Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Headlines: Wow, Donovan must have had some low, low expectations

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Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan said Monday he feels the Gators have overachieved this year. WHAT!?

Overachieving would have been winning either the SEC Tournament or regular season title. Or making the NCAA Tournament. Or not losing to Georgia. Actually, making the Big Dance wouldn't even have counted as overachieving, that would've been par for the course.

Forward Alex Tyus had the best response: “He feels like we overachieved? Really?"

Probably not really. Perhaps Donovan meant the Orlando Magic, who are currently third in the NBA's Eastern Division.

Anyway, the Gators can keep their magical NIT run alive tonight with a win against Penn State. A berth in the semifinals in NYC is at stake. Here's a good breakdown of how the program performed this season, from the Miami Herald.

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UF football coach Urban Meyer is in the bracket spirit. His Web site, coachurbanmeyer.com, currently has a bracket available -- complete with video clips -- for fans to vote on the top moments from the 2006 and 2008 national championship seasons.

No surprise here, "Tebow's Promise" landed a one-seed.

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Lastly, check out this feature on incoming UF linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Dude used a computer program to help pick what college he'd attend. He's also a physical freak, karate master, and straight-A student.

Highlight film here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Harvin's Wonderlic Score: Well, at least he beat Chris Leak

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Percy Harvin's 40-yard dash time, route-running and dynamic college resume are no doubt impressive to NFL scouts, but here's something that's not.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Harvin racked up an 12 on the Wonderlic test. Now, that's not as bad as Vince Young's (alleged) 6 or former Gator Chris Leak's 8, but that's not encouraging when Harvin (pictured, at least he beat his high school jersey number) is expected to play receiver, running back and kick returner at the next level.

FAN IQ says a 10 indicates literacy and a 20 shows average intelligence, meaning the receiving crop as a whole is a few DVDs short of a box set, if you know what I'm saying.

Here's a look at some of the other WRs, from the Tribune's list:

Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech: 15
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland: 14
Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina: 11

Missouri's Jeremy Maclin was the bright spot, tallying a 25. Looks like he'll be the head of the class at Rookie Camp.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

World's Largest Indoor Cocktail Party?

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There has been a lot of talk in the past of moving the Florida-Georgia game away from Jacksonville, and according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the day may be coming.

The game has been played in Jax since 1933 (except for 1994 and 95, when the Gator Bowl was being renovated for the Jacksonville Jaguars), but the current contract will expire after next year's game. The Atlanta Sports Council is trying to talk UGA into lobbying for a venue change when they negotiate a new contract so the council can host the game once every four years in the Georgia Dome.

Naturally, UF athletics director Jeremy Foley isn't a fan. He told the AJC:

“Obviously, we have heard of these kind of discussions before. We have been strong proponents of keeping the game in Jacksonville and that has not changed. I have a great deal of respect for (UGA athletics director Damon Evans) and I know that he must do what he thinks is best for the University of Georgia. We believe the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville is a great tradition and we look forward to maintaining that tradition.”

Now, if you're Damon Evans, why wouldn't you want to host the game in Atlanta every once in a while? Georgia fans have always complained about the distance issue (Jax is about 90 minutes from Gainesville, more like 6 hours from Athens), so why not throw the Dawgs a bone?

I don't think it'll give the Bulldogs any kind of advantage in terms of support. There's a huge population of UF fans in Atlanta (after all, this happened. Note: you can't get a UGA plate in Florida), and they'll show up in full force. The atmosphere is pretty even in Jacksonville too, I think it's just more of a pride issue.

I've always been in favor of shaking this rivalry up a little. The neutral site thing is okay, but not great for me. I'd like to do it on a rotating four-year schedule between Gainesville, Atlanta, Athens and Jacksonville. The game would move around enough to satisfy the fans who say a regular home-and-home would take away the novelty that people seem so attached to. You also get to keep the neutral atmosphere two out of four years, or, if you want to get really wild, sell Sanford Stadium and The Swamp half and half like they do in Jax. It'd be pretty cool for players to experience all four environments in a career.

Here's my only problem with the Georgia Dome: it's a great place, but shouldn't it be reserved for the SEC Championship only? It's one thing for Alabama to play Clemson in an out-of-conference game there, but am I the only one who thinks it's weird to have Florida and Georgia play in the Dome to determine who goes back there a few weeks later for the conference title? The motto of almost every SEC team at the beginning of the season is "Get to Atlanta," and I think playing UF-UGA there would take something away from that.

What do you think? I'm open to ideas, just don't bring that "The-Landing-is-soooo-cool-what-would-we-do-without-it" garbage in here. 360 days of the year, The Landing sucks. It's just a mostly-empty area with some restaurants and bars that's near water where people get drunk before the game, and I think history has proven that people can stand around and get drunk anywhere, so that's not enough reason to hold the game in Jacksonville.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You will never see a wall as strong as this wall

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The Heavener football complex outside The Swamp is now protected by the aura of Tim Tebow. I stumbled across this on my way through campus on Tuesday, and I had to look twice to make sure it was real. If I only had 10 seconds to explain to someone how out-of-control TebowHype has gotten, I'd just show them this.

UF has put a plaque up outside its new football facility (in the southwest corner of the stadium) honoring Tebow's speech after the Gators' 31-30 loss to Mississippi back in September (not mentioned on plaque). Tebow's heartfelt apology and promise may or may not have spurred Florida on to its ass-kicking run to a national championship, but if you listen to some people, it stacks right up to The Gettysburg Address as one of the greatest things ever said by anyone.

Does it strike anyone as odd that UF would erect a plaque like this for a player who still has another season left?

