Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gator News

Florida gators continue to make their mark in the NFL. In week 14 of this season's NFL 22 former Gators were active and 14 started for their respective teams.  One of the key players was Aaron Hernandez who scored two touchdowns. We also want to give a shout out to Major Wright who started and recorded five tackles, a pass defense and an interception. Many other gators are on the injured reserve including Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Jeff Demps and Marcus Gilbert.

We saw some serious coach scrambling in the SEC at the close of the season. Let's start by welcoming Joker  Phillips to the University of Florida. After being let go by Kentucky the Gators swooped in and hired Phillips to coach wide receivers and serve as recruiting coordinator.

Tennessee picked up a new coach after Dooley disappointed the Volunteers one too many times. Butch Jones will be leading the Volunteer safter three seasons at Cincinnati, where he led the Bearcats to first-place finishes in the Big East. He had also been named the Big East Coach of the year in 2011. He has 50-27 career record. Tennessee was interested in former Gator coach Charlie Strong but he turned downed their overtures and appears to being staying at Louisville, at least for now. He did a superb job with the Cardinals and is set to face the Gators in the Sugar Bowl.

Arkansas has hired Bret Bielema as its new head football coach. He is the former head coach from Wisconsin and went 68-24 with the Badgers. During his seven years as the Wisconsin head coach, he led the team to three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances and three consecutive Big Ten championships, including a 70-31 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gators Blast FSU

What a pleasant surprise Saturday's game was against Florida State. With a weak offense, playing against one of the strongest defenses in the country I had little hope we would be able to score against the Seminoles. I have never been more happy to be proven wrong. An away game on a hostile field that displays a graveyard of past romps. this game was an outstanding victory for the Florida Gators.

The second half of the evening didn't go quite as well, when unbeaten Notre Dame refused to fall to USC. With a weakened quarterback position, the Trojans were unable to score when needed, but kept the game close enough to keep my hopes up until the end.

The real question is who will the Florida Gators play in the Sugar Bowl? It seems to be looking more and more like we could end up with a chump for an opponent. With Penn State and Ohio State not even bowl eligible and the loser of the SEC championship game not even going to a BCS bowl, the chance of some really good games seem less and less likely. I would love to play Oregon, but I don't think that will happen. Although I love ex-gator Charlie Strong, I really don't want to play Louisville. I do want to give him a big shout out though. He has done one heck of a job for the Cardinals and has proven to be a coach who knows how to win!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Florida in National Championship Hunt?

Wow, what a crazy week in college football. Although the Gator game against Jacksonville State was anything but exciting, Gators fans can feel that orange and blue blood pumping at the thought of traveling to Tallahassee Florida to play FSU on Saturday. Always a big game in the state of Florida, this game could have extra ramifications for the Gators, since a victory could give us hope at a shot for the National Championship.

How many of you caught Muschamp's press conference? I never knew he had such a good sense of humor. Unlike Les Miles who went on some sort of scary rant from hell, Muschamp joked about how the Gators wins have been anything but sexy. He went on to say that even his wife said the Gator's wins weren't sexy but he was, so that was all that mattered. What a hoot! I'm glad we have finally had a nice enough season for our coaching staff to relax a little and have some fun with the press.

So back to our championship hopes. I am sure most you gator fans have already done the math but just to re-iterate the highly unlikely opportunity this is what it will take to get us in the big game.  Lets look at the top 5 in the BCS poll:
  1. Notre Dame
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Florida
  5. Oregon
Number 4 Florida needs to beat Florida State and have Notre Dame lose to USC to be in position to go to Miami and play for the national championship. Don't forget either Georgia or Alabama will get a loss in the SEC Championship Game. Another scenario could be Georgia beats Alabama but loses to Georgia Tech. A less likely option would be for Alabama to lose to Auburn, although crazier things have certainly happened.

