Why Florida?

CFN’s Fiutak unveils his early, early BCS picks today. And, no, he doesn’t have Georgia in the title game, as he feels the schedule will be the Dawgs’ undoing.

Fine, I can understand that. But here’s what I don’t get. In picking Florida to face Ohio State for the MNC (can you imagine listening to Herbstreit for the month leading up to that? ugh…), Fiutak argues that the Gators will be every bit as good as Georgia “if the secondary has overcome its growing pains“.

As if that’s a minor roadblock to steer around. Look, Florida was last in the SEC – and 98th nationally – in pass defense last season. That’s not some little hurdle to skip over. Add in the facts that the Gators lost their best pass rusher from a year ago and are looking for two members of their incoming freshman class to step up and start on the defensive side of the ball and I don’t see how that translates into a magical transformation of Florida’s pass defense.

Almost as big a leap of faith is being made with regard to Emmanuel Moody’s impact on the Gator offense. Hell, the Miami paper the other day noted that Moody is struggling a bit in spring practice. It turns out he’s never lined up in an offense that operates exclusively out of the shotgun before.

The Gators are certainly talented. And I like to think that the WLOCP is going to be insanely important this season, both from an SEC perspective and a national one, so maybe I’ve sipped the Kool-Aid a bit, too, but I just don’t get this easy assumption that a genuinely crappy secondary gets fixed that quickly.

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21 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

21 responses to “Why Florida?

  1. No, no — you should be embracing this. Let Florida be the one to have all the pre-season hype and accolades heaped upon them, and let Georgia fly as far underneath the radar as it’s possible for a likely top-five pick to go. Hype bears with it the burden of heightened expectations, and I have no problem with Georgia playing second fiddle to the Gators right up to the last weekend in October — that worked out pretty well for us last year.

  2. Florida and preseason hype? What makes you think that’s happening? ;)

  3. Kit

    I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not that overall impressed with Florida, their offensive system, or their defense. Not even in their year of the MNC did I think they were the best team in the land; it was more of OSU’s oversight on how quick the SEC really is.

    Tebow and Co. can have all the stats they want. Percy Harvin can be faster than the $6 million man and Emmanuel Moody can be the second coming of Emmitt Smith for all I care. Stats win trophies. Not championships.

  4. scdawg

    I agree with Doug. I don’t want the target on our backs. I hope we’re not ranked no. 1 to start the season. Then again maybe no. 2 is more dangerous based on what it did to like 15 teams last season.
    We’ll be ranked high enough and with a tough enough schedule so we won’t have any problems at the end of the year, provided we take care of business during what is maybe the toughest schedule GA has ever played.

  5. No team that gets shredded to pieces downfield against Michigan deserves any benefit of the doubt w/r/t their secondary.

    The “Florida’s defense struggled, but I have ample evidence lodged in my hindquarters that they’re gonna be totes awesome!!!!1″ line grates and grates. But yeah, let the Fightin’ Fifth-Placers get all the preseason glory, and let them taste Moreno’s dust over and over again.

    And ESPN broadcasting Gameday from their spring practice, well, feh. I was thinking over breakfast this morning that ESPN has essentially de-evolved into a sports version of the Badger Badger (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOxR7rTYuSI) song:

    Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Tebow! Tebow!
    Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Tebow! Tebow!
    And so on.

  6. dean

    Why Florida? 3 words. Tim freakin’ Teb[l]ow. Haven’t we all learned by now that the gaytors don’t need a secondary or linemen or a running back. They have Tebow. Hopefully this comes across as sarcastic as I mean for it to.

  7. chefboyardee

    Take it easy, fellas. Florida was easily the best 4 loss team in the nation last year.

    Seriously, I find all the “GATERZ#1″ stuff a bit mystifying. Auburn and LSU could have gone either way, but Georgia and Michigan were ass-whuppins. And from what I saw, their run defense wasn’t all that great either.

    Of course, Tebow did have a sore shoulder in Jacksonville …

  8. “Auburn and LSU could have gone either way”

    Florida finished behind Auburn in the SEC. This makes me laugh. Auburn!

  9. In picking UF in the title game, Fiutak is also essentially proclaiming the gators as SEC (east) champs. Comparing UF’s schedule with UGA’s, the biggest difference is not the OOC schedule, which is comparable, but rather the SEC West opponents. The gators play Arky and Ole Miss while the Dawgs get Auburn and Bama. Giving Fiutak the benefit of the doubt, let’s say both UF and UGA have identical SEC records outside of those two games (and the WLOOCP) and UGA goes 1-1 against the alabama schools while UF goes 2-0 against Nutt and de-Nutted. That means the SEC east comes down to the WLOOCP. It seems to me that Fiutak is also picking the gators as 2008 champs of Jacksonville. We all know how well UF plays against UGA when they lack the bye on the week prior. Now add to it the psychological element (jumping in the end zone) as well as the obvious holes on the reptile defense and I have a hard time not seeing another saturday night of partying on SSI.

    ‘Turds 08 sked:
    1.Hawaii
    2.Miami-FL
    3.@ Tennessee
    4.Ole Miss
    5.@ Arkansas
    6.LSU
    7.Kentucky
    8.BYE
    9.vs UGA in Jacksonville
    10.@Vandy
    11.vs South Carolina
    12.The Citadel
    13.Florida St

  10. messed up week 7 and week 8. Bye week should be before KY

  11. kckd

    I found it hilarious that with UF’s passing defense last year, CFN found their “big question” to be can they find a running game that utilizes a RB other than Tebow and Harvin. Let me get this straight:

    1. You average well over thirty points a game.

    2. You average well over 450 yards a game.

    3. With that offense you manage to lose two games you score 30 or more in and another where you put up more than 20

    And your biggest question mark is on the offensive side of the ball?

