The Back Nine: Disgruntled UF fans should let it play out

Florida coach Jim McElwain celebrates with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, left, after the Tennessee win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 16. The Gators won 26-20. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun] The Back Nine comes at you after a lost weekend with football, volleyball and soccer all losing. Those happen. Be thrilled you are in a fan base where it is a rare occurrence.

10. There are two camps in the Gator Nation right now with stragglers drifting into the moat in between. On one side, the glass is half full, but it still seems like there was more in it a couple of weeks ago. On the other side, it’s empty. Not half-empty, but bone dry. I run into the members of the first group casually. The second group is loud, vocal and sometimes spells Jim McElwain’s name correctly.

* Group A: It has been a tough season. But the loss of so many players is the biggest reason. Sure, we wish there was more imagination in the offense, but the playmakers are either sitting on the bench or back in their apartments watching the game on TV. McElwain has done a great job of patching this together and we are only a couple of plays away from being 5-0 in the SEC with as many as 17 scholarship players out. He’s building a roster and it would have been close to ready without the Knucklehead Nine. I sit in the stadium and see receivers running open, but he hasn’t had a quarterback in his three years other than Will Grier who ever sees those open receivers. Hey, let’s go beat Georgia and see what happens.

* Group B: Mac has to go. Now. And if they don’t want to pay his buyout, then Doug Nussmeier has to go now. You can’t blame the players. They do what they are coached to do. He said he could win with his dog, but he can’t win with a 6-foot-5 athletic quarterback? The play-calling has all the imagination of butterless grits. We’re tired of McElwain’s non-answers and stubbornness and nobody really cares that we won the East the last two years. The East was terrible. Let’s go get Chip Kelly. Or Brian Kelly. Or Kelly Ripa. Anybody who can grasp the concept that special teams is a third of the game.

11. So which is it? A little bit of both. McElwain, despite a depleted roster, had Florida in position to beat both LSU and Texas A&M at home and be unbeaten in the SEC and ranked in the top 20. He also had six possessions in the two games in the fourth quarter where — if his team could just move inside the opponents’ 40-yard line — Florida could have won the games on an Eddy Pineiro field goal. Those six drives resulted in two first downs. Florida has a coach with a stubborn streak, but his commitment to what he believes has allowed them to be in these games. […]