Pat Dooley’s High Five (June 2nd)

It is June, which means we only have a few more months until we get to see Billy Napier’s first team take the field.

The other day, I was doing research on something else and noticed something. So, I jotted it down and today will fluff it out for the High Five.

The theme – coaches in their first seasons tend to slide a little bit as the season goes along. My theory would be that the excitement wears off, but you are welcome to your own:

 

  1. Dan Mullen

His was not a terrible slide, but in the second half of his first season, Florida lost twice by a total of 40 points and both games were played in the state. He certainly rebounded by thrashing FSU and Michigan.

 

  1. Jim McElwain

There was a reason that things didn’t go well at the end of Mac’s first season and his name was Will Grier. Florida was 6-0 before Grier’s suspension and went 4-4 after it, including an overtime win over Florida Atlantic, a two-point performance at home against FSU and a 34-point loss in the Citrus Bowl.

 

  1. Will Muschamp

Muschamp had a lot of cleaning up to do and won 11 games the next year. But his first team got off to a 4-0 start, then lost six of its next eight. Florida did find a way to beat Luke Fickell’s Ohio State team in the Gator Bowl.

 

  1. Urban Meyer

Again, it started out 4-0 before a massive loss to Alabama and that famous South Carolina loss where Meyer kept the team on the tarmac in Gainesville for an hour (except the two players he kicked off the team and the plane.)

 

  1. Ron Zook

The Zooker had the toughest job in that he was following Steve Spurrier, but he also had the best first-year players of any of these coaches. He beat Auburn and Georgia back-to-back but the season ended with a whimper with losses at FSU and against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

 

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