FightinGators.com had a chance to catch up with Scout.coms Chad Simmons, Mike Bakas and Bill Greene to get their take on the state of Gator football.
"There are a few things that have made it difficult on Florida in recent weeks. One, they have played one of the toughest schedules, especially over the last couple of weeks. Playing Alabama, LSU, and Auburn is not easy for anyone, Alabama and LSU are arguably the best teams in the country, and playing Auburn at home any year is not easy."
"Florida should have gotten beat by Alabama and LSU and they played Auburn close to the end with back-up quarterbacks and they did not play their best game on offense or special teams."
"The team is also playing for a new head coach, playing in a new offensive and defensive scheme, and the two parties are learning about each other on the fly. In reality, Florida was supposed to lose to Alabama and LSU, they played Auburn like expected, and they will only get better as they get more comfortable and get injured players back."
They still have good players, they have good coaches, and Florida will still win games.
"Florida looks fine on defense and playing a freshman at quarterback the last few weeks is the SEC is never easy. They are still recruiting very well and will likely continue to do so."
"When I look at the roster I see a lot of FR. and SO. A lot of them, which is certainly part of the problem in a man's league. The coaching situation has to be a factor. You CANNOT go from the best in the business to an unproven rookie and not have a drop off. Anyone expecting Muschamp to be Meyer is dreaming. The system is also totally different than what these players are used to. The first year is usually a wash for new coaches, and I would cut these guys some slack. Two freshmen QB's? Good luck. Add in playing Alabama and LSU, the two best teams in America, and the struggles are understandable to me."
"What is going on offensively will not cut it, and youth across the board combined with 2 frosh QB's are a problem. Look at the 3 losses. Running the football to protect the young QB's? Hardly. In those games Florida was out-rushed by 200, 125, and 100. That keeps the defense out there too long. Efficient passing game? Nope. Outgained per pass attempt by 3.3, 9.0, and 3.5 per play. Not good. Sacks? Try 2-0 against, even, and 4-1 against. Turnovers? Lose this battle 2-0, 2-0, 3-0. Add it all up and you aren't winning against SEC teams with those numbers."
"Is this a talented roster? The recruiting rankings and the upcoming NFL drafts will say Yes. But it seems to be a young team, with a new staff and a rookie head coach. That seems like a recipe for an off year in the SEC. I would write off this year and look toward anything positive I could see for next season. The only way out of a slump is to recruit your way out of it. It looks to me like recruiting is strong, but Jason would know that more than I would about their specific needs."