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When will Florida contend for a national championship again?


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#1 Gator2222

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 02:54 PM

https://www.fanragsp...l-championship/

 

Florida closed out the 2016-17 athletic year with a bang. The baseball team won the College World Series, its first title in 11 appearances.

 

Florida is a football school first, though, and it hasn’t won a national title on the gridiron since the 2008 season. Though six sports have won a combined 17 team national championships in the interim, Gator fans are hungry for another chance at winning a crystal football.

 

The Gators are a longshot to win the title in 2017. Accepting that they won’t shock the world this fall, when might UF be next ready to contend for a national championship?

 

The optimist’s case:

 

If you want to be aggressive, the answer is just one year away: 2018.

 

The biggest key is redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks showing that he can fulfill his 4-star rating. If he wins the starting quarterback job and gains experience, he would be ready to take a big step forward in his third year.

 

Beyond that, Florida’s offense won’t lose much after 2017. There are only four seniors among the scholarship players: Mark Thompson, Brandon Powell, DeAndre Goolsby and Antonio Riles. Goolsby is the biggest loss among them, though the coaches were high on early enrollee tight end Kemore Gamble this spring.
That said, Florida would need at least one of Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callaway to forgo the NFL Draft and stay for a senior year. Scarlett is the more important one given the wealth of young talent at receiver.

 

Left tackle Martez Ivey is the last potential early draft declarer on offense, and he’s already earning early-round projections. However, the incoming transfer of former Clemson starting tackle Jake Fruhmorgen eases that pain. Florida’s offensive line should be tremendous in 2018. All starters but Ivey should be back, Fruhmorgen is an excellent pickup, and the Gators signed three blue chips in 2017 to add depth.

 

[Note: Bob Redman, a longtime UF beatwriter, is reporting that Fruhmorgen has decided to leave the program and quit football. Fruhmorgen, for now, still appears on the Gators’ official roster.]

 

If Franks turns out to be great and Scarlett returns — or someone younger shows he can replace Scarlett — the offense should be very good in 2018.

 

The defense won’t lose much from the first two levels either. Defensive end takes a hit with Jordan Sherit graduating and Cece Jefferson an NFL Draft flight risk. Even so, there are younger guys like Jabari Zuniga, Antonneous Clayton and a pair of 4-star 2017 signees waiting in the wings. Tackle will need Khari Clark to return to give the team its best chance at winning.

 

Linebacker is a big question mark. For Florida to have a chance at a national title next year, Randy Shannon will have to work his magic. The position will be experienced at least, as there are no seniors this year and no one figures to leave early.

 

The secondary will have Chauncey Gardner back, but loses four seniors from 2017. The Gators signed three blue-chip defensive backs last cycle, and they’ll need to get some seasoning this year to be ready for 2018. Florida will struggle to win the SEC East if those young guys don’t pan out. This position requires the biggest leap of faith for the optimist’s case.

 

Finally, every champion has to win close games. To that end, reliable kicker Eddy Piñeiro should still be around as a senior.
If you assume that everything works out well, Florida could grind out a series of close wins before blossoming at the end to take the 2018 title. In other words, it’d be a replay of the 2006 national championship run.

 

The realist’s case:

 

Recruiting analyst Bud Elliott developed the Blue-Chip Ratio theory of winning national titles. In the era of reliably good recruiting rankings, every champion has signed at least 50 percent 4-star and 5-star recruits over their preceding four classes.
Florida’s Blue-Chip Ratio is 35.5 percent using the 247 Sports Composite. Jim McElwain nearly hit 50 percent with 11 blue chips and 12 non-blue chips in 2017. However his transitional class had only 19 percent blue chips, and the 2014 and 2016 classes were in the mid-to-upper 30s.

 

For the sake of projections, let’s assume Florida will sign 24 recruits per year.

 

If Florida signs exactly 50 percent blue chips each cycle going forward, it will take four years to hit the required ratio. In that scenario, 2021 is when UF will have a championship-caliber roster.