I'm becoming more and more convinced that before he leaves Gainesville, there will be little reminders of Tebow all around town, culminating in a giant, Touchdown Jesus-themed mural of him that will cover the tops of several buildings and be visible from space.

Here are a few other ideas I came up with for UF to leave Tebow kiss marks all over town:

1. Place eye-black strips on all campus statues emblazoned with Philippians 4:13, the Bible verse Tebow wears on his face during games.
2. Re-engineer the UF campus layout to spell out "TEBOW" from an aerial view. I'm pretty sure a Virginia Tech grad who designed some buildings at the University of Virginia spelled out "VT" with his work, so it can be done.
3. Plot a jogging trail through Gainesville with a commemorative stone representing each touchdown Tebow accounted for in his UF career. Space them out the number of yards that each score covered.
4. Have that trail end in the soon-to-be-constructed on-campus cemetery, where this awaits on the ceiling.
5. Open a Filipino restaurant on campus. All meals will be delivered by employees jump-passing the food to customers across the counter.
6. Campus police will trade in their Tazers for Tebow-themed punishment utensils, such as a night stick with an extendable replica of Tebow's arm that fires out at the push of a button to mimic a Tebow stiff-arm.
7. All TVs on campus will show the following two clips on a 24-hour loop: Clip 1, Clip 2

Got any ideas?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Headlines: Brandon Spikes might kill someone Saturday

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Brandon Spikes is one scary man.

He's a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the top defensive player in college football, and he leads Florida with 70 tackles, most of which inflict a considerable amount of pain.

So, I'd understand if any of The Citadel's running backs "trip" or "dive for the extra yard" before Spikes can get to them, especially after what the junior linebacker said Wednesday.

Not only is he not letting up when the Gators host the Bulldogs this weekend, he's looking for his signature hit of the season, aka knocking someone out of the game.

Now you might be thinking, 'Hey, that lick on Knowshon Moreno was pretty solid,' but nope, that didn't satisfy The Predator, who patterns himself after guys like Dick Butkus, because "They're really violent, so I try to mold my game after guys like that."

Spikes has a little experience taking out quarterbacks, like the time in high school when he knocked a kid out cold and stood mesmerized as his victim nearly swallowed his mouthpiece and had to be carried off the field.

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Meanwhile, the rest of UF's defense won't be taking it easy on The Citadel, either. The Gators are gunning for a shutout.

Standing in their way is Bulldogs receiver Andre Roberts, allegedly the "Percy Harvin of Division 1-AA."

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It'll be Senior Day in The Swamp, but forget about those guys for a second. The real story here is the potential of Florida's juniors fleeing Gainesville after this season. Spikes, Harvin and Tim Tebow are all in line for huuuuge NFL paydays, and none of them have made up their minds yet.

It's a safe bet that Spikes and Harvin will bolt, but Tebow is getting really hard to figure out. My money says a national title this year will send Tebow packing. He won't want to go out without a championship of his own.

If you're looking for a senior to root for though, make it running back Kestahn Moore. K-Mo has been resigned to mostly blocking duties, and he does it with a smile. Kestahn may not have the flash Jeffery Demps or Chris Rainey provide, but he's still a valuable part of the team. Urban Meyer even thinks he has an NFL career ahead of him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daily Headlines: I just want my tickets!

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Looks like former Florida CB Jacques Rickerson is back at it again. You know, maybe we should give him a break, he was probably just trying to find those Ticketmaster fellows who wouldn't let him say he was from the U.S when he was trying to buy SEC Championship tickets. No worries, Jacques, the cheapest tickets on StubHub are only like $250.

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In today's feel-good news department, we turn to Brandon McArthur, the UF baseball player that has faced so much adversity in his career. He has been given the President's Volunteer Service Award. Apparently, Bush CAN do some things right.

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And Florida fans that are thinking of skipping the trip to Gainesville and paying $25 to watch it on TV may want to consider that this Saturday could be the last time three great Gators suit up in the Swamp. Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are all but gone, and Tim Tebow will face a decision after the season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Headlines: Uhhh...What?

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Florida coach Urban Meyer talks often about the importance of recruiting close to home, but it looks like he has failed in the most literal sense of that mantra, as his daughter, Nicki, signed a volleyball scholarship with Georgia Tech on Monday.

This is devastating news for two reasons. 1. She's good-looking, and we never want to let those get away from Gainesville. 2. This is going to make the inevitable arranged marriage between Nicki and quarterback Tim Tebow a lot harder to work out.

It's clear now though, Tebow is going to enter the NFL Draft, force the Atlanta Falcons to trade Matt Ryan and then join the Dirty Birds to get close to Nicki.

It's the only way. Matty, you understand right?

Anyway, it's a little surprising that Nicki would go to Tech, No. 58 in the current RPI, when she lives right next door to UF and its No. 11 Gators. I mean, it's not like her dad couldn't have gotten her a scholarship, especially since he's had no problem getting involved in gymnastics recruiting.

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Hey, remember that Web site FireDanMullen.com?

Yea, not so popular after the Gators have ripped off six-straight victories, and now teams are going to be hunting Florida's coordinators and throwing money at them.

Oddly enough, UF offensive line coach Steve Addazio, best known for providing the team with his profanity-laced "Vitamin Addazio" speech the morning of games, may be the first to get a shot at a head coaching job, as his name has popped up repeatedly in the Syracuse search.

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In his Monday press conference, Meyer talked about Percy Harvin's prospects as an NFL player, Utah's chances in the BCS, and Barack Obama's crusade for a college football playoff.

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And read why UF's defense might be better next season, even if linebacker Brandon Spikes (right) leaves for the NFL.