The best part is we have at least some control in our own destiny. By beating Florida State we can at the very least guarantee  a BCS bowl game, and with a little help we could be playing for another national title. However, if we  lose to FSU we can only look forward to spending New Year's in Orlando.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gators Struggle

Well a win is a win, but our game Saturday against those raging Cajuns was anything but pretty! Not only did it take a last second blocked punt and touchdown from our defense our quarterback was forced out of the game with an ankle injury. As of today, Driskel is listed as doubtful for next Saturday's game against lower-division Jacksonville State. Driskel sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of Saturday's 27-20 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.

On a positive note Brissett is a good quarterback and barely lost the starting position. He should be able to easily handle Jacksonville State, and it may even encourage the coaches to throw the ball more. When the pair were competing for the quarterback position Brissett had the stronger arm, while Driskel had the mobility.

After our lackadaisical game I watched Texas A & M crush Bama and enjoyed every second of it. It was exciting watching teams throw the ball around and I think its noteworthy that with all that passing, it was the running game that caused Alabama to turn the ball over. I felt a sigh of relief that we played Texas A&M at the beginning of the season, and not now when they have some experience behind both the rookie coach and quarterback. Johnny Football will be a problem for SEC opponents  in the coming years and may have a Heisman trophy in his future!

Shout out to Riley Cooper

Riley Cooper is a big impact player in the NFL. As a Philadelphia Eagle he has had some great plays, including a one-handed touchdown catch last week against the Cowboys.

Although this play didn't work out it was still a great effort by one of our beloved Gators. Riley Cooper laid down in the end zone lettering on the kickoff, then jumped up and caught the trick pass, racing down the sideline. Unfortunately, it was a clear forward lateral, and the play was negated.

Monday, November 5, 2012

We can  mark up another SEC win for the Florida Gators. It wasn't pretty but we got the W and in the end the win loss numbers are all that really matter. Before the game started, we had the dubious honor of leading the nation on running the ball on first down. We opened the game with two throws on first downs and quickly converted both times. Sadly it didn't take long before we were back to our old predictable self.

Statistics show that passing on first down is a smart play. Statistics also show that teams who jump out to a good lead often win the game. Just ask South Carolina about that. They had Georgia down 21-0 almost immediately and never looked back and we had the same effect on them when we manged to get 21 points without so much as a first down. That's why I'm confused why our strategy seems to be to score as little as possible, especially the first half. Our defense is one of the best in the country and our special teams has come through every time we needed them. But the rules of the game dictate, you must score the most points in the game to win, not merely keep the other team from scoring. When our offense does score it is usually because our defense or special teams gave them the ball on the pretty side of the field. Sometimes even that isn't enough for our offense though. Take for example the Missouri game when the defense gave us the ball only 20 yards from the goal line. We somehow managed to come out of that with zero points. Indeed if it had not been for all of Missouri's turnover's we had little hope of winning a game against one of the easier SEC opponents.

Brent Pease has a history of being aggressive and throwing the ball around to win. I wonder if he has changed his style this drastically or if Muschamp has him on a very short (and predictable) leash. In order to run the ball, we need to be able to confuse defenses. They need to line up and have no idea if we are going to run or throw. We have plenty of weapons but we seldom use them. I was shocked to hear during the game that Trey Burton completed his tenth reception for the year. How can we have that kind of talent and use him so little? Also passers and receivers need to be in sync and in order for that to happen, you need to throw the ball (a lot). My heart fluttered when we threw a beautiful pass to the end zone for a touchdown. Even though a holding call brought it back, it still was working, but we still prefer 2-5 yard passes over airing one out and catching the defense off guard.

Our next two games will provide little challenge and I for one am hoping the Gators use these fluff games to develop their passing game. We can still hold our heads high as  beloved fans this year, especially if we manage to crush Florida State. That won't happen though without a strong passing game and maybe some "Spurrier" type tricks up our sleeve.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gator Season

This has certainly been an exciting and nail biting season for the Florida Gators. Last weeks loss to Georgia was disappointing on multiple levels, but its time to look ahead and face our first SEC game against Missouri. On a side note its interesting to note that Muschamp has always been on the losing end of the Florida-Georgoa game. As a Georgia bulldog player he constantly loss, and now he is 0-2 as a coach.

