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  • Having Kelvin Taylor softens the blow of losing recruit Dalvin Cook / Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday rants
and raves

Written by Thor Kolnes, November 24, 2013, 3 Comments,
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Normally my Sunday piece is called “Rants and Raves.” I highlight a few talking points about what went right and what went wrong about the prior day’s game. I can’t write like that today. I have absolutely NO raves whatsoever. There was NOTHING good about yesterday’s game. NOTHING. It may have been the worst home loss in Florida Football history.

As to my raves – well, I have so many. Too many to organize. So I am just going to write freestyle.

Not too long ago I endorsed Will Muschamp and opined that his ouster would do more harm to this program than any benefit that might come with replacing him.

When I gave this crucial endorsement, I never – and I repeat – NEVER  thought that losing to Georgia Southern was even a remote possibility.

The team’s poor play in the subsequent weeks and the continuance of the losing streak occasionally raised the question in my mind, “What if we actually lost to Georgia Southern?” But I never really believed it could happen. I did mention in my Friday column that I thought the game would be closer than many believed.

But I did not see this coming.

Georgia Southern gashed this defense with 429 yards rushing and ZERO yards passing. 0. Nada. Zilch.

In case you need reminding, this is a 1AA Georgia Southern team that has a losing record in the Southern Conference.

Let me repeat that – a LOSING record in a 1AA conference.

I don’t care about your excuses. Georgia Southern had as many injuries as we had. If my information is correct, they dressed fewer players than we did.

There is not a SINGLE player on their roster that we would have recruited. Conversely, had they landed a Skyler Mornhinweg, it would have been considered a major coup.

I was not around in 1979, so I did not live through that 0-10-1 season. But in my time as a dedicated Gator fan, I have never been so disgusted nor humiliated.

It is my opinion that something has to change. Either Will Muschamp has to go or there has to be a drastic overhaul and it has to happen now.

For those of you crowing about keeping the recruiting class intact, I must ask, why the concern? Do you really think this staff is going to get the most out of these kids? If not for injuries, Kelvin Taylor and Jarrad Davis would still be riding the pine. We’ve seen nothing from Demarcus Robinson (who is suspended for the remainder of the year) and Ahmad Fulwood. Even VHIII, who would have seen ANYONE’S field as a freshman, has tapered off.

Two years ago we signed the numbers one and two rated tight ends in the country in Colin Thompson and Kent Taylor. But our starting tight end is Trey Burton’s brother, who is a converted defensive lineman. And, as with most of our productive players, was NOT recruited by this staff.

Look at Muschamp’s offensive line recruits and their performance. Look at our current commitments and their rankings. I know the offensive line is the toughest position to project but, if rankings mean anything to you, we’re not getting immediate help.

The SEC is simply too good and too competitive for us to tolerate this ineptitude. A change needs to be made and it needs to be made NOW. Whether that change is a new head coach, a new coordinator, a new offensive staff or a complete about face in offensive philosophy, there can’t be another year like this one. As it stands we’re probably 2-3 years away from competing at a high level again. If we stay the present course without significant change, then we set that timetable back 1-2 more years.

If Muschamp goes, who would be his replacement? Who knows, but this is Florida. It’s not like this job wouldn’t attract the best candidates in football. It has only been five years since a national championship. People don’t forget that quickly.

I wish Will Muschamp well. I really do. He was put in a situation for which he simply wasn’t prepared nor ready. His stubborn reliance on his football dogma will not change until he is given a wakeup call. To do that it may be that he gets fired from here and re-invents himself at a smaller program, then takes a job at an elite school and succeeds wildly. I hope he succeeds wildly whether it’s here or somewhere else, but I know this: if Muschamp is going to succeed at Florida then there have to be a lot of changes. If he’s not willing to make the changes, I don’t think he should be given another year.

I believe that it is imperative for the University of Florida to insist on change in the football program. Whether that is change at the top or the head football coach making change from within, I do not believe that we can stay on the present course.

And I believe this: whatever changes are necessary cannot wait.

What must be done eventually should be done immediately.” – Jeremy Foley

Thor Kolnes

About Thor Kolnes

Sports and writing have always been passions of mine. I was unfortunate enough to be born in Cincinnati, Ohio and even more unfortunate to be born with an unwavering sense of loyalty. I chose the Gators in a Cub Scout meeting as a young boy after my parents moved us to Florida and I have never looked back. Suffice it to say the loyalty to the Gators has paid off but the Bengals and the Reds are withholding their dividends. Geographical determinism made me a Reds and Bengals fan, but God's grace made me a Gator.

  1. wci347November 24, 2013, 8:27 pm

    Great comments. Spot on- particularly as it relates to the concerns about a recruiting class that would be wasted anyway with this current coaching staff. IN FACT, perhaps the only way to salvage the class is to clean house on the coaching level. It might even stem the tide of the inevitable transfers that are going to inundate us at the end of the season as a result of the under utilization so many talented players.

    Perhaps a wise and quick move to bring in someone who could convince young players on scholarship to not defect and HS commits to stay the course with new coaching leadership, would be the best course of action.

    The new coach would have set objectives to get the offense churned up as quickly as possible. That would start with a front line that is properly prepared coached and developed) to execute the game plan.

