Florida’s offensive woes are well documented and a hot topic in the college football arena this year. The reality is that if you’ve been watching the Florida program, the offensive woes go back to the start of last year when Steve Addazio took over the offense from departing Dan Mullen (now the head coach of Mississippi State).
Last year the offense seemed to take a large step backward. Fans and probably coaches knew this, but hey, Florida still had Tim Tebow, and with Tim Tebow you got lots of wins so fans overlooked the decrease in offensive production and big plays. Dr Saturday has a great look at the Florida offense over the years under Urban Meyer. From 2008 to 2009, the points per game by the Florida offense dropped from 42.6 to 35.9. So far in 2010, it’s dropped further to 31.0. Moreover, the number of big plays (defined as runs over 20 yards and passing plays over 25 years) dropped from 68 (in 2008) to 51 (in 2009) to an estimated 22 in 2010 if you extrapolate the current number across the rest of the season. Terrible.
Furthermore, the article documents the increase in offensive production since Dan Mullen arrived at Mississippi State. Points per game have doubled and big plays have doubled as well.
So, just as John Brantley is indeed not Tim Tebow, Steve Addazio is clearly not Dan Mullen. How much of Urban Meyer’s success over the years has been because of Dan Mullen? Dan Mullen was with Meyer at Utah and developed QB Alex Smith who became a #1 NFL draft pick. Mullen came to Florida with Meyer in 2005 and helped the team dominate and get two national championships.
So, maybe Urban can convince his old buddy Danny Mullen to just stay in Gainesville. Maybe Florida can do a straight trade, Steve Addazio for Dan Mullen? How about using that strange “coach-in-waiting” title similar to the Muschamp situation in Texas? Or maybe Gator AD Jeremy Foley can just open up the vault and provide an offer he can’t refuse.
Lastly, nobody is talking about a potential upset here which will throw this whole situation into overdrive. There is a real possibility that Mullen and Mississippi State can upset the Gators which would be three SEC losses in a row. Such a situation would indeed shoot off some big time fireworks in Gainesville, and Steve Addazio might want to have his resume ready.