I am hoping the Gators have put their loss behind them and will stay focused. We have some chump games coming up but we still have Florida State on the horizon and that could be a big win for us. I also hopr the loss let the coaches know that a passing game is needed to get the big wins!

Depending how you feel about Urban Meyer, you may be either happy or upset that OSU is having a stellar season. Of course since they are on probation there will be no Rose Bowl or BCS title game  at the end of the season, so winning all the games will only give them some bragging rights in their conference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shout out to our Baseball Team

The University of Florida baseball program boasted four first-team All-SEC selections for the first time since 1991!  Way to go Gators.  And now our beloved Gators are playing in the Men’s College World Series. The top-seeded Gator baseball team (47-18) will face eighth-seeded South Carolina (45-17) at 9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. The game will be aired live on ESPN/ESPN3.

The University of Florida is 80-58 (.580) all-time in NCAA Tournament action and has reached the CWS seven times: 1988, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010 and 2011. Last season, the Gators defeated Manhattan (17-3) and Miami (Fla.) twice (5-4 and 11-4) to sweep the Gainesville Regional before downing Mississippi State twice in three games to win the Gainesville Super Regional. UF claimed its bracket in Omaha to reach the CWS Championship Finals for the second time in school history and fell to South Carolina. This year we are looking to avenge the loss against the Gamecocks and go all the way!

Below is the schedule for the Games- We want everyone to have a chance to watch and support Florida's talented baseball team.

2012 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)

Friday, June 15

Game 1 – 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
(V) Stony Brook (52-13) vs. (H) No. 2 UCLA (47-14)
Game 2 – 9 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
(V) Arizona (43-17) vs. (H) No. 3 Florida State (48-15)

Saturday, June 16

Game 3 – 5 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3) 
(V) Kent State (46-18) vs. (H) Arkansas (44-20)
Game 4 – 9 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3) 
(V) No. 8 South Carolina (45-17) vs. (H) No. 1 Florida (47-18)

Sunday, June 17

Game 5 – 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6 – 9 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Monday, June 18

Game 7 – 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 8 – 9 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Tuesday, June 19

Game 9 – 8 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3)
Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6

Wednesday, June 20

Game 10 – 8 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3)
Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8

Thursday, June 21

Game 11 – 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)  
Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 12 – 9 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3)  
Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 8

Friday, June 22

Game 13 – 5 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3) or 9 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3) Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins Game 11.  If it is the only game scheduled for that day, the game will start at 8 p.m.

Game 14 – 9 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3)
Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12.  If it is the only game scheduled for that day, the game will start at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 23

No games scheduled


Sunday, June 24

Game 1 – 8 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN3) 
Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner

Monday, June 25

Game 2 – 8 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3) 
Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner

Tuesday, June 26

Game 3 – 8 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3) 
Bracket One Winner vs. Bracket Two Winner

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gators place 11 on All-SEC preseason team

The good news is that Florida's total number of All-SEC selections (11) is right up there with the big boys (LSU 17, Arkansas 12, Alabama 11, and Georgia 10). The bad news is they only have one first teamer (Kicker Caleb Sturgis) and no first or second team offensive players. In contrast, the big boys mentioned above have at least three first team selections (Alabama 3 off/3 def, LSU 1 off/3 def, Arkansas 3 off, and Georgia 3 def). Some of the reason could be the two new teams are siphoning off some of the spots (Texas A&M 7 total and Missouri 6 total). But much of the reason is the imbalance created by poor recruiting during Meyer's last few years and a lack of discipline that cost us some top talent along the way.
Notably absent from my discussion of big boys is South Carolina. Steve Spurrier's boys had 6 total selections with Marcus Lattimore (RB) as their lone first teamer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Will Hill, one year later, signs with NFL team

Will Hill has finally signed on with an NFL team. Hill left Florida as a junior last year with the hopes of being drafted by an NFL team. However, he was forced to sign with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League after going undrafted. Hill signed on Monday as a free agent with the New York Giants.

