Neil Blackmon

Neil Blackmon covers Florida football for An attorney and two-time graduate of the University of Florida, he's reasonably confident he's the only writer here that's covered college football, a Final Four and a FIFA World Cup. You can follow him on Twitter @nwblackmon.
Recent Comments
The joke is having all those good players and not winning a natty since 1980.
Great Spurrier quote except that was about your boy Ray Goof.
The only team on that list: LSU, A & M, Auburn where Florida has "less" blue-chip talent is LSU. A & M and Auburn both have less than 50 percent blue-chip players on their current rosters. Florida is now at 58. Three programs in the SEC are higher: Bama, Georgia and LSU.
The gap has closed based on percentages of players on roster who are/were blue-chip recruits. Even with Georgia's amazing class, the number of "total" blue-chips per scholarship is still at about 80 percent (78.5). At Florida, it was 41 percent heading into 2018. The Gators will enter 2019 with 58 percent of the roster as "blue-chip talent." Hence why my editors chose the headline "close the gap."
Steele is a four-star per the 247 Composite (aggregate of all major services). Clayton was too. Florida will not have a single 5 star player on its roster next season with Ivey and Jefferson gone. There were no errors.
I think Kirby's take here is a bit more measured and reiterates some of the points in the piece. He's absolutely correct that Florida needs to recruit better to compete consistently with Bama and Georgia. Kirby, of course, needs to coach better than he did down the stretch too, and will have to do so without a lot of pieces that were vital to this year's team. Mullen should finish with a top 10 class this season and is well-situated for a Top 5 group in 2020 at present. If that happens, it's on. But for now-- as the article states-- Florida is still chasing Georgia. They are just doing so with a head of steam instead of a head full of dreams.
How? The article literally says Georgia is the team Florida is chasing and they aren't going away. Terrible take PC717. Read better. Comment less.
The Mizzou point is a strong one. Florida better figure that out if they want to compete nationally. The piece notes however that Florida has been a different team since that debacle.
Crazy how many people didn't read the piece and only read the word "reeling" in the headline (which the author didn't use, ever). The reality is Florida has more momentum entering the offseason. The Dawgs lost two games to close, both coordinators, a 1,000 yard rusher, the nation's best CB and their top three wide receivers. Hell yes, Kirby Smart has recruited well and they will say "next man up" in Athens. The article LITERALLY says that. It's just safe to say the gap between Georgia and Florida closed a great deal. Doesn't mean it does not still exist. Just that it is closing. If you can't admit that after Georgia's Sugar Bowl embarrassment, you are pearl clutching. That's fine, that's what fans do. But it isn't objective.
Enjoy! Definitely agree having Gary, Bush and Higdon would massively change the prognosis.
That's a fair take. Of course, Michigan was a win from the Playoff, and their only losses were to teams in the Playoff or NY6. But I think you're right, and the better framing would have been that Florida collecting three high quality wins hasn't happened in a while and that's usually a sign of a pretty good football team.
Authors Note: This was written last week. Some numbers issues, coupled with a few rumblings out of Miami,make the Zipperer race really about Miami and Florida at present, even if Zipperer was also very high on Alabama in the process. Still-- he and Summerall are largely thought of as a package.
Breaking news for smatsatUGA: No joke. The piece notes that FSU is down. Everyone recruits Florida. The article makes the nuanced distinction that Meyer was winning battles at four specific programs that were pipelines for UF. He turned off the pipe at those schools. Now it can be reopened.
Aww the bowl season, or as Tennessee fans call it, the "troll the comments boards of New Year's Six teams" season, since they don't have a bowl of their own to discuss :)
Yep. Bad time to play UK with three best defenders out (Wilson was hurt on first drive). Missouri is really good when Emmanuel Hall is in uniform (7-0 this year). Florida was flat and you can't be when you play good teams.
3 National Titles since Georgia last won one. One of two ACC schools to have a natty this decade. One of two main competitors for bulk on in-state talent in best recruiting state. They aren't good this year, but none of that really lessens the impact of the win. I know.
Football is a four quarter game. Also, Florida State has one of the nation's best run defenses (3.3 ypc for opponents). Florida isn't getting 350. Notre Dame an aberration.
82,700 and it was loud. Ask Joe Burrow about the noise.
You didn't read them from me. I noted repeatedly this year that while progress was shown, the rebuild was slow. The Miss State win on the roadin particular was a great example of how the culture was changing-- but yesterday's comeback was about buy-in and effort more than anything else. Every Florida team for the past 7 years quits.
Tigurr- Missouri has a terrible pass rush and a bad intermediate and vertical pass defense. It has a great run defense. Florida has a bad run defense and a bad intermediate and vertical pass defensse. It is a good power running team but only when it's quarterback makes some plays. That's why it was a bad matchup for the Gators.
Wolfman- No doubt. The SEC East is clearly better than the West this year, save the NFL team that won the West. This article didn't mean to denigrate Mizzou- I picked them to win the game- but I think Florida's effort at home against a team that beat them by 29 the year before was miserable. As Mizzou learned against South Carolina, if you want to collect critical wins-- you can't assume anything. You have to go out and execute. Credit Missouri for doing that Saturday.
Agree with most of Blitzer's comments. That said-- Georgia's ability to weather injuries is a testament to them. Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football. If Florida didn't want to lose because an All-SEC corner went out in the first quarter, they should have recruited a better replacement. Mullen will, I think, but yesterday we saw the difference b/w the two programs
I think most people that cover Florida (myself included), felt the team had a small margin for error. you aren't going to beat Georgia (or many teams) when you turn the ball over three times and we all saw the depth difference right now b/w Smart's program and what Mullen inherited. Florida loses one safety to a suspension and one All-American corner in the first quarter and crumbles in the secondary. But as I wrote above- the main difference even aside from all that is Jake Fromm is a championship QB and Franks doesn't seem likely to ever be one.
Totally agree with S.E.C. Snob, especially as to the Scott pick 6. The Grossman drive was why he was so great in college though. 89 yards against the #1 defense in America.
This back and forth is why I love this rivalry game. Enjoy Saturday!!
Gators were unranked in one poll.
I think some of that is on Chaney. It also should be noted that Georgia ran on 53 percent of first downs against LSU and had minimal success (under 30 percent success rate). So the argument "they abandoned the run" is true to an extent, but also somewhat about LSU putting Georgia in bad spots on 2nd down.