesn’t get the opportunity to be at a lot of games, so I’m sure being able to watch what his son did last night, not what he did. The stats are very good. 24 carries, 136 yards. The stats were good. He probably should have had some receiving yards too, if Treon hits him more often, or hits him sooner. It’s just the way that he played. Sometimes the effort and the way that you go about your business is even more important than the numbers you put up. I think that was the case for Kelvin last night, even though the numbers were very good.
Andrew: A lot, and I mean a lot, of his yards were yards after contact. While the offensive line did play good in the passing game, they didn’t open a ton of holes on the rushing attack, because there were so many guys in the box. That means Kelvin had to create a lot on his own, but he did. I think we said it before, and we’ll say it again. Kelvin Taylor will look back and say Tim Skipper was the best thing to happen in his playing career besides his father. That has shown from week to week to week, and now Kelvin is becoming a guy that I think is learning how to play running back as a running back, not as just an athlete. I think he’s learning the game of how to play running back from a hole, and that’s what’s going to end up making him a guy. Heading into the season if you told me Kelvin Taylor would have a good NFL career I would probably have laughed at you, and said, “He gets drafted because of his name, but he probably doesn’t do much.” Now I sit here and think, this guy’s got a big heart. This guy could play some down in NFL.
Nick: I think so too. I think he’s done a lot to help his draft stock this year moving forward. Just happy to see that. You like to see guys come in with all kinds of expectations. He obviously, with his name, wearing his dad’s number, came in with expectations that you probably could never, ever live up to. It’s good to see some growth and maturation in these guys from the time when they’re 17 years old till 20, 21, 22, or in Jake McGee’s case 36, when they’re a senior. I really enjoyed watching Kelvin Taylor. There probably weren’t many times the previous two seasons where I’d sit here on a Sunday and tell you I enjoyed watching the way Kelvin Taylor ran yesterday. Many times this year I’ve sat here on Sunday and thought to myself, that was a treat watching him run.
Andrew: That’s what I was going to say. It’s one of those deals where you look back, and you’re like, if this guy would have been the player he is now for three years you’re talking about a guy that could be a high draft pick. Again, he doesn’t have great speed, maybe, but he’s got really good vision. He’s tough runner, and he showed me heart that I didn’t know if he had as far as the game goes. All around we can talk about the disappointments in the team on this, the Gators are 10-2, and they’re going to Atlanta, my good friend. Leave the tears in Gainesville. Bring your pom-poms and cheering, and do as best you can against Bama.
Nick: Bama’s coming.
Andrew: Bama’s coming. That’s right. Whether you like it or not. As Coach Mac says, “I think we’ll run out of the tunnel.”
Nick: That might be it. Florida hasn’t been shut out since 1988. It was October 29th. I was in my mother’s womb at the time. Florida has never been shut out in my lifetime. I might not be able to make that statement a week from today.
Andrew: I think that they find a way to get a point or two. I don’t know how. I really don’t. My thing is this. This is what I’m going to say. To me, and I said this after FAU, and I said this after Vanderbilt, I’ll say it again. I don’t think Mac gets embarrassed two weeks in a row, but he has. We’ll see. I don’t know what he’s going to do. Again, maybe Clarabelle can get out there and pop it with her nose. I really that’s a good option. We’ll see. Nick, Sunday morning was a great day for myself.
Nick: Okay. Here we go. We are on opposite sides of this table, but you’ve been waiting for this, so I’m just going to mute myself over here.
Andrew: You want to give your argument first?
Nick: No. I’m going to mute myself over here, and I’m going to let you have your moment, because you’ve been waiting for this for a while. Years probably.
Andrew: That bozo up in Athens finally gets what he has deserved for umpteen years. The bozo is looking for a job. Thank goodness. The world is right again. They didn’t fire Les Miles, but this bozo is out. Thank goodness. It’s a thing where I say Richt is a guy that underachieves as a football coach. He’s not a good football coach. He’s a fake person that puts up this belief that he’s this almighty above the world, but in reality he’s not. He’s a two faced guy, and I for one will be the voice to say, “Thank goodness he is gone.” I still don’t like Georgia, but Georgia is a better place without Mark Richt.