 

The Gators can expedite that time table if they improve their blue-chip recruiting by just one player per year. In this scenario, they’d sign 12 blue chips in 2018 — one more than 2017 — then 13 the next year and 14 the next. Given a class of 24 signees per year, Florida would top 50 percent in 2020.

 

The fastest pace while staying realistic would have UF exceeding 60 percent with 15 blue chips and nine non-blue chips going forward. In that case, the Gators would have the required ratio in 2019.

 

Can Florida get its year-to-year Blue-Chip Ratio up? It seems likely for reasons beyond the fact that it has improved in each year under McElwain so far.

 

When Coach Mac shuffled his staff this offseason, he put a premium on ace recruiters for the South Florida area. Defensive backs coach Corey Bell and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider were the key pickups. Those moves are already paying off.
Florida has three 247 Sports Composite blue-chip commits for 2018: Amari Burney, C.J. Smith and Iverson Clement. According to 247, Smith and Clement are being recruited by Seider. The service has Burney as a Doug Nussmeier target, but Rivals reports that Bell is in on him too.

 

The early returns on the 2019 class are stellar. Seven of the nine commits have ratings in the Composite already, and six of the seven are blue chips. Only two of the blue chips have listed recruiters — again, it’s early for this cycle — but Bell is listed for both.

 

It’s realistic to think that the Gators can get a roster composed of at least half blue chips by the end of this decade. Florida fans are nothing if not impatient, and it’ll chafe them if they can’t expect a title before 2020. McElwain does seem to be building momentum, though. If he can keep sniping SEC East titles, he should be around long enough to get that championship-caliber Blue-Chip Ratio.

 

McElwain and his staff still have to develop the players and put them to good use in sound schemes. If they can do that, though, Florida will contend for the College Football Playoff a couple of seasons down the road.



#2 Jabberdave

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

As far as I can tell, they will field a team next year.  That means they will contend.  Probable?  No.  Contend?  Why else play?


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#3 suwanneegator

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 06:05 AM

i don't think there's too much difference in this year's team and the ones we've watched for the last several. An excellent defense, I'm not going to call great,  and one or two outstanding players on offense with a lot of warm bodies. Callaway, if he's not made too many bad "personal decisions" and is kicked off the team, will be a bright spot as usual. Franks is untested and an unknown factor. The running backs can be good if they can play as a team and not pout if they don't get the ball 30 times a game. The O-line runs hot and cold.

To sum it up, I don't really expect anything different from what we have been seeing. An Eastern division title, maybe, and getting rolled again in the SECCG. Just too many unknowns to expect anything else.

What I don't want is to give tennessee their 2nd straight win in the series. If they win, fine, but don't lay down like happened last year.


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#4 mtn2top

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:38 AM

I'm so appreciative of your posts Gator222 and the thought and effort that go into them. 

 

There's so many factors that go into winning a NC.  Talent is critical but continuity of coaching and luck are also important. 

 

UF Baseball is a great example.  Talent was there as was the continuity of coaching for years before a little luck pushed us over the top.



#5 gator67

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:51 AM

i don't think there's too much difference in this year's team and the ones we've watched for the last several. An excellent defense, I'm not going to call great,  and one or two outstanding players on offense with a lot of warm bodies. Callaway, if he's not made too many bad "personal decisions" and is kicked off the team, will be a bright spot as usual. Franks is untested and an unknown factor. The running backs can be good if they can play as a team and not pout if they don't get the ball 30 times a game. The O-line runs hot and cold.

To sum it up, I don't really expect anything different from what we have been seeing. An Eastern division title, maybe, and getting rolled again in the SECCG. Just too many unknowns to expect anything else.

What I don't want is to give tennessee their 2nd straight win in the series. If they win, fine, but don't lay down like happened last year.

I can understand this perspective and don't have a strong argument against it. On the other hand, I am more optimistic than this for several reasons.

 

One reason for optimism is a more experienced and hopefully better offensive line. This is probably the most important factor determining whether the offense improves, and I believe that it will make a positive contribution to that end.

