The Sunday Blog, Week 8

16
337

The Sunday Blog had a wonderful bye weekend that included family and football and a trip to Disney’s ESPN Zone to see the last part of LSU’s seal-clubbing of Auburn.

It’s funny how Robbie Andreu and I both said the same thing after the Florida-Auburn game — “LSU is going to kill Auburn next week.” You could see a huge difference in the talent levels between the two teams.

It’s time for World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party Week and while there may not be as much on the line as in some years it’s still Florida-Georgia. Which means my goal is to mention World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party as many times as possible.

THE NOT-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME
COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS

1. LSU (8-0): Flip-flopped the top two after that impressive performance by Les Miles’ team.

2. Alabama (8-0): The Tide seems to struggle early, then wake up against mediocre teams.

3. Oklahoma State (7-0): Suddenly, the only unbeaten team in the state.

4. Stanford (7-0): The Cardinal put Washington in its place Saturday night.

5. Clemson (8-0): Has anyone started the Sammy Watkins for Heisman campaign?

6. Boise State (7-0): Not totally surprised Air Force gave the Broncos fits.

7. Arkansas (6-1): You wonder about a team that falls behind 17-0 to Ole Miss.

8. Oregon (6-1): Ducks working their way back up the polls.

9. Kansas State (7-0): Who would have thought the Wildcats would be in the top 10?

10. Oklahoma (6-1): Real stunner that changes everything about the rest of ther season.

11. Wisconsin (6-1): Another surprising loss although not mind-blowing.

12. Virginia Tech (7-1): Looking like a rematch with Clemson for ACC title.

13. Nebraska (6-1): Cornhuskers enjoying life in the Big 10ish.

14. Michigan State (6-1): Color me impressed by Sparty’s performance.

15. Texas A&M (5-2): This just in — Aggies still joining SEC.

16. Houston (7-0): Which BCS team will end up hiring Kevin Sumlin?

17. South Carolina (6-1): Gonna be a tough road ahead without Marcus Lattimore.

18. Michigan (6-1): Wolverines need to finish strong.

19. Penn State (7-1): Quietly, Joe Paterno putting together a surprising season.

20. Southern Miss (6-1): Larry Fedora doing another solid job.

21. Cincinnati (6-1): Only loss for the Bearcats was to Tennessee.

22. Texas Tech (5-2): Where did that come from?

23. Georgia (5-2): It’s make or break time for the Bulldogs.

24. Southern Cal (6-1): The idiot-savant has his team playing well.

25. Wake Forest (5-2): Struggled with Duke which almost knocked then out of the poll.

THE SEC FOUR-PACK

1. On thing about being the defending national champs is that the players may leave but the target does not. You get everyone’s best effort and Auburn found that out Saturday in Death Valley. The 45-10 loss was the worst by a defending champ since FSU clobbered Miami 38-3 in 1984. One good thing — Auburn fans know all about Atlanta and they’re probably heading for the Chik-fil-A Bowl.

2. Houston Nutt’s frustrations boiled over after Saturday’s loss to Arkansas. He walked into his press conference and said to Neal McReady, who writes for Rivals.com, “Played harder than 49-10, right, Neal? …  Wasn’t no 49-10.” I gave Ole Miss a lot more credit. I picked Arky 42-10. That’s 10 straight SEC losses for Nutt at Ole Miss. The key play in the game was Dennis Johnson’s 52-yard TD run on third-and-14 with the ‘Backs down 17-0. Changed the whole game.

3. Could Tennessee go oh-for-the-SEC? The Vols are now 0-4 and its next two games are against South Carolina and Arkansas. Tennessee closes with Vandy and Kentucky and Vanderbilt may be the better team right now. The Vols have lost their SEC games by a combined 128-48. They had no first downs in the second half against Alabama. Things are not good in Knoxville.

4. The Commodores are inching towards a bowl bid nobody thought possible before the season. At 4-3, Vandy needs to win two games against these five opponents — Arkansas, at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee, at Wake Forest. Difficult but not impossible. James Franklin gave Jordan Rodgers his first start on Saturday and it paid off. You may have heard of his brother. He’s my fantasy league quarterback.

