I hereby retract my comments regarding the Gators and the SEC

No smartass commentary here, folks. Coach Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators earned this one. They outhustled, outmuscled, outplayed, outcoached, and outhearted Ohio State in every facet of the game, and quite possibly turned a Heisman-winning quarterback into a NFL third-round slot receiver.

Congrats on the 2006 National Championship, Florida.

And AtlantaMan on the UHND Football Forum: you were right. My apologies for giving you a hard time about the SEC.

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  1. ‘Braska,

    I have to respectfully disagree. Gamecock fans wanted Strong, not Holtz, run out on a rail when he directed the SO. Carolina defense. Granted the fans aren’t the experts, but that was the general consensus while sitting w/ them in the stands. I don’t think he’s a bad DC (definitely better choice than Mattison), but I don’t think he’s much of an upgrade from Minter. ND needs someone who can get the greatest potential out of average talent (like a Pellini or Tenuta). You give ND’s average talent on D to a DC like Mattison or Strong, and I’m betting you won’t see much improvement. Hopefully more blitzing, but not the improvement that would come w/ a Pellini or Tenuta or Dwyane Walker – led defense.

    Unless the Florida defenses have 6-8 yrs of eligibility, they wouldn’t have been a factor in Zook’s last yrs. They’re just now juniors for the most part so I miss your argument on how the same players who won the National Champ. for Meyer & Strong underachieved for Zook (when they rarely, if ever, got on the field). Of course, they had no impact on Zook’s teams: they were either underclassmen on the 2-3 deep or still being recruited by Zook in high school.

    In 2006, those recruits combined game experience w/ their GOD-given talents to shut down the Luckeyes. You’d surely agree that game experience only enhances their natural ability. You’ll also surely agree Pellini did a HELLUVA job at Nebraska when he served as interim HC in bowl game after Solich was canned. He realized his talent didn’t match up, so he schemed & blitzed his ass off that led to a victory. The guy can flat out coach a defense as he proved at some of the top college programs (nebraska, okla. & LSU) as well as the NFL.

  2. Well shucker of info; again you’ve missed the point. Stick to your Maize-peelers, where you’re on a more solid loam.

  3. Cloudy:

    Still waiting for you to explain how a guy who throws for 11,000 yards, 88 TDs, had 22 career 200+ yard passing games, dealt the 2003 co – national champions LSU their only loss IN BATON ROUGE AS A TRUE FRESHMAN, and was the first Florida QB EVER to go undefeated against their top rivals two years in a row (UGA, Tennesse, FSU) had some sort of career game by throwing for only 213 yards and 1 TD. And I am still waiting for you to explain precisely how I cut and pasted your own comments without reading them. Dude, I may have my share of problems, but you are too proud to admit when you are wrong, which is a far bigger one.

  4. Irish Realist:

    “But to all Irish fans, don’t let Florida’s impressive defensive play trick you into thinking that either Greg Mattison or charlie Strong (both former ND assts)would be ideal replacements for Minter. They walked into a goldmine in Gainesville & took adv. of the great recruiting hauls that zook brought in. If Minter would have been at Florida, then he’d be the new flavor of the week.”

    First off, Charlie Strong’s defenses, an innovative 3 – 3 – 5 scheme, were also excellent at South Carolina. As a matter of fact, Strong’s defenses were what carried Lou and Skip’s putrid offenses at South Carolina, and it was no coincidence that right after Strong left, both Skip and Lou were out the door shortly after.

    Second: you were aware that Charlie Strong was offered the Vanderbilt job and turned it down, thinking that he could do better if he waited, right? Word also has it that he would have gotten the California job had Marvin Lewis (current Cincinnati Bengals coach, then Washington Redskins defensive coordinator) not pretended to be interested in the job to advance his own NFL interests (he turned it down once offered, and Lewis did the same to Michigan State, forcing them to turn to John L. Smith).

    Third: those “great recruits” didn’t do SQUAT for Florida while Ron Zook was there. Zook hired Charlie Strong as defensive coordinator, but as Zook was a former DC himself, he basically ran the job himself (not allowing Strong to run his own scheme) with Strong basically as an administrative guy and figurehead. Result? 3 straight 5 – loss seasons. Then Meyer comes in, and while he did not allow Strong to run his own 3 – 3 – 5 scheme (they kept Zook’s 4 – 3) and brought in Mattison as co – coordinator, Strong had the same role that Zook had when Zook was head coach with Mattison taking on the Strong role under Zook. Result? 9 – 3 in the first year (due to an inability to score) and 13 – 1 in the second (with the sole loss due to Chris Leak giving away a game that was well in hand).