Georgia HS receiver commits to Gators

Columbus Carver's Marqui Hawkins, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound wide receiver prospect from Georgia, committed Monday to the Florida Gators. It is the Gators' 16th commitment to the 2013 recruting class.
Hawkins has been clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two former Gators sign with Ravens

Two former Gators, quarterback John Brantley and receiver Deonte Thompson signed Friday with the Baltimore Ravens. Brantley hopes to secure a spot as the No. 3 quarterback and Thompson is vying for a spot on special teams.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gators have plenty to smile about

I know the last two years have been down years as we have gone 15-13 and finished both seasons unranked. However, did you know Florida has the longest current stretch of winning seasons (24) and the longest current stretch of non-losing (.500 or better) seasons (32). So despite the lackluster years, we have managed to keep the streak alive, which is more than any other major program has been able to do over the past three decades.
This season will be better than the last two and I think Florida will challenge for the SEC East title. Their defense, which ranked eighth nationally in total defense (299.5 yards per game) and second nationally in third down defense, holding opponents to 48 first downs in 176 attempts last year. We return 10 starters on that defense and 14 of our 15 top tacklers.
Offensively, we will have a more experienced and deeper offensive line and our quarterback situation will be in better hands as both sophomores have been battle tested and have shown this spring that they have a much better handle on running the offense.
Additionally, the Gators had a top 5 recruiting year and some of the recruits will help immediately with depth and increase the competition for starting jobs, making us better overall.
Yes, Gator fans, there will be plenty more to smile about in the coming year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

UF Linebacker Graham Stewart to Transfer

For Florida Gator Graham Stewart one season in Gainesville was enough, he has announced his intention to transfer from the program. In high school Stewart led Xavier to a 13-0 record and a state championship. Widely recruited he chose Florida over Boston College, UConn, Iowa, Syracuse and Temple. He was a a four-star member of UF’s 2011 recruiting class, playing in 12 games this past season, mostly on special teams. Stewart also blocked a punt during the season finale game against OSU in the Gator Bowl.

Graham Stewart, who is from Connecticut has sited personal reasons for the transfer request. He is hoping for a NCAA waiver that will allow him to play next season for the University of Connecticut. Stating the need to be closer to his family Stewart has asked for a hardship waiver. Stewart is quoted as stating" “I appreciate my time in Gainesville and have nothing but good things to say about Coach Muschamp and the staff at Florida, but some things are more important.  I really need to be closer to home.”

Eligibility rules to change in 2016

In 2016, freshmen will have to meet new, more rigorous academic standards in order to play sports. They will be required to take and pass 16 core classes with at least a 2.3 GPA, up from 2.0. This is a good thing for schools, as students will have to take high school academics more seriously in order to play at the next level. For more on this story see ESPN's SEC Blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Howard, Rainey drafted

Seattle Seahawks selected Gator DT Jaye Howard in the fourth round Saturday and the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Gator RB Chris Rainey in the fifth round on Saturday.

Jenkins taken in the second round

Congratulations to former Gator cornerback Janoris Jenkins taken in the second round by the St. Louis Rams. He was the 39th pick overall.

No current Gators were selected in the first three rounds. In fact, it is likely the Gators will only have two Gators get drafted - DT Jaye Howard and RB Chris Rainey.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Janoris Jenkins Speaks Out

Janoris Jenkins has awesome talent as an athlete, but multiples decisions in his private life have caused speculations and may hurt his pick in the draft. Jenkins attended Pahokee High School, where he was recognized as a first-team Class 2B all-state selection and a Parade magazine All-American as a senior in 2008. Rated a four-star recruit by, Jenkins was listed as the sixth-best cornerback prospect in the nation when the Gators picked him up.

Now with the draft right around the corner, many teams seem to be veering away from picking Jenkins in the first round. Jenkins, the father of  four children from three different mothers, is quick to point out that is a good father and his fatherhood never got in the way of his abilities to play college football for the Gators.

