Welcome home, fellow Gator.

The Gator Nation's oldest and most active insider community
Join today!

Looking Ahead To The 2024 Season & Beyond - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by 62gator, Nov 27, 2023.

  1. I hear you, but “the process” includes UAA and wealthy donors who decided to enter the $50M+ coaching sweepstakes.
     
  2. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

    5,123
    551
    478
    Apr 9, 2007
    Upstate, SC
    So I said the model was Dabo...
    Build a culture, build an identity, make the team into a tight-knit, loving place.
    It was revolutionary at the time- most football coaches are wanna be drill sergeants screaming and dehumanizing. Esp. back then.

    And then build- while yes Clemson was 9-5 Dabo's first season they played in a weak ACC.
    They went 6-7 in Dabo's 2nd season losing to South Florida in their bowl game.
    I live up here- the natives were restless- esp losing to South Carolina 29-7!
    You are wrong about their big time coordinators.
    Their OC was... Billy Napier.
    Their DC was much traveled Kevin Steele.

    2011 was better-10-4. But even then they had some terrible losses.
    And their bowl game was a loss to West Virginia- 70-33.
    Clemsoning became a verb for choking....
    Their coordinators were not big-time at all.
    Their OC was Chad Morris who was ONE YEAR out of High School ONE YEAR.
    Their DC was again Kevin Steele.

    So yeah- it took many years for Dabo to build Clemson. Many years.
    And that's going against a lackluster ACC schedule.

    But his way was to build the culture/ team first.
    Provide stability and not panic even after 5 consecutive losses to their archrival and many other gut-punches.
    Upgrade coordinators and continuously improve.
    Recruit, recruit, recruit...

    And have faith in what you are doing.

    Will it work here- I have no idea. I hope so.
    But can it work?
    Definitely- I've seen it up close since 2 of my kids went to Clemson and I live up here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. WillyGator01

    WillyGator01 Senior

    284
    71
    233
    Aug 9, 2013
    Bottom line - I think Billy needs at least 7 wins next year to keep his job. The schedule is brutal, but he has to find a way, because I think he will get this mess straightened out and 2025 will be our year for 9-10 wins. I think Stricklin's tenure is on the line also, if the men's basketball team does not make the NCAA tournament and we don't have 7 wins in football next year.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  4. crl

    crl GC Legend

    896
    100
    1,863
    Nov 8, 2008
    He'll be lucky to win 6 but I don't see any potential for him being fired unless he loses at least 8. Sucks that we're in this situation thanks to the morons that make the major decisions (like hiring/retaining coaches, paying recruits and constructing facilities), but firing BN now is definitely a bad look and quite possibly counterproductive. However, it is probably just prolonging the inevitable. It's very hard to picture us pulling ourselves out of this death spiral but stranger things have happened so there's always hope.:)
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  5. SmootyGator

    SmootyGator GC Hall of Fame

    2,769
    377
    333
    Apr 17, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    I would argue that Billy has a better chance of being a success than us hiring a new HC, and that HC is a success.
     
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Crusher

    Crusher GC Hall of Fame

    4,583
    921
    2,143
    Apr 19, 2007
    I'm pretty sure I know what the team's identity is, but I am loathe to say it on this board since I don't want an extended vacation.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Crusher

    Crusher GC Hall of Fame

    4,583
    921
    2,143
    Apr 19, 2007
    Its a terribly silly comparison, just like the ones to Mark Stoops, Smart, Norvell, and all the others that are thrown out there. Truth is, the situation at UF differed entirely from those situations and the college football landscape in 2022 was vastly different than it was at anytime prior to that year.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. MarineG8R

    MarineG8R GC Hall of Fame

    2,784
    1,182
    2,648
    Nov 19, 2014

    He also didn't have to deal with NIL and the portal during his rebuild.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  9. Crusher

    Crusher GC Hall of Fame

    4,583
    921
    2,143
    Apr 19, 2007
    Fortunately thanks to history, we know that this era existed (kind of like the Jurassic or Mesozoic). However, the College football landscape has changed so drastically in the past 15 years that it actually resembles something much more close to pro football rather than an amateur sport. Methodologies and "processes" that were developed in a different era should probably be re-evaluated to determine if they are viable in the current environment. Personally, I think any coach trying to duplicate Dabo's successful playbook from a decade and a half ago would be sorely disappointed in the results in the current paradigm.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Best Post Ever Best Post Ever x 1
  10. Distant Gator

    Distant Gator GC Hall of Fame

    5,123
    551
    478
    Apr 9, 2007
    Upstate, SC
    Dabo won in 2018- so just 5 years ago. That's not ancient or a decade and a half.
    I'd also say that the nature of sports teams haven't changed. Kids want to be on a welcoming environment, connected to each other.
    Working for something bigger than themselves.
    That's human nature.
    While I hate them, it looks like UGA has done this, with top end talent but also other guys like Bennet and Jordan Davis.
    Clemson is still doing it, though obviously their recent QB problems have caused them to take a step back.

    But of course everything should be evaluated and adjusted- that goes without saying.

    So yes it CAN work- with adjustments.
    Will Napier make it work? I think so, but he has a long way to go.
     
  11. missourigator

    missourigator GC Hall of Fame

    1,310
    137
    298
    Apr 13, 2007
    He gets one more year. Firing coaches every 3 years won't work. But I disagree, the right coach is out there. But I don't think SS could find him. So, let's hope that Napier hires some great coaches, fires the OC and keeps on recruiting.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Crusher

    Crusher GC Hall of Fame

    4,583
    921
    2,143
    Apr 19, 2007
    I wasn't referring to winning, I was referring to building the foundation a decade and a half ago in order to create a winner year-in and year-out. What Dabo did in the first 2-4 years of his career vs. the environment Napier finds himself in are completely dissimilar.
     