16 COMMENTS

  1. ya know just a thought, the winner of the UF/UGA game has always favored the team with the bye week before the game….. both team had the bye week this season, i’m hoping muschomp has the boys ready this isn’t going to be an easy game 🙂 Go Gators

  2. Everybody is still reeling from the loses, but I agree IT IS TIME TO WAKE-UP!! I am hoping to see IMPROVEMENT esp. form -line and RB’s and ‘THE PLAYERS’ INSERTED AT RB (Gillislie & Joyer, PLEASE!) I have appreciated and liked Chris Rainey so very much-BUT I think HIS CHANCES AT BREAKING 1 are greatly improved -by UTILIZING him more in the manner that Addazio (UGH) and mullen did in days past…more in the flats and screens (esp.NOW THAT BAMA & LSU games are over). And, I want to see WR’s SHOW-UP and GROW-UP (Hammond the exception his play is CONSISTENT)…sometimes I see receivers run down and push DB’s rather than BLOCKING THEM! Come on ,man-USE A FORE-ARM! And-please-TE’s get into the game -mentally-and physically!!! Put Christian back in some games as he seemed to get ‘seperation’ in UK game…Defensively-FLA is going to get better each week-THEY held their own against Auburn and Bama the first 3 qtrs then…poof-no more MOTIVATON -when your Offense goes 3 n out what do you expect? oh-watch the CHALK on th sidelines, guys!
    BUT -GO GATORS!!! WORK THE BULLDOGS SILLY!!! It is UGA and that should be enough motivation alone…Here is hoping -IT- IS!!!!

  3. Well now this is just sad. All you so called fans out there clogging up the blogosphere with your mindless dribble and drabble when our team is on top. Now that things are looking down, you head for the hills. Well that’s where you so called fans belong anyway, cause the weather is fair. Do us all a favor and when our beloved Gators come back, just stay away. We don’t need or want you anyway.

  4. Hey guys, just calm down. It was a bye week and everyone had to heel up..even the fans. It’s been tough watching our team struggle and I am convinced that there are better days ahead. I still think Weis is better callng plays from the press box. It is gonna take our line a year of getting goo experience and an off season to mature physically. Most of those guys are true sophmores and red shirt sophmores and the upper classmen just haven’t played very much. We lost a lot last year along the lin as far as experience. Know one really expected to win more than 8 or 9 did they? Beat the dogs, cocks, noles and win homesoming and this year will be a success. Those are very winnable games with a healthy Brantley. Go Gators!!!

  5. @Bites
    It seems to me there is less fun on the blogs than last year for a simple reason: Robbie and Pat are writing fewer blogs. How many times can you reread the same blog during a game week, let alone a bye week? Robbies most recent post is “Auburn Prediction Time.” Pluss, if you do not type fast enough, you get “timed-out.” This blog is goint he way of the Sun in general, less content, less timely information, more irrelevant.
    This is how they treat their loyal readers!
    I just listen to sports talk mostly, ant way Go Gators!

  6. Very, very valid point Rooferman. I enjoy the articles, but really enjoy the chance to see what other Gator fans like you are thinking. Most of the time the articles are bland and generic when things are down, and shockingly biased when things are good. Most Gator fans thirst for information good or bad, and don’t seem to be getting much. Maybe there is a 1st year journalism student who could bring some energy, and fair and balanced reporting on the Gators to us. I mean it would be nice to have a reporter write a little more consistently than to disappear after Auburn Prediction Time just because the Gators are doing poorly.

  7. What an experience the Denver vs. Miami game was. The predominant jersey at the game was the GATOR #15 TEBOW replica. As I walked through the parking lot tailgate parties, many were flying The GATOR NATION flag next to their MIAMI DOLPHIN flag. I heard just as many “GO TEBOW” as I heard “GO DOLPHINS.” These are season ticket/parking lot fans. The 30,000 GATOR NATION-just purchased tickets fans were out in the cash parking lots.

    Inside the stadium it was much different. In the sections around me were definitely two camps, well maybe three. There were the “GATOR” Dolphins, the “U” Dolphins, and the Dolphin Fans. From the start, the “U” Dolphins were chanting “TEBOW SUCKS” even during warm-ups. I was wearing my GATOR “F” cap along with my DOLPHINS polo shirt. I carried my GATOR t-shirt to wear during the halftime celebration. The “U” Dolphins heaped epithets upon anyone TEBOW/GATOR related. Yes, there were children all around.

