November 10: at South Carolina
This game scares me more than any other on the schedule. Even more than the road game at LSU. South Carolina has a senior quarterback, a senior and two juniors at running back, and the best kicker in the conference. More importantly, South Carolina has Steve Spurrier.
Let’s face it: so far Steve has owned Urban Meyer. He won their first game together in 2005, and would have won last year if not for Florida blocking an astounding three kicks in that game. When Steve decides he wants to beat a team year in and year out, he gets it done. Just look at his 11-1 mark against Georgia. Despite his remarks in the offseason about still being a Gator when talking about UF defeating Ohio State in both national title games, he wants to beat Florida every time he has the chance. It’s in his nature.
He’s not doing it because he’s upset that he didn’t get a call after Ron Zook was fired. He said when he left Florida for the NFL that 12 years was plenty and that he didn’t want to become for Florida what Bear Bryant is for Alabama. He’s also said that he wants the challenge of doing something that’s never been done before. Winning the SEC at South Carolina certainly would fit that bill.
Now, not everything is guaranteeing that South Carolina will have a great year and be ready for Florida come November. First, the Gamecocks have a tough schedule: it has to play UGA, LSU, UT, and Arkansas on the road, and still has Clemson on the non-conference schedule. Second, Blake Mitchell, the senior quarterback mentioned above, has never really put a full year together between his ears, much less between the goalposts. Plus, with Spurrier’s bold declaration that South Carolina plans to compete for the conference title this year, they won’t be sneaking up on anyone.
Now don’t get me wrong – I have full faith in Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to figure out a way to win this game. However, I also have full faith in Spurrier to come up with a way to stay in the game long enough to have a chance to win at the end. With as much talent as the Gators have, Florida should win this game. Florida should have won in 2005 and won more convincingly in 2006.
I want to say that Florida will win this game, but there are absolutely no guarantees when Steve Spurrier is coaching in a game he really, really wants to win. Just ask Georgia.
November 17: FAU
You know what FAU stands for? Find Another University! Ha, ha!
But seriously, I heard that Howard Schnellenberger has got some talent down there, and he’s ready to get the Owls in contention for the Sun Belt Championship and possibly the program’s first bowl game. It’s a real study in contrasts when you compare FAU to its fellow new Div. I-A school buddy, FIU, because when you look at how they are…
You know what? None of this matters. FAU is getting an unholy beatdown. The end.