  2. malscottNovember 25, 2013, 10:24 am

    …best article written about our current state of mediocrity yet. Katrina wasn’t as bad as this! (God bless the souls that lost their lives, but you get my point!) We need to quit pretending we don’t know how horrific we are. I applaud some folks that are so politically correct- I get the loyalty. But pack up the freaking violin and find a lifeboat to jump in before the boat sinks for Gods sake. Matrydom is idiotic. If Foley doesn’t bag Muschamp he should be fired. All of the best eventually lose their sense of reality, they lose their game. Maybe he has too. Either that or he’s hammered and has been drinking heavily since the meltdown and is scared to come out of his office. It is by far the worst season since I’ve been a Gator and that’s forty years. And yes, there are a LOT of coaches around the country that could do waaaay better with the talent we have. They are currently doing and coaching better teams with way less. We just go spanked by one. If the whole FSU team got arrested for DNA matches associated with making out with roaming wildabeasts, we still have no chance.

    • jackNovember 25, 2013, 12:45 pm

      The issue is can Champ change his conservative mindset on offense. Does he have the stones to have a strong OC and leave him alone to save his tenure.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Taylor_Kelvin_Florida_Gators_Football_2_112313_USAToday-150x150.jpg Thor Kolnes FeatureFootball ,,,,,,
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Normally my Sunday piece is called “Rants and Raves.” I highlight a few talking points about what went right and what went wrong about the prior day’s game. I can’t write like that today. I have absolutely NO raves whatsoever. There was NOTHING good about yesterday’s game. NOTHING. It may have been the worst home loss in Florida Football history.

As to my raves – well, I have so many. Too many to organize. So I am just going to write freestyle.

Not too long ago I endorsed Will Muschamp and opined that his ouster would do more harm to this program than any benefit that might come with replacing him.

When I gave this crucial endorsement, I never – and I repeat – NEVER  thought that losing to Georgia Southern was even a remote possibility.

The team’s poor play in the subsequent weeks and the continuance of the losing streak occasionally raised the question in my mind, “What if we actually lost to Georgia Southern?” But I never really believed it could happen. I did mention in my Friday column that I thought the game would be closer than many believed.

But I did not see this coming.

Georgia Southern gashed this defense with 429 yards rushing and ZERO yards passing. 0. Nada. Zilch.

In case you need reminding, this is a 1AA Georgia Southern team that has a losing record in the Southern Conference.

Let me repeat that – a LOSING record in a 1AA conference.

I don’t care about your excuses. Georgia Southern had as many injuries as we had. If my information is correct, they dressed fewer players than we did.

There is not a SINGLE player on their roster that we would have recruited. Conversely, had they landed a Skyler Mornhinweg, it would have been considered a major coup.

I was not around in 1979, so I did not live through that 0-10-1 season. But in my time as a dedicated Gator fan, I have never been so disgusted nor humiliated.

It is my opinion that something has to change. Either Will Muschamp has to go or there has to be a drastic overhaul and it has to happen now.

For those of you crowing about keeping the recruiting class intact, I must ask, why the concern? Do you really think this staff is going to get the most out of these kids? If not for injuries, Kelvin Taylor and Jarrad Davis would still be riding the pine. We’ve seen nothing from Demarcus Robinson (who is suspended for the remainder of the year) and Ahmad Fulwood. Even VHIII, who would have seen ANYONE’S field as a freshman, has tapered off.

Two years ago we signed the numbers one and two rated tight ends in the country in Colin Thompson and Kent Taylor. But our starting tight end is Trey Burton’s brother, who is a converted defensive lineman. And, as with most of our productive players, was NOT recruited by this staff.

Look at Muschamp’s offensive line recruits and their performance. Look at our current commitments and their rankings. I know the offensive line is the toughest position to project but, if rankings mean anything to you, we’re not getting immediate help.

The SEC is simply too good and too competitive for us to tolerate this ineptitude. A change needs to be made and it needs to be made NOW. Whether that change is a new head coach, a new coordinator, a new offensive staff or a complete about face in offensive philosophy, there can’t be another year like this one. As it stands we’re probably 2-3 years away from competing at a high level again. If we stay the present course without significant change, then we set that timetable back 1-2 more years.

If Muschamp goes, who would be his replacement? Who knows, but this is Florida. It’s not like this job wouldn’t attract the best candidates in football. It has only been five years since a national championship. People don’t forget that quickly.

I wish Will Muschamp well. I really do. He was put in a situation for which he simply wasn’t prepared nor ready. His stubborn reliance on his football dogma will not change until he is given a wakeup call. To do that it may be that he gets fired from here and re-invents himself at a smaller program, then takes a job at an elite school and succeeds wildly. I hope he succeeds wildly whether it’s here or somewhere else, but I know this: if Muschamp is going to succeed at Florida then there have to be a lot of changes. If he’s not willing to make the changes, I don’t think he should be given another year.

I believe that it is imperative for the University of Florida to insist on change in the football program. Whether that is change at the top or the head football coach making change from within, I do not believe that we can stay on the present course.

And I believe this: whatever changes are necessary cannot wait.

What must be done eventually should be done immediately.” – Jeremy Foley

Read previous post:
The Georgia Southern players celebrate lifting their eagle into the air after their win against the Florida Gators.  Florida Gators vs Georgia Southern Eagles.  Gainesville, FL.  November 23, 2013.
3 things we learned from Georgia Southern

Nick de la Torre analyzes Florida's shocking loss to Georgia Southern.

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