Nick: Hot take from Spivey. To me, it goes back to what I said before. College football teams are a brand, and Georgia’s a brand. You know your brand is going to be good. Coke is better than Pepsi, don’t debate me. That’s a fact. Georgia’s Pepsi, and they’re going to do well. They’re going to do okay. You’re going to be able to sell a lot of t-shirts, sell a lot of tickets. Fans are still coming. Every year they yell at Mark Richt. Then he’ll beat somebody, and they’ll stop yelling for a little while. Georgia was Pepsi. They were never going to be Coke, but you were going to be able to make money. That’s what college football teams are designed to do nowadays.
Andrew: Agreed. I try to look at this, again, Florida fans are saying Georgia may actually get a good football coach now. Yes, they probably will. The thing for me more than anything is I don’t like Georgia. I do not like Georgia football program. I’ve never liked Georgia football program, but I don’t like fake people. Nick, you’ve been around me for a long time. I’m usually too brutally honest of a person, and it sometimes gets me in trouble.
Nick: What? No.
Andrew: But Mark Richt is just fake. He lies to people. He’s built his reputation on this fake persona that he’s this good guy, but if you talk to people that really know him, that really interact with him, they will say a complete opposite. He’s fake. He’s a bad guy. I don’t know. We’ll see what’s up and go from there.
Nick: You look at Mark Richt, and in his 15 years at Georgia he won 145 games. That’s a 74% winning percentage. That means 3 out of 4 games Georgia’s winning with Mark Richt as the coach. That’s only behind Urban Meyer.
Andrew: How many national championships?
Nick: It’s only behind Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Nick Saban, and Gary Patterson. That’s it. The problem is other than Will Muschamp he didn’t really beat Florida.
Nick: You can’t go through for very long if you’re not winning your fair share of these rivalry games. My only problem with it is you’re getting rid of a very good football coach, and I think even you would say he’s a good football coach, taking out what you think of him as a person from what you know recruiting wise. He’s a good football coach who is going to give you a consistent product. What happens if you hire a Muschamp type of hire? Now three years later you’re looking for another coach.
Andrew: That’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’re going to get a guy that maybe doesn’t win three quarters of his games, but again, would you rather have one national championship or zero?
Nick: I’d rather have one.
Andrew: Exactly. One’s greater than zero. That’s your point. I guess the rumors are Tom Herman’s a guy that’s looking hard at the job. Kirby Smart’s a guy that’s looking at that. I don’t think Georgia can go the Kirby Smart route, because of the simple thing of the Will Muschamp experiment.
Nick: That’s tough. That is a spot that Kirby would love to land at though.
Andrew: I think Georgia fans would love to land him, but can you take that risk of hiring? Georgia hasn’t had a problem with defense. It’s been about offense. Do you need to go get an offensive guy like a Tom Herman that’s going to spread the ball around and that kind of stuff? Then you go back to the real segment of what do you do about your offense, because your offense is a pro-style offense built around pro-style guys if you do go to a guy like Tom Herman.
Nick: That’s the problem with where we are today. I’ve got Twitter telling me that Doug Nussmeyer needs to go. He hasn’t even been here a full year. It’s like what happened, and I think you and I have talked about it. I don’t know if we talked about it on the podcast, but Will Muschamp came in. He had a roster full of kids that had been recruited to run a spread offense. He tried to change that to a pro-style. After three years of recruiting it wasn’t working, and he wanted to go back to a spread. Now you’ve got three years of kids who you’ve recruited for a completely different type of offense.
Nick: How long, given the success that Georgia’s had, I understand no championship, and you’re going to yell at me about that. Given the success that Georgia’s had, how long does the next guy get if he’s doing a complete overhaul? Are fans calling for his head in three years, in four years? Making that change, going from a pro-style to a spread, that takes time, and you have to get your players in. I’m not talking about three years. Now your players might be only redshirt sophomores. That’s still a young team. You’re not going to get it, but you need, if you’re making that kind of overhaul, three, four, five, six years maybe. You’re not going to get that in this day and age. That’s where my trepidation comes in. You’re firing Mark Richt. You want to change the offense. Not a little bit, not tweak it. You want to blow it up and start from scratch, but your fan base isn’t going to tolerate a four year rebuild.