    This national title was Charlie Strong’s (and Greg Mattison’s) defense, Chris Leak’s passing, and Urban Meyer’s HEAD coaching ability (strategy, gameplanning, etc.), and was won DESPITE rather than BECAUSE OF Meyer’s spread option. Had Meyer been running a pro – style or west coast offense similar to the one that Charlie Weis runs, Florida goes undefeated this year AND goes like 12 – 1 while winning the SEC last year.

  5. Cloudy, I think we all miss Stovall especially since McKnight didn’t fill his shoes like we expected. Stovall is a man-child (If I recall he was a year younger than his graduating class / 17-yr old frosh).

    I probably did exaggerate a little on saying “LSU would equally destroy OSU” but they were definitely capable of competing for a national championship this year & the pollsters tend to agree as they leap-frogged USC.

    Florida, w/o a doubt, played their best complete game vs. OSU. THey led the SEC in penalties this yr., but only committed one in the 1st half of the BCS game & only 6 total w/ zero offensive turnovers. They were a lot more battle tested than OSU (or any team for that matter) as 10 of their opponents played in bowl games. But to all Irish fans, don’t let Florida’s impressive defensive play trick you into thinking that either Greg Mattison or charlie Strong (both former ND assts)would be ideal replacements for Minter. They walked into a goldmine in Gainesville & took adv. of the great recruiting hauls that zook brought in. If Minter would have been at Florida, then he’d be the new flavor of the week. I’d prefer to have Flordia’s proven defensive talent rather than their allegedly talented D-Coord.

    My top 3 would be Bo Pellini, Jon Tenuta & Dewayne Walker. Pellini is probably waiting for a HC or NFL job & Walker has already declined. Oh well, it’s a long off-season.

  6. The loss of Stoval was definitely felt this year. Not having another back in 99% of the time all year certainly didn’t help either. To me it only gives the opposing defense the advantage w/ pass rush and aloows them to focus less on containing the run. I hope Weis changes direction of the past thought process at ND and get these younger players in earlier next year. With the way the line failed to live up to expectations this year – not a lot would have been missed by putting younger players in.

  7. I think too many people take one game as use it as evidence of whatever they want to believe. Sure, the Buckeyes were badly outplayed on Monday but are they as bad as most people are saying today. I don’t think so. People will use speed, schedule, etc. as reasons why OSU is not as good as their record but I think Florida’s unorthodox offense, by Big Ten standards, had as much to do with the outcome as anything. OSU is 0 for 8 against the SEC in bowl games. People say the Big Ten was weak this year, look what USC did to Michigan. But again that was one game. Wasn’t it just a month ago that USC choked against UCLA, a team that lost to ND, a team that Michigan thumped? As IR said, Penn State and Wisconsin both beat good SEC teams, where was the legendary SEC speed in those games? On both OSU TDs they ran right by Reggie ‘the Eraser’ Nelson, Florida’s swiftest and best defender. I don’t think the Buckeye defense looked slow, it looked clueless. I think the layoff had some effect, how big is up for debate, but I think the contrast in styles had more to do with the result than anything. As well as Florida played and they were full value for the win I wonder why OSU didn’t try to pressure Leak more and why didn’t they stick with the run more. Their limited offensive success came from running the ball but the defensive struggles may have thrown that plan out the window.

    Florida deserves the NC but I see that game for what it was, one game against an unfamiliar team after not playing for 51 days. The Buckeyes beat enough good teams this year to prove themselves and I won’t be throwing them under the bus.

  8. Cloudy:

    Read what is printed? Ha! In case you failed to notice, I CUT AND PASTED YOUR OWN COMMENTS! You had NO IDEA that Chris Leak had 11,000 career passing yards (only a few hundred less than QUINN) when you made your “I doubt Florida’s QB is as fine as his numbers were in this one game” statement, did you? As far as LSU versus OSU goes, yes OSU would have been able to cause trouble for LSU’s line, but it is trouble that LSU has faced all season at the hands of defenses that are faster and more athletic than OSU’s. Another thing: LSU’s running game, while not a strength, is much better than Florida’s. Another thing still: LSU’s deep passing game, WHICH IS A STRENGTH, is much better than Florida’s (which is why JaMarcus Russell will be a #1 pick and Chris Leak will go somewhere in the middle rounds), and would have victimized OSU’s young secondary. The reason why OSU was sitting in a zone and allowing Chris Leak to complete all those underneath passes was the same reason why Southern Cal did the same against Vince Young last year: they knew that their DBs couldn’t cover the other team’s WRs deep. Now where Vince Young and Chris Leak played it safe and took what the other team gave them in their respective title games, with JaMarcus Russell it would have been bombs away.

