Marc Daniels - CFB Roundup: Dan Gone? Gus Goes Down And It's Hard To Win

Florida v LSU

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A week ago I wrote in this space and spoke on my radio show that it had the feeling Dan Mullen was done at Florida because the narrative was something he could no longer control. The media was now controlling the story about the gap between the Gators and their rival, Georgia Bulldogs. The tidal wave grew larger when the issues about recruiting got to Mullen who used the opening of his weekly SEC media conference call to make a statement to try and clarify his comments about recruiting. That was another example of how he lost control of his own story.

Then came Florida's blowout loss at South Carolina. Mullen could have used the media during the week to lay out the story of his team being bit hard by the flu bug. He could have given an indication of how many players didn't practice or may not play. If Mullen had been in control of the story, it would have laid out a scenario where Florida was significantly shorthanded going into the game. Too late. 

Emory Jones was among the players who tested for the flu but he played and Florida's effort looked sick. And then Mullen did what all coaches do when things get desperate. He fired two assistants to appease boosters, fans and the media. Firing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy. Dismissing coaches doesn't automatically fix woes, it just gets tweets and message board posts. Grantham was likely done at the end of the season but optics matter for coaches fighting to keep their job so Mullen made the move.

But Florida is a mess and one wonders if players have checked out. Can you imagine how players will skip a bowl game if Florida finishes 6-6? How did this change so fast?

On December 5, 2020, Florida beat Tennessee on the road and sat 8-1 and ranked 6th in the country. They have gone 4-8 since and a coach who received an extension a few months ago sure looks like he will be out of a job in a few weeks.

Which leads us to one of those moments fans love when their team has nothing to play for: "Who can we get?"...

UCF coach Gus Malzahn was celebrating a fourth down stop by his defense and a chest bump led to an awkward landing and an injury report on the broadcast suddenly included a head coach. Malzahn got up. He limped around and got an MRI at the half and kept coaching. It wasn't a pretty offensive performance for UCF but on a weekend across college football where many teams struggled, the Knights found a way to win, beating Tulane 14-10. A key punt by UCF pinned Tulane at their one-yard line and the Knights defense, which has allowed just 24 points in their last three games, forced a three-and-out. UCF then scored on the short field but had to hold off a Green Wave hail mary on the final play to get their sixth win of the season. First down offense was a struggle for UCF as the Knights had just 30 total yards on 22 first down plays. But UCF has won three straight and is the first team in the state to be bowl eligible...

The flu hit FSU's team hard and McKenzie Milton started for the Seminoles and threw for 233 and a score but FSU was 2-16 on 3rd downs and ran for only 38 yards. The loss drops FSU to 3-6 with the Canes and their winning streak this week before games at Boston College and Florida. FSU may indeed finish 3-9...The Canes survived against Georgia Tech 33-30 and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has 10 touchdowns and one pick in his last three. Miami should win out with games against FSU, Virginia Tech and Duke and that would mean an 8-4 season...Seminole High's Timmy McClain is the reason 2-7 South Florida should feel good about its future. Despite winning once in their last four games, the Bulls have been competitive and at times explosive on offense with a pair of talented running backs and McClain. The true freshman extends plays and gives reasons to be excited about their future...

One Saturday after rage when the first college football playoff rankings came out and we saw no final month is predictable. Michigan State and Wake Forest lost and Ohio State, Cincinnati, Alabama and Oregon struggled to win. Welcome to November in college football...

Division III Score of the Week: Redlands beat Whittier 65-7 and moved to 7-1. 

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