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You aren't going to find a bigger Mark Richt critic than me - on the field anyway ... off the field he is a great guy - but that is false. Richt RARELY lost to lesser talented teams. He just couldn't beat the very good-great ones. His only victory against a top 5 team was the 2005 SEC title game against LSU #5 Coaches, #6 AP). He would occasionally be upset but so does everyone even Saban (yes, Saban has this streak of never losing to an unranked team since 2007 in Tuscaloosa ... but it isn't as if Richt had Saban talent in Athens or anything close ... the point is that Saban HAS lost to clearly lesser talented teams just like everyone else). Richt generally beat the teams that he was supposed to beat. Look at his record against Georgia Tech. Kentucky. Vandy. Florida when Meyer wasn't the coach. Bowl games. And oh yeah AUBURN. Yes he did lose a few to Spurrier, but with 1 exception only to Spurrier's better teams. That was why he lasted so long despite only once winning the big game (again in 2005 ... promptly followed up by losing the Sugar Bowl to West Virginia). If he had a habit of being regularly upset in addition to almost never beating top 5 teams, he would have been forced out 7-8 years before he finally was.
Something has to be done. We have to keep Oklahoma out of the playoff. They haven't won a playoff game or BCS title game since 1999. 2003: loss 2008: loss 2015: loss 2017: loss 2018: loss 2019: loss Can they PLEASE stop doing this to us? I was wanting LSU to put 70 up on them just to drive the point home.
Had Mond run like that all season they would have won 2 more games. Oh well.
He is (mostly) right. The Alabama-LSU rivalry is basically just Saban. Beyond that there is no basis for any Alabama-LSU rivalry. There is no "border wars" geography/culture type stuff like there is with Auburn and Tennessee. And there is no rivalry on the field. The two schools didn't even play each other every year until the divisional format. And as prior to 2001 LSU won 5 outright SEC titles (plus 2 years where they were co-champs but didn't get the Sugar Bowl nod) in 68 years of SEC play they weren't competitive rivals either. If it were Auburn or Tennessee, Bama fans would personally lead the "Boomer Sooner!" cheers. Otherwise, there is nothing preventing Bama from cheering for LSU.
Sigh. Kyle Trask does not have Joe Burrow's arm strength, mobility or playmaking ability. If he did, Trask would have led a UF offense that had pretty good skill players at TE, WR and RB to more than 21, 24 and 17 points and done better than 1-2 against the 3 ranked teams they played in LSU, Auburn and UGA (yes they scored 28 against LSU but Emory Jones threw a TD). And Joe Burrow exploded partially this season - I still say that he was a great player last year and people who think otherwise just go by stats and not watching the games - because LSU went to an offense that better fits his skills. Remember: Burrow was recruited to Ohio State to run the same offense that Dwayne Haskins scored 54 TDs in last year while carrying a bad defense. LSU isn't running the Ryan Day offense, but what they are doing now is far closer to what Burrow was coached in at Ohio State and what he played in high school. Meanwhile, UF is extremely unlikely to put in the sort of pro-style offense - Trask IS NOT a spread QB ... he was recruited to UF by McElwain to run a pro style offense and turns out would have been a very good prospect for the type of attack that McElwain ran at Alabama wih AJ McCarron - and the Gators aren't going to put in a pro-style offense for a guy who is only going to play 1 more year, and in the process stunt the development of Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson, guys recruited for the scheme that they are actually going to run long term. If you could promise Mullen that Trask would have a Cam Newton (or Joe Burrow) type season if they were to put in an offense that fits him for one season then it would be worthwhile, but again if Trask had that type of "top 10 pick in the NFL" ability then he wouldn't have been held to 3 points in 3 quarters against the same UGA defense that LSU roasted.
@Leghumper: "I hear you but that question was more geared to those vehemently arguing that Mullet has done such an incredible job closing the gap in recruiting ..." No sir. That isn't how it went. UGA fans started it - as usual - by claiming that Mullen couldn't recruit based on his inability to land top recruiting classes to Starkville. UF fans merely responded in kind. And incidentally, yes going from recruiting a bunch of 15-20 ranked classes filled with kids who don't pan out like McElwain did (as well as top 5 classes filled with kids who don't pan out like Muschamp) to recruiting top 10 classes with mostly kids who actually play IS reducing the talent gap regardless of what UGA does. UF is a much better team now than they were during the 4-7 disaster and even the two years before when McElwain was winning the SEC East with Muschamp's players and earning the privilege of being a pre-playoff scrimmage for Alabama in the process. UGA fans know it and that's why they are on here so much.
