Learning not to believe what my eyes see

I am not smart enough to know all the intricacies of managing or coaching a college football program. I think I am too much of a fan of the game and not enough of being a student of the game. As much as we fans would like to admit there is not a difference, there is.

When I lived in Georgia in the 90’s I told my Georgia friends that what made Steve Spurrier such a favorite coach of the Gator Nation, besides winning, is that he was like your favorite smack talking fan who was also the best coach your team ever had. The fan and the coach very seldom blend and as much as we fans would like to think we have special insights into coaching we don’t.

However, there is a time when as a fan that when a coach stands up and says something I don’t get, I have to question it. Last night was one of those times.

Following the 42-21 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide, Coach Will Mushchamp said:

“Jeff gives us the best opportunity right now for us to win, in a game like that Jeff Driskel needs to play.”

I hear those words and I have replayed them a few times this morning, not for them to sink it because they need no time to sink in, but to make sure I got them right. I’ve found that I as a fan cannot see what the coach sees.

If I believe those words and take them at face value, then it tells me we are in a bad way as far as the quarterback position at the University of Florida.

In the Alabama game at one point Jeff was 5-17 and we had less than 100 yards of offense. I honestly cannot think back to seeing QB stats similar to those. Then these words echo in my head like a giant gong: “…he gives us the best chance.”

I look all over the SEC, in a year where there’s so many new and unproven QB’s and the Gators were a team with experience at the position. Just looking back to Alabama and their QB play last night or the opener South Carolina had with Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tennessee, Carolina all are ahead of us in QB play.

The Gators are way behind in quarterback play.

But do we have to be? Sitting on the bench for the last two games is Treon Harris. Now, I do not claim to know that Treon can do or not do nor whether he is more ready than the guy we have out there. However, if it is the practices that are giving Jeff the separation between these two, then the coaches may need to realize that Jeff may look like Marilyn Monroe in practice, but he plays like Phyllis Diller in our games.

How much worse could the offense have been in the Alabama game with Treon in there …or anyone?

I am not proposing that we give up on the season; I think going forward the way things are may be giving up on the season. I believe there are games we will win with Jeff at the helm, I also think there are games we will lose with him at quarterback.

We had zero touchdowns where the offense generated the field position to score.. Zero. How did that put us in the best position to win the game?

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Raymond Hines
Back when I was a wee one I had to decide if I wanted to live dangerously and become a computer hacker or start a website devoted to the Gators. I chose the Gators instead of the daily thrill of knowing my next meal might be at Leavenworth. No regrets, however. The Gators have been and will continue to be my addiction. What makes this so much fun is that the more addicted I become to the Florida Gators, the more fun I have doing innovative things to help bring all the Gator news that is news (and some that isn’t) to Gator fans around the world. Andy Warhol said we all have our 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to Gator Country, I’m working on a half hour. Thanks to an understanding daughter that can’t decide if she’s going to be the female version of Einstein, Miss Universe, President of the United States or a princess, I get to spend my days doing what I’ve done since Gus Garcia and I founded Gator Country back in 1996. Has it really been over a decade and a half now?


  1. I think the Gators suffer from a lack of leadership at the quarterback position. They see Jeff struggle to complete a pass of more than 10 yards and hold onto the ball for way too long. The team is too good to be deprived of an opportunity for victory because of Coach Musc

  2. dear Sir, thank you Lord that a writer has the cojones to take the time to be really specific , u hit the point correctly , put Harris in there to play why? because it is impossible to look that bad and play that bad impossible and the 2 passes I saw him heave for TD do not make anyone believe he be as bad as Driskel is , by the way football players know the game , know who brings it , know who does not and in my opinion pretty soon there will be lots of discontent in that team, also it is really disappointing to see our coach utter those words , because he is basically telling Harris YOU STINK because if he does believe H would do better than what D has done why u recruit him ? and if it was true that H was not ready WHOSE DAMN FAULT IS THAT ? and finally I never expected a FLA D to look like that , lost , totally lost ==thanks for being specific , does anyone wonder how many series will D had played if SS was our coach

  3. Agree totally. Coach Muschamp has a clear choice now…continue being stubborn, lose more games in an ugly, pathetic way and, as a reward, be fired for leading the Gators into mediocrity.

    OR, accept being wrong like he did over the winter when he changed the offensive philosophy (supposedly) and hired Coach Roper to initiate a change for the better to improve the team’s chance of winning and winning big (once again).

    No offense, but JD has not shown that he is the best option without question. COACH MUSCHAMP, MAKE A CHANGE AND TRY TREON HARRIS, otherwise you will have blown your opportunity to lead the Gators and will be looking for a new job. Don’t subject us fans to another season of stubborn, senseless mediocrity. PLEASE!

  4. What is sad is that it’s not just Jeff Driskel. The reality is that UF has only two players that you wouldn’t trade for anyone else in the country, the punter and one corner. Maybe, a receiver could be included. Other than that, who is playing at a high level for Florida? This team’s woes go much deeper than having a lousy quarterback. The team is still the same as last year when injuries and coaching were given as the excuse. What’s the excuse now? I don’t see it getting any better. For whatever reason, Muschamp has developed a culture that produces mediocrity. How else to you explain the Gators no longer being able to do something as simple as making a tackle?
    The solution is a radical one. Florida must hire someone who is going to do what Charlie Strong is doing at Texas. That is, come in and change the culture of the program. Get rid of any and everyone that doesn’t immediately buy into the new program. It may take a couple of years of pain and woe, Texas is not going to start winning again anytime soon, but it has to be done. Muschamp was supposed to be doing this job after taking over for Meyer, but it’s pretty evident that the job is too big for him.

  5. Bottom line: we hired a defensive Coord as our head coach. Some people will ALWAYS be coordinators and just not good as a head coach.. To run the clock out in the first half with 3 time outs and about 2 min is a ” typical” Muschamp decision– a loser mentality– trying not lose instead of being aggressive and WIN– that was not Roper’s decision. In second half, it appeared we regressed back to Muschamp controlling the offense and not playing wide open with Roper ‘s plays.. We will NEVER win big with this head coach. Foley must stop wasting years of our once proud program– the money is already drying up and it will only get worse– oh, and our defense was bad last year with most of the starters thru the season- this year looks a lot worse.. We have no talent and no depth in this guy’s fourth season as coach