 

Another important factor is, of course quarterback, which should also see improvement. There is a lot of uncertainty here, to be sure, but also grounds for thinking that the Gators will get better play in the position.

 

I also believe that the Gators will have better play out of the skill positions, especially receiver. Callaway is a key part of this, but he is not alone. Cleveland should be ready to take a step up, and perhaps Dre Massey will stay healthy and be the threat that people were expecting last year. The running backs will also be more experienced, which leads me to expect more from Scarlett and Perine. And Thompson could be a force, as well, if he can learn to secure the ball.

 

It will be hard for the defense to be as good as last year's, but the drop-off should be small. As the year progresses and the secondary and linebackers gain experience, perhaps it can come close to matching last year's team.

 

I'm not predicting that the Gators will contend for a NC this year -- that would be expecting a bit too much. But they may be ready to at least challenge for the SEC championship. If Alabama wins the West again, as they should, the Gators might be able to give them some real competition. 

 

Of course, this depends on many factors that could turn out to be very different than I expect. The first three games will reveal a lot, and everything is necessarily very speculative at this point. Nonetheless, I have some real hopes for a strong season.


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#6 WernerIsTentative

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:09 PM

I think we are a QB away from being a national title contender. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me to see that as soon as we do get a decent QB, our defense will probably fall off just because of our luck recently. 

 

If muschamp had been able to develop just ONE QB while he was here then he would still be our coach and I think it's very possible that we could have another NC, and definitely would have been in the race for them late in the season... How many games did we just need a serviceable offense to win? There are very few losses that a decent QB wouldn't have fixed in his tenure.

 

I think that if Jameis Winston had been our QB instead of going to FSU then we would have had a better team than they ended up having the year they won the NC... I think we probably would have won them back to back too.

 

That's my thing about everyone thinking Jimbo is such a good coach... if he and muschamp traded QBs when Muschamp was here, then I think Jimbo would have been the one getting fired.

 

All hypothetical mumbo jumbo I know, and I'm straying off topic... but I do wonder.


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#7 NotQyteNeo

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:13 AM

i don't think there's too much difference in this year's team and the ones we've watched for the last several. An excellent defense, I'm not going to call great,  and one or two outstanding players on offense with a lot of warm bodies. Callaway, if he's not made too many bad "personal decisions" and is kicked off the team, will be a bright spot as usual. Franks is untested and an unknown factor. The running backs can be good if they can play as a team and not pout if they don't get the ball 30 times a game. The O-line runs hot and cold.

To sum it up, I don't really expect anything different from what we have been seeing. An Eastern division title, maybe, and getting rolled again in the SECCG. Just too many unknowns to expect anything else.

What I don't want is to give tennessee their 2nd straight win in the series. If they win, fine, but don't lay down like happened last year.

 

Agreed, we'll probably be the benefactor of the SEC-East "Race to the Forfeit" again so we can look forward to being pasted by Bama in the SEC-CG. Reading articles on our spring camp, I hold no hope for improved play at QB. Sadly, Luke Del Rio might still be our best QB option. Another year of Jim Mediocrewain's just plain offensive, offense.

 

Yep, 2021 seems about right.



#8 NotQyteNeo

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:17 AM

If muschamp had been able to develop just ONE QB while he was here then he would still be our coach and I think it's very possible that we could have another NC, and definitely would have been in the race for them late in the season.

 

Well said, Muschamp would have gotten us closer than Mediocrewain ever will.



#9 GatorUrf10

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 11:30 AM

Well said, Muschamp would have gotten us closer than Mediocrewain ever will.

 

Lol. McElwain has already gotten us closer than Muschamp ever had in 4 years. Don't care about your opinion of Mac, but that's the plain truth. Until we go 5-7, I'd like to forget that CWM was ever the coach at UF.


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#10 WernerIsTentative

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:54 PM

Well said, Muschamp would have gotten us closer than Mediocrewain ever will.