What did get in his way however were bar fights and arrests for marijuana use. On June 1, 2009, Jenkins was arrested near a bar by Gainesville Police for fighting and resisting arrest after punching a man in the head around 2 AM. Police were forced to use a taser on Jenkins after fighting escalated. When asked why the fight started, Jenkins told police it was because he thought someone was going to steal the gold chain around his neck. On April 23, 2011, Jenkins was cited by a Gainesville police officer and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was cited for the same violation in January 2011, and paid a $316 fine. He was arrested in May 2009 during a downtown Gainesville fight that resulted in probation and community service. On April 26, 2011, he was dismissed by the Florida Gators football team, due to his second drug related arrest in 3 months. He played his senior year at North Alabama.

Lets face it many college students delve into smoking a little pot. The biggest problem with the marijuana use, is that Jenkins got caught not once, but twice, including after new Florida coach Will Muschamp came in and made clear that he wasn’t going to tolerate the off-field arrests that previous coach Urban Meyer had tolerated. But are these mistakes enough to hurt Jenkins in the draft?

Jenkins speed and agility make him a natural cover corner. As a Gator he became just the second true freshman in school history to start at cornerback on opening day raking in four tackles against Hawaii, and finished his freshman year just as strong with five tackles in the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma. His sophomore year Jenkins started all 13 games he appeared in and totaled 38 tackles on the season, including 33 solo hits. His Junior season Janoris Jenkins was named First-Team All-SEC pick by the AP and Second-Team All-SEC selection by the coaches’. A starter on the kickoff and punt coverage teams, his 67-yard interception return for a touchdown vs. Miami University is the fourth-longest in the SEC in 2010. Thirty-two of his 44 tackles were solo and he had one sack and six tackles for loss that season. Despite an 'average' build at 5-10, 193 pounds, he's willing in run support and has shown great toughness playing through pain. As such, he's a first round caliber prospect.

A true Gator, despite playing his senior year for a Bowden, we wish Janoris Jenkins good luck in the draft and hope the negative experiences are part of past! As Jenkins is quoted as saying "Whoever gets me is going to get a blessing, I’m a great guy.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gators pick up O-line transfer

The Gators picked up a key piece in their recruiting puzzle when Maryland offensive lineman Max Garcia officially transferred to Florida. The 6-4, 290-lb tackle played in all 12 games last year for the Terapins and is expected to contribute immediately after sitting out this fall due to NCAA transfer rules.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Playoff Possibilities

Everyone who reads Ode to the Gators knows that we endorse a 16-team playoff tournament in Division I college football (if you didn't it is listed at the top of our blog!). Now news is circulating about the BCS looking into designing a potential four-team playoff model. What has everyone shaking their heads is an option entitled "Four Teams Plus," in which the Rose Bowl would continue hosting the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions whether or not they qualified for a playoff.

The whole thing seems to be at its earliest stages since not even the Rose Bowl people knew anything about the option. While a four team playoff model is not what we are looking for, it is perhaps a first baby step in an effort to reconcile the playoff dilemma in college football.

To find out more read Stewart Mandel's article

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Can the Gators Pass?

Before Urban Meyer, the Florida Gators were known and feared for their awesome passing game. Passing was such a priority with Steve Spurrier that even Emmit Smith feared he wouldn't get enough touches. We threw quick, often and for long yards, often taking the opposition out of the game by halftime.

Every year Meyer had Tim Tebow throw a little less, a problem that has caused many to question if Tebow has an arm now  that he is in the NFL. So we want to know if Muschamp and our new Offensive Coordinator Brent Pease will bring the long ball back to the swamp. Which quarterback wins out as starter, may influence how much we throw the ball. During the spring Orange and Blue game Brissett (9-16-0, 233 yards, 2 TDs) showed off his arm, completing five passes longer than 20 yards. And Driskel (12-14-0, 147 yards, 0 TDs) showed accuracy and the ability to extend plays with his legs.

Could Fulmer Return to SEC

Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer denied on Wednesday that he had been contacted by Arkansas about the school's coaching vacancy. "I have not been contacted by Arkansas," Fulmer said. "But I think Arkansas is a great place."

Fulmer, 61, indicated the opening at Arkansas does intrigue him. "When I left Tennessee, I was asked if I would coach again, and I said I would consider it if it was at a place where I could compete for a championship."

