Five at Five: Florida’s 5 most important games

Florida quarterback Chris Leak (12) scrambles away from Miami's Bryan Pata, lower right, during the first half of the 2004 Peach Bowl in Atlanta. [John Amis/Associated Press]

Each day this week, Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley will give you five things having to do with this Florida college football season to help you get through the summer. Each day they will be posted at at 5 p.m. Therefore, “Five at Five.”

Today: Florida’s five most important games in order.

  1. Miami: There may not be anything on the line in terms of conference championships or even a state title because both teams still have to play FSU. But with a week off after this game, it’s vital Florida wins it to keep the momentum going coming off last year’s 10-win season. And there is also a national audience with no other games to watch. Yes, the bragging rights are huge, especially considering Florida has lost seven of the last eight games, but this is about the present more than the past. I can’t see Florida having a big season without this win.
  2. Georgia: It’s pretty obvious why this is big. The Bulldogs have emerged as a national power and the Kings of the East, even if it’s only been for the last two seasons. You win this game, you are likely going to Atlanta and you get some added credibility with recruits.
  3. At Missouri: What? Yep, Mizzou has been a pain in Florida’s rear end since joining the league winning four of the last six and beating the Gators by at least 19 points in all four wins. Florida has to figure out a way to get fired up for the trip to Columbia, Mo., which certainly did not happen in last year’s 38-17 loss at home.This year it is the last conference game of the season and is followed by a bye week. Should be interesting.
  4. Auburn: Remember when Florida and Auburn were big rivals? This is big for a number of reasons and none of them have to do with the fact that it is Homecoming. Nobody is sure how good the Tigers will be, but at home it will be a crucial game for Florida’s SEC hopes.
  5. At LSU: The series has been skewed by each team playing two straight home games, but we know this game will come down to the wire because it seems to happen lately. Dan Mullen only won once in Baton Rouge while at Mississippi State.


  1. I agree that Mizzou has been a thorn in our side, but FSU just has to be on this list. We need to keep kicking the Seminoles as long as they’re down for state bragging rights and for recruiting purposes. I agree w/ Miami at #1 to set the tone for the season, but FSU and UGA are tied at #2 IMO.

    • I agree, FSU needs to be #1. Auburn… do they still play in the SEC? UM needs to be on there… maybe #3, just because they are in-state and we need to return to dominance in Florida (and we don’t get a chance to play both teams that often). UGA at #2 because that is for the SEC.

      Missouri is a decent one to add… Same with LSU @ #5. UK would have been a good one too.

  2. 5 at 5? Evidently Pat is a fan of FOX News’s Five at Five, but who can blame him? Near super models wearing cocktail dresses talking aimlessly over each other? The only thing missing is cocktails.

    Missouri is the thorn in the Gator paw, thanks Triple-Sided. I feel good about our chances with the other four, but there has been an ugly theme established with the newest Tiger on the block.

    If we destroy scUM, we will have a HUGE target on our program, because everybody fears the reawakening of the Sleeping Giant. Let’s beat’em regardless.

    And Kentucky should be 5 1/2. Revenge is difficult when you know the laser pointer points prominently at the opponent looking at you, thinking of 29 losses in a row and playing at home.

  3. games like missouri and kentucky aren’t the season makers, they are only downside if you lose. FSU always makes the list imo as they are a rival, as is auburn miami and the others on the list.
    the national news is all about what happened with jimbo at the end of the florida state years. Taggart starts slow but there is belief he can restore them and soon, because what unraveled was mental, just like here. they blame jameis, and i dont see him making it for the buccaneers – point is leadership wins games, and they had talent but no leaders. I root for our rivals because that works out to be good for us, except i cant root for georgia for anything, and south carolina is not a rival so i don’t root for them either.

    • MVeal You are right Missou if we lost to them only matters if that tips our season but is usually not a season maker or season breaker. While they have had some good seasons they have been marginal at best.
      1 UM it starts here!! this will set the tone of the season.
      2 UGA we have to stop the leg lifters from regaining a long term run Listed by importance not by schedule.
      3 LSU Ogeron is building something and we need to let him know we are not willing to trade wins every other year.
      4 and 5 could be several on our schedule Auburn, FSU, Tennessee even.
      I also agree with Jaws below every game is important and we can’t look past or dwell on our mistakes. One foot in front of the other, one win after another.
      To steal a phrase from Toy Story. To the SEC championship and BEYOND!! ok I changed to fit my needs.

  4. INCORRECT! Every game is equally important. There is an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying my Grandmater used to sing to me when I was a child. As I sipped my evening tide squirrel broth would she squat next to my cot trill : The black bear you deem unimportant will maul your face and take your picnic basket leaving you both hungry and grotesquely scarred for life. Also, Eat beets to beat your opponents. To be the best, you mist beet yourself repeatedly. But it sounded more dire in German.

    Guest Post from Dwight K. Shrute, owner and proprietor, Schrute Farms Bed and Breakfast. We are available for weddings, funerals and Jugendfeier jubilations.

  5. THE GEORGIA GAME ‘CAUSE THE DOGS ALWAYS HAVE AN EXCUSE WHEN THEY LOSE. IN 1996 SPURRIER BEAT THEM 56-17 (i THINK). THE DAWG FANS i KNOW COMPLAINED ABOUT BAD CALLS AND POOR coaching. they said to me “wait til next year.” I did wait. 364 days later, it was 47-7 Gators. Still the didn’t shut up. They never do. They always have an excuse.

  6. UM, sets the tone for the whole season. Plus it was the first game I watched as a Gator, 4-31. Who scores only four points? Then I was at the Brock Berlin game when C4 was running roughshod over the Canes when the bottom fell out in the third quarter. That and the choke at doak I will never in my life understand. I hate UM. Need them (and Auburn) back on the schedule every year.

  7. Back in the 80s, my favorite game every year was the Auburn game. In an era of heavy run game and heavy defense, it seemed like every year the Gators and the Tigers brought the heaviest defensive lumber. Every offensive series was a war. I was so disappointed when the division split left the Gators with LSU as a permanent opponent while Dawg Scum got Auburn. I get that they have played more often and the rivalry with LSU is great fun. But my Old School sensibilities still long for the good ol’ days of the Gators and Tigers playing the roughest “cold tub” game every year.