  12. Chuck

    The astounding thing about Florida is how they have managed to achieve such lofty levels of hype by having one luck-aided MNC season and then a bevy of 3-4-5 loss seasons surrounding it going back to before Zook.

    It’s because they put up 70 points on bad to mediocre teams with some regularity. One gets the sense that Florida won’t be upset by a mid-tier team (Michigan jokes aside), but with UGA, there are scares and even losses involving such teams somewhat regularly.

    Personally, I’d like to see us throttle our weaker competition as a general rule. I don’t mean leave in the starters, but putting it away in the first 3 quarters with regularity would be nice.

  13. AceG8tr

    15 and 3, baby. 15 and 3. Never have I seen so much crying and gnashing of teeth. You guys will be good this year–but we’ll still beat you. Like we always do. We are in-your-heads.

    Hey Kit–you’re right. Stats do win trophies, not championships. And I believe we have a few more MNCs than do the Dawgs in recent history.

    Eat your hearts out, guys. lol

  14. Thanks for dropping by to flame, Ace, but answer my question: how much better (and why) will the Gator pass defense be in ’08?

  15. J Dawg

    Hey AceG8tr,

    Like you always do???

    2 of the last 4, UGA has won. 1 of which was the most recent game. Plus, you must have a short memory. This rivalry has seen UGA run up those kind of numbers.

    The dawgs are going to beat your gators again this year.

    Later turd

  16. Jim from Duluth

    CFN actually did us a favor. The more smoke that gets blown towards the gators is less that gets blown our way. We seem to thrive when less smoke is blown our way.

    Whether or not it is logical to rank Florida that high does not matter right now. That can be settled Nov. 1 in Jacksonville.

    Jim

  17. Matt

    Ace

    Overall record in the UF-UGA series

    UGA: 46
    UF: 37

    And that’s despite our recent struggles in the series. Do you guys realize how bad the Dawgs beat you before we gave Ray Goff the head coaching job? Anyway, come back and talk to me when you guys run up 9 straight wins to pull even.

  18. Colonel Kurtz

    CFN is always good for a laugh. The base difference between them and the verbal whores of the ESPN is that Pete and the boys do atone for their frequently incorrect analysis.

    UF has more problems than a sorry secondary on D as their depth chart rivals bammer’s. Depth and talent woes on the vaunted Offense won’t be discussed by these experts but the OL is one injury away from Tebow becoming a battering victim again this Fall. The ramifications of more cracks in Crystal Harvin’s delicate self foretell of a more ominous situation you won’t read about either.

    This generation of jort wearing heathens only has the 17 years of history that SOS gave them thus the signs of Dawgly Domination returning are of a more sinister and stealthy development which is ignored. Revenge is a dish best served cold and today’s reptilians best prepare for despair!

  19. KG

    3 years of top 5 recruiting classes and UF’s depth rivals Alabama’s??? Way to go out and expose your ignorance.

    And to back up your assertion you choose to cite the OL and the WR corps, perhaps UF’s two deepest positions. Atta boy, you stay informed Colonel Klutz!

  20. Sam

    I don’t find Fiutak’s opinion that absurd. UF will be one of the 2-3 toughest games Georgia will play this year, and a loss could easily give UF the tie-breaker to Atlanta. Considering UGA plays LSU the week before, who can say how banged up the Dawgs will be for Jacksonville. I don’t know how old, or smart, Fiutak is, but many in the national media have become enamored with UF. Like the bandwagon Gator fans, they lack perspective regarding the upstart program in Gainesville.

    The fact is, in their entire history Florida has won ONE SEC Championship without a coach named Spurrier. UGA has not only dominated the UGA/UF series historically, they have finished five of the last six years ranked in the Top 10 while compiling a much stronger, and more consistent W/L record. So not only do we own the individual “battles” won, we also hold a commanding lead in the “wars” won with 12 SEC titles to 7.

    I don’t question that there will always be more “noise” around the Florida program, afterall a lot of their fans lack the…ah-hem, genteelness of good Southern fans. If acting like New Yorkers and New Jerseyites is what it takes to get a Top pre-season ranking, I would prefer they take the meaningless pre-season title and we win the SEC on the field. The UF fanbase is unlike all the other 11 SEC teams, and please don’t think this is a favorable comment.

    I feel UGA is a better team than UF at this point, primarily because of the defensive edge, but I cannot fault some for picking Florida. I feel they should be ranked among the Top 6-8 teams for 2008, and I feel we deserve that same ranking as well. Beyond that, who can say for sure? At this point of the year, it isn’t worth arguing since we will get the opportunity to decide it in head-to-head competition. My opinion is UGA will lose 1-2 games this season, but will be too strong for Florida. IMO Auburn and LSU are the two most dangerous games on the schedule, with UF 3rd. I do feel the winner in Jacksonville will represent the East unless UF loses three conference games, which is possible given their defensive questions. Like Fiutak, it is just one man’s opinion.

  21. KG

    “The fact is, in their entire history Florida has won ONE SEC Championship without a coach named Spurrier. UGA has not only dominated the UGA/UF series historically, they have finished five of the last six years ranked in the Top 10 while compiling a much stronger, and more consistent W/L record. ”

    Usually it has been the Alabama, Notre Dame or Miami crowd that has pulled out the “tradition” or “history” card. I’m sorry to see Georgia has fallen into this group.

    Georgia has had the same kind of relative recent success under Richt that LSU had under Saban and Florida is having under Meyer but without the same ultimate success (National Championships), spotlight and media coverage.

    And really . . . isn’t that in itself the problem??? When you go around the country and ask people to name the teams in the SEC you would think Georgia would be one of the top three teams based on recent record but in terms of notoriety they have fallen greatly from two decades of mediocrity.