Florida on the rise under Billy Napier as No. 7 Utah continues Pac-12’s confounding downturn

Somewhere in the hustle and bustle of the swamp, there must be some room for mercy. No. 7 Utah’s 29-26 loss to lower-ranked Florida State on Saturday night wasn’t just a harrowing, last-second loss, it was a damn football torture.

It’s fair to say that college football has had success with the Pac-12 of late. When it didn’t lose the team, in Week 1, it just lost. On the first real Saturday of the season, it happened twice in different, painful ways. It has happened to the Pac-12 in a number of ways over the years.

The Gators look to have found a new quarterback (Anthony Richardson) and coach (Billy Napier), as their dissatisfaction with the Utes is a new era, but the Pac-12 spent a lot of time Saturday finding new ways to Come as soon as possible to become irrelevant.

We already knew we had our guts surgically removed this summer when USC and UCLA decided to relocate to the Big Ten within two years. Then, the two best remaining teams lose to their SEC rivals within hours, potentially removing the Pac-12 from the college football playoffs before Labor Day.

No. 3 Georgia robbed No. 11 Oregon in former defensive coordinator Dan Lanning’s debut with the Ducks Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. The Bulldogs scored on their first seven possessions for a 49-3 win. Utah then lost the game with 17 seconds left when Florida State fifth-year linebacker Amari Burney intercepted Cameron Reese in the end zone as the game went on. Rising).

Utah is an emerging state power that needs something like a victory in the Everglades to give it cred on the streets. Last season ended in a similarly close loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Close wasn’t good enough, especially in Year 18 under the leadership of Kyle Whittingham.

So much for the Pac-12: This recession is not only long-lasting, but creative. Saturday’s results give the Pac-12 a 1-8 victory over SEC teams in their season openers of the past 11 years. The Pac-12 team is seventh in those eight losses.

The league has gone seven straight years without a team making the college football playoffs. We already know that if it remains a conference in the future, it will never be the same without its flagship Los Angeles project.

Back to that hustle and that swamp. It reveals the story of two trajectories. Utah and its leagues are on a downward trend. Richardson showed some magic in Tim Tebow’s No. 15 jersey. He recorded a career-high three rushing touchdowns, shrugged off an exciting 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter, and led the game-winning shot. Richardson, a Gainesville, Florida, hometown product who started his career for the first time in the Everglades, has the wheel (104 yards rushing) and arms (168 yards passing) to honor No. 15.

When the Gators desperately needed normality, Napier made normality cool. Dan Mullen’s frenetic workouts have given way to the smooth approach reflected in Florida’s comeback. The Gators trailed a legitimate playoff contender four times. Then Napier (and Richardson) made all the right moves (and throws).

Remember when Napier was considered not recruited enough in midsummer? He’s come under fire for writing an open letter to fans that was actually written a month ago, but has been underwhelming when the Gators are beaten on several commitments.

Note to recruiters: everything will be fine. In fact, that might also be the team slogan now. Napier “bounced back” in the recruiting process, pushing Florida State into the top 10 before the season. The Gators continue to bounce back in the Everglades, the only place that matters right now, with Napier becoming the first Florida coach to beat a ranked opponent in the program’s first game.wait till you see what That Recruitment.

The highest-ranked Utah State since the start of the season as the defending Pac-12 champion is playing — maybe its season — at the 6-yard line in Florida. Rising fell back, as did Bernie’s report.

It’s unclear if Rising has anyone open, but it was clear this evening — at least for Florida — that everything was going to be fine. The Gators may travel to Kentucky next week, finishing 38th in the preseason AP top 25 overall.

Meanwhile, the Ute family will take a long flight home, not knowing what happened, what will happen next, or when the torture will end.

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