A view from Jacksonville:Longtime North Florida radio personality thinks the Bulldogs will take down the Gators
by Jeff Dantzler
Frank Frangie, an old friend, standout talent, and one of the great minds in all of college football, offers his thoughts on the Dogs and Gators. Frank is the president of SportsDay Productions and hosts an excellent daily talk show from 4-7 p.m. daily on Jacksonville’s 1010 XL.
What’s your take on Georgia?
A team that is much better than its record. I had the Georgia-Tennessee game and that didn’t look like a four-loss team to me. I think A.J. Green came back about the time Aaron Murray started figuring out this college stuff. The defense is athletic. A very dangerous team.
Who plays in the SEC Championship Game?
Right now, I’d say South Carolina by virtue of their win over Georgia — I think Florida is really leaking oil. And I just don’t see Auburn winning in Tuscaloosa, so I’ll say South Carolina-Alabama rematch.
What’s the Gator nation’s number one beef during this losing streak, the O.C.?
Probably Steve Addazio, the coordinator. But the bigger question is how did they get to this point. I think everyone thought when Brantley got the job, they would simply change from a spread option team to a more conventional, I-formation, pro-set team, like Georgia. Everyone is finding out it isn’t that easy.
Is Florida struggling to find an offensive identity?
Absolutely. Mainly because the pieces don’t fit the plan. John Brantley is a pure dropback quarterback. He doesn’t run the option well, he isn’t made to throw swing passes to the sideline or run the read play. He is a downfield passer. They can play Trey Burton at quarterback, who is more of an option guy. But do you really play the true freshman over the fourth year junior with the big arm?
What do you think the key has been for Florida’s mastery over Georgia? Especially in that ’97-’08 stretch when the talent was usually comparable and the Dogs were actually better a few times.
I really think Florida’s domination of the last two decades is similar to Georgia’s domination of Florida the two decades before that. You win a few and start believing you are better. For that reason, you play a little more loose, a little less tense. The opponent expects to lose so they tighten up and, invariably, don’t play as well. The here-we-go-again mentality sets in for both sides. Terribly hard thing to change. Something dramatic has to happen to change it.
You know how Florida changed it after Georgia dominated in the 70s and 80s? Steve Spurrier got there, made it priority number one, and then absolutely blew Georgia out his first two games and then found a way to win a few the Gators shouldn’t have in the next two years. After that, Georgia started thinking they “couldn’t” beat Florida. The same way Florida thought before that.
What does Georgia have to do to win?
Stack the box and take away Demps and Rainey, who will be back I believe. Make Florida, which has had a terrible time throwing the ball down the field, throw it. And blitz. The Gators have really struggled with pressure. And I think A.J. Green isolated. Florida loves to play man back there, but I’m not sure anyone can play Green man to man. I said today on the air, he may be the best player — not just the best receiver — in the country.
What does Florida have to do to win?
Somehow find a passing game. That will open up lanes for the runners, who are fast and shifty guys, but not physical runners. Hit some passes early in the game. And I would double Green — make some other receivers beat you. I like Georgia’s receivers overall and all three of those tight ends are nice players. But they’re still not A. J. Green.
Do you agree that these are two of the five to ten premier head coaching jobs in the country?
If you go ten-deep, probably. At least seven deep. These are two great jobs. But so are Alabama and LSU and Texas and Oklahoma and USC. Ohio State is a great job because you sacrifice proximity to as many athletes as the southern schools have, but you gain far less competition in your region for recruits and wins.
Who wins Saturday?
Georgia. They are trending up, playing very well, gaining some confidence. Florida is reeling. I haven’t picked Georgia to win this one in a long time — even when the Dogs had Stafford and Moreno and were No. 1 before the season, I said before the season Florida would beat them. And I picked Florida the year Georgia rolled them in 2007, too. But this year, I like the Dogs.