So what do you predict Gator fans, will we see Phillip Fulmer as the new head coach for Arkansas?  I personally think it would be a good fit for both coach and team. The Razorbacks are in quite a pickle, losing their coach at this time of year and it will be difficult to find anyone with more experience than Fulmer. Plus since Tennessee fired Fulmer they haven't done any better, which leads us to believe it may have been a Tennessee problem and not a coaching problem. At 61 Fulmer will be hard pressed to get a better opportunity at a head coaching job, and by coaching in the SEC, he is already familiar with the teams and coaches. I guess time will tell if the rumors are right!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Steve Addazio Theme Song

We all remember when Gator Coach Steve Addazio was questioned on his play calling. Many gator fans were concerned he was coaching not to lose, instead of playing to win. Steve gave us an emphatic response in his interview. Play not to lose? I don't even know what that means. I play to win! So in honor of Addazio, we found a video that could be his (and the Temple Owls) theme song.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spurrier Speaks Up

Although we have dished Urban Meyer for being a liar and for declaring Florida was a "broken program", we still enjoy hearing from Steve Spurrier. Not just a Gator coach who gave us a national title, Steve Spurrier played his heart out for the Gators, winning a Heisman Trophy in the process. We all remember the pounding he gave Georgia in 1995, then his reply after the game stating " "We knew coming in nobody had scored 50 against them here, so that's what we wanted to do. This may be the only time in our lifetime that Florida plays here, so we wanted to make it memorable for the Gators."

Times haven't changed much and Spurrier is still disrespecting those Dawgs. His thoughts on the game against Georgia moving from the second to the sixth week of the season:
"I don't know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended."
How about Nick Saban's success at Alabama?
"He's got a nice little gig going, a little bit like (John) Calipari. He tells guys, 'Hey, three years from now, you're going to be a first-round pick and go.' If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they've always won there at Alabama."
And who does Spurrier think is the best coach in the SEC?
"I think it's Saban. He's considered the best. Les Miles is considered one of the best, when you look at number of wins. I believe you're as good as your record. You are whatever your record is. Don't give me any excuses or that you can't win at this place."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remove Meyer From Our Circle of Trust

Apparently, he’s not just Urban Liar; he’s Urban Hypocrite, too.  He created and fostered a toxic  locker room at UF and then shamefully set fire to it on his way out the door. After reading the results of a three-month investigation conducted by Matt Hayes of The Sporting News even Florida fans will have to admit that the coach who won them two national titles is as two-faced as they come.

Here’s all you need to know:  The Sporting News story starts with Meyer, the new coach at Ohio State, relentlessly pursuing Maryland prep All-American wide receiver  Stefon Diggs, who’d narrowed his choices to Ohio State, Florida and Maryland. According to The Sporting News story, multiple sources  said Meyer “told the Diggs family that he wouldn’t let his son go to Florida because of significant character issues in the locker room.”

And then Hayes correctly points out the hypocrisy: “Character issues that we now know were fueled by a culture Meyer created. Character issues that gutted what was four years earlier the most powerful program in college football.”

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gator Orange & Blue Game

I don't have to remind Gator fans that the last time the Gators played at home they were beaten soundly by Florida State in the regular-season finale. Following the game, Muschamp said his first Florida team was soft, later calling the admission one of the most difficult statements of his career. So how are the Gators looking after their spring game?

The good news was that Muschamp was smiling after the game. The Gators made obvious improvement in some key areas this spring. The offense looked sharp as both quarterbacks had a positive showing and seem to be continually improving.

The bad news was there were some injuries, notably Ronald Powell who tore his ACL.  Powell , a starting buck linebacker is a key player for our defense and had been named by Coach Muschamp as Player of the Spring. It looks like he will be out 4-6 months!

From Champs to Chomps- How Urban Meyer Broke Florida Football

 It was Meyer who declared the Florida program “broken” at the end of his last regular season game in Gainesville in November of 2010. But why was it broken?

Matt Hayes of the Sporting News blasts Urban Meyer for the ultimate harm he did to our program. According to the article there was an inner circle of players that had free reign while others were treated with total disregard.