Andrew: Let me ask you this. This is a serious question that I have. While I think Florida, the state of Florida, is loaded with great athletes for the spread, the state of Georgia actually has some good pro-style. Is it worth a shot to hire a pro-style guy and go that way? I don’t know that it’s bad. When I say the pro-style I don’t mean the pro-style of the 1970s where it’s run 90% of the time. I’m talking about the pro-style of the Alabamas, the pro-styles of the Floridas, now. That kind of pro-style offense. Maybe that’s what they look at. You’re right. I’ll give Mark Richt props. He wins three quarters of his games, but do you take a guy that wins 60% and gets you a championship every two years? I say yes.
Nick: Yeah. It’s hard, because every team in college football wants to win a championship, and only one can.
Nick: You need to have realistic expectations.
Andrew: Let me just say this. This is a real point, in my opinion. Up until today, right now, Florida was a national championship contender this year. Right or wrong?
Nick: They were. I kept saying that, and people were telling me, no they aren’t, but I kept saying that.
Andrew: Right. My thing is this. When is the last time that you can say that about Georgia? I don’t know. I’m being honest.
Nick: Every pre-season they would tell that you.
Andrew: Right, but I’m saying late in the season, when is the last time you could say Georgia was a contender? I don’t know.
Nick: It would probably go back to the year, I forget what year it was. It was a couple years back, and they almost beat Alabama in the SEC championship game.
Andrew: Right. There were still question marks if that team was going to go, because they had two losses that year. There was a lot of what ifs on that team. I’m just saying that’s a big thing. Here’s the thing. This is what I wanted to get at with people, people on Twitter are asking me how it affects recruiting. It works two ways. The guys that love Mark Richt probably aren’t going to Georgia, or will rethink it, but a new coach creates momentum. They’re going to get some guys that were going to go there anyway, and they’re going to get some guys they weren’t going to get, and they’re going to lose some guys they were going to get. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s like last year with Mac. Mac wasn’t going to get Antonio Callaway, wasn’t going to get some other guys. He got those guys, but he lost a Ryan Davis, even though they didn’t really want Ryan Davis. It works both ways.
Nick: Yeah. It does. I don’t know. It’s tough. For me, we got a little bit away from Georgia there, for me tough for Georgia. I know you’ll be getting this question.
Andrew: Here we go.
Nick: What does that mean for Georgia’s commits? I went through Georgia’s commitment list, and didn’t see many that Florida would like, but in know there is a quarterback that everyone will be asking you about.
Andrew: My honest take on this is I don’t know. I really don’t know. Nick, you know I don’t usually say that, but I don’t. I really don’t know, because he’s an early enrollee, so he’s got roughly two weeks. He has one weekend to visit Florida, and that’s December 14th, because the Gators are in Atlanta this week, so there’s no visits this week. The next weekend is that, and then it’s the dead period. Can he really build a good enough relationship at Florida for that? Now let me say this. I think building relationships is very good, but I also think it’s a bunch of horse shit as well. I think if a kid sees that he can play early he can pretty much get along with anybody. Doug Nussmeyer, Jim McElwain aren’t going to treat the poor boy like crap if he comes in and plays quarterback and does well. Part of me says they could come in and get him, but another part is he’s been committed to Georgia for way over a year, almost two years now. He’s good friends with all of their commits.
Nick: The nature of the beast with quarterbacks right now.
Andrew: Right. If a guy like Tom Herman comes in, does Eason really fit his offense? Not really, but are you telling me Tom Herman ain’t going to go and make sure the #1 quarterback in the country sticks with Georgia? Come on now. Georgia’s in as bad a shape as Florida is. They have no quarterbacks.
Nick: Let’s hold on. The Tom Herman news that was coming out that was first reported was reported by a Twitter account that had 90 followers.
Andrew: No. I’m saying if a guy like Tom Herman goes. Personally my opinion is it’s going to be Tom Herman or Kirby Smart. That’s my personal opinion. Who knows what offense Kirby Smart runs, and we know what Tom Herman runs. Jacob Eason is the #1 quarterback in the country.
Nick: Kirby Smart doesn’t run an offense. He finds someone to do it for him.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. Who knows what he wants to do. Here’s the other kicker. Does Georgia have a football coach by the time he has to sign?
Nick: That’s tough. I’m of the opinion that recruits needs to pick schools, because coaches are loyal to a paycheck. It’s becoming pretty unlikely that when you sign you’ll have that coach for four years. That’s sad.
