|Holy shit...is that scoreboard right?|
Happy Friday from the Sunshine State, where Gator Nation is still partying like it's any year but the last two. I think I'll go with 2004...Ron Zook's lame duck season culminating with an unexpected win at newly dedicated Bobby Bowden Field. That's where my happy place is right about now. Expectations exceeded, but plenty of room for improvement.
Will Muschamp converted the last few non-believers last Saturday, present company included. I haven't stalked Charlie Strong on Twitter in almost two weeks (follow me @eViLGator). Co-workers are asking me for South Carolina and Georgia tickets. Life is good.
Throw in FSU choking away their season...as if winning the ACC matters...along with UGA and Miami getting absolutely destroyed, what you had last week was CFB's version of the perfect storm in the eViL G household. UF is nationally relevant again, and it feels pretty damn good.
Speaking of feeling good, I'd like to give a huge shout out to my father, who celebrated his 79th birthday yesterday. He spent the day doing what most 79 year olds do...taking a long ass nap followed by a celebratory birthday dinner. Sadly the celebration was cut short when my father took an unexpected blindside shot from UF safety Matt Elam, who got a little overzealous at the Ruby Tuesday salad bar. He's expected to make a full recovery.
Happy Birthday Sam Williams!! You did a great job raising me, in spite of having me to raise.
Alabama at Missouri
Missouri's maiden SEC voyage hasn't gone as planned. Georgia slapped Mizzou around in their house, followed by a woodshed beating at South Carolina. Now Saban's boys are coming to town, and I'm guessing Alabama is sick of hearing about how great South Carolina is. If Missouri was a professional wrestler, they'd be a career jobber like Jack Swagger or The Brooklyn Brawler...or perhaps Barry O...or Iron Mike Sharpe...never a threat to win, but they put on a good show for the fans.
Tide - 31
Mizzou - 9
Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech
Louisiana Tech is undefeated and ranked #23 in the nation. No one saw this coming back in September when Hurricane Isaac caused this game to be rescheduled. No one expected Texas A&M to be the SEC West's second best team either, but I give them the nod over an underachieving LSU squad. TAMU's young QB leads the SEC in total offense and their defense is solid. More importantly, the better the Aggies look, the better my Gators look.
TAMU - 28
Karl Malone U - 17
Tennessee at Mississippi State
You know who's not thrilled about Louisiana Tech being ranked? A growing faction of Tennessee fans ready to send Derek Dooley back to Louisiana Tech, where Barbara Dooley's baby boy compiled a sparkling 17-20 record. Dooley's signature win at UT was against Cincinnati, and he's yet to defeat a ranked team. Enter Mississippi State, who cracked the Top 25 recently. Talent isn't the issue in Knoxville, it's attitude and coaching. Tennessee should wax Mississippi State. If they don't, I expect Dooley to be long gone from Knoxville this time next year...which would suck because beating Derek helps ease the pain of a childhood filled with losses to his father. I'm keeping hope alive.
Vols - 38
MSU - 31
Florida at Vanderbilt
There's no discord in Gator Nation these days...only harmony, unity and puppy dog kisses. Over on the world's most dangerous internet message board, arguments about the direction of UF football have all but vanished. All the pissing and moaning over UF's offense...gone. The most contentious topic of conversation over there these days centers around who has the best donuts, Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, and everyone knows Krispy Kreme is Dunkin Donuts' bitch. There are three convenient Dunkin Donuts locations within a 10 minute drive from my house. The closest Krispy Kreme store to my house burned to the ground a couple nights ago. They should change the name to Extremely Krispy Kreme. Oh yeah...the pick...
Gators (DD) - 34
UF's Bitch (KK) - 13
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Mack Brown and Bob Stoops continue to underwhelm in games that matter. Good thing this is a noon game, because it would get lost in the shuffle.
Sooners - 1.0
Horns - 0.2
South Carolina at LSU
Gator Nation's greatest fear has been realized. Steve Spurrier has South Carolina beating the crap out of some very good teams, not unlike his UF squads from the 1990s. Granted, Georgia has always been Spurrier's bitch, but this is easily South Carolina's best team ever...whether they win the SEC or not...and Steve Spurrier finally has a playmaking QB who isn't batshit crazy.
Auburn exposed LSU's offense several weeks ago, and LSU's all-world defense was exposed by what was thought to be a weak UF offensive line. South Carolina's defense is as good as Florida's, if not better, and that offense...damn...
At some point you expect South Carolina to pull a Clemson, turning a what appears to be a championship run into a Chik Fil'A Bowl bid. Saturday could be that day, but I'm holding out hope the Gamecocks wait another week.
Cocks - 21
Tigers - 7