Florida mull(en) over coaching choice. Now for what’s required.

I just got done watching a horrible movie.  It featured bad casting in the lead role and shoddy production value.  There was limited character development, the dialogue was non-existent and the director was fired right in the middle of filming.

There were far too many scenes that were simply unwatchable, two that included fabricated death threats and a naked guy humping a shark on a boat.

This movie was a letdown of epic proportions.  It was Ishtar meets Leonard 6.  It was the Matrix sequels without the original.  It was every movie Wesley Snipes has made in the last twenty-five years.

This film was called Florida Football’s Dreadfully Long and Excruciatingly Painful 2017 Season.

It lasted for three months.  Fortunately, for Florida fans, it won’t last any longer.  For only the second time in twenty-six seasons, there will be no bowl of soup for us!

Much to our dismay, the University of Florida Production Studio put forth yet another stinker.  Its films have been bad lately, with this most recent one another we regretted buying a ticket for.

The University of Florida’s once glorious football program ended the season without a head coach and without an identity.  What to do, what to do.

It’s easy enough to put this season behind us, like gruesome roadkill in our rearview mirror we’re trying not to stare back at but the thing is, we can’t.  It should be a season we look back on as an example of exactly what not to do, how not to play and how now to coach.  One must learn from one’s mistakes.

My uncle also attended the University of Florida.  His time was spent there in the early 70s.  He recalls a time when losing football games was the norm.  Then came Charley Pell, Galen Hall and of course, Steve Spurrier.  The rest is history.

Unfortunately, the 2017 Gators reverted back to their seventies form, a comedy of errors, a tragedy not worth watching.  They haven’t won a game of a merit in a long, long time.

Excuse me while I channel my inner Johnny Carson but the Gators were SO bad this season…. how bad were they?  The Gators were so bad this season, they allowed opponents to score 40+ points in back-to-back games.  That hadn’t happened since… the early seventies.

They lost five straight games and six of their last seven.  Friends and colleagues would text me on Saturdays this season, commenting on the games and commiserating about how abysmal this program had become.  Despite their wit, I could barely stand to look at my phone.

Before the hiring of Dan Mullen, people would ask me who I wanted as the next head coach.  My answer to them was simple.  I don’t know whether Mullen, Chip Kelly, Scott Frost or any of the other coaches rumored to fill the bill would be the better fit.

Here’s what I do know.  Whoever they hire, and it looks like it will be Mullen, will need to meet a number of requirements that comes with coaching a major college program.

The new coach will need to be thick-skinned.  He will need to be confident yet accommodating, flexible yet steadfast, and most certainly immune to the legacies Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer left behind.

I read an article recently that talked about reestablishing a winning culture.  I’m not sure where the hell it went but it sure left Gainesville in a jiffy.  Florida is, or at least was, one of the top programs in the nation.  All it needs is a little push, a jumpstart to get the ball back and rolling, this time in the right direction.

Dan Mullen was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during one of Florida’s finest hours which means it looks like the school is going for what it knows, popping an old classic into the VCR and hoping for the best.  Mullen’s a movie Florida likes and trusts, an award-winning feature film that once pleased crowds to no end.

Here’s hoping he can recreate that early production value and that we don’t get tired of the re-runs.

17 thoughts on “Florida mull(en) over coaching choice. Now for what’s required.

  1. I think we ended up with the right guy, Al.

    Look, there’s only one Urban Meyer and one Nick Saban. After that, who ya’ got?

    Mullen knows what he’s getting himself into. He’s been there and done that.

    It’s a tough place to coach. Here’s hoping he can keep the peace in Gainesville before the native get restless once again.

  2. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for Dan Mullen , but I believe he is more than capable of turning things around. Speaking of turning things around , are the Buccaneers and the Dolphins really intent on making themselves the laughing stock of the NFL ? Other than the Browns , Niners and Giants are two more equally inept teams now playing in the NFL ? Holy $hit , when the wheels fall off for both of these teams ?

    I hope that you and the family had a great Thanksgiving ? Things weren’t that great for me on the day which I spent in Lakeland with friends. Back in London , my sister was laying to rest her son , who died just over two weeks ago. He (my nephew) leaves leaves behind three children, who will now have to grow up alone without their father.