Lol I'm not sure about that... I also think coach Mac would have done pretty darn well the last two seasons with a decent QB.



#11 Alvin York

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 09:03 PM

You will contend

but you win not win.

 


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#12 mtn2top

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 10:19 PM

The more time a coaching staff and system is in place - specific players can be brought in to play.  With talent, experience and personnel there is less dependency on the quarterback position.

 

With so little emphasis on offense and no coaching or system continuity at UF for five years, it's understandable to expect a learning curve. We should see considerable improvement in the offense in year three of MacElwain, which will result in better quarterback play, no matter who ends up the starter. 

 

To contend for a NC in year three of a coaches tenure would be quite an achievement.  I don't know if we are at that quite level yet.  As usual, I'm hoping we win the SEC East and then the conference.  If those two things happens a NC is attainable. .


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#13 gatorhart

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:38 PM

https://www.fanragsp...l-championship/

 

Florida closed out the 2016-17 athletic year with a bang. The baseball team won the College World Series, its first title in 11 appearances.

 

Florida is a football school first, though, and it hasn’t won a national title on the gridiron since the 2008 season. Though six sports have won a combined 17 team national championships in the interim, Gator fans are hungry for another chance at winning a crystal football.

 

The Gators are a longshot to win the title in 2017. Accepting that they won’t shock the world this fall, when might UF be next ready to contend for a national championship?

 

The optimist’s case:

 

If you want to be aggressive, the answer is just one year away: 2018.

 

The biggest key is redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks showing that he can fulfill his 4-star rating. If he wins the starting quarterback job and gains experience, he would be ready to take a big step forward in his third year.

 

Beyond that, Florida’s offense won’t lose much after 2017. There are only four seniors among the scholarship players: Mark Thompson, Brandon Powell, DeAndre Goolsby and Antonio Riles. Goolsby is the biggest loss among them, though the coaches were high on early enrollee tight end Kemore Gamble this spring.
That said, Florida would need at least one of Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callaway to forgo the NFL Draft and stay for a senior year. Scarlett is the more important one given the wealth of young talent at receiver.

 

Left tackle Martez Ivey is the last potential early draft declarer on offense, and he’s already earning early-round projections. However, the incoming transfer of former Clemson starting tackle Jake Fruhmorgen eases that pain. Florida’s offensive line should be tremendous in 2018. All starters but Ivey should be back, Fruhmorgen is an excellent pickup, and the Gators signed three blue chips in 2017 to add depth.

 

[Note: Bob Redman, a longtime UF beatwriter, is reporting that Fruhmorgen has decided to leave the program and quit football. Fruhmorgen, for now, still appears on the Gators’ official roster.]

 

If Franks turns out to be great and Scarlett returns — or someone younger shows he can replace Scarlett — the offense should be very good in 2018.

 

The defense won’t lose much from the first two levels either. Defensive end takes a hit with Jordan Sherit graduating and Cece Jefferson an NFL Draft flight risk. Even so, there are younger guys like Jabari Zuniga, Antonneous Clayton and a pair of 4-star 2017 signees waiting in the wings. Tackle will need Khari Clark to return to give the team its best chance at winning.

 

Linebacker is a big question mark. For Florida to have a chance at a national title next year, Randy Shannon will have to work his magic. The position will be experienced at least, as there are no seniors this year and no one figures to leave early.

 

The secondary will have Chauncey Gardner back, but loses four seniors from 2017. The Gators signed three blue-chip defensive backs last cycle, and they’ll need to get some seasoning this year to be ready for 2018. Florida will struggle to win the SEC East if those young guys don’t pan out. This position requires the biggest leap of faith for the optimist’s case.

 

Finally, every champion has to win close games. To that end, reliable kicker Eddy Piñeiro should still be around as a senior.
If you assume that everything works out well, Florida could grind out a series of close wins before blossoming at the end to take the 2018 title. In other words, it’d be a replay of the 2006 national championship run.

