How to get by on a bye week?
Florida Gators fans are going to have to find something different to watch on TV while hosting barbeques and drinking (probably far too much) this Saturday afternoon.
Why, you ask? Dudes and dudettes, if you have to ask, you’ll never know.
Well, in this case, that’s not true, especially if you take the five seconds necessary to Google (or Bing, for all you sensitive Microsoft peeps) the 2012 Gators’ football schedule
The team is on a bye this week, which means no Coach Boom rants on the sidelines, no wide-eyed Jeff Driskel running around for his life as the pocket breaks down, and no senior stud running back by the name of Mike Gillislee doing whatever he wants with the football in his hands.
Next week LSU comes to town for what is undoubtedly one of the biggest games of the year for this group of still relatively inexperienced Florida ballers.
Want to know how the Gators are going to fare against their powerful SEC rivals? So do we, and thus in an effort to get a glimpse into the future, we took a look back to see how the last three Gators’ (Zooker, Meyer and Boom) coaches have fared following each of their first respective bye weeks.
Zooker's First Year - 2002
The Gators began the season ranked No. 6 in the nation, but struggled out of the gate in the Zooker’s first year in command. How many times have Gators fans read a sentence similar to this?
The team drove Gator Nation straight to the Grog House after getting stomped in the face by No. 1 Miami, 41-16, in the second week of the season.
Despite the embarrassment from the Canes, Gator Nation would celebrate in a different manner in midtown two weeks later. The Gators vented their frustrations against then-No. 4 Tennessee, winning 30-13 in front of 108,722. Seriously, that many people were on hand to watch Ron Zook win a football game. Simply fascinating.
Anyways, the team’s Week 9 bye could not have come at a better time after the Gators lost consecutive games to Mississippi and LSU, before beating a decent Auburn team in overtime. Over the course of those two losses, however, the team dropped from No. 6-nationally to unranked altogether. Florida regrouped over the bye week and upset then-No. 5 Georgia.
That was quite the Cocktail Party that year.
Meyer's First Year - 2005
Urban Meyer inherited a team loaded with the talent of the Zooker’s solid recruiting classes, including seven key starters returning on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, respectively. Plus, he had the benefit of the team’s traditional, pre-Cocktail Party bye week to game plan.
After losing a close 21-17 game to LSU in rowdy Baton Rouge, Meyer took the two weeks and got Florida ready for Georgia. Yet again, the Bulldogs were entering the Jacksonville matchup with a top-five national ranking, and once again the ‘Dawgs were sent yelping home with their lil’ tails between their legs. Meyer would finish out the season 9-3, with a win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
Think anyone was missing Zook at that point? Think anyone was missing poor ol’ Zook after the 2006 and 2008 national championship-winning seasons? I think not.
Boom Shakalaka's First Year - 2011
The inaugural season of the Muschamp-era in Gainesville didn’t do much good. In fact, very little of what Coach Boom tried to put together last season did much good.
After opening up the season with the standard four wins over the standard four overmatched opponents (cough, Tennessee, cough), Boom and his own overmatched Gators suffered three beat-downs in a row at the hands of Alabama, LSU and Auburn.
Grog House anyone (of course, feel free to insert your own Gainesville bar of choice in all these references. However, if you basically want self-medicate without spending more than six cents, that’s the place to rage)?
With a 4-3 record heading into the Gators’ bye week, fans were hoping to see some of the coaching adjustments the 2012 team has enjoyed during the halftime breaks of the team’s big wins, but that did not turn out to be the case. After losing to Georgia coming out of the layoff, the team alternated wins and losses the rest of the way to finish with seven wins and posting six losses for the first time since 1987.
Simply put, it was no fun.
You know what that means though, Gator Nation? We are overdue for a Bulldog butt whoopin'.
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