A Few News Items

October 13, 2006

According to the Gainesville Sun, both Percy Harvin and DeShawn Wynn should be ready to go tomorrow. Florida has been very fortunate with injuries this year in that they have not been serious or season-ending injuries like what hit Ray McDonald and Andre Caldwell last year. All of those injuries came in the preseason, which gave the coaches time to plan for life without them. Keeping clear of the injury bug is something that all elite teams in particular years do, so that’s encouraging.

I also heard some interesting things on the local radio programs today. In the past 59 games in the Florida – Auburn series, the teams are 29-29-1, with the home teams having a considerable advantage. In fact, it took until 1973 for UF to get its first win ever at Auburn. This is not going to be some kind of cakewalk tomorrow. Dave Revsine also brings up the fact that Auburn has beaten a top-five team at home six times in its history, and three of those six times were Florida. Yahoo! Sports does mention that Florida has won 8 of 9 against Auburn, but the loss was in 2001 at Jordan-Hare.

One of the remarkable things about this team is about how balanced it is. Not too many people stand out statistically because so many guys are playing productive ball. Foxsports.com has a reprinted midseason report from CollegeFootballNews.com listing accolades for the first half of the season, and while it predicts UF to win the SEC title game (curiously, it says over Auburn, which means they must think the Tigers win this weekend), no Gators made the best players list. Even more puzzling is SI.com’s midseason All-Americans which has only Reggie Nelson from the Gators on the first team (which makes sense) but has only Marcus Thomas on the second team, andhe’s been suspended three of Florida’s six games.

The most satisfying to see though was ESPN’s midseason hot/not report, as the first pairing was Florida being hot and FSU being not. The most important thing year in and year out is how the Gators do in the SEC, but beating the Noles is something that never does get old, you know? For all the crap I have heard from Seminole fans since 2001 (the only year I’ve ever heard them be humble about a game since they were having a down year and were completely terrified of Rex Grossman), it’s nice to see them put in their place some. I hope when Bobby’s done they promote Jeff. I really do.

I am however, intentionally not linking to Mike Freeman’s latest disaster of a column. He basically says that Urban Meyer is undercutting Chris Leak’s Heisman chances by doing “gimmick” plays with Tim Tebow. If you need analysis as to why that’s wrong, I’d like to invite you to return to WarChant.com or your Miami fan message boards or what other Florida-hating corner of the net that you slunk out of to end up here. I think now that Freeman is writing for a website and not a newspaper, he’s taking the John Dvorak approach of writing highly inflammatory things in lieu of reality to drive page hits. The sad thing is that it’s a strategy that works. Freeman probably picks on Florida because after spending a year in Jacksonville he knows how passionate and downright irrational Gator fans can get. Plus, a lot of the rest of the country hates Florida because of many Gator fans’ arrogance. I hope everyone can just agree not to feed the troll anymore and just ignore whatever else he might spew out between now and the end of the season.

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A Couple Quick Things

October 13, 2006

Posting has been a bit sparse this week again thanks to having 3 final exams. All of my classes are modular, so they go half a semester, then a week off, then another half a semester. Module 1 just ended, so I had to study some non-football related things a lot this week.

Fortunately, the team really has been speaking for itself. I really don’t know how much more I can add right now. Of course, there’s plenty of people talking about the Gators now, and I’m going to get into that later today after work.

DeShawn Wynn was supposed to return to practice yesterday, so I’d imagine I’ll find out how that went on Brady Ackerman’s show this morning. He’ll be important, but Auburn’s real weakness is speed backs. Because of that, I expect to see more Percy Harvin (if his ankle is better than it was last week) and Jarred Fayson lining up with Chris Leak in the backfield. It also could be a big day for Kestahn Moore in that sense.

Also, tonight is Midnight Madness to kick off the basketball season, and of course I’m going to be there. There’s a volleyball game at 8 and then the basketball stuff begins at 10, so we won’t get a chance to see the new floor, though I expect that it will be painted the same as it has been in recent years. I won’t be at the volleyball since I’ll watching a couple friends perform “Carmina Burana” at the Phillips Center at 7:30, but I’m definitely there for the roundball at 10. What a great story they were last year, and they all came back too. I can’t wait.

Also, remember that basketball games are a great recruiting tool for football (and I mean beyond Cornelius Ingram). I met Ron Zook at a basketball game my freshman year, and he was there with about 30 recruits. The O’Dome was rocking, and we beat Tennessee by about 30 that night. Good times.