Andrew: Assistant coach. I think most head coaches are there four years.
Nick: An assistant coach, okay yeah. That’s true. An assistant coach. The point still stands. You can’t make a decision based on a coach, because a very tiny percent of Division I football players will play in the NFL, and then an even smaller percentage of those that do make it to the NFL will last longer than four or five years in the NFL.
Nick: You need to pick a school that you’re going to get an education from, that you’re going to get a degree from. If you’re looking at that from Eason’s standpoint, yes. I would take Florida, because I’m going to get a very good degree from the University of Florida, but it’s different for a quarterback. Every kid who’s that good at football thinks they are that 1%. That’s where it comes into building relationships.
Andrew: Here’s the thing, and I’m going to get ripped from one end of the country to the other end when I make this statement. A degree is a damn degree for a football player. They’re not picking a school over the academics. Never.
Nick: I’m talking what should happen. I’m not saying it does.
Andrew: It should. Yes.
Nick: Theoretically, in a perfect world.
Andrew: I say you should pick a school for the school. I understand that theory, but at the end of the day, how many times would you pick a job because of the job if you didn’t like the people around you? You know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t work at Gator Country if I hated you. I wouldn’t. Not if you were a long time guy there. You know what I’m saying? While I see that, I also see the point of the coach.
Now, Nussmeyer does have a relationship with Eason. Maybe he can draw that up. Who knows what’s really going on behind the scenes? Eason could have been talking to Nussmeyer for the last month. I don’t know. I can’t confirm. I can’t deny that. Quite frankly, the quarterback situation is about like trying to find out who the next president of the United States is going to be. Good luck. I do know that Dwayne Haskins stuff has been going on for a very long time. Florida’s been talking to him for a very long time. I think there’s a shot, but in a nutshell it’s this. He’s not an early enrollee. Do you risk going into February with only one quarterback committed in Kyle Trask?
Andrew: I don’t think you can. I think you have to go get an early enrollee like a Franks or a Jacob Eason, and then say, “Dwayne, we have no quarterback. Come in and compete.”
Andrew: Throw your marbles out that way.
Nick: Right now Florida’s looking at a situation where Will Grier’s not back until October. Does Treon Harris stay? Then you’ve got Del Rio. That’s all you have.
Andrew: Right. You have Del Rio, and then you’re looking for a backup quarterback that’s a freshman. You want an opportunity to play early, Dwayne Haskins, Jacob Eason, all these guys, it’s there. Let me phrase this by saying this first. I think Del Rio can be a good quarterback, but you’re beating a walk on. Can you beat a walk on? Opportunity’s there. We’ll see.
Nick: I think you would hope that you could beat a walk on.
Andrew: It’s there.
Nick: Florida does have the Will Grier thing kind of hanging over somebody.
Andrew: Let me ask you this. Let’s just say this. Say Jacob Eason comes to Florida. We’re going to play what if for just a second. Jacob Eason comes to Florida. He beats out Del Rio. The Gators are 6-0, and he’s thrown for 2,000 yards in the first six games. You’re telling me Jim McElwain’s benching him for Will Grier in Game 7? No way, shape, or form.
Nick: No, but I think that Grier will be practicing with the team throughout the off season.
Andrew: The thing is that quarterback has six games to prove his worth. Six games to prove his worth as a starting quarterback. If he does well, he starts. If he doesn’t, Grier takes over. I think most quarterbacks, and I have no problem saying this, if a quarterback has an issue with it hit me @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter. I think most quarterbacks are egotistical, and they believe their crap doesn’t stink, and they’re the best in the world. So neither one of them are going to be worried about Will Grier playing on Week 7. They’re going to say, “I’ll just take the job in the first six weeks.”
Nick: Yeah. That’s true. I think we’ll both agree that it will be a very fluid situation at Florida’s quarterback position based on who commits, if there’s an early enrollee. I haven’t watched as much of Eason, obviously, since he’s been committed to Georgia, as I have of Haskins and Franks. I can say that Franks is not the answer next year. Franks is a project. You can’t teach 6-6, but he has a long way to go before he’s ready to be running a college football team, let alone a team in the SEC right now, in my opinion.
Andrew: From a mechanics standpoint I would agree.
