BLATANT HOMERISM: VANDERBILT

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

EVERYONE WILL SUFFER

1.

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2. You should first watch this, and any of the blocking highlights Herb Hand posted Sunday night of the Vanderbilt offensive line flattening the Florida defense. This is not the Florida offensive line, whose tragic history we'll talk about in a minute. This is the Florida defense, the backbone of this team. That is Wesley Johnson taking on Antonio Morrison, a very good athlete, and shattering him into a fine powder. Wesley Johnson is also a fine athlete, and among the best offensive linemen in the SEC, but still: it's supposed to be a tussle, not multiple defenders being thrown into a burlap sack and thrown into the river to drown.

3. That's what it was for the best unit of Florida's three, the one muscle in the Florida body Will Muschamp has, in three years of recruiting, built to hypertrophy. If this team were a weightlifter, there would be no pec day. There would be squatting, and squatting, and more squatting, and still more squatting until nothing remained but a thick torso'd, tree-legged mutant capable of comfortably shouldering a washer/dryer set through a Costco.

4. That walking metaphor could not lift his wallet to purchase that washer/dryer. The upper body of the team, the offense, is a dilapidated lean-to of neglected flesh. The offensive line starting against Vanderbilt consisted of three Meyer recruits, one transfer, and one JUCO signed by Muschamp. Help is not on the way: of the nine linemen signed in Muschamp's tenure, only one has been a steady starter in the 2013 season. Of those nine, five were signed in 2013. If you like the kind of offensive line where juniors are starters, and youngsters are developing at a nice pace to create and maintain depth, then help will not realistically be on the way here for another two years.

5.  That is insane negligence in both talent evaluation and basic coaching at one position. There are more positions on a football team, like wide receiver, where until 2013 (again) Florida was unable to sign a wide receiver of note while Florida State managed to accumulate them like so much speedy dandruff upon the rhetorical shoulders. The transfer of Jacoby Brissett left Florida with Driskel, and then two three-star quarterbacks behind him.  Only at running back has Florida done any serious recruiting, and even then spent most of 2012 relying on ninth-year senior Mike Gillislee for production. There are people listed as tight ends on this roster, and when we see them we will verify their existence with photography and perhaps moving pictures.

6. So if you want a legitimate case for not firing Will Muschamp, it would be the dismal performance of the offense on Saturday, a new redefinition of the increasingly lower lows for Florida. You see, there's this roster, and they're working on it, and in the meantime there will be suffering and blood. You will ameliorate that with patience, and then in two years something amazing will happen. An undefined but promised amazing.

7. (Before we go on: you should know how hard Vanderbilt kicked Florida's ass in that game without even trying. Before we say anything else you should go back and look at every whiffed block, telegraphed interception, hilarious overthrow, and short-field touchdown Vandy earned. To beat Florida in 2013 requires no constructive effort: simply wait, hit hard, and wait for a ball to shake loose, or more often than not for nothing to happen whatsoever. Block, tackle, and the game will come to you like a drunken and trusting tourist covered in hundred dollar bills, and with pockets stuffed with unsigned credit cards with high limits. It's not stealing if it's given to you. The other half is simply having the will to take it, which Vanderbilt did time and time again for the first time in Gainesville since 1945.)

8. Continued: so if you want a legitimate case for firing Will Muschamp, it would also be the dismal performance of the offense on Saturday. There is no help arriving next year, and the quarterback battered by injuries this year will likely face another bludgeoning in 2014 behind a line that--on paper, at least--could be worse than this one. The same wideout crew that hasn't had a draft pick since 2010 will line up with a quarterback who will be pressured with four man rushes. There will be running backs, and they will have nowhere to go, thus giving the quarterback nowhere to throw the ball off play-action.

9. The running theme in our head, watching this atrocity spiral out of control and eat the entire 2013 season, is that this is three years after Urban Meyer left Gainesville. Three years, not two, and not one, and not done with the mythical barren cupboard of homewrecking Urban Meyer. This is what this team looks like on purpose, because no one can evaluate and develop offensive talent. This was done on purpose because Will Muschamp, a defensive savant, apparently cannot pick a competent offensive coordinator out of a bin of them. This is now a rebuilding project going well past its thousandth day, and with another year at minimum to go. Please do not give the huddled, be-molded hordes of solipsistic, self-pitying Buckeyes fans the opportunity to shoehorn in the now elderly cliche that any of this is Urban Meyer's fault anymore. Urban Meyer recruited the majority of what was left standing on the offensive line Saturday, and won two BCS championships, and also didn't lose to Vanderbilt.

10. Will Muschamp lost to Vanderbilt. Please note the detail with which we're going to explain structurally how that happened, but then emotionally return to WILL MUSCHAMP LOST TO VANDERBILT, a pit intrepid jungle explorer Ron Zook never even had the blind idiocy to fall into hands-first and blindfolded. ("Because eyes are liars glued like shitty tvs to your brain, son. Always trust your gut first, and then your toes, because they're the smartest part of your body." --Will Muschamp's half-finished and very inaccurate guide to the outdoors.) We repeat: VANDY.

11. And injuries don't cover losing to Vanderbilt, or the general malaise of the program, or Will Muschamp's ability to infect the team with something resembling his attitude. The nuts and bolts of failure are one thing, and the most important thing in something as talent-dependent as college football, but the spectral, floaty world of motivation and imprint are another. Both are real. As cliched as it is, attitude defines a lot of what a team--equipped with talent, and perhaps the black market payroll competitive college football requires--can end up doing. Watch an Alabama, and the overwhelming sensation is of a team with no memory, and no desire to think about anything but the play at hand. Watch Baylor, and see a team playing without a shred of fear. Even Texas A&M in defeat is a breathtaking thing, undermanned on defense, scrambling on offense, and still convinced as a unit that they can execute their way back into a game.

12. Florida plays like a half-invested team by design, and is. And if that's what a coach's full investment in the design of a program looks like, he's getting half his salary for free, and nothing from those who watch it.

13. James Franklin is an amazing coach.

14. We are running out of ways to define down the need to not watch this football team, or ways to justify paying any attention at all. It's now just a matter of theoretical devotion done out of practice, since we're not even sure this team will score a point against South Carolina, and am certain of a degree of gore in the Florida State game not seen since the 1995 Nebraska game. This is the point where we consider football atheism, and wonder why we're sitting in the church at all if the designs of the faith are so stupid and medieval, and the returns in happiness so low.

15. Muschamp's already fired. It's just a matter of now, or in 2014 when there's an obvious target, and the time to recover a recruiting class. You start firing coordinators and you've already entered the Tuberville Protocol for slow death by coaching attrition.

16. Go Gators.

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