Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier jokes with players after the game during the Florida Gators Orange and Blue Spring Game at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Thursday, April 13, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Pat Dooley’s High Five: Reasons Some Don’t Believe In Napier

I was in the whirlpool at the gym recently when a former UF player asked me this question:

Why do they hate Billy Napier?

My response was it is the lunatic fringe who hates the Florida football coach. There are a lot of people who believe in him and there are certainly those who are just hoping.

But then I started thinking about it and came up with the latest High Five, the five reasons SOME people do not believe in Napier (hate is a strong word):

  1. The record: We never believed Florida could have three consecutive losing seasons. One of them belongs to Dan Mullen and his fingerprints are all over the last two. But you are what your record is.
  1. The staff: There are a lot of people who like to point out Florida has never had so many people in such a beautiful facility. The results have not supported that.
  1. The play calling: Look, whether he’s right or not, Napier is sticking to his guns on calling plays. The offense has not been the problem.
  1. The close losses: In the end, it could easily have been an 8-4 team last season. Napier needs to figure out how to win more of the close ones.
  1. Just because: LSU got Brian Kelly and USC hired Lincoln Riley in the same coaching cycle. Florida got Sun Belt Billy. That really ticks some people off.

On the record (isn’t everything?), I believe in Napier and love what he has done. But the results have to be there for the entire Gator Nation to believe. sports columnist Pat Dooley can be heard on “The Tailgate” along with Jeff Cardozo from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday on 98.1-FM/AM-850 WRUF.

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