Watch them grow

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Here’s some advice for Florida fans who are down and out after consecutive SEC losses: stop worrying about wins and losses, stop fretting over the race in the Eastern Division, and sit back and enjoy watching this young team come of age over the second half of the season.

This is going to be fun.

Even in defeat Saturday night in Baton Rouge, the Gators looked like a very talented team that is now starting to come together and form an identity. It should only get better from here, as all these young players start performing with more confidence with each passing week.

The Gators might lose another game or two, they might finish second or third in the division, but by the middle of November this is going to be one of the best teams in the nation. LSU, of course, is the No. 1 team in the country and willing to take on all challengers. But, I have a feeling the Tigers would rather face someone other than Florida in the SEC title game in Atlanta.

Don’t want no rematch.

The Gators certainly would like to reach Atlanta and that goal remains intact. But UF’s first priority is the next practice, then the next game. Urban Meyer said Sunday he can’t wait to get back to work with this team. There is a lot to be excited about.

Tim Tebow is rapidly emerging as one of America’s best football players. Several veteran writers in the press box Saturday night were commenting on what a special player Tebow is and what a sensational player he can become if he continues down his current path. If the Gators rebound in the second half and Tebow continues to make touchdowns and highlight reels, his name should zoom up the Heisman charts.

But that isn’t what the second half of the season is about. It’s about a young team continuing to grow and improve.

Meyer said after the Auburn loss that everyone wants this growing-up process to move a little faster. Following the performance in Baton Rouge, there’s a chance it’s now going to accelerate.

The Gators seemed to take a giant step after the loss to Auburn two weeks ago, outplaying LSU for much of Saturday night’s game. Much has been made of LSU’s incredible talent level across the board. Well, the Gators seemed to match the Tigers athlete for athlete Saturday night. If UF makes a similar leap from the LSU game to the Kentucky game in two weeks, this team could start developing into something special.

For now, forget the wins and losses, forget the division race ” and enjoy watching this team develop.