They may have been 5 star guys but they were like 170 lbs? They were scatbacks and slot WRs. Not guys like Derrick Henry, Sony Michel, Leonard Fournette and the aforementioned Ezekiel Elliot. Jordan Scarlett was a top 200 player, not a top 100 or top 50. As for Perine, Florida and Missisippi State were his only P5 offers.
"The only true area of concern in this class is at wide receiver." I dislike superficial takes like this. UF lost 4 WRs? Check the 2018 recruiting class. 3 WRs and a TE, all of whom redshirted this season. Mullen's first class? Copeland - who redshirted in 2018 and caught 20 balls this year - plus Watkins (off the team) and a pair of TEs. So all they need is another WR in the actual NSD and they will be fine. Also, you need to look at WHY Florida lost 4 guys off this year's team: two of those guys were redshirt seniors. Which means 2023, that is what the 3 guys who signed last year are going to be. Another thing ... what offense does UF run again? That's right. Option. So ... they won't be needing three 1000 yard receivers like LSU and Alabama do anyway.
"Once our offensive line shows improvement we’ll start competing for high end running backs. Make no mistake, our offensive line’s performance is why we’re having trouble bringing in an elite running back. You can imagine the negative recruiting." Erm ... not really. Once upon a time, UF pretty much got the same RB talent as UGA, Tennessee and Auburn (and better than Alabama and LSU). Then ... Spurrier happened. Spurrier spent years mocking the importance of the running game - and defense - until the 62-24 thing to Nebraska. The next year he emphasized both with Stoops, Fred Taylor and Jevon Kearse ... but it was kinda too late. Spurrier had peaked and Tennessee was on the upswing. Then Spurrier was replaced with Ron Zook. Spread guy. He no run ball really (Earnest Graham, Ciatrick Faison, Ran Carthon). Then Zook was replaced with Urban Meyer, who similar to Spurrier mocked the importance of the position and promised that he would never have a 1000 yard tailback and recruited a bunch of slot WRs and lined them up at tailback. (Meyer changed his tune at Ohio State and won a national title by riding Ezekiel Elliot, the sort of first round talent at tailback that UF hasn't had since Fred Taylor.) As for Muschamp ... no one had any idea what he was doing at RB, QB, OL or WR. And now Mullen. While he doesn't openly come out and say "tailbacks are second class citizens in my system" like Spurrier and Meyer did, well you can look at where he has been. Utah, Florida, Mississippi State ... no big time tailbacks. His time at MSU was instructive. Other than Anthony Dixon - recruited by the previous regime - and to a degree Vick Ballard (also recruited by the previous staff) just system guys. Half the time the leading rusher was the QB. That's one of the reasons why I never liked most versions of the spread. You can forget about recruiting the sort of full sized (220 lbs. and bigger) well-rounded player at tailback who becomes a 1st round draft pick and day one starter in the NFL because the spread only needs and develops third down back and scatback skills. So if UF starts getting 5 and upper level 4 star RBs, it will be because everyone is running the spread and they will have no place to go (Alabama and LSU didn't exactly steamroll people with their RBs this year either ... pretty much the only team who made the playoff that did was - surprise - Ohio State and even that was more of a function of Justin Fields not knowing the offense early in the season and injuring his knee down the stretch).
Kansas is an AAU school. So if he is able to get a degree from Kansas while he is there, that would help set him up for his life after football.
"What goes down comes around Felipe. You earned it." Come again? What offenses - imagined or real - has Feleipe Franks committed to merit this type of statement? Everything that I have heard has been FF being a class act off the field, a leader in the locker room and even a good student. I recall him being on the sidelines cheering on and supporting Kyle Trask as much as humanly possible all season long. I ask this because if you recall some ESPN commentator - an FSU guy - made a reference to Franks having off the field troubles and got roasted by the UF fandom for it. At first he made some generic non apology but was finally forced to acknowledge that Franks had no known issues off the field but quite the opposite and 100% walk it back. So if you know something that ESPN didn't know when they forced their commentator to come clean with a full apology go ahead and say it.
I don't know. The last guy that UGA flipped from Penn State - Justin Fields - didn't turn out so well for them.