 

The realist’s case:

 

Recruiting analyst Bud Elliott developed the Blue-Chip Ratio theory of winning national titles. In the era of reliably good recruiting rankings, every champion has signed at least 50 percent 4-star and 5-star recruits over their preceding four classes.
Florida’s Blue-Chip Ratio is 35.5 percent using the 247 Sports Composite. Jim McElwain nearly hit 50 percent with 11 blue chips and 12 non-blue chips in 2017. However his transitional class had only 19 percent blue chips, and the 2014 and 2016 classes were in the mid-to-upper 30s.

 

For the sake of projections, let’s assume Florida will sign 24 recruits per year.

 

If Florida signs exactly 50 percent blue chips each cycle going forward, it will take four years to hit the required ratio. In that scenario, 2021 is when UF will have a championship-caliber roster.

 

The Gators can expedite that time table if they improve their blue-chip recruiting by just one player per year. In this scenario, they’d sign 12 blue chips in 2018 — one more than 2017 — then 13 the next year and 14 the next. Given a class of 24 signees per year, Florida would top 50 percent in 2020.

 

The fastest pace while staying realistic would have UF exceeding 60 percent with 15 blue chips and nine non-blue chips going forward. In that case, the Gators would have the required ratio in 2019.

 

Can Florida get its year-to-year Blue-Chip Ratio up? It seems likely for reasons beyond the fact that it has improved in each year under McElwain so far.

 

When Coach Mac shuffled his staff this offseason, he put a premium on ace recruiters for the South Florida area. Defensive backs coach Corey Bell and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider were the key pickups. Those moves are already paying off.
Florida has three 247 Sports Composite blue-chip commits for 2018: Amari Burney, C.J. Smith and Iverson Clement. According to 247, Smith and Clement are being recruited by Seider. The service has Burney as a Doug Nussmeier target, but Rivals reports that Bell is in on him too.

 

The early returns on the 2019 class are stellar. Seven of the nine commits have ratings in the Composite already, and six of the seven are blue chips. Only two of the blue chips have listed recruiters — again, it’s early for this cycle — but Bell is listed for both.

 

It’s realistic to think that the Gators can get a roster composed of at least half blue chips by the end of this decade. Florida fans are nothing if not impatient, and it’ll chafe them if they can’t expect a title before 2020. McElwain does seem to be building momentum, though. If he can keep sniping SEC East titles, he should be around long enough to get that championship-caliber Blue-Chip Ratio.

 

McElwain and his staff still have to develop the players and put them to good use in sound schemes. If they can do that, though, Florida will contend for the College Football Playoff a couple of seasons down the road.

When Mac can recruit a freakin QB!



#14 The RH Factor

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 05:31 AM

I think we are a QB away from being a national title contender. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me to see that as soon as we do get a decent QB, our defense will probably fall off just because of our luck recently. 

 

If muschamp had been able to develop just ONE QB while he was here then he would still be our coach and I think it's very possible that we could have another NC, and definitely would have been in the race for them late in the season... How many games did we just need a serviceable offense to win? There are very few losses that a decent QB wouldn't have fixed in his tenure.

 

I think that if Jameis Winston had been our QB instead of going to FSU then we would have had a better team than they ended up having the year they won the NC... I think we probably would have won them back to back too.

 

That's my thing about everyone thinking Jimbo is such a good coach... if he and muschamp traded QBs when Muschamp was here, then I think Jimbo would have been the one getting fired.

 

All hypothetical mumbo jumbo I know, and I'm straying off topic... but I do wonder.

 



#15 oxs uncle

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:09 AM

This team maybe like the 1993 or 1994 teams on the way to 1996. In 1993 and 1994 the quarterback issues were not settled and defense was not yet rock solid. The Gators were a quasi-contender for the NC those years, and big steps were taken toward 1995 and 1996 teams.

 

As I have already stated, I think 1969 is a good analog for our potential upstart potential this year.


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#16 The RH Factor

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:13 PM

 

For the near future, we need to get good enough to beat both FSU and Alabama in the same season to get to the playoffs.






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