    Now with Tennessee and Arkansas, I gotta admit that I was woofing a little bit. But Auburn? No. Auburn won 11 games this year, including victories over BOTH Florida and LSU, without much of an offense. That shows you how good their DEFENSE is: better than LSU’s and almost as good as Florida’s. Seriously, if RB Kenny Irons and QB Brandon Cox don’t get injured midway through the season, it would have been undefeated Auburn playing for the national title and the result would have been similar. But as it turns out, this was even better: a ONE LOSS Florida squad that everyone spent the entire year bashing totally humiliating the UNDEFEATED media and national consensus #1. It almost made me remember back to the good old days of the 1990s when ESPN and everyone else used to bash the Nebraska Cornhuskers all the way to their 3 perfect seasons.

  9. Gotta agree with you on most of it IR. However I do think the long lay off effects these students more than what’s obvious. Again it could come down to the law of averages kind of thing. What this all amounts to is that UF had the better game plan. They did a superb job, so bully for them.

    Yes how about all those Luckeyes sayers who are throwin’m under the bus? Which way is the wind blowing?

    It is interesting about the Stoval factor. He is the missing ingrediant from last years long ball success.

    As far as LSU doing it to OSU. For one thing OSU’s defensive line is far better coached than ND’s (in my view) and late in the first half LSU was having a difficult time with the ND line. OSU I’m confident would have continued the pressure throughout the game where as ND instead of applying more pressure, actually used less force. No, I’m not buying LSU over OSU but I’m in total agreement with your other thoughts on the SEC.

  10. I love seeing the same posters who were singing the praises of how great Troy Smith & the Luckeyes are now throwing them under the bus. Now Troy knows a little how Brady Quinn felt when they matched up vs. the elite teams. He found out that it doesn’t matter how good of a QB you are (& remember Troy Smith is the best according to all the posters approx. one month ago!), if you don’t have an O-Line & some speed merchants at RB & WR, “you will go down & go down hard” (to quote Al Davis). That being said, Troy Smith was still worthy of the Heisman & he was a great COLLEGE QB, but time & system will tell how he fares in the NFL. Finally, I agree that LSU would have equally destroyed OSU, but I have to disagree w/ the rest of the SEC dominating them. Arkansas? Please, Wisconsin beat them despite their negative offensive output. Auburn? Their offense isn’t much better than the Hogs but they do have the D…still couldn’t beat OSU IMO. Tenn.? PSU handled them nicely, Eric Ainge was better than last year, but w/ no running game OSU handles them too (IMO). And I’m sure you’ve all heard or read the stat regarding Tressel’s record when he had 40+ days to prepare for bowls…he was 4-0 before last nite. So don’t use the long layoff as an excuse…although I agree it’s way too long for fans to have to wait for the NC.

  11. After watching the BCS Championship game last night, I could not help but see a lot of similarities between ND and OSU (without Ted Ginn). Troy Smith had an awful game, yet is not getting hammered like Brady. Back to the topic of ND, maybe loosing Stovall was a much bigger loss than what anyone thought. He did not have world-class speed, but was fast enough to deliver the deep threat. I believe the offense was surely missing the deep threat this year, it would have helped keep defenses honest. The defensive games that OSU and ND played in the bowl games were comperable. Maybe the defensive problems stem from a lack of experience dealing with speed, not so much about talent or coaching–althought I think all three areas in ND’s defense need work. Last year in the Fiesta Bowl, OSU had two fast wide receivers with Santonio Holmes and Ginn, Michingan had Manningham, USC Smith and Jarrett, and LSU had a couple of players who could flatout fly. All of Charlie’s losses (except MSU last year) have come at the hands of teams with fast receivers, and atleast good defenses. I believe that if Charlie is going to be successful in the future, he will need to schedule teams that are going to give the defense that week-in-week-out challenge, or recruit so well that the practice squads would offer a similar look, as far as athletically. The latter would seem impossible in today’s recruiting roller coaster. If anyone else recognized these similarities, please give your thoughts.

  12. Nebraska, if your hole was any bigger you could be mistaken for the horse that plows your corn field. You obviously have an inadiquacy problem. Read what is printed (even if some keys were mis-punched.) and make a comment on that and not what is supposed by your inept reading skills. We’ve been parsing your magnaimous statements all season and it is transparent that you are the hole you show yourself off to be.

  13. Cloudy:

    Your name must refer to your view or something. “Is the SEC all that good? Not from what I sit!” All right, who’s better, and why? ” I doubt Florida’s QB is as fine as his numbers were in this one game …” Right, never mind that he is the Florida career leader in passing yards (11,213) and total yards, completions (895), 200 yard passing games (33), and interception percentage (2.95) and is #2 in TDs (88). This despite playing for two head coaches and three offensive coordinators and not playing in an offense that fit his skills the entire time. “Saying superior speed and skill to OSU, I don’t think so and I don’t believe you do either.” And what EVIDENCE is there otherwise? Your attempting to pass this off as some otherworldly great game by Florida and some nightmarishly horrible game by Ohio State – an aberration – is bizarre. Even were it TRUE, it is something that should not be said because of how it makes a person LOOK. Come on, if Ohio State had beaten Florida in such fashion, would you be saying the same? The ONLY REASON why there was EVER ANY NOTION of Ohio State being the superior team was that A) the media favored Ohio State and B) Florida had a loss. Well, it looks to me like if Ohio State had played against Florida’s schedule, they would have a lot more losses than one! Florida exploited Ohio State’s flaw, which is an offensive line that quite frankly isn’t that good, especially at tackle. LSU, Auburn, and Tennessee would have done the same.