  13. gatorwalrus

    gatorwalrus GC Hall of Fame

    1,665
    433
    1,783
    Sep 24, 2022
    Why does the conference these comparisons play in always get brought up? Coaches are judged by performance vs their peers. Clemson is in the ACC, they get judged by performance vs ACC, UF is in SEC, Napier gets judged by performance vs SEC. Heck, Ryan Day literally gets judged for his performance against Michigan and to a lesser degree Penn St.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. crl

    crl GC Legend

    896
    100
    1,863
    Nov 8, 2008
    You are probably right about that. Unfortunately.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. kryptonite

    kryptonite GC Hall of Fame

    2,360
    854
    2,018
    Dec 12, 2008
    We were so outclassed this year on parts of the teams that require being detail oriented. That doesn't bode well for long-term stability. The special teams was a microcosm of the mistakes throughout the team. Only some correctable things got corrected. The coaches never got the punter to hold his ground if not rushed, causing him to consistently outkick the coverage, negating his long punt abilities. The long snapper continued to be inaccurate throughout the year. The holder had no skills to pose a threat for a fake field goal. We did not run a single fake kick all year. We never schemed to come close to blocking kicks. There was a spattering of other unusual things as well from time to time. All of that amounts to there not being the kind of accountability behind closed doors to make the unit the best it can be. This lack of foresight makes me skeptical that the building to a high level is happening, despite the talent improving. The problem is that besides our better recruiting, recruiting has been improving for aTm, TN, SCar, Miz, UK, and Ole Miss, and we add OU and Tx. That means despite having top 10 talent, we could still be middling in the conference.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  16. avogator

    avogator VIP Member

    537
    393
    1,958
    Apr 3, 2007
    We have a really hard schedule in 2024 but we do have 7 home games. Must beat Miami Samford UCF Kentucky LSU and Texas A&M at the swamp. Miami and LSU will have new QBs Texas Am and Miss State will have new coaches. So maybe we beat Miss State in Starkville.and Tenn in knoxville. Otherwise we play Ga 12-0 FSU 12-0 Texas 11-1 Ole Miss.10-2. Ole Miss is at home.
     
  17. DeepPurpleGator

    DeepPurpleGator GC Hall of Fame

    8,116
    129
    333
    Jun 13, 2007
    My faith in Billy Napier being able to rebuild this program is about the same as it was when the season started. Over the last two games, it has actually risen a little.

    If we were as hopeless and directionless as a program that needed massive changes like some of the users of this forum have suggested, then how were we able to stand toe to toe with two Top Ten teams in Missouri and Florida State? I would have liked to win these games, but we showed promise and improvement. To do this with Mertz getting hurt was remarkable to me.

    What changes do you want to see? Some of these have already started - some assistant coaches that were not performing are now gone. Others may follow. I expected that and the timing was correct - after the season, but before the Early Signing Period. As long as we replace them with assistant coaches that do a better job that who they replaced, I am happy.

    I remain confident that recruiting will be good and we will be able to improve this team, though high school kids and the portal. Some of the recent decommitments are disappointing, but it looks like we will still do well. I think and hope that Billy will be able to poach some players that are committed elsewhere.

    I know that it would be nice to get dominant offensive and defensive linemen in the portal, but I do understand that's unlikely. But if we can get some position players that help, I'm good with that.

    To truly get those top players, our NIL game needs to be stronger than it was. I hope the boosters are able to put up the kind of cash that will be necessary to get the quality of player that it takes to win in the current environment. It is my understanding that UF told Billy that money would be spent.

    Next year's schedule is very difficult. I think we will beat someone that we aren't expected to, and hopefully more than once. 2025 is where the improvement should more clearly show in wins.

    I'd like to think that despite my confidence that I'm also reasonable. If the NIL support that is needed is not provided, then it would be hard to think that any coach could win without it. The next Spurrier or Meyer aren't knocking on our door, and I'm not sure they'd win as much as even did with without proper NIL backing.

    Go Gators!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2023
    • Like x 2
    • Agree x 1
    • Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
    • Winner x 1
    • Friendly x 1
  18. gator_n_sc

    gator_n_sc GC Hall of Fame

    7,666
    6,733
    2,763
    Oct 8, 2013
    Then how can you fairly compare coaches from two different conferences with different level of competition? Does one not wonder what kind of competition a recruit played against when trying to evaluate how good he really is. I've seen it in here a 1000 times where players get ragged on because they look great but they play against a bunch of choir boys.

    So would you say a coach from a smaller conference and school whom led them to success would still be successful at a bigger conference amd school?
     
  19. gatorwalrus

    gatorwalrus GC Hall of Fame

    1,665
    433
    1,783
    Sep 24, 2022
    Yes and no. Some do, some don't. That's the whole process. You start at the low level and work your way up (of course there are a few exceptions). Billy proved to be superior to the rest of the Sun Belt, so a team from a higher level hired him and is giving him a shot to prove he can do it in the SEC. Players is harder, because the career of a player is a fraction of a coach, but that is why scout's and GM's get paid. Khalil Mack went from Buffalo to at one time the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. There are also 100's of examples of MAC players getting drafted and flaming out. Same dynamic applies to college to college or college from HS.

    Edit: Those who rag on players for excelling vs who they are competing against is just dumb. However, if the player never tries to go against better, then fair game IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2023
  20. bullish

    bullish GC Hall of Fame

    2,701
    897
    1,833
    Nov 14, 2010
    For Billy!