« FINAL: UF 30, UT 6 | Main | Hernandez, Cunningham nursing injuries »

NOTEBOOK: I'll be the first to say it, Florida should be No.1 in the country

GAINESVILLE -- Florida is No.4 in the latest AP poll. This is an absolute joke. Florida should be No.1. Here's why.

Statistics don't lie. As Florida coach Urban Meyer would say, stats are "real."

Everyone reading this blog will agree that the SEC is the best league in the country, right? No argument there. OK, with that in mind, know that Florida is leading the SEC in scoring offense (37.3 points per game), scoring defense (6.3 points per game), total defense (213 yards per game), kickoff returns (27.6 yards per game), punt return average (24.6 yards per game), third-down conversions (53.8 percent) and Florida is tied for first with Vanderbilt in field goal accuracy (4-of-4).

After knowing that, I challange anyone out there to argue that another team -- USC, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, whoever -- is better than Florida at this point in the season. Even if you tried, here's my ace in the pocket, the clinching fact for my argument, the biggest stat of all: Florida is the only team in the country that hasn't allowed a turnover. Florida is plus-nine in turnover margin.

(FYI: Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead has tossed six interceptions in his last two games.)

SURPRISING DEFENSE
The early season dominance of the Gators' offense and special team comes as no surprise to Meyer but the coach did admit that he is pleasantly surprised by the Gators' defensive play. If you're counting at home, Florida started SEVEN (1-2-3-4-5-6-7; CB Joe Haden, FS Major Wright, SS Ahmad Black, SSL A.J. Jones, DE Carlos Dunlap, DT Lawrence Marsh and DT Terron Sanders) SOPHOMORES on defense against Tennessee.

Meyer tempered his excitement by telling reporters that "I don't think we've been challenged yet" by an experienced quarterback. "That's what I'm anxious to see," Meyer said.

MEYER HATES NEW CLOCK RULE
Florida coach Urban Meyer has a message for the NCAA: Get rid of the new clock rule. His offensive players aren't getting enough touches.

Meyer made a point on Monday to explain why he hates the new clock rule. According to Meyer, Florida's offense only had 46 "competitive" plays. Florida had 54 total offensive players but Meyer contends that nine of those were throw-away plays while Florida was trying to run out the clock.

Florida scored on five of its six offensive possessions but was out gained by Tennessee's offense by 18 yards. Don't look to much into this fact, folks. Florida smoke Tennessee and Meyer is upset about the clock rule because last year the score would have been 60-6 instead of 30-6.

MEYER HAS ZINGER FOR MIAMI'S SHANNON
The stats sheet reads that Florida's offense only scored three of the four times it was in the red zone on Saturday. Meyer says it should be 4-of-4. On the Gators' final drive, Florida took a knee instead of kicking a field goal. Meyer received criticism against Miami for kicking a late-game field goal.

"People get upset around here with field goals, so we were 4-of-4," Meyer said.

JAMES NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UF return specialist Brandon James was named special teams player of the week on Monday by the conference's sports information staff. James accounted for 144 yards on kick returns, including a 78-yard punt return for a score. James also had a 52-yard kickoff return on the opening kickoff, which led to a quick Florida score.

Here's a link to the rest of the SEC players of the week. CLICK ME!

MAJOR'S MISSED TACKLE
Major Wright had a great game against Tennessee. He was second on the team with eight tackles and graded out at "champion" status (94 percent), according to UF coach Urban Meyer. Still, I had to ask him about that one missed tackle, the one which allowed UT running back Arian Foster an apparent big gain. (The play was called back because of a UT penalty and Wright's mistake went unnoticed.)

"I was trying to make the perfect tackle," Wright said. "[Foster] got me."

Don't sweat it, Major. Gator Clause still thinks you're the best safety in the SEC. Just had to ask.

JANORIS COULD START AGAINST OLE MISS
Major had good things to say about UF freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins and so did Florida coach Urban Meyer. Meyer said that Jenkins could start against Ole Miss and that it will be a game-to-game decision whether Jenkins starts at cornerback or Wondy Pierre-Louis.

