Former Gator rooting for his brother's team


Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 1:07 a.m.
With all of the great story lines for next week's Super Bowl, here's one the national boys will overlook - a player who thought he would be going to the Super Bowl is instead going as a fan to cheer on his brother against his former team.
That would be former Gator linebacker Mike Peterson, who missed much of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. He played for five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before leaving as a free agent to join Jacksonville. His brother Adrian, also a former standout at Santa Fe High School, is a special teams player for Chicago.
"I'm happy for Tony Dungy, but you know who I'm pulling for," said Peterson.
That would be the Bears, of course. Peterson attended the Bears' playoff game in Chicago and plans to be at the Super Bowl in Miami.
"Wouldn't miss it," he said. "Maybe this will open the door for me."
  • SUPER PICK: Let's see, on the one hand you have a quarterback who everybody loves. On the other hand, the maligned quarterback who has been catching heat from the fans and the media. One team is a touchdown underdog. Both coaches have similar backgrounds. The underdog's defense is its strength especially the ends coming off the corners.
    Sounds familiar, eh?
    That's why there is no need for me to wait. I'll take the Bears, 41-14.
    The biggest difference between Rex Grossman's Bears and Chris Leak's Gators is that nobody is questioning whether or not Chicago belongs in the Super Bowl because there is an actual playoff in pro football.
    Can you imagine if the NFL followed college football's flawed plan for deciding a champion?
    CHICAGO - Bears coach Lovie Smith questioned what he called "inappropriate comments" by New Orleans coach Sean Payton that helped his team into Super Bowl XLI.
    The Saints used a boost from the computer rankings and a major shift in the Harris Poll to move past the Bears, who finished the season with an open date, in the BCS rankings for NFC teams. San Diego had already secured the AFC berth two weeks ago.
    Yuck.
    Just thought I'd bring this up because nobody seems to be complaining about the lack of a playoff around here lately. Wonder why.
  • IT'S BIDNESS NOW: The former college players who are at this week's Senior Bowl have to be thinking they are no longer in Kansas anymore. Or Auburn, Oklahoma or Florida.
    Not only do their real height and weight become public knowledge (Chris Leak measured in an eighth of an inch under six feet) but one Web site also offered opinions on the players' physiques once they stripped down.
    This, according to Scout.com's NFL specialists: Dallas Baker - Flab around the gut.
    Clemson offensive lineman Dustin Fry - Mr. Jiggles.
    Ray McDonald - No definition.
    LSU defensive lineman Chase Pittman - Spare tire and no chest.
  • RECRUITING UPDATE: This just in - five-star recruit Joey Strongarm has been dropped to a four-star recruit and has changed from a soft commitment for Auburn to a hard lean for Louisville.
    I looked up "commitment" in the dictionary and it didn't say anything about soft, temporary or not really. I thought commitment meant commitment, but not when it comes to recruiting.
    Nobody knows that better than Urban Meyer. Seven of Florida's 24 commitments originally committed elsewhere. Which means they never really committed anywhere.
    What I'm getting to is that it may be time in this new world of recruiting frenzy to change the word. A commitment is not one. How about this?
    Joe Strongman, a high school senior quarterback, has announced his intention to attend Auburn. He could change his mind.
  • D-FENSE, D-FENSE: Nobody is questioning the SEC's reputation for defense after that spanking Florida handed Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game. It's not going to get any easier for SEC offenses.
    Five SEC schools - Florida, LSU, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama - are ranked one through five when it comes to their projected defensive line classes.
    Wasn't it George Harrison who said, "All teams must pass?"
  • AGING DEFENSE: Maybe they missed Rodney Harrison that much. Maybe the Bill Belichick mystique has worn off. Maybe they're just getting old.
    But it's clear the Patriots need to re-think things on defense.
    It wasn't just that the Colts scored 32 points in the second half. You see that happen sometimes, but usually with some short fields.
    The Colts drove a total of 358 yards to score its 32 points.
  • MATCHUP PROBLEM: Those boys at the NCAA usually have a sense of humor when it comes to the brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament and they could have plenty of chances to exercise it this March when it comes to Florida.
    They could match Billy Donovan up against the coach who preceded him (as they did in 2000 when Lon Kruger was at Illinois). Kruger's UNLV team is now 17-4 despite missing Kruger's son Kevin, third on the team in scoring, for the past three games.
    Or they could match Florida with a former Donovan assistant in John Pelphrey (as they did last year). South Alabama had won six straight games heading into Wednesday night and could win the Sun Belt again.
    More than likely, they'll figure a way to put Virginia Commonwealth, coached by Anthony Grant, in the same regional. The Rams are rolling, 17-3 (9-0 Colonial Athletic Association) after Wednesday's 75-62 win over George Mason. You remember George Mason.
  • NO REGRETS: Talk about bad timing.
    Former P.K. Yonge star and Florida football signee Derrick Robinson arrived in Arizona just in time for, well, to get ready for spring training.
    "I got here the day after the game," said Robinson, who signed with the Kansas City Royals and passed on being on the national championship football team.
    Robinson is in Surprise, Ariz., working out and I asked him if he ever thinks about how he could have been playing for the Gators during such a special year.
    "I've tried not to," he said with a laugh. "I watched all the games. But I don't have any regrets. God must have a different plan for me."
  • PAT-POURRI: Not too many guys get two numbers retired in the same gym, but it will happen to Cornelius Ingram on Tuesday when his football No. 7 and basketball No. 1 are both retired by Hawthorne High ... It's a copycat from Auburn a year ago, but a bumper sticker making its way around Gainesville is still funny - Honk If You've Sacked Troy Smith ... I know SEC officiating can be infuriating, but Dennis Felton may be a little paranoid when he sends the league office a tape of the Alabama game with what he felt were 23 bad calls ... Although I can think of one ... Have you heard that San Diego's embattled coach Marty Schottenheimer has opened a bar? One round and you're asked to leave ... Be safe.
    Contact Pat Dooley at 374-5053 or dooleyp@gvillesun.com.
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