Friday, September 21, 2007


Screw ya’ll, I’m gonna do it.

I’m gonna commit blasphemy, and make the comparison that dare not be made.



Through the third game in their third seasons at Florida , we have –


Total Record: 20-6 (76.92%)

Against Tennessee: 1-2
Against Georgia: 2-0
Against Florida State: 1-1

At Home: 13-0

Bowl Record: 0-1 (loss to Notre Dame 28-39)
SEC Titles: 1 official, 1 unofficial


Total Record: 25-4 (86.21%)

Against Tennessee: 3-0
Against Georgia: 2-0
Against FSU: 2-0

At Home: 16-0

Bowl Record: 2-0 (Beat Iowa 31-24, Beat Ohio State 41-14)
SEC Titles: 1
Mythical National Titles: 1

Do with it what you will.


NoleCC said...

Two different levels of talent when they entered though, no?

BethGator said...

Nice to see that some things never change...he puppies are STILL helpless and ineffective against the Gators.

Man, I just love consistency.

Henry Gomez said...

Two different levels of competition too.

Mergz said...

Fastest 3 comments this site has ever gotten.

I decided to post it because I had never seen anyone do the comparison before, whether in the blogosphere or the conventional media.

Mergz said...


As you know, it's hard to compare talent levels across time. One way I suppose is NFL draft picks. For Spurrier’s first 3 years, the Gators had the following picks (round 7 or higher)-

1 1st
2 3rds
1 6th

1 4th
2 5th
1 6th
1 7th

1 6th
1 7th

So as you can see, the talent was a bit sparse (NFL-wise) by Spurrier’s 3rd year(Galen Hall's players).

Last year, Florida had –

2 1st
1 3rd
2 4th
1 6th
3 7th

For a total of 9 picks. Spurrier had 9 picks in the top 7 rounds for his first two years combined.

However, NFL draft status as "talent" is far from perfect. Someone like Danny Wuerffel, a great college QB, was drafted in the 4th round, and didn’t pan out in the NFL.

I would say in his first 3 years, Spurrier did with less than Meyer.Of course, Meyer accomplished more. Which is about what you would expect.

Anonymous said...

It ain't blasphemy, Mergz - stats don't lie. In fact, I want to see Meyer continue to surpass SOS as far as his accomplishments as a head coach at UF - he's already won a NC in only his second year and two back-to-back wins over the Big 3 rivals!

jamie a. said...

i'd also add that the SEC was a bit different in 1990-1993. spurrier came in and revolutionized it. meyer, on the other hand, is competing in a league that chucks the ball all over the place. meyer, to a degree, has had a tougher go of it in the 'formative years.' incredibly, that included a MNC.

that said, the profound difference spurrier made should never be marginalized. as bad as the zook years were, they were merely par for the course, even a bit above average, taken in the context of pre-1990 gator football history.

in other words, the zook years wouldn't have been that bad had spurrier not raised the bar. an urban meyer never would've even come to gainesville without that dramatic transformation. we could've been a middling to top tier SEC team, like arkansas.

at any rate, we are blessed to have had these two great coaches. spurrier was hampered by late 80s lack of depth brought on by probation. remember, mark mcgriff, a TE, was our leading receiver in '90. he won the SEC with a 5th string QB, probation-depleted roster, and a slow TE.

meyer, to his credit, merely won the MNC in year 2. if he wins another one.....then, and only then, do we start having the discussion on who was the better coach....that's just my humble opinion.

Henry Gomez said...

Let me also add that Meyer stands on the the broad shoulders of Steve Spurrier. In other words, without Steve Spurrier and what he built at Florida the school would not have been as attractive to Meyer. Meyer took some crappy teams and turned them into winners but he chose Florida because he knew he could the athletes to win on the biggest stage. Had Spurrier never coached the Gators I'm not sure that we would have been on Meyer's radar as a top program.

Anonymous said...

Steve Spurrier finally straightened out the mess that his predecessors Charley Pell and Galen Hall made as far as the corruption went, got the program finally headed in the right direction, and raised the bar even further. Gator Nation will forever be grateful to SOS for that as well as our SEC titles and first NC. Pell and Hall had the right idea to make Florida football more competitive and a winning program, but their downfall was that they couldn't run a clean program, were caught by the NCAA, and likewise UF was put on probation.

Ron Zook damn near unraveled everything SOS accomplished due to his incompetence as a coach and a leader. He did bring in some plater talent in recruiting, but when that talent can't be properly developed and we can't achieve quality wins in a season because the coaching's so mediocre, what good does all that recruiting effort do? Zook didn't have a CLUE as to how to be an effective coach and leader.