@UGADAWG78: If you aren't going to acknowledge that this is merely A FRACTION of the nonsense that Bulldog nation aimed at the Gators after spring practice after Mullen MILDLY ribbed the UGA fandom (or actually it was how the media was treating UGA as this national powerhouse) then why bother? You either lack the self-awareness or the self-honesty to participate. Get this: it wasn't just fans making comments on message boards but actual professionals who write for USA Today (UGA Wire) and the main newspaper of the state of Georgia (who publishes Dawgnation. Trust me, a mere few months ago had it been Mullen signing a 3 star OG from New Jersey instead of Smart, and if it was Mullen with a 15 player class a week from ESD instead of Smart, UGA fans - including professional sportswriters in the media who should know better - would have been all over it. This is just Gator fans engaging in a mild bit of tongue and cheek payback. Payback that they've earned following their best season since 2009 (I am not counting that 11-2 2012 season because Muschamp did it with luck, smoke and mirrors, a fact that Louisville, then an AAC team, totally exposed in the Sugar Bowl).
I wish everyone would quit comparing every big dual threat QB to Cam Newton. Newton set a ton of Georgia PASSING records in high school that were later broken by the likes of Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence and Jake Fromm. Newton wasn't this raw big athletic runner with a cannon for an arm. If he was he would have been just another 4 star recruit. He was a 5 star recruit because even if you took away his running ability he would have still been an above average college passer in the right system. Newton's passing ability wasn't showcased that year at Auburn because they didn't have a single good receiver. His #1 WR was a kid who went undrafted in the NFL and has since had to make a career for himself in Canada. His #2 WR was Kodi Burns ... the former QB. His TE - who tragically passed away in an automobile accident - was a run blocking TE and third down guy. That Auburn team had less at WR than UGA this year.
Jones is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was as a redshirt freshman (he did play 4 games) and was even better during the season than he was in spring practice. So he is coming along. Because of the OL issues you couldn't see what he could really do. As for why it is an open competition, I have said it a million times: Mullen's offense requires the option to be effective against top defenses. The passing game is rudimentary compared to modern college offenses and the tailbacks aren't exactly going to put up Mark Ingram or Derrick Henry numbers. The option is a vital component. Even Alex Smith did a lot of option in that scheme at Utah, though it helped that Utah was a mid-major so Smith didn't have to run option against P5 talent except in bowl and OOC games. It would be one thing if Trask were this Heisman caliber type player that would justify junking a vital portion of the offense. He wasn't. He only had 2600 yards passing and 24 TDs. That isn't anywhere near enough to cover for his -29 rushing yards in that scheme. That Trask was one of the better QBs in the SEC this year just shows how bad QB play was in the SEC this year. It was Burrow, Tua and everybody else.
13th in SEC history, but 6th since 2007. Amazing.
It is funny to see everyone on here chirping about the greatness of UF and Kyle Trask. Here is the deal ... UF played 3 ranked teams this year. In those games they went 1-2. They lost to LSU by 2 TDs. They were utterly dominated by UGA with their one consistently decent WR - a career backup at Miami! - until halfway through the 4th quarter. And they only beat Auburn because Patrick Nix was an utter disaster in his first true road game. Against RANKED TEAMS Trask led UF to 28, 24 and 17 points. And that wasn't even all Trask. Remember those critical points that Jones put up against LSU to keep the game close? You folks want me to believe that a UF team that beat Auburn plus a bunch of teams that won 7 games or less - mostly less - is so much better than last year's team, who BEAT LSU,played a 10 win Kentucky team with Benny Snell, Terry Wilson and those NFL guys on defense, played a WINNING South Carolina team plus a Mizzou squad with Drew Lock and not an injured Kelly Bryant? Who hammered a top 15 Michigan team in a bowl game where this year they get 4 loss Virginia? I am going to repeat. Trask looked great against the likes of 7-5 Tennessee and 4-8 South Carolina. Against RANKED TEAMS WITH GOOD DEFENSES Trask was mediocre or worse. It is just that UF only played 3 ranked teams this year and only 2 good defenses. So no, I am not convinced that the Trask and UF who was shut down by LSU for most of the second half, was dominated by UGA until they went into desperation mode - and UGA went prevent - late in the 4th and had 4 turnovers against Auburn is going to look nearly as good against RANKED TEAMS that can stop the run, pressure the passer and has a better QB than Nix. Seriously you think beating 3 loss Auburn at home and running the table against 10 teams who couldn't even make 7-5 makes you a top 5 or 6 team? Then I don't want to hear any Gator fan bash Clemson. 2017 was the only time since 2014 that they lost more than 1 game in a season, and they benched and ran off the QB who did it.