    Some facts. The Miami Dolphins have two “GATOR/U” players on the roster. #73 Vernon Carey from The “U”, and a hometown DOLPHIN that we all love. #51 Mike Pouncey is a “GATOR” rookie. The Denver Broncos have SIX “GATOR/U” players on their roster. The “U” players are #74 Orlando Franklin, #55 D.J. Williams, and #23 THE Willis McGahee at starting tailback. The “U” Dolphin fans never gave McGahee a thought or mention once. That would be THE McGahee that nearly lost his football career for the “U”. The GATOR” players for the Broncos are #79 Marcus Thomas, #95 Derrick Harvey, and #15 THE Tim Tebow at starting quarterback. The “GATOR” Dolphins cheered “TEBOW” throughout the game. The “U” Dolphins chanted “TEBOW SUCKS” throughout the game. Did I mention that the Broncos have 6 “GATOR/U” players on their roster, compared to 2 on the Dolphin roster?

    Halftime. I was never so embarrassed for “Miami” in all my life. Even though the Miami Herald reported so, the Miami Dolphins DID NOT honor the University of Florida Gators’ 2008 National Championship team, the Orange Bowl Committee DID! Yet another reason I don’t subscribe to the Herald. The 30,000 plus “GATOR” Dolphin fans, of which I’m one, were trying to enjoy the ceremony. The “U” Dolphin fans decided to show their “class” by booing throughout the ceremony. How dare the “GATORS” be honored on the “U” field.

    Sun Life Stadium. The last time I checked, the stadium is owned and managed by Stephen Ross, not the “U”. It’s time to air some old laundry, if you think 2007 is old. When the “U” was negotiating with the City of Miami over their Orange Bowl lease, I remember the “U” fans being unhappy. When talk started about moving to the Dolphins stadium, I remember “U” fans saying they would not travel “that far” from campus to attend games. It’s cool to remember the “old” days. Now it’s an affront to the “U” fans that the Orange Bowl Committee honor the 2008 National Championship GATORS on the “U” home field.

    Criticism of the “GATOR” Dolphin fans. Apparently the Miami Herald, local radio and TV sports newscasters, and “U” Dolphin fans cannot fathom loving the Dolphins AND Tim Tebow at the same time. Yes, the “GATOR” Dolphin fans cheered the Dolphins AND Tim Tebow during the game. When I cheered for “TEBOW” during the game, “U” Dolphin fans called me vile names and pelted me with empty water bottles. Yes, there were children all around. I put my “GATOR” t-shirt back on over my Dolphin shirt for the rest of the game.

    Some more facts. The University of Florida GATORS have sold out the 90,500 seat SWAMP 137 straight times and counting. The GATORS have lost 3 straight SEC games. We play Georgia in the GATOR Bowl this Saturday. The GATOR Bowl will be sold out. The next GATOR home game is in the SWAMP against Vanderbilt. Regardless of the Georgia game outcome, the SWAMP will be sold out. The SWAMP would sell even more tickets if they had more seats available. We LOVE our GATORS!

    The “U” has never sold out Sun Life stadium. Even counting “free” tickets, The “U” is averaging 48,542 fans attending games at Sun Life stadium this year. When The “U” played Ohio State in their season opener, 66,279 fans attended. At their next home game, only 43,786 fans attended. The sports newscasters reported that Ohio state fans had bumped the numbers up by coming “that far” down for the Ohio State game. That makes sense, the other home games tickets were 40,387 and 43,716. Still, the “U” Dolphin fans couldn’t stand that 30,000 plus GATOR fans travelled “that far” to see “TEBOW” and their 2008 National Champions. That’s why Bowl Committees dream about the GATORS, we will travel “THAT FAR.”

    Then it happened! The Dolphins scored a TD with 7:26 left to play, with a 15-0 lead. Many of the “U” Dolphin fans began leaving, chanting “TEBOW SUCKS” as they headed for the exits. The last empty water bottle sailed by. The “GATOR” Dolphins knew to stick around. That would be why the newscasters “thought” that the Dolphin fans were cheering against the Dolphins. We were cheering for “TEBOW” newscasters, the same as we had cheered when the Dolphins went up 15-0.