  3. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for Dan Mullen , but I believe he is more than capable of turning things around. Speaking of turning things around , are the Buccaneers and the Dolphins really intent on making themselves the laughing stock of the NFL ? Other than the Browns , Niners and Giants are two more equally inept teams now playing in the NFL ? Holy $hit , when did the wheels fall off for both of these teams ?

    I hope that you and the family had a great Thanksgiving ? Things weren’t that great for me on the day which I spent in Lakeland with friends. Back in London , my sister was laying to rest her son , who died just over two weeks ago. He (my nephew) leaves leaves behind three children, who will now have to grow up alone without their father.

  4. You’re right about Mullen, Al. This whole thing is going to take a while and we Gators are an impatient bunch. Our record of running coaches out of town speaks for itself.

    Yes, there are some bad teams in the NFL this year, Bucs included. I just heard on the radio that, over the past six weeks, favorites have covered the point spread 71% of the time.

    That means someone is making some money… if they know what they’re doing.

    Sorry to hear about your nephew, brother. May he rest in peace.

  5. Whoever gets the job will have to deal with the fact that Florida, Florida State and Miami no longer have first dibs on the plethora of good high school players in the state. UCF, USF and half a dozen other schools have solid programs. What Florida needs is a good salesman to sell those kids on being Gators. Knowledge of X’s and O’s Is far less important than getting the top kids to come to Gainesville to re-build what once was.

  6. To tophatel – sorry for your loss. To SC – hope y’all got it right on the hire. It’s tough to be so long in the wasteland…I know that feeling. My hope is that Bama / Fla becomes a staple in the sec champ game like it used to be.

  7. Chip Kelly wimped out and took the much lower expectation job at the local basketball school.

    Does that make you happy or sad?

  8. Jimmy…

    How long do you think schools like USF and UCF can hold on to coaches like Strong and Frost?

    It sounds like Frost has one foot out the door (Nebraska) and I’m also hearing Strong might have his eyes somewhere as well. Maybe not this year but in the short future for sure.

    Those two schools had incredible seasons. I’m just not sure that will last long-term.

  9. Al…

    I think Koetter is safe for this season. And the way this defense has played, I’m not too sure Mike Smith will be the hot commodity he was last off-season.

    I think they’ll get someone else to make the play calls for 2018 and I also think Koetter will be on a significantly shorter leash next season.

    Heck, Jameis might be too.

  10. Moose…

    Those were the days.

    We’ve owned the SEC East for so long, there’s no reason that shouldn’t happen again.

    Mullen was most likely the right hire. Here’s hoping Gator faithful give this guy a little breathing room.

  11. I’m not too sure Kelly would have been the right fit, Bleed.

    Sure, we probably would have started putting points on the board again. That’s what Gainesville wants.

    But Mullen can do that too.

    I’m just leery of the way Chip Kelly left both Philly and San Fran.

  12. Love the movie/production studio analogy SC. Nicely done. 🙂 Being a woman who loves THREE Gator grads I get this. Seems like there are more distractions for the players today & many of these young football players simply lost their way. Hopefully this new gentleman can inspire & re-invigorate the morale & maneuvers. Its heartbreaking to watch my favorite Gator grads be so disappointed in their orange & blue. Wishing you a team re-birth & better season. No where to go but up. Go Gators. (a confessed Gator-wanna-be… pretty sure NYU doesn’t have a football team…ha ha) 🙂

  13. I think it’ll be more of the same at UCLA for Chip Belly

    Explosive offense, no titles.

    For a guy with exactly zero National Championships under his enormous belt, he seems to get a lot of attention on a national level.

  14. Bleed…

    Pac-10 is meh these days so that might make it easy for Chipper to head on in there and do his thing.

    Then what, though? He’s gonna be there for a minute I imagine, right?

    I mean, the fucker’s pretty much already coached everywhere else.

  15. General consensus, MoS, is that Mullen was the right hire.

    Plus he’s got deeper ties to the program than some of the other guys we chased out of town.

    That means he’ll get a longer leash.

    But only slightly.

    We’re an impatient folk…. but you already knew that.

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