Pierre-Louis had a terrible game on Saturday while Jenkins had an interception and a forced a fumble. Meyer said that Pierre-Louis will get every chance to keep his position because Wondy is an "invested player." Meyer said the same thing about former Florida safety Kyle Jackson last season. Everyone remembers what happened there. Wright was starting by LSU.

Will Jenkins be starting by LSU?

TEBOW RECRUITED AS A LINEBACKER?
Florida's coaching staff began recruiting Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead when Meyer and OC Dan Mullen were at Utah. When Meyer and Mullen moved to Gainesville, Snead was still at the top of Mullen's recruiting board as one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Snead initially committed to Florida before changing his mind.

According to a book published last year about college football recruiting, Snead said Florida wanted him so badly that the Gators' coaching staff actuall told him that Florida was recruiting Tebow as a linebacker. On Monday, Tebow said Florida never tried to recruit him as a linebacker and Meyer refused to address the claim.

Recruiting is a dirty business ... but it's supposed to be. Get over it, people.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e2010534bc250e970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference NOTEBOOK: I'll be the first to say it, Florida should be No.1 in the country:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Are you crazy????????

The SEC is the best conference but........

The Gators have only played one SEC team and they are probable the worst SEC team. TN is 1-2 and lost to a 1-2 UCLA team who now can't beat anybody. TN only win was against UAB????

Hawaii is also 1-2 and their only win was against Weber ST. They lost 45-7 against a 1-2 Oregon ST.

According to your followers you beat a bad U team that is in the worst conference (ACC) and wouldn't stand a chance against the power house SEC. TBD

The D looks great but the O doesn't look good. Per the SAT. Night ESPN game day crew they also think the O looks bad. Mark May even thought they were the 4th best team in the SEC.

USC is by far the best team and I think LSU, Georgia, Auburn and Alabama look the same on the D but better on the O side of the ball.

Well see on OCT.11, who is the best. Maybe Florida is but I don't see it that way.

Time will tell.

Gators' coaching staff actualy told him that Florida was recruiting Tebow as a linebacker. On Monday, Tebow said Florida never tried to recruit him as a linebacker and Meyer refused to address the claim.

I forgot to comment on this statement.

Now you know where the name URBAN LIAR comes from.

Nice info Jo. Those stats at the front were incredible. This defense looks like it will be playing at a high level late in the season. I see a very active defense out there. So young.

Even with the new clock rules I think we're holding back on Moody until UGA or LSU at earliest.

I think the team gets less scrutiny if they move up slowly through the polls. I'm happy that they're not ranked #1. If they take care of their business, the final ranking will take care of itself.

Why is TXCane still posting here? Get a life. 26-3. Get over it. Canes suck. Get the f..k out of here LOSER!

Didn't know I wasn't allowed on your blog???? I could care less about a loss I'm answering Goodys question.

Noticed you didn't dumb a**!

One TD through 3 qts on the Canes. Gaytors SUKC, and thats the truth, you are not better than USC or Oklahoma, get over yourselves, 2 championships in 100 yrs. You all will be back where you belong once teblow leaves, you'll become the bit'ch of the SEC, for real.

Too bad you're in TX, cuz I'd clean your clock you little fa%%ot.

I know you envy our team but get a life you POS.

Who says I'm in TX punk! I could by right down the street from your punk a**!

TxCane,

You should delve in to Mr. Shannon's recruiting tactics. He likes to tell kids that Meyer doesn't like African-Americans. He likes to tell kids to stay away from "white" HCs. That is the truth.

You have got to be joking! Statistics only tell part of the story, especially so early in the season. Myer is right that the defense hasn't been tested. Those numbers will definitely change once they face a good offense. I agree with uf being ranked four now, only because they haven't lost. They will have a good year because they are an above average team and play a weak schedule for an sec team (only UGA and LSU will be tough. They avoided Bama and Auburn) but there wont be any Nat Championships this year and maybe no sec championship if they lose to Georgia. Gators will eventually prove that they are over-rated. I can't wait!

