Whitley's Believe It Or Not: Will AR-15 be a Gator in 2022?

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
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Before we discuss Ed Orgeron’s chances of starring in “The Harvey Weinstein Story,” let’s ponder Anthony Richardson’s chances of remaining at Florida.

70-30, I’d say.

If Gainesville had a tall building, Gator fans would have jumped off it Saturday night after Richardson did not swear he’d never transfer to a team that can hold LSU under 49 points.

“Umm, I can’t really speak on that. Time is the only thing that will tell,” Richardson said after the Baton Rouge breakdown. “But right now, I’m a Gator.”

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Richardson tried to clarify that Sunday, tweeting he is “a Gator through and through.” I believe he’s sincere, but that doesn’t alter Florida’s QB quandary.

Richardson has been content playing the apprentice to Emory Jones. But after directing four second-half TD drives against the Tigers, AR-15 knows more than ever he’s got the goods.

Will it bother him if Dan Mullen sticks with Jones as the starter? Will he chafe if he doesn’t get a ton of meaningful snaps in what’s left of the season? Will Jones head for the exits if he’s benched?

These are things we just don’t know, but Mullen has to factor them in as he ponders his next move. Navigating the Transfer Portal World is tricky, but that’s why Mullen gets the big bucks. The portal world has one foundational truth:

You can’t keep everybody happy.

With all due respect to Jones, he’s not the quarterback the Gators most need to keep happy. ...

Speaking of getting paid the big bucks, LSU will pay Orgeron $17 million to not coach after this season. If you think that’s excessive, Jimbo Fisher has a $95 million buyout if Texas A&M fired him “without cause” this year.

On a related note, Elon Musk made $12.7 billion last week thanks mostly to a jump in the value of Tesla stock. He’s now worth $214 billion. I’m not sure what Musk’s buyout would be, but I’m pretty sure not even Texas A&M could afford it. ...

In a precursor of the Tennessee-Ole Miss fiasco, an Iowa fan threw a can of Bud Light onto the field during Purdue’s 24-7 upset of the Hawkeyes. Boilermakers’ offensive lineman Greg Long picked it up and poured the suds through his facemask into his mouth. If Long doesn’t have an NIL deal with Bud Light by next week, somebody at Anheuser-Busch should be fired. ...

On a related note, British media reported last week that doctors have advised Queen Elizabeth to give up her daily martini. The 95-year-old Queen said she couldn’t stop until this week. She needed a stiff drink to make it through Sunday’s Jaguars-Dolphins game in London. ...

Raise your hand if you ever thought you’d see a top-25 football poll where Florida was not ranked but Coastal Carolina, Wake Forest and USTA were? I didn’t even know the U.S. Tennis Association had a football team. ...

Now that Jon Gruden’s been canceled, it’s fishy that the NFL refused to release any of the 650,000 emails it gathered while investigating the Washington Football Team. Next, Dan Snyder will destroy 30,000 of them and say they merely dealt with his yoga classes and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. ...

Update: A review of Florida’s game tape revealed an LSU fan threw a keg of Old Milwaukee into the UF coaching box, and the defensive staff drank it. ...

Eddie Uh-O. The Athletic reported LSU’s $17 Million Man went a bit middle age crazy after winning the 2019 national championship. He filed for divorce a year later. Along the way, Orgeron hit on a woman at a gas station, not knowing she was the wife of an LSU poobah. She told him she was married and pregnant.

“Hey, so am I!” Orgeron reportedly said.

Stud of the Week: Chloe McCardel, a 36-year-old Australian who broke her own record by swimming the English Channel for the 44th time. Ed Orgeron was reportedly paddling after her on 41 of them.

Dud of the Week: The Tennessee yahoos who rained beer cans, mustard bottles, fire, brimstone and at least one golf ball near the end of the Ole Miss game, causing a 20-minute delay. In response, Tennessee has decided to start cutting off alcohol and golf ball sales in the third quarter. ...

Correction: It’s apparently UTSA, not USTA. But ranked or not, I still think the Gators could beat them in The Swamp as long as UTSA doesn’t hand the ball to a tailback. ...

Correction II: After the woman told Orgeron she was married and pregnant, he actually said, “What does that matter?”

I am legally obligated to segue into an Urban Meyer joke here, but we are running out of space for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Until next week, please don't jump off any tall buildings.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley

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