It's true that Meyer's picking up where SOS left off, and he can go even further if he keeps on doing what he's doing. As far as recruiting savvy goes he has Zook beat, and like SOS he's organized, has his team prepared to play, has some semblance of order established and knows how to win football games. Until Meyer adds to his tenure it's hard in a way to really compare the two, but so far he's accomplished a lot and then some. I like what I see so far, though.

The spread-option is new to the SEC and there are still skeptics who say it won't work in this conference, but Meyer found a way to make it effective, especially against Tennessee last week. And this is only the beginning - with a QB in Tim Tebow who can operate the TRUE version of this offense as opposed to Chris Leak who played in a "hybrid" version we'll see just what this offense can do this season.

As far as I'm concerned Florida football found its saviour in SOS and in Meyer somebody who can take things a step even further - YES, we are blessed to have had SOS and are now have UM3. Let's just hope we can keep Meyer in Gainesville for a long time!

Ryan Ferguson said...

Very interesting discussion.

Of course Steve Spurrier's role in the glorious tapestry which is Florida football history can never be minimized. Although Charley Pell laid the financial foundation for Gator Nation, Spurrier is the one who made winning a habit at Florida. He created the Swamp, a fearsome home field advantage. He left a legacy of great offensive and defensive players, particularly quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs.

And I agree with the comment that we don't even get Urban Meyer without Spurrier's work in the 90s.

But Meyer has something that... it's hard for me to put into words. The guy is a winner par excellence. He is doing what Spurrier did, revolutionizing the SEC while installing his brand of football at Florida. His record in the early going is astounding. I realize FSU and maybe even Tennessee is down a bit right now, but going 3-0, 3-0, and now 1-0 so far this season against UF's rivals without losing a home game, and winning an SEC and national title in the process... that is really, really special.

I do think that when Meyer coaches his last day at Florida (hopefully thirty-five to forty years from now) that he will have been the most dominant Gators coach, bar none, and might also be regarded amongst such greats as Joe Paterno and Knute Rockne. He is a coach with singular ability and talent, the total package with no apparent weakness. I believe that within a few years the Spurrier-Meyer discussion will lean in Meyer's direction and it won't even be close.

Datadatum said...

Yes, it is blasphemy. Spurrier will always be a capitalized like the words God and Gator are capitalized to UF grads from the late '80s and early '90s.

The doldrums of the Hall years were far worse than the malaise of the Zook years. You see, when Hall was coach, we had no hope. Our ship was still in flat seas with no wind. Spurrier made Gator football exciting and fun. He made us cheer and believe we were winners again.

For this comparison, the statistics will never overcome the perception and emotion.

Henry Gomez said...


You're talking to two individuals that lived those Hall years. Hall has proven that he is a good coach. He can't be remotely compared to Zook.

jamie a. said...

galen hall > ron zook

this isn't even debatable....galen hall's 'scandals' as coach included being a decent human being, helping out louis oliver (member of the 'crunch bunch' secondary) with child support payments...personal loans. he was/is no barry switzer.

let's not lump him into this 'can't run a clean program' business. second, he inherited the true mess of sanctions by his predecessor, pell, and won a boatload of games.

even faced with staggering losses of scholarships, those galen hall teams fought hard, had character, and were 'coached up' (unlike zook's squads).

Anonymous said...

spurrier brought the team from probation to the juggernaught we know today. Meyer's a great coach, but you simple can't compare what they've done.

Anonymous said...


(1) Sorry, but SOS is NOT God. He's a football coach, not a deity.

(2) Galen Hall was FAR better than Zook. To say otherwise, IMO, is blasphemy; Hall found a way to win games when Zook went into a "prevent" mode to avoid a loss.

Hall could have had himself an SEC title had it not been for the fact that UF was on probation; in a way he was a victim of circumstances. Zook couldn't even win a stinking bowl game, and had no excuses!

If you lok at their win-loss percentages, Galen Hall was 40-18-1 over five years at .686; Zook was 23-14-0 at .621. The edge is obvious.

If Meyer eventually surpasses SOS, what will you be saying then? It would only be fair to give credit where credit is due, right?

Datadatum said...

Hi Henry and others,

This topic is charged. :)

Don't think I wasn't there for Hall years. Or the beginning of the SOS years. Those were my 5 years on campus.

My point: We never thought we were a national contender during the Hall years. I liked Hall, and I was happy with the Gators being a good team.

Spurrier raised the bar. He raised it high enough that our perception of winning and what we were willing to accept were completely changed. This made the Zook years unconditionally unacceptable.

I'm not comparing Zook and Hall. I'm comparing Gator fan perception during the Hall years and the Zook years. I know I can't speak for anyone other than myself and the circle of friends/fans that I was in contact with - but I speaketh from experience and the heart.