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Saturday Tailgate: Florida

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Simpler Times...

AoG Week in Review

For a brief moment last Saturday, I had hope. Remember what I said about the plight of the Vanderbilt fan? It hit me again. It is an unending rollercoaster where despite all common sense and logic, you start to tell yourself “maybe it can happen”. Only to have your hopes smashed. I’m sure I’ve used the metaphor before, but I’d wonder if it’s something like a clam feels in its final moments. Snapped up by a hungry Gull, lifted high, and for a brief moment maybe thinking you’ll hit the water instead of the jagged rocks to be feasted upon like so many before you.

This team’s depth has improved considerably, but our problem is still just a dearth of talent. We simply do not have the overall skill to compete at a level most of us want. Some of this can be made up for with better coaching. I’m not convinced all of it can be. One thing coaching can absolutely do is bring in consistently good talent, and it’s not as if Mason has failed there. Truth be told, I’m not quite sure where to pin the failures. The simple fact is this team isn’t doing as well as I’d (or most of y’all) would like. He’s been given sufficient time to build and has absolutely improved; however, I think we’ve seen the apex.

Worse still is that while the back end of our schedule looked to be some relief, that’s changed in the last month. What looked to be beatable UF, Mizzou, UK games are now probably losses. Arky, OM and UT still look beatable. The issue now though is we’ll need to get 3 SEC wins to get a bowl and that’s unlikely. Don’t “but APR!” me. APR bowls are unacceptable. I don’t want charity.

We’re all in general agreement regarding being so down on this team. There was a lot of promise and we’re once again just disgusted. We’re even united on it being time for a new coach. We may disagree with timing but it probably time. With a new AD coming in, and Shurmur graduating, it seems like there will not be a much better time for a new coach. Still, I think that even if we bring in a new AD immediately it’s likely we have Mason for another year. I just don’t see a new AD not giving Mason a chance, even if just for optics. Still, if Mason can get 3+ games to close out the season, it could be even more than just a year.

Today we find out if there’s anything positive to look forward to.


Around the League

Utah trounced Stanford, Texas almost let the Sooners come back from a 3 TD deficit, Miami almost lost to FSU. I got all your discount summaries in Around the League.

There's Other Fooball

Now that we’re in the heart of the season, there’s a ton of conference games and top-25 matchups. I’ve got some stupid advice for you as to what to watch.

Get Ready for VU Football

We’ve got CHOMP CHOMP this week... for homecoming, because Vanderbilt’s homecoming is apparently planned by people with a sense of humor darker than mine. We’ve (see: not me) somehow motivated ourselves to write our previews of both the Gator offense and defense. Florida just beat LSU, which I suppose looks imposing. I want to point out, however, that LSU should have won that game and needlessly threw in important situations and should have trusted their RBs more. Florida’s three man rush was giving the LSU OL fits all night. Part of that is that LSU’s OL is depleted and just got exposed. The other is that UF’s DL is legit as hell.

If you’re looking for some kind of optimism, have this: the second half of the season begins today. If Mason is a good coach, he can turn things around as any coach would make halftime adjustments in a game. Just as small adjustments during a game can change it’s outcome, larger adjustments between games can change the course of the season. If Mason is truly the future for us, he’ll begin to show it today. He knows it’s now or never. It’s put up or shut up time once and for all. The six game stretch to show what we can really do begins today.

Oh, and we have our doomsaying Saturday predictions too. Feel free to weigh in.