Florida's tilt with Georgia in Jacksonville on Saturday will be one of the most important games under Urban Meyer at UF. Sure, the Gators and Bulldogs are both middle-of-the-road teams in a weak SEC East, but this contest could mean the difference between an SEC title (unlikely, I know) and the worst season of his career.
Meyer's brief retirement last year raised plenty of eyebrows, and the Gators' start this season hasn't exactly erased fears that he won't be the same as his dominant, pre-breakdown self. No one outside the program really knows what Meyer has done differently this year to manage his stress, so it's hard to pin this losing streak on anything health-related. But I think we'll get a pretty good idea of where he's at on Saturday.
Jeff Demps, Mike Gillislee, Emmanuel Moody and Chris Rainey will all be on the field in Jacksonville (according to Meyer), meaning he has his playmakers. He's also 31-3 in his career when having more than a week to prepare for a game, and he's had incredible success in rivalry games.
It would appear that everything is in Meyer's favor for this one, and if the Gators come out and look like the same team that just scored a total of 42 points in three losses (while Georgia averaged 42.7 in three wins), I think it's fair to question the job he's doing right now. He got a lot of credit for being an offensive genius during Florida's time atop college football, and he deserves some blame if he can't figure this out.
From what we've seen so far, Florida is just not a good team. They have some good players, but they haven't played well. To me, it's on Meyer to turn that around this weekend after getting guys healthy and having a week off. If this had come before Meyer's semi-retirement, I would have had no doubt he'd right the ship. Now, I'm not as certain.
Do you expect to see a different team this weekend? If you don't, how will you feel about Meyer? Or is it all Steve Addazio's fault? On that note, check out this YouTube video some Addazio-haters made:
"He must have some intelligence to get that job."
Remember to follow me on Twitter.