With both teams at 100% and on a neutral field, Georgia is clearly better than Florida. Georgia's biggest - sole in fact - defiiency was at WR/TE. Florida was deficient at OL and - yes - QB. Sorry guys, Kyle Trask is a good QB and an even better story but he isn't cut out for UF's offense. Which UF couldn't run even with the two QBs that were - Franks and Jones - because the OL was so bad. UGA when 100% is a legit top 5 team. Only Ohio State, Clemson, LSU and Alabama (with Tua) are definitely better. MAYBE Baylor/Oklahoma are? But Florida is a borderline top 10 team. There are a number of teams out there with good front sevens that were capable of exploiting Florida's OL issues and lack of running game. Think Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, perhaps even Utah for example. Florida had a fine season - as I predicted they would and spent all offseason defending you from the UGA fans - but they are still very much rebuilding. Next season, with a better OL, more depth/experience overall and hopefully either a QB that can run their offense (Jones) or a scheme that can fit Trask will be the year the Gators can challenge in the SEC East.
Yawn. Alabama - who always beats Auburn in recruiting - needs to get back to beating Auburn on the field. Auburn needs to get back to caring about beating other teams than Alabama. I am FAR MORE frustrated with Auburn at this point. They would rather go 9-4 with a victory over Alabama than 13-1 with a loss to Alabama. This season for Auburn was total garbage, a wasted opportunity because of the combination of good veteran talent on the OL and DL that they don't get often because recruiting-wise they're caught in a pinscer between LSU and the Texas schools on one side, Georgia (and Florida, FSU, Tennessee and Clemson) on the other plus Alabama in their home state. But hey, they beat Bama so that makes it a good season, right? Never mind blowing totally winnable games against UF, LSU and UGA. I am beginning to think that everything that Alabama fans say about Auburn fans is actually right. And the very thought of agreeing with Alabama fans makes me shudder and ill ... but beating Alabama at home by 3 points only because the Tide was missing the best player in the country on offense AND critical guys on defense is enough to get Malzahn off the hot seat. Never mind that right after it happened, yet another offensive coordinator gets fed up and jumps ship to work on a staff with a guy from MEMPHIS rebuilding that train wreck in Tallahassee. Him going to Miami would have been understandable because Coral Gables is a great place to live but ... oh well. Enjoy centering your whole sporting existence on occassionally beating Alabama, Auburn fans. At least UGA and Tennessee fans have actual aspirations.
Sigh. Dwayne Haskins had 50 TD passes - 54 TDs overall - last year while leading Oklahoma to a 13-1 season and #4 overall ranking. The only reason why he didn't win the Heisman and Ohio State didn't make the playoff - with Kyler Murray and Oklahoma getting those instead - is that the national media wanted to punish Urban Meyer and Ohio State for not firing that assistant coach for domestic violence. It was obvious that Ohio State was one of the four best teams last year. Even with that questionable defense, Ohio State would have beaten Oklahoma (whose defense was even worse) Notre Dame and probably would have even beaten Alabama, whose pass defense would have looked no better against Ohio State and Haskins than it did against Clemson and - for 3 quarters - against Oklahoma. Good grief. When Haskins left Ohio State there was talk that he could be the #1 pick overall and would at least go top 5. That's why he declared early in the first place. But unfortunately he bombed the predraft process and dropped in the draft. Once that happened, everyone forgot that Haskins shredded all those Big 10 records set by Drew Brees and others last year.
@Alatide: "Would those isolated opportunities (including last year’s SEC championship win) have elevated him to the same spot he’s at now at Oklahoma in terms of draft spot, legacy, etc? Interesting to think about." To answer that question ... would he be on his way to New York right now as a Heisman Trophy finalist after accounting for 50 TDs and almost 4900 yards? Another thing ... would Bama have made the playoff even had they won the Iron Bowl? No ... because if Jalen Hurts isn't at Alabama, then OU's QB is a true freshman who lacks Hurts' experience and running ability playing for an offense that lost their best 4 OL and 2 of their best 4 WRs. So Baylor runs the table in the Big 12 and we get the first playoff with 4 undefeated teams.
"We have yet to see a Heisman-winning quarterback win a national title in the Playoff era." 2014: Marcus Mariota lost in final game. 2015: Heisman winning RB Derrick Henry won title 2016: Heisman winning QB Lamar Jackson didn't win the ACC, let alone make the playoff 2017: Heisman winning QB was from Oklahoma who hasn't been a legit title contender since 2003 2018: see 2017 That statistic isn't meaningful at all since the only conferences to win the playoff are the Big 10 (1), SEC (2) and ACC (2) and no Heisman winning QBs from those conferences have made the playoffs till this year. The Pac-12 and the Big 12 meanwhile have a single playoff victory between them: Oregon over FSU in 2014.
OK. So Mizzou has no intentions of competing in the SEC in football. Good to know. At least they are one of the SEC's 4 AAU schools. That helps.