  14. The only thing I learned last night was that Jim Tressel was scared. From the outset of the game he knew Ohio State didn’t have a CHANCE!!! He coached like he was and his players played the same way. Being an Irish fan Gator country is not easy. Everyone seems to be givivg Urban Meyer all this credit for the win. Don’t forget a lot of this credit deserves to go to Ron Zook who made Urban’s choice of choosing the Gators over the Irish easy. I believe the Irish are feeling some of Zook’s influence right now, plus some questionable discipline policies during the season, I think I will reserve judgement on what a great coach he is. I was truely shocked not to see Marques Thomas in uniform for the Gators. I still say they will have a tough time getting thru the SEC with that offense. There is a lot more speed down here and I think that showed last night. By the way can someone tell Tim Tebow that you can just hurt celebrating like that every time you get a first down . Of course I could continue on like this however the Gators do deserve credit they won last night and that’s all that matters. I think the Irish should see about the availability of Charlie Strong I’m sure he doesn’t want to be the co-defensive coor. forever. The Irish would greatly benefit from his aggressive style of defense. Boy did the OSU defense look fimiliar?

  15. Congratulations Florida! Job well done! Urban Meyer has proven he is a terrific bowl-game day coach. Having ten weeks or so off has given him time to realize an effective game plan and was able to sell it to his players. Good on you Mr. Meyer!
    Having watched what seems countless bowl games over the past thirty-odd years, one fact remains true. The most difficult games to pre-analyze are bowl games, and all because they take place long after teams have finished their allotted schedules. Because this is college not the pros, the student athletes have a great deal of time to use up where they are studying going home et al. During this time so much happens for them, and often time by bowl time a teams chemistry has changed along with the obvious over-confidence by reading the press clippings. Is Florida really that good? Is OSU really that lousy? I say neither! Is UCLA that much better than Michigan? Not at all. Is the SEC all that good? Not from what I sit! Is Jim Tressel a lousy or bad coach? NO! His game plan wasn’t all that good on one day. So for Urban Meyer a great job and his players should be celebrating. I doubt Florida’s QB is as fine as his numbers were in this one game and I doubt OSU QB is undererving his accolades and honors. He earned his merit through the course of a career, and a career of excellence. And Frank! I’m not sure about the line “It at least puts the LSU game in perspective.” Help me out on that one. Usually I agree with your point of view; but that? Come-on! I think you’re a little more seasoned than that. Yeah, I’m jealous UF had a defensive scheme and ND didn’t. Saying superior speed and skill to OSU, I don’t think so and I don’t believe you do either. Again, congratulations Florida on a great win.
    Here’s to hoping better things for the Irish come autumn.

  16. Absolutely loved seeing OSU get stomped! Weis must jettison mighty minter – one wonders why Mattison wasn’t retained in the transistion from the Lionel Tyrone Willie era…obviously better upfront talent for the Gators but solid play all around – I didn’t see any of OSU’s receivers running free in the game – everyone was pretty well kept in front and in check by the Gator defensive scheme. Well done – that is why they play the game ESPN…..

  17. It at least puts the LSU game in perspective. The Bucks got stomped as bad as the Irish did by a team from the SEC with superior speed and athletic skill, especially on the D side of the ball.

  18. Bob,

    I agree with your sentiments of a new Defensive Coordinator for ND. If Coach Weis is to go with his philosophy of “No Excuses”, then I think to get a new DC can be the only course of action. While Rick Minter hasn’t had a bad career, and I don’t think he’s a bad coach. I just feel he’s not a great coach, and that is what ND needs. ND is getting better/deeper talent on defense, but they are not getting the level of talent that minter needs. Coach Minter has shown he can’t squeeze blood out of rock, and I’m not convinced he can do any better with the little bit of talent that is coming on the defensive side of the ball.

  19. Congratulations FLORIDA…I loved watching the Gators dismantle Ohio State. I also loved watching the Heisman Winner (not my vote) have the worst game in his career, let alone the worst QB rating ever in BCS Championship Game History. The Buckeye faithful should leave the 2006 season with thre questions. 1. “boy, did we have a weak schedule?”, 2. can we spell “CHOKE?”, and finally “we got outcoached, outclassed, and outplayed by Florida?” Here’s hoping the Irish get a new Defensive Corrdinator…GO IRISH

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