Nick: From a mechanic standpoint. He comes from an offense where he’s not asked to throw the ball a ton.
Andrew: I’m going to say this, and then we’ll get out of here. I know we’re running out of time. People are getting tired of listening to us. I’ll say this. I would be willing to bet my paycheck for a year that the Gators will have a quarterback that will not look like they did against Florida State on Saturday night.
Nick: I would hope so.
Andrew: I think Jim McElwain.
Nick: I will take your paycheck if you want to offer that up though.
Andrew: I think he will be willing to like jump into a lava cannon or some bull crap if he can’t develop a quarterback.
Nick: Real quick, I know you’re trying to skip.
Andrew: No. I was coming to it.
Nick: Our players.
Andrew: I was coming to it.
Nick: You took the win last week. This week.
Andrew: You took it.
Nick: You got Antonio Morrison, who we have almost assumed would be a guaranteed win.
Andrew: He was hobbled big time.
Nick: He was injured. He had a left hamstring wrapped up pretty tight. You could see through his white pants. Really looked hobbled. He’s not good in coverage, but there were a couple times last night where I looked at him in coverage and said, “That’s worse than he normally would be. There’s something going on there.” Definitely playing through something last night, but 2 tackles, 1 solo. Not getting a win there. We’re looking at Antonio Callaway, 2 catches, 16 yards, almost broke a couple on special teams, but only 2 returns last night. Then your last one, Bryan Cox. No tackles.
Andrew: He kind of didn’t show up. Cece out dueled him.
Nick: 0-3. Then me. Special teams I went Johnny Townsend, 9 punts, tied a career high, 418 yards of punting, 3 inside the 20, 3 of over 50, a long at 53, 46.4 average. #puntersarepeopletoo. I’m taking a win. Kelvin Taylor, we already talked about him. Fantastic game from Kelvin.
Andrew: I think I should get a half a point, because I have been on the Kelvin Taylor bandwagon.
Nick: You don’t get a half a point for a player that I picked. Jarrad Davis, my man, #40, he made some wood last night on a couple hits. Also led the team with 9 tackles, half a tackle for loss, and a quarterback hit. I’m taking a clean sweep. Three wins to your three losses. Back in the win column for Nick.
Andrew: Real quick. What a performance by Keanu Neal. He had the one personal foul, but he literally was bringing that hit stick, including telling the referee he was sick of that crap and knocking the referee for cold turkey.
Andrew: I do have to say this, Nick. While you took the clean sweep, I unfortunately was right where it mattered.
Nick: That’s fine. You can go ahead. We have a lot of Gator fans listening to this. You can go ahead and brag about picking Florida State.
Andrew: No. I will never brag about picking Florida State. That’s nothing to brag about. I told you I picked it hoping for reverse psychology. I really did. Something in my mind just told me that was going to be a bad game for Treon Harris. I don’t know why. I felt it for some reason, and we’ll see what happens in Atlanta. I will say this to end this podcast. I, for one, I am very excited for this week. I haven’t been to Atlanta for an SEC championship game in a long time. Haven’t covered one as a media member. I’m also very excited about the future of this program. Jim McElwain’s a hell of a football coach, and things are going right in Gainesville no matter that game on Saturday night. Nick, give us your final little line thing, and let’s get out of here.
Nick: We will have a ton of coverage for championship week. It’ll be a championship edition of the podcast on Wednesday and on Friday. If you’re in Atlanta, let me know where to eat. If you’re in Atlanta by yourself, hit me up. We’ll grab a drink. @NickdelaTorreGC, @AndrewSpiveyGC. All your Gator news that you need is on GatorCountry.com. That’s a www in front of that. All right, Andrew.
Andrew: Hold on. Nick, so Gator Country is the spot to be. 4 for 4 on breaking news on Saturday. Recruiting news is flying. Football news is flying. Nick, I will be taking you to the new Braves Diner in Atlanta. It is on fire, and you will be having to eat there this week, because Hotlanta is the best city in the world. Go Braves. Mark Richt, I am so glad you got what was deserving to you. I hate that you’re out a job, but bad things happen to people that lie and put on a face. Butch, you know I kind of cursed Mark Richt, so cursing you. Good luck the rest of the season. As always, go Braves. Check us out on GatorCountry.com.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.