“Over the last two years he was there,” one former player said, “the players had taken complete control of the team.” Only now, through interviews with multiple sources during a three-month Sporting News investigation, do we see just how damaged the infrastructure really was and how much repair work second-year coach Will Muschamp has had to undertake in replacing Meyer—who has moved on to Ohio State less than a year after resigning from Florida for health reasons.

Meyer denies allegations that he cast Florida and its players in a dark light when he spoke to the Diggs family, and said, “I love Florida; I’ll always be a Gator. My motives were pure as gold when I left. We left Florida because I was dealing with health issues that I’ve since learned how to control.”

Read more: at the sporting news

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shout out to UF

Measured by the sheer number of academic programs, colleges and research centers, the University of Florida is the largest university in Florida.  It is one of three flagship universities of the State University System of Florida, and, at close to 50,000 students, has the second highest enrollment of Florida universities.  UF has the sixth largest student population of single campus universities in the United States.  Florida is a land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant university.  The sea-grant status means funding and focus are given in scientific research, education, training, and extension projects geared toward the conservation and practical use of U.S. coasts and marine areas.  Space-grant universities maintain programs geared towards aeronautics and aerospace research and facilitation.  The space-grant program is administered by N.A.S.A.  Land-grant universities were first established in the 1860s for the purposes of dealing with the industrial revolution through the fields of engineering, agriculture, and science.  
The University of Florida is considered the most academically prestigious university for its relatively high placement on many publication lists attempting to quantify academic achievement.  The University of Florida is one of the largest research universities in the nation, contributes nearly $6 billion annually to Florida's economy, and is responsible for nearly 75,000 jobs.  UF is currently ranked 47th overall among national universities in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings.  

It has the largest budget of all Florida universities and has roughly twice as much of an endowment as the Florida State University, which has the second-largest endowment of any university in Florida.  Kiplinger’s magazine ranked UF second in a list of best value public universities in January of 2010, based upon costs, costs after financial aid, and average debt per student after school.  In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Florida as the 15th best public university in the United States.

The University of Florida is divided into 16 colleges and more than 100 research, service and education centers, bureaus and institutes, offering over 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate degrees. UF also offers professional degrees in law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine

Spring Quarterback

It may only be Easter, but we are already looking forward to the Gator Football season.  One big question on everyone's mind is the quarterback position. Driskel and Brissett entered spring camp in a battle to replace John Brantley, the Gators’ starter the past two seasons. Right now, honestly looking at going through the spring, I don’t know that we will name a starter after spring,’’ Muschamp said. “That to me is becoming more and more evident every day, that both guys [are players] that we can win with, bottom line."

" The game has slowed down for them,"  Muschamp said. “Both guys are competing at a high level, both have done outstanding things throughout spring. I'm very pleased with their progress as much as anything, just managing our football team and taking a command of the offense.” He added that due to “not much separation” between the two, the competition will likely remain open when fall camp starts in August".

Asked if an outstanding spring game from one of the two could prompt him to name a starter, Muschamp doesn’t see that happening. “In the long run of winning the job, it certainly does [matter],’’ Muschamp said. “But it’s not going to be D-day. Right now it’s too close to call as far as the competition is concerned to take one day over the others. “Would it be important? Certainly.” Third-stringer Tyler Murphy continues to work behind Brissett and Driskel, and when fall camp starts, incoming freshman Skyler Mornhinweg will provide depth at the position.

Gator Basketball

Ode wants to give a big shout out to Coach Donovan and the Florida Men's Basketball team. Although we were disappointed when they lost to Louisville in the final eight, we are proud to have made the final eight in the first place.  

Coach Billy Donovan fought emotions when asked to assess his team’s season;“Because of them being great kids, it was great to see them mature and grow because you don’t get to this point in time unless you have some substance,” Donovan said. “This is life. When you pour your heart and soul into something and don’t get the results you want, you find out how important it is and you find out reasons why you do things, and can you come back with the same level of passion and enthusiasm and excitement to get better.” 

The hurt from this loss will subside in time, leaving a promising group of UF underclassmen, assuming the roster returns intact.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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