GAINESVILLE —After Florida's 38-17 homecoming loss to Missouri on Saturday, Gators coach Dan Mullen repeated what he said all spring.
He needs all the fan support he can get to get the program back to a championship level.
"When we sell out the stadium, we win a championship," Mullen said. "It doesn't go the other way. It's not we win, you sell out. You sell out, you win. Go watch teams that have built programs. That's how it works."
Mullen's comments were not received well by many fans. But he has a point.
The announced attendance (80,017) was the lowest for a Gators home game since 1990. That was the season before UF boosted capacity to 83,000. It's so long ago that Ben Hill Griffin Stadium wasn't even nicknamed The Swamp yet.
The second-lowest attendance since 1990? That was against Middle Tennessee State in 2004, near the end of the Ron Zook era. It drew an announced crowd of 80,018.
Mullen said Monday that he hasn't been disappointed in the fan base.
"I've said that since Day 1, since the day I got here, that we've all in this together," Mullen said. "And to get the program to championship level, it's not just going to be my play calling or a blitz we run on defense or who's playing quarterback. It's a program as a whole, and our fans are such a critical part of that program. And so I've been pleased with how they've bought in. And to me I want to make sure they continue to understand how important they are."