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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Checking In, A Few Thoughts, Etc.

Hey, miss you guys. Just wanted to say hello, how’s it going, how’s everything, how’s your team doing, how’s your coach, how’s your quarterback, etc. It’s been a wild year so far, right? Alabama is what we thought it’d be. Not so much with L.S.U., however. But count me among those folks who think that the Tigers will be fine; from my vantage point, I think that L.S.U. is keeping a ton under wraps, and that come November, you’re going to see a few wrinkles appear with a national title berth on the line. Florida should scare Les Miles and pals, on the other hand – the Gators can play a little defense, it seems.

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    P.S.R. 1-124: Week 4 Re-Ranking

    With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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      Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

      Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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        P.S.R. 1-124: Week 3 Re-Ranking

        With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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          Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 2 (Sept. 8)

          Let’s not beat around the bush: this isn’t a great week. I mean, it’s great – better than what we’re used to, better than any non-football weekend – but it’s not great, all things considered. There’s no Michigan and Alabama to end the night; there’s no prime-time game on ABC at all, in fact. Instead, we’ll close our night with Nebraska and U.C.L.A., Georgia and Missouri and, later on, Arizona and Oklahoma State. Very, very intriguing games. But with perhaps the exception of Georgia, depending on how highly you think of the Bulldogs, these games don’t carry any title implications. That doesn’t make the games any less interesting – or change the fact that every game, especially while teams find their footing, carries some level of importance. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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            Looking for Revenue? Let’s Try a Swear Jar

            The gold standard for curse-word comeuppance comes via former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick: Tired of his colorful vocabulary, Billick’s family – I believe his children set the tone – implemented a swear jar; every time Billick let loose, he had to make a contribution. Did it work? Well, Billick did say during an N.F.L. telecast last September that the St. Louis Rams “had some sex with the no-huddle offense” – so old habits die hard, or not at all, even if there’s technically no curse word in that sentence. The latest to hear about his “potty mouth” is Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who was caught by an ESPN camera screaming any number of unmentionable dirty words during the Gators’ 27-14 win over Bowling Green.

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              No. 34: Florida

              Florida’s depth chart at the end of last season featured 37 freshmen and sophomores, which tied the Gators with Tennessee for the most in the SEC. Will Muschamp played 51 first- and second-year players altogether, the second-highest total in program history; Urban Meyer played 55 such underclassmen in 2007. Florida had nine scholarship seniors on the roster, the program’s third-fewest since 1951. Entering the season, Florida’s 148 returning starts were the third-fewest in the SEC. The 37 returning starts on defense ranked last in the conference. These are your excuses for a seven-win season, the program’s lowest single-season total since 1989. But this is Florida, home of the Gators, home of the three national titles, home of feverish expectations – excuses have no place in Gainesville.

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                The Best Saturday Ever! (Until Nov. 10)

                It’s official: Alabama’s trip to L.S.U. on Nov. 3 will be in prime time. Surprise, surprise. All that’s left is to find a seat and cancel any and all previous engagements — and now might be a good time to start laying the groundwork for a cold, if you’re one of the unlucky few due to make an appearance at a wedding on the first Saturday of November.

                That’s not all that’s cooking on Nov. 3. There’s another date between Oregon and U.S.C., this time in the Coliseum, which should likewise be under consideration for an 8 p.m. start on the East Coast. There’s Missouri at Florida. Nebraska at Michigan State. Oklahoma State at Kansas State. Among others. It’s the best weekend of the college football season.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.