You all are real good at answering the question of this blog?

Why do you think Florida is the best team?

I provided my reason?

You have got to be joking! Statistics only tell part of the story, especially so early in the season. Myer is right that the defense hasn't been tested. Those numbers will definitely change once they face a good offense. I agree with uf being ranked four now, only because they haven't lost. They will have a good year because they are an above average team and play a weak schedule for an sec team (only UGA and LSU will be tough. They avoided Bama and Auburn) but there wont be any Nat Championships this year and maybe no sec championship if they lose to Georgia. Gators will eventually prove that they are over-rated. I can't wait!

Lol @ TXCane. A Texan and a Hurricane fan? Over/under on IQ: 62. It's like some kind of Frankenstein Fan -- a genetically engineered imbecile.

"I provided my reason?"

Your reason included calling Auburn's offense (yes, they of the 3-point game against MSU) better than Florida's though, thus rendering your reason obsolete.

LOL - Isn't Emmitt Smith a Texan and a Gator fan?

Auburn is averaging 21 points a game.

Auburn offensive output:

20 points against Louisiana-Monroe
27 points against Southern Mississippi
3 points against Mississippi State
14 points against LSU

So how does their offense look better than Florida's?

Again, there avg. is 21 points a game and I thought they looked good against LSU.

They scored 14 against a top team LSU and Florida hasn't played a Top 50 team yet?

A 21 points per game average, first of all, is not good. Florida has scored more than 21 points per game in all 3 of their outings so far, and averaged like 40-something points per game last year. Second of all, that 21 point per game number is not directly related to their offensive output. They got two defensive touchdowns against Louisiana-Monroe, and 1 against LSU. So their offense was even less effective than a 21-point-per-game statistic would make it seem.

Statistics:

-Passing Yards Per game: Neither in the Top 50
-Rushing Yards Per Game: Auburn 47th Florida not in the top 50
-Scoring Per Game: Florida 20th Aburn not in top 50
-Total Yards Per Game: Neither in the Top 50

I would say neither has been very impressive.

How can you say Florida's offense has been unimpressive when they're 20th in scoring? It's not their fault that they get good field position, or that they are continually blowing teams out. They've won their 3 games so far by 46, 23, and 24 points. The only game where they struggled to get whatever they wanted offensively was against Miami, and even then, they tore Miami's defense apart in the fourth quarter.

Maybe you want to say Florida's offense has been largely untested thus far. Fine. Most teams haven't really been tested this early in ths season. But there's no way you can say they haven't been good when they've yet to win a game by less than 3 touchdowns.

As much as it hurts, I have to agree with TX Cane's initial comments. The D is playing very well, however I think most of you can agree that the O's production has been somewhat perplexing thus far. Although it may not have been fair to initially do so, my grand expectations for this offense have likely affected my perception of their performance. I'm also not A Dan Mullen fan, as I've stated before. With the exception of the OSU game and the first half of the '06 Auburn game, the guy seems to almost avoid extensive periods of running the ball. Moody reminds me of C4, whom we all know improved greatly as the games progressed. Why not throw this young man to the figurative wolves for awhile? Any reason? Don't give me this hurt thing, he looked fine to all of us on Saturday. Anyway, I really could care less about the rest of the country, the standings. At this point, we need to survive our gauntlet and go from there.

By the way, in the little I saw of the Hurricrime-Aggie game, Robert Marve looked pretty good. He is the gamer everyone in Tampa knows him to be.

TX Cane, aren't you glad Nix cut him loose a bit in a big national tv road game in front of a hostile crowd?: ;}

Josh - After reading your post, I have to conclude the Tennessee performance as one where the flow of the game dictated what occurred. 2 scores on the first three O series, then the BJ UT dagger, and voila! relatively comfortable lead with three quarters to go. Taking the air out of the ball was the wise thing to do for the remainder of the game. Still, Moody needs to run more. And how about a run play to the corner every once and awhile?

As a side, as usual, the Auburn-LSU game lives up to the hype. That's always been my favorite non UF SEC game. Rarely get to watch the whoile thing live, as it is always played when I'm either in the BHGSAFF parking lot celebrating another UF win over UT, or at Calhoun's on the Tennessee River, celebrating another UF win over UT.