    “TEBOW” drove the Broncos down the field (no newscasters, the Dolphins DID NOT play prevent defense) and scored a TD with 2:44 left to play, but they had used up all their timeouts. The GATOR Dolphin fans were happy that “TEBOW” had shown the Old Magic. By this time, most of the “U” Dolphin fans were gone, the stadium was half empty. With only 2:44 left, and no timeouts, the Broncos needed to get an onsides kick AND score a touchdown AND two-point conversion JUST to tie the game.

    The BRONCOS DID IT!!! Yes, by this time the “GATOR” Dolphins were crazy bug-eyed “GATOR” fans back in the SWAMP!!! Just writing this brings back the goose bumps of the moment. The Broncos got the onsides kick. I wish every GATOR in the GATOR NATION had been at what will always be known as “THE GAME.” Now, “TEBOW” had to drive for a touchdown AND two-point conversion with no timeouts. Yes, we were all chanting “TEBOW” and GATOR CHOMPING like we were back in the SWAMP. It had nothing to do with our Dolphins, we were not cheering against the Dolphins. We had been transported back to the SWAMP.

    With 0:17 on the clock, the Broncos score THE TD!!! Pure bedlam broke out in the stands. WE WERE BACK IN THE SWAMP!!! The Broncos had transformed into the GATORS, with OUR “TEBOW” at quarterback. Being at a football game gets no better than that moment. The GATORS needed a two-point conversion against LSU/ALABAMA/AUBURN/GEORGIA/TENNESSEE and WE HAVE “TEBOW” taking the snap. Would “TEBOW” plow in, or throw his “Jump Pass” to the tight-end. WE WERE IN THE SWAMP. “TEBOW” walked in to the right untouched. The “GATOR” Dolphin fans were hugging and high-fiving our GATOR TAILS off.

    The win was anticlimactic after that. The GATORS had changed back to the Broncos. The Broncos won the toss, had a 3 and out, and punted. I was physically and emotionally spent by this time. The Dolphins began to move, then the Broncos forced and covered a fumble. The Broncos ran 3 runs, lined up, and kicked the field goal for the win. The reality that the Dolphins had lost set in.

    I played on a 0-6 football team. The humiliation is palpable. Football is a hard game. It takes hard work, hard play, and hard knocks to play football. No one plays to lose in football. Only winning makes the cost of playing football worth it. Losing only intensifies the pain. For those who are saying “Suck for Luck,” please stop. You are rubbing salt into the wound. If you are a DOLPHIN fan of whichever camp, you will LOVE your Dolphins. I will be at the next game, cheering for MY DOLPHINS!!!

    This is my story about “THE GAME.”

  8. @Bites,
    Unfortunately, if any first year journalism student wanted to write for the Sun, it would not be worth reading. Newspapers are dying, which is maybe why Pat and Robbie write so little, maybe the Sun can only afford to pay them part time! Any student stuck writing for the Sun would be at the bottom of their class, who wants to read that?
    I do not understand it, if the Sun want to survive, then they need to produce what no one else can, so hello, more local stories about the gators, maybe? But no, the guys like you and me must be a dying breed.

    What about the game? Georgia has not beaten anybody as good as us, I think we actually have a chance to win, even if Jeffcoby Driskett is the starting QB. Something about Georgia, they just can’t ever seem to be better than us, even in a down year!
    Go Gators!

  9. The ewe AKA Hurricanes AKA scUm had a game tonight. They built it up as a celebration of their old national champoinship BUT no once came. The place was more than half empty.

    I think Gator fans packed more butts into the stadium for the Gator celebration last Sundy the the ewe could muster.

    It looked like they held a private event for friends and family only. It sure is hard to figure out how they can get recruits when they have inferior facilities and no one goes to the games. There fans sUck.

  10. At this point the coaching staff has to come into question. I’ve seen little improvement in fundamentals, you know blocking and tackling and in particular penalties. These are all coachable items regardless of talent level. A competent staff should have been able to coax a victory over the last two weeks.