Things are getting rocky for Urban Meyer. Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The weekly college football report:
Florida vs Georgia means something again
We’re into Week 9 of the college football season and the path to the College Football Playoff has become much clearer for some teams and has been completely shut off for others. Unless you are in the SEC, losing from here on out pretty much means you’re done. Everyone is waiting for Alabama vs. LSU next week in Death Valley but another SEC matchup this week may be just as important to the national title picture. Florida vs. Georgia is once again part of the national conversation. I didn’t remember the last time these two teams had national title hopes at the same time so I had to look it up. It was 2008, both teams were ranked inside the top 10 and Urban Meyer was leading the Gator program at the time. Florida won the 2008 game 49-10 on their way to the program’s third national title. Dan Mullen was the offensive coordinator on that Florida team, which was why he was such a natural fit when Florida started looking for a new head coach after firing Jim McElwain.
Florida fans love offense thanks to Steve Spurrier’s successful run there and Mullen is expected light up the scoreboard eventually. For now the Gators are a defense-first football team. That defense gets its biggest test of the season against a Georgia squad trying to bounce back from a blowout loss at the hands of LSU. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was awful against LSU which makes sense because he has not been good in true road game starts against defenses who can minimize Georgia's rushing attack. Lucky for Fromm and Georgia this game is at a neutral site. Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs bounced back from a similar defeat at Auburn last year and almost won the national title. Their road back to the title game begins in Jacksonville this Saturday against the hated Gators.
Things are less than ideal in Columbus
Urban Meyer’s run in Gainesville ended with him losing control of the program and begging out due to illness. We’re not hearing the same kind of stories about Buckeyes players that we heard about Florida players, but the talk of his current health status sounds similar. Amazing what a blowout loss on the road at Purdue will do to get pundits talking. Former Buckeyes player and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit says Meyer isn’t the same on the sidelines. The Buckeyes head coach is apparently dealing with headaches and the tension between him and the Buckeyes administration hasn’t exactly subsided since Meyer’s three-game suspension ended for his part in the Zach Smith scandal.
I imagine Ohio State fans aren’t thrilled about getting blown out by a middling Big Ten team for the second year in a row either. Iowa took Ohio State’s soul last year too. Winning solves all ills though. Michigan comes to Columbus to end the year; potentially a top 5 Wolverines team. If Urban Meyer beats another Michigan team that has hopes for a national title like he did in 2016 all of this will be forgotten. Ohio State could very well be 11-1 with the win and on its way to the Big Ten title game. Nothing matters more in Columbus than winning. They’ve proven that time and again.
Hate Watch Game of the Week
It is pretty simple. Gators fans have dreams of winning the SEC. I want those dreams to end. Bulldogs by ruthlessness in the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is the play. To be honest my hope is that the SEC cannibalizes itself and none of their teams make the College Football Playoff. This is just one step of many in a very unlikely dream of mine. I can dream, can’t I?