For SEC coaches, handshakes don’t last long anymore

Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 12:45 a.m.

The fingers touched briefly, eyes not quite meeting and hands not quite cupping. It was an awkward moment, one they knew would come again. And perhaps thatís why it lasted but a second, not lingering in the euphoria of the moment.

Yo, Dr. Football may have a future writing romance novels. But this isnít a description of a Paris meeting between Lance and Angela in ďThat Special Summer.Ē

This is a description of two handshakes Saturday night. One was between Urban Meyer and Mark Richt, the other between Lane Kiffin and Steve Spurrier.

The animosity between coaches in this league may be at an all-time high and we canít blame Kiffin for all of it. And itís only going to get worse. The bigger the money, the bigger the stadiums, the bigger the egos, the bigger the cyberspace, well, I donít think youíre going to see a lot of SEC coaches chumming around at league meetings.

You could tell by those incredibly quick handshakes how those coaches feel about each other and this Saturday in Tuscaloosa two coaches who are not fond of each other face off.

No matter what commissioner Mike Slive does or says, he canít do a whole lot about it.

STIFF ARM: There is still a lot of ball to be played but it is time to start thinking seriously about the Heisman Trophy and Tim Tebowís chances of winning for the second time.

As everybody knows, weíve been kind of waiting around for somebody to take over the race and nobody really has. A lot of people will tell you Tebow is not in the top three because his numbers are down. But letís look at his resume so far this season.

He led his team to a comeback victory over Arkansas in the fourth quarter.

He has carried the Gator offense on his back.

He returned from a serious concussion to lead Florida over LSU in the biggest game of the season for the Gators.

He broke Herschel Walkerís longtime record for rushing touchdowns.

He is first in the SEC (the best defensive conference in the country) in passing efficiency and sixth in rushing.

Lot of ball left. But I donít know why Tebow wouldnít be somewhere on every voterís ballot right now.

Except, of course, for the backlash that has consumed this season.

ON THE DEFENSE: You can look at the statistics and make comparisons about this yearís Florida defense but here are three nuggets to tell you how well Charlie Strongís group is playing.

1. Prior to playing Florida, Mississippi Stateís Anthony Dixon had five straight games of rushing for more than 100 yards. In the game after facing Florida, he went for 252 yards. Against Florida, he had 53.

2. Arkansasí Ryan Mallett leads the SEC in passing yards. Against Florida, he completed 12 passes.

3. Georgiaís A.J. Green leads the SEC in receptions and receiving yards. He caught three passes against Florida.

FOLEY FUN: How good was last weekend for Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley?

On Friday night, the Gator soccer team won the SEC title.

On Saturday morning, the Gator womenís cross country team won the SEC title.

On Saturday afternoon, the Gator football team won the SEC East title.

Not a bad weekend.

Florida now has won more than 90 SEC titles under Foleyís watch. Thatís a lot of rings.

THE BEGINNING: A long time ago in a place far away, well, actually just down the street ...

Florida had won zero national championships.

That changed in 1968 when the menís golf team comprised of John Darr, Steve Melnyk, John Sale, Richard Spears and Richard Coffee beat Houston by two shots in Las Cruces, N.M.

That team will be honored at a reception tonight and will play together Friday during Gator Golf Day at the University Golf Course.

Which is very cool. These guys started something special, as Florida has won 21 national championships in various sports since then.

PAT-POURRI: Clemson has produced a video for C.J. Spillerís Heisman campaign done to a certain Michael Jackson song. ďCause itís a Spiller night.Ē ... Not as good, however, as the Thriller video done by UF athletes for Gator Growl that was not aired because they ran out of time. You can find it on YouTube and itís very good. ... I feel bad for Mickey Andrews that it has to end like this. I guess he has quit to the echo. ... Another illustration that itís not the number of stars next to your name that matters ó Darrell Scott, considered the top running back prospect in high school two years ago, is transferring from Colorado. ... Representatives from the Chick-fil-A will be at the Florida-Vanderbilt game. Why? ... Be safe.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at

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