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August 29, 2014
Florida Football Approval Ratings
Each week during the 2014 football season Inside the Gators will post a link in the Alley so that subscribers to the site can share their thoughts on Florida Football. The first poll was taken from Monday through Friday morning of this week. For each question, respondents had four different choices, Strongly Approve, Approve, Disapprove and Strongly Disapprove.
This is in no way, shape or form to be viewed as a scientific poll or a comprehensive look at how the Gator Nation views Florida football, its players and coaches.
It is simply a fun look at how attitudes and outlooks change over the course of a football season.
Below are the results.
COMMENT: Entering his fourth season as head coach of the Florida Gators Will Muschamp has an overall record of 22-16 and is fresh off a 4-8 season, but shockingly 68% of the respondents approve of the way he is handling his job as the face of Florida football. Those who feel strongly one way or the other were almost twice as likely to approve (15% strongly approve vs. 8% strongly disapprove) rather than disapprove.
COMMENT: How is this as a sign of the Florida faithful being starved for an offense worth watching… Not only does Kurt Roper have a 98% approval rating, he has the highest strongly approve rating on the team at 48%
COMMENT: In his first year as a defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin helped lead the Florida Gators to post a top 10 ranking in overall defense. It isn't at all surprising that he has such a high approval rating. What was shocking is that 1% (or in this case, one person) cast their vote for strongly disapprove.
COMMENT: Not only does 69% of the respondents approve of the job Jeff Driskel is doing as the starting quarterback, but 12% strongly approve and only 4% strongly disapprove. His approval rating is much better than his performance (at least to this point) - likely indicating that the Gator Nation believes that he has finally found a fit in Roper's new spread offense and are giving him the benefit of the doubt. As we saw back in 2011, other than the head coach himself, no one's rating moves as much from game to game as the quarterback.
COMMENT: Florida's four-headed monster at the position, led by sophomore Kelvin Taylor, has the fan base overwhelmingly optimistic about the position group heading into the season. Not only did they garner a 95% approval rating, only 1% (1 voter) strongly disapproves of the backs.
COMMENT: Although Muschamp has repeatedly praised not only individuals, but the group as a whole, the approval ratings are still lagging with less than six in 10 respondents giving the wide outs a passing mark. The good news is, only 2% strongly disapprove, meaning a good outing or two would help shift opinion tremendously.
COMMENT: Don't get confused here, the 65% you see at the top, is the number for those who disapprove - while only 35% approve of the job they are doing. Obviously this dates back to last year, when the line was abysmal, but less than glowing camp reports haven't helped their cause. The numbers behind the numbers aren't promising either as respondents were five times more likely to strongly disapprove (26%) than strongly approve (5%) of the offensive line. Remember, these numbers come from Florida 'fans'.
COMMENT: Headlined by All American candidate Dante Fowler Jr. and drawing rave reviews throughout fall camp, the defensive line was expected to garner an extremely high approval rating and that is exactly what happened.
COMMENT: Despite the secondary being a rebuilding project still in the works, the Gator Nation has a good feeling about the back seven heading into the season. The linebackers are seen as a better than average group and you can bet that the overall positivity shown towards this group has a lot to do with the play and potential of Vernon Hargreaves III.
COMMENT: Coming off Florida's worst record in three decades, this is actually a better showing than might have been expected. Overall, the voters have a positive outlook on Florida football. However, be cautioned, the approval ranking is lukewarm with only 7.5% voicing strong approval of the program while almost 10% strongly disapprove. Those in the middle will determine how much this rating fluctuates from week-to-week.
CHECK IN THE ALLEY FOR A PUSHPINNED THREAD IF YOU WISH TO TAKE PART IN THE POLL AFTER THE IDAHO CONTEST.