The Sunday Blog, Week One


I have had a vote in the Associated Press poll before but not this year. They rotate the Florida vote around, which is fair.

So that’s not why I was up late Saturday night alternating between Colorado-Hawaii and ESPN’s highlight show. I just love the game.

So I’m voting anyway. Each week on this blog I will offer up my Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Top 25. In addition, you’ll get my four-pack of SEC thoughts from the weekend. So here we go.


1. Alabama: A summer of studying and one week of the season leads me to this conclusion.

2. LSU: The Tigers have the best win of the young season.

3. Oklahoma: The loss of two starting linebackers is the reason the Sooners are not No. 1 but that could change in two weeks.

4. Stanford: It’s a cautious vote because of the transition but Andrew Luck is really something.

5. Boise State: Very impressive in the opener.

6. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are going to put up amazing numbers this year.

7. Florida State: I don’t think that will be the Seminoles’ last shutout.

8. Nebraska: Huskers are my national title pick.

9. Wisconsin: Can’t wait for Huskers v. Badgers.

10. Oregon: If not for the turnovers, eh?

11. Texas A&M: Pending the Sunday afternoon game.

12. Virginia Tech: Hokies have to stay focused.

13. Arkansas: Does any league have as many big games as the SEC?

14. South Carolina: It’s going to be an interesting season.

15. Michigan State: I’m in show-me mode with the Spartans.

16. Ohio State: Good start after awful off-season.

17. Florida: Count me impressed with debut but road ahead is tough.

18. West Virginia: Again, pending Sunday night game.

19. Penn State: Think Joe Pa will stay in the press box?

20. Missouri: Solid team with a chance this year.

21. Mississippi State: I might have undersold the Bulldogs in the preseason.

22. Arizona State: Want a darkhorse BCS team? Try the Sun Devils.

23. South Florida: I hope it was sunny in Tampa Sunday.

24. Houston: Is this Kevin Sumlin’s last year there?

25. Hawaii: I know Colorado stinks but I was impressed.


Four things that hit me on the first weekend of SEC football:

1. There is no better drama than South Carolina’s quarterback situation. I’m going to miss Stephen Garcia. Steve Spurrier started Connor Shaw and the Gamecocks fell behind 17-0. Gacria came in and led his team to 56 points. And Spurrier said the quarterback competition isn’t over. This quote about Garcia after the win over East Carolina is classic Spurrier: “He was ready to play, he’s had a good attitude about it. He cleaned up today, shaved up his beard, decided to act like a quarterback. I think the guys really admired and respected him for cleaning up and getting ready to play.” Stay tuned.

2. I’m not one to believe that a coach can face a must-win game in the second week of the season. Let’s say South Carolina beats Georgia Saturday and the Bulldogs reel off 10 straight after that. Mark Richt’s job is safe, right? Why are you laughing? Hey, I know the seat is warm for Richt and the loss to Boise State was a bad start even if the Broncos were favored. What’s more alarming is that Georgia didn’t look like a well-coached team. Richt has lost nine of his last 11 games against top 10 teams and the Bulldogs are 14-13 in their last 27 games. That’s not good.

3. Most of the people I talked to Saturday afternoon thought the Auburn-Utah State game was a perfect way to start the day. They wanted a close game but they certainly didn’t want the SEC to suffer an embarrassing loss. Auburn’s opening game was more evidence why I don’t gamble. I thought the lock bet of the year was to bet the over on Auburn’s over/under for wins at 6.5. Anyone want the over now? The Tigers have issues, especially on defense.

4. Overall, it was a decent weekend for the league. The SEC went 10-2, split the two big games (losing the one where the other team was favored). Winners from the weekend: Alabama, Mississippi State and LSU. Losers — Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia.


  1. Pat,
    It was a “decent week” (BUT -Baylor @ T.C.U. was amazing) and a REALLY GOOD START FOR ‘The Muschamp Era’. I would put U.S.F a lil’ higher …I agree the road ahead for FLA. is gonna’ get TOUGH soon!!!
    I was VERY IMPRESSED with the SIDE-LINE COACHING (I forgot what it looked like) with Weiss and the QB’s on the bench & Muschamp and his dry-erase board with the DEFENSE. I think the offensive game plan was very BALANCED with 197 rushing & 271 passing. The LINES both offense and defense played STRONG!!! The D.B.’s played more mature than I thought they would…OVER-ALL~ It’s great to be a FLORIDA GATOR, AGAIN!!!

  2. Let’s see how Brantley performs against Alabama and FSU. He looked good on Saturday, but I want to see him up against some serious competition. His footwork still bothers me, and so does his decision-making. Alabama’s and FSU’s defenses will show us what he’s made of.

  3. Can’t really know from FAU …. suppose a small fry “crummy” team beats
    FAU by 21 points ?? Brantley did better , but receiving unit did not break
    into the downfield-clear… Brantley threw too much into too tight coverage.
    Driskel okay for first-ever but give him the deeper patterns to use his cannon arm & do some sweeps to pitch to Rainey/Demps or QB keeper.
    Need more & better off tackle OL blocks for speedbacks breakthroughs …..
    maybe more rotation with Gilleslee for change of styles still good.
    Driskel was allowed no dump-off passes to get warm; he was given a longer pass to complete than Brantley was set up with…. get Sherrif Floyd back ??? If Burton is the do-all weapon his injury could have cost us
    14 points !!! GO MORE GATORS , go more !

  4. NCAA keeps Sharrif Floyd away from playing with his only team …. due to another school’s wrongdoings. A 17-18 year old does not visit a major university & tell them how to toe the line during his guest-ship.. But if that young man-kid turns away from the “possibly violating” college and chooses an unblemished school, it seems to me that kid could be innocent ’til guilty & possibly patted on the back for rightful chosing.??

  5. I went thru a bad spell : chosing > choosing …. ignorants is blitz ?
    Can’t wait ’til Omarius Hines + Jordon Reed contort the defenses, along with
    Trey Burton.
    Quick , get Sharrif Floyd in line & let the pass rushers chomp wild !

    Go Gators… go to contending again . Stuff ‘Bama & LSU.

  6. Congratulations to the Gators on their win on Saturday. I will preface my comments with the admission that I am old-school as a player, coach and Gator booster. One thing that bothered me during the game was injured A.C. Leonard standing on the sideline with his shorts down to mid-thigh. Granted he had his jersey tucked in the shorts, but the way he was wearing them begs the question why have any shorts on at all? Hopefully the coaching staff will remind all players that they are representing THE University of Florida and their appearance and actions are part of that. On another point, I’m not usually very tolerant of excessive dancing, etc. on the field. However, I was almost moved to acceptance by Dominque Easley who proved to be a beast during plays and quite the dancer between them. He seemed to fire up the crowd by his play and his dancing. So I’m thinking, “Okay, this is a new era.” Then midway through the third quarter, he has to leave the game due to cramps…maybe in the future, fewer dance moves will translate to more time on the field.