Ive been saying all season that this years Gator football team was strides better than last years team. I used to really believe that. But now I'm wondering if this team might actually be worse than last years team. The Gators have one game left to prove they aren't going to be the second of back to back Gator football teams to pull off a season of 3 regular season conference losses in a row!! I think everybody in Gator Nation has higher hopes for our team this year than that.
Through the first four games of the season I think the general consensus from everybody was that Florida had turned it around and had a real strong team this year. Charlie Weis was doing a much better job as a play caller, and Will Muschamp looked to have restored confidence back in the players,the Gators were once again a team to be feared in the S.E.C. The gators were 4-0, had a top ranked defense, a running back that looked to be a Heisman contender, and a Quarterback in John Brantley who had finally turned around his game and become a leader and a play maker. Ranked #12 in the Nation and headed into week 5 against the Crimson Tide at the Swamp, Gator Nation was ready to see what we were really made of this year. The first play from scrimmage was a 65 yard touchdown and we were rocking and rolling!
Everything that happened after that has pretty much got Gator fans experiencing deja vu of last year, only this year it looks like it could be even worse. We lost our 5th year starting Quarterback, and the two back to back losses this year looked even uglier than they did last year. The Gators got punched in the mouth by the crimson tide, and dragged up and down the field by Alabama in our own house at the Swamp. Then we headed up to Baton Rouge and took another beating that was way worse than the loss the year before, where we lost on a flukey fake field goal. We looked inferior this time, like a division II school that had been paid to come get beat up on for there homecoming our something. I mean I think going into the season we all thought those might be two games we could lose, but to get beat the way we did, that was just embarrassing.
I know our offense is better than last years, I just think the loss of Brantley was a major blow to our teams confidence. Our defense on the other hand may be suffering more than I thought from the loss of Janoris Jenkins, who was kicked off the team by Muschamp, and All SEC safety Ahmad Black who was taken in the 5th round of the 2011 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay . The truth may just be that Bama and L.S.U. are really, really good this year and are probably the two best teams in the country period. But I still expect the Gators to be able to counter punch with the best teams in the SEC with or without a starting Quarterback. There's no excuse for getting beat by 20 and 30 points by anybody ! The Florida Gators are a college football powerhouse, winning 2 National Titles in the last 5 years and have been the perennial powerhouse of the S.E.C for most of the last decade, since when did the Gators become Alabama and L.S.U.'s whipping boy!
Look I know that every team is going to have its down years, and as a young Gator fan I haven't had to experience many of them, thankfully. I also know this is a brand new coaching staff, with a team of mostly freshman and sophomores and very few seniors. But I know we don't suffer from lack of talent, we have a plethora of players who were so called 5 star recruits said to be immediate game changers on the football field, dozens of All Americans dubbed the best players at there position in the country, and the list goes on and on. So its time they played up to all thathype and advertised potential! Its time they realized who they are playing for and what uniform they are wearing.Take some pride and realize its an honor and a privilege to wear the orange and blue and if they want to achieve greatness like the Gators that came before them they have to start playing with some heart.
I honestly don't think Gator Nation can handle another loss to a team from the state of Alabama. Just the thought of Auburn and Tide fans thinking the state of Florida, and the University of Florida are inferior to Alabama is enough to make my blood boil. So if the Gators can win just this one game against Auburn, it could turn the whole season around and ensure to Gator fans this isn't the same team from 2010 and wont have the same disappointing outcome. Just beating Auburn alone would be one of the biggest highlights of the season considering they haven't beat them since 2003! They even kept the Gators from having an undefeated season in 2006, the year we won the National Championship!! There aren't many teams in the Southeastern Conference that I would like the Gators to beat as badly as I want them to beat Auburn.
Im sure Will Muschamp is gonna have the boys fired up to play Saturday, and Charlie Weis will no doubt have some good schemes devised for offense. I'm not worried about our coaching staff doing there job at all, we went out and got the best coaches money could buy and they have done well thus far. Its on the players now to go out and execute the plays, make the throws and the catches, make the blocks to spring Rainey and Demps. And defense has got to be able to stop the run, get pressure on the quarterback, and not get burned in the secondary or get costly pass interference calls like they have been doing all year. This is the week for everybody to step up there game a notch. Its a make or break kind of a game for a team like the Gators, and if they want it bad enough they can easily pull of a win this week against a depleted but still tough Auburn.