Gators, you’re on the clock now.

I know it’s a relatively minor thing, but I want to give Damon Evans a pat on the back for something.

It’s a pleasure to read a story about the reluctance of SEC teams to travel for non-conference games without Georgia being mentioned.  Instead, we get this:

… We’d like to see SEC teams, with their wealth of talent and top-notch teams, get out and show other parts of the country how great they are at playing football. BCS champion Florida, for example, hasn’t played an out-of-state nonconference game since Sept. 21, 1991, when it lost at Syracuse, 38-21.

Excuse me while I pull out my fingers and toes for a moment.  Seventeen years – that’s a long time, isn’t it?

Thanks, Damon.

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33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The Blogosphere

33 responses to “Gators, you’re on the clock now.

  1. Will you still be thanking Damon after Oklahoma State beats Georgia?

  2. Joe

    A lot of pre-season prognosticators were right about UF’s schedule last year.

    The G*tors only left the state of FL 4 times last year. Each of those weeks was followed by a home game.

    The thing about their OOC scheduling is that they are let off the hook because Miami and Florida St. were the two best programs in the country from 1985-2003. Although they are mere shells of their former selves, UF gets a lot of creedence for playing their in-state rivals.

    We play Gtu. Not much national respect for that.

  3. I’m surprised that anyone even mentioned it. Another interesting fact that no one ever mentions: Urban is 9-5 in road games in the SEC. Richt’s record during that same time: 12-2.

  4. picturemerollin

    There are so many facets to scheduling OOC games away from home, and the Wiz, in his usual manner, promotes his agenda of calling out the SEC without exploring all those facets. First, despite what anybody says the SEC just doesn’t have to travel – they still get cred, deserved or not, for the regular conference slate. Second, scheduling OOC games is a crap shoot. To take Utah for example, their game against Michigan sounds good but in reality playing the Wolverines made their schedule take a hit this year- not to mention what it did for Michigan. When these things are scheduled you, most of the time, you just can’t know the relative strengths. It can hurt you as much as help you on any given year. And finally, and most importantly, in the SEC, there are serious economic implications. Detractors don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth.When you build stadiums larger than NFL venues (6 of the 10 largest on-campus stadiums are in the SEC and they are full) you have to pay for them. Also, in a town like Tuscaloosa, and I am certain in most other SEC towns, a home football game pumps several million dollars into the local economy. So, if you’re the AD, are you going to tell your most ardent and loyal supporters to take it on the chin because some jackass from SoCal believes the conference needs to give itself more credibility?
    Plus, if the SEC did travel more, there would be less of these Cinderella stories that the college football world thinks they love so much. I could argue the conference, as a whole, is doing the college football community a favor by staying home. I can endure the name calling.

  5. picturemerollin

    What I left out is that, I would also like to see more intriguing OOC match ups, like UGA and OSU or Alabama and Penn State (which is scheduled for ’10 and ’11). Traveling to Norman in ’02 ranks as one of my all-time favorite CFB experiences despite the loss. I also realize however, that there are more factors at play than just, “the SEC won’t schedule tough games”. I’d like to see the games but I can also stand the name calling.

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Put yourself in Jeremy Foley’s shoes. Why the hell would you schedule any harder than you do?

    -The national media’s perception of your program couldn’t possibly be higher.
    -You get the added rub of the ‘they’re in the SEC so they have a tough schedule’ thinking.
    -You can point to the recent dominant runs by FSU and Miami and say ‘see, we didn’t know they were going to fall off the map, not our fault’

    Not gonna happen. You’re not going to see UF traveling to Lincoln, Eugene, or Madison any time soon.

  7. Heyberto

    A lot of Pac 10 people try to argue that the SEC isn’t as good as everyone thinks because they don’t play tougher opponents in their OOC schedule.. that’s just because their conference sucks. I still think that a strong SEC schedule makes the OOC schedule a moot point.

  8. I was at that game 17 years ago – and the Carrier Dome was L-O-U-D. Kirby Dar Dar scored on the 2nd half kickoff, and we were beat from that point on. Interestingly, we ran the SEC schedule that year for our first “official” SEC title.

    As to Hobnail Boot’s point, why would Foley do otherwise? Florida makes an obscene amount of money from every home game of which we have 7 a year. To get to seven we have 3 or 4 SEC matchups, two start the year warmups (Miami was one this year) a late season laugher (Citadel this year) and FSU filling in when we are at 3 SEC games. Would we give up a home game to “show other parts of the country how great they are at playing football”? That would be throwing away several million dollars for what? A slightly better ranked schedule? Are you crazy?

    Florida’s schedule usually ranks near the top of the NCAA with or without the road shows. We were 2nd this year, 3rd in 2007, and 1st in 2006. What more can you do?

    That said, next year’s schedule is somewhat of a joke with Charleston Southern, Troy and FIU. We also have Tennessee and FSU at home, so our only significant road game looks to be at LSU. With the return of our entire defense (22 deep), and Tebow, next year might very well be UF’s first undefeated season (as much as I hate to predict that…)

    • Kirby Dar Dar… now there’s a name out of the past.

      I think this whole “the SEC doesn’t travel” thing is way overblown. But as someone who’s saw it thrown in the direction of Athens for many years, I’m happy to see it be redirected Gainesville-way.

      And, yeah, that ’09 schedule sets up nicely for you guys. The only downside I see is that Georgia has a bye week before the WLOCP again.

  9. That’s a given, eh?

    No. We’ll probably be ~5 point underdogs though.

    Will you still like the difficult road games if Georgia loses that game?

    Arizona State was a long, fun road trip… and it showed in the first half of the Alabama game.

    • Will you still like the difficult road games if Georgia loses that game?

      TD, that’s a mischaracterization of what I said. My point was simply that this “SEC doesn’t travel” meme will now get directed at some place other than Athens and I appreciate that. That would be the case whether there was a game in Stillwater this year or not, right?

  10. And the week before the WLOCP the Gators play at Mississippi State.

    At least that game will have an interesting storyline.

  11. I would rather UGA played difficult out-of-conference home and away series with the possibility of picking up a loss than schedule lesser opponents that we are sure we will defeat easily at home. Others must agree, because crowds are slack “Between the Hedges” for non-conference games that don’t promise to be competitive. I’d much rather watch Tennessee vs UCLA than I would Tennessee vs Austin Peay. To heck with Florida!

  12. TD, that’s a mischaracterization of what I said. My point was simply that this “SEC doesn’t travel” meme will now get directed at some place other than Athens and I appreciate that. That would be the case whether there was a game in Stillwater this year or not, right?

    OK, but that came through scheduling what could have been a very losable road game as well (and one that arguably affected the team’s preparation for its much more important SEC game the next week).

    I’ll take the “Georgia never travels” and the easy win any day.

  13. “Will you still like the difficult road games if Georgia loses that game?”

    Yes.

  14. Will Q

    I would respond to TD by saying that never traveling and easy wins are why Georgia isn’t more of a nationally recognized program, but it obviously isn’t hurting Florida any.

    Still, I like the excitement generated by daring OOC scheