Before it gave up the most yards in school history, the most points in the Will Muschamp Era, the second-most passing yards in school history, the fourth-most receiving yards to a single receiver in school history, Florida led its game against Alabama on Saturday. It was 14-7 after a Keanu Neal fumble return for a touchdown.
We had a little hope.
And then it all died.
Alabama quarterback Blake Sims threw for 445 yards to Jeff Driskel's 93. Alabama running backs rolled up 196 yards to Florida's 107. Alabama had 645 yards of total offense — eclipsing Nebraska's 629 yards of total offense in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl — to Florida's 200. Really, Alabama should've had more than 42 points.
This was as comprehensive a defeat as Florida has ever taken, certainly the worst one in most fans' memories. And yet, thanks in large part to four forced turnovers, Florida lost by "just" 21 points.
What we know now, after a first game against a potentially great team, is that Florida is not one — certainly not yet, and maybe not ever. We know that Driskel's struggles are seemingly endless, and extraordinarily vexing, and the core issue with an offense that sputtered to a hideous showing after two weeks of promising production. We know that Florida's defense is painfully coltish, with flashes of potential everywhere and the consistency necessary to be good enough in the SEC nowhere to be found.
We know that Kyle Christy's pretty good. But that's the sort of thing we didn't really want to know, just like the rest of this — and, taken together, this knowledge is the inconvenient and frustrating truth about a program that has fallen from the elite to the mat, and shows few signs of being able to stagger to its feet.
We know that Muschamp's seat is ablaze now, of course, and that it may well be a matter of when, not if, he is fired as Florida's head coach — certainly, we know that the hue and cry is louder than it has ever been before.
And we know that none of us is going to sleep well tonight.