Marve is a gamer and I think will end up being the next great QB at Miami. Quick release and has the ability to scramble. But, I'm not a fan of Nix (Yet). He called a good game this week but I can only study his history at GT and last year at Miami. He learned under Chan Gailey who I was never a fan of. Fired at the Cowboys, GT and was the OC of a bad Fins team. Did't like his O at any of the stops.

Just have to wait and see!

I don't know what's going on with Moody. He looked good against Tennessee, so I don't see why he's not being used more extensively. I agree with you re: Mullen. I think he's a fairly crappy play-caller.

I like that we're blowing decent teams out and still see tons of room for improvement, though. That's always a good sign. Reminds me of the '06 season. Hopefully we're waiting for the LSU game to really open the playbook.

Emmitt Smith a Texan???? That's by far the funniest thing I've ever read. He was born and raised in Florida. Just because he played for Dallas, doesn't make him a Texan. What an idiot!

TXCane,

Through three games, Florida can stack its wins against any other team in the Top 10. Hawaii is rebuilding but the Warriors DID play in the Sugar Bowl last season. Miami is proving to be better than last season after holding Florida close for three quarters and then blowing out Texas A&M at Kyle Field. And I don't care how bad Tennessee is, if you beat the Vols 30-6 in Knoxville and didn't even have to dip into your playbook, then you're doing something right.

Florida has arguably the best offense, best defense and best special teams in the SEC. The Gators should be No.1 in the country.

-jo-

To answer the original question.. Definitely not! Florida should probably be ranked 3rd. USC is the clear No.1 team and Oklahoma has also looked impressive (they also have the easiest schedule to reach the BCS Championship). Florida's offense just hasn't looked that impressive to me. They have track stars everywhere that are a threat to take it to the house at all times, but they have no "True" WRs or RBs, meaning they don't run routes and can't make reads/cuts between the tackles, and this leaves them susceptible to the good defenses (Miami's). Florida should be in the hunt this season, but don't let stats that are only 3 games deep influence what it apparent on the field. Florida is very good, but not No.1 team good... yet.

-jo-

Warriors were awful and the Gators didn't look that impressive, even to the homers in Gainesville, despite the large margin of victory. Hawaii last year was a fluke. They lost the Coach, QB, and WRs on an offense that was able to put up points but that team still gave up 40+ points a game. The Pick 6's to Wright and Black were thrown right to them and they didn't even have to move.

Miami is much better than the teams we saw them field the last 2 years. However, look at T-A&M's games so far this year and you'd be hard-pressed to sell them as a solid team (even at Home). Miami's very young team was able to hold the Gators Offense to 7 points (not counting the safety) through 3 quarters despite the conservative Miami offense that ended up giving the Gators the ball often.

The UT game was impressive, but again the Offense isn't taking over any games. Take BJ25 out and that may very well turn that game around. There is no way that UT team is better than they were last year.

Is UF a top 5 team (probably top 3)? Definitely; but take off the Orange and Blue sunglass because it's clouding your vision. Also... it's a little childish and premature to even worry about rankings this soon into the season. There will be plenty of opportunities to solve this discussion throughout the season.

Florida doesn't run between the tackles? Did you watch the game on Saturday?

-jo-

TontoXcrement Cane better know as TX Cane, what a loser. He is so dumb he sits next to his computer to answer every comment that is made against him. He thinks Miami is good but then he says that Florida has not played a top 50 team. To all you Cane fans get a life. Gator fans do not vote in any poll, the polls are not published by the University of Florida. We are who we are, the best team in the State of Florida and perhaps the best team in the Nation come December.

TontoXcrement Cane better known as TX Cane, what a loser. He is so dumb he sits next to his computer to answer every comment that is made against him. He thinks Miami is good but then he says that Florida has not played a top 50 team. To all you Cane fans get a life. Gator fans do not vote in any poll, the polls are not published by the University of Florida. We are who we are, the best team in the State of Florida and perhaps the best team in the Nation come December.