I will answer your question with a question: name a team that Alabama beat this year that lost fewer than 5 games. You can't because they didn't. The best team that Bama beat this year was either Tennessee (losers to BYU and Georgia State) or Texas A&M. Add that to the two losses to ranked teams - including an Auburn team that finished #5 in the SEC - and Tua's injury and the mediocre defense and the inconsistent running game and what on earth is Alabama's case for being any better than Oregon, Utah, Baylor, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Florida in the first place? Now let's go back to Auburn. They played Alabama, LSU, UF, UGA and Oregon. Went 2-3 in those games. They also proved themselves of being just as capable of sweeping 5 loss and losing teams as the Tide was (and UGA wasn't). Since you lost to Auburn, what is your basis for thinking that Alabama would have done any better against a schedule that tough? Are you blaming the committee for Alabama's weak schedule, their failure to beat anyone good when they had the two chances, the Tua injury and the suspect defense? Would you blame the committee for doing the same thing to anyone else not named Alabama?
Sigh. Wisconsin and UVa won their divisions. Auburn finished 3rd in theirs and #5 in the SEC overall. So unless you want SEC teams to play each other in bowl games, there is no way that the #5 team in the SEC is going to get a bowl game over the #2 team from another conference.
Said it last night. Justin Fields has an MCL sprain in his knee which is why he looked out of sorts during the first half against Wisconsin and Michigan and for basically the entire Penn State game (which Dobbins had to bail them out). With two healthy wheels, that Wisconsin game is a rout from the beginning and the starting offense is on the bench halfway through the third quarter like always. The question is whether Fields' MCL sprain can (mostly) heal in 3 weeks. In any event, the first round game will be a matchup between the two programs that SEC fans hate the most. Ridiculously it is because it is those programs that denied Alabama a national title, meaning that everyone but Alabama fans should LOVE them, because Alabama going 8-0 in national title games doesn't benefit the rest of the SEC. Instead, we even have AUBURN fans dragging Clemson and Ohio State despite the fact that Alabama fans LOVE IT when Auburn gets shafted like they did in 1984 and 2004 and rooted desperately for Oregon and FSU to beat Auburn in 2010 and 2013. Yeah, that's right. Alabama fans hate the rest of the SEC and is glad when other SEC teams lose title games. But the rest of the SEC ... hates Ohio State and Clemson because they beat Bama. Wow. Makes a lot of sense to me! I don't have a dog in this hunt. I was personally hoping to get a "transfer Super Bowl" between Oklahoma and Ohio State in the final game. But instead it looks like both Ohio State and Oklahoma are going to lose their first games, setting up an LSU-Clemson game for all the marbles. And oh yeah, if you're anybody but an LSU fan, you don't want LSU cementing themselves as the #2 program in the SEC. Especially if you are, say, FLORIDA, GEORGIA or AUBURN. So you should WANT Clemson to win that game. But hey, since you guys have been vicariously living through Alabama's experiences since 2009, you are going to root for LSU over the team that made Alabama cry twice. Which is amazing ...
Huh? That was also the case in 2014 with FSU, Oregon, Alabama and Ohio State. I agree that in 2015 and 2016, it was Alabama, Clemson and everybody else. 2017 though: Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia and Clemson could have all won titles had things gone differently. I mean, UGA beat OU in overtime with Baker Mayfield having the flu, only to lose to Alabama in overtime because UGA's best vertical (and only big) WR Javon Wims missed the second half. And in 2018 ... look. Clemson was just that dominant OK? It is amazing that people bash Notre Dame for giving up 30 to Clemson when Alabama gave up 48 to them (really 55 but Clemson took a knee) the next game.
Sure ... if you ignore that Orgeron has failed before (in epic fashion at Ole Miss). Or that Orgeron took over a program that had won 2 recent national titles and is a recruiting powerhouse in its own talent-rich state (with inroads into Texas and Florida) and Swinney built up a program that hadn't won a conference title or major bowl game since the 1980s and wasn't even considered to be a regional power anymore into a total buzzsaw that toppled first FSU and now (perhaps) Alabama, in addition to aiding the demise of Richt at UGA by recruiting away a ton of players that would have otherwise wound up in Athens. Orgeron took over a program that was already loaded with top 10 recruiting classes. Swinney didn't start regularly getting top 10 recruiting classes until AFTER he won his first title. But yeah other than that the two having absolutely nothing in common - one a former WR and an offensive assistant who has produced some of the best offenses in the nation since 2012, the other a longtime DL/LB coach whose defenses at Ole Miss, USC and this year at LSU have been mighty suspect and has needed his offense that he cribbed from the Saints to bail it out, yeah they are peas in a pod.