The Predicament of the Gators and Longhorns
Written by Curt Popejoy on 10/04/2010
As of today I have watched 2 Florida Gator games and 3 Texas Longhorns games. I have another UF game DVRed but haven't had time to get to it. But in the 5 games I've watched there is a situation that is starting to show itself. Florida coach Urban Meyer and Texas Coach Mack Brown are lost, and for me, their ability to coach is coming into question.
This first crossed my mind a couple of weeks ago, when I was thinking about the NFL career former Longhorn and current Tennessee Titan Vince Young is having, and pondering how former Longhorn Colt McCoy and former Gator Tim Tebow will fare at the next level. All 3 of these QBs are legendary at their schools, in particular, Young and Tebow are absolute icons. McCoy came into his starting job and had to follow Young and so he was under the microscope, but all in all, he showed himself to also be a great college QB. But now all are gone to the NFL, and where does it leave their former schools? In the lurch as it would appear, and there's really no excuse for it. These rosters are littered with 4 and 5 star recruits.
But what does neither team have? Neither team has a dual threat QB that can bail them out when they need them. As great as Garrett Gilbert and John Brantley may or may not be, they are not Vince Young/Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow. And that appears to have Meyer and Brown dumbfounded. In the Red River Shootout this past Saturday I saw at least 8 times, when the play broke down and Gilbert either took a hit or forced a throw. All plays that McCoy or Young would have broken the pocket and run for it. For all the talent Brown has assembled they have become dependent on that. I always heard the argument that guys like McCoy and Tebow were products of their system, but watching the 2010 versions of the Longhorns and Gators, it might have been the other way around.
I wonder how long it'll be in Florida before fans are clamoring for Freshman QB Trey Burton? It won't be long if the Gators lose again. It'll be Tebow/Leak all over again. And for Texas I mean c'mon you have another McCoy on the roster in Chase, younger brother of Colt so how long until he gets his shot? It's going to have to be sooner and not later, because even with all this talent, it doesn't appear that either Meyer or Brown can get it done as coaches without that guy under center. And if Burton and McCoy aren't the guys, I'm not sure who is, because neither Florida or Texas are signing a dual threat QB in the top 25 for 2011.
And before you start making excuses for these guys, look at the depth charts. If anything, considering who these teams lost, they are better at almost every position but QB. The notion that the wide outs at Texas aren't good enough is bunk. Didn't bother McCoy. And Tebow could have won games with almost no talent around him. He elevated the guys on his team. Brantley can't do that.
Obviously there is a fix to this. Both these coaches knew going into this season they were going to be working with primarily pocket QBs. But you have offensive lines who have gotten accustomed to a different gameplan, skill players as well. The goal should have been to get these guys to re-learn what good fundamental football is, because what I see in teams that run the zone spread option read thingamajig offense is that offensive lineman forget good fundamental downhill run blocking and pass protection. I'm also seeing wide outs don't run the crisp routes they should and give up too soon on plays.
Regardless, going forward, the Longhorns and Gators are in trouble. That's not to say they won't win plenty of games this year and every year. But these two teams are not National Championship calibre.Not if their coaches are going to coach them like they still have guys like Vince Young and Tim Tebow under center, when the talent and style of play are nothing close to it. You evolve or you get extinct quick, so Brown and Meyer better evolve in a hurry.
Last Edited: 10/03/2010