Why did you have to do that? First, Wondy Pierre-Louis is going to be awesome and get the first INT and now this?

I like the argument but compairing Offensive Stats to the #1 Ranked team USC isn't close. USC leads all categories and they have played a better schedule.

USC Scoring Offense 43.7 Per Game
Florida 37.3

USC Rushing Offense 191 Per Game
Florida 163.7

USC Passing Offense 262 Per Game
Florida 167.7

USC Total Offense 453 Per Game
Florida 331.3

USC Passing Eff. 161.4 Per Game
Florida 145.9

in reference to jevan snead, didnt the Gville Sun get a response from Meyer stating in no way did they tell Snead they were recruiting Tebow as a LB? Thought I saw it in todays paper. As an aside, I am not sure Snead likes competition for his qb job. he switches to texas and then loses out to colt mccoy and goes to ole miss. before that, decommits to uf as they close in on a tebow commit. oh well. just hope we beat ole miss this year.

Spike,

Of course they're going to deny it. Had to ask Tebow all the same. As an aside, Ole Miss is the haven for quarterbacks who can't handle competition. See also: Brent Schaeffer.

-jo-

Yes, it's true. Wondy is really letting me down. I still have faith, but does the Gators' coaching staff?

-jo-

canesrule,

Nice stats on USC, but it's all about the defense in the SEC.

-jo-

canesrule is a scumbag like his favorite coach urban crier...gatoralumn let people ride on your team now while its early in the season...LSU is gonna smack your little ...
gators
The U Fly Society is upon us. . . .

I hear those Canes fly around...

-jo-

ufgator1972

Do us a favor, if you remove that " canesrule" character from our board, then you will not see cane fans over here.

UF deserves to be # 1 as much as anyone at this point. USC has been impressive, but what counts is who is hot in the bowl game. Meyer seems to always have his team ready to play.

Pallazo, we are hoping Marve is the real deal. So far, so good.

Drtycane, UNC is going to smack your sorry canes this weekend, so enjoy your A&M victory while it lasts.

I agree that the Gators have looked good, good enough to be in the top 5, but in my opinion, nobody's as good as USC right now.

You say the SEC is the best conference and you use that as your "ace in the hole" rationale, but here's the truth. Tennessee, the only SEC team you faced, is not good. They lost to a not very good PAC-10 team. The rest of the competition is suspect. Hawaii sucks and Miami is rebuilding (while they might be good by the end of the season, they were one dimensional in that game, and still provided UF with their toughest competition).

Meanwhile, USC blows the barn doors off OSU (Beanie-less or not, they are still better than any team UF has played thus far). They deserve their #1 ranking.

You want to talk about #2, I can cut you a little more slack, but in my mind, USC is #1 right now, no question.

Who really cares where they are ranked right now. Win all the games in front of you and the rankings will take care of themselves. The 9 Dwarfs of the Pac 10 will kill USC's SOS if UF, Oklahoma and USC all finish undefeated.

i just heard from a credible team source that wondy lost is starting spot to janoris.

jo,

you said myer refused to comment on it. but you just stated you knew he denied it to the sun. which is it? i think you like to make it more controversial by saying he refused to comment on it, thus making it "more likely".

Danny,

You're on to me, man ... Please, bro, lighten up. The man said he didn't want to talk about it. I don't care what's in the Gainesville Sun. I'll do my reporting and they can do there's. I asked Tebow. Tebow said, "No. Never."

-jo-

Here is how every AP voter ranked the Gators, ranging from #1 - #8:

http://pollspeak.com/pollstalker/pollstalker.php?s=5&p=9&t1=27&v=51&w=5&r=T

Florida #1? USC the best? Do any of you deluded fans care to revise those silly claims? Can we suppose the Rebs and Beavers will play in the BCS NC game? Maybe...but first they need to become bowl-eligible -- unlikely. Or did y'all mean to claim the Trojans and Gators were #1 chokers? Some fan bases need to learn humility. No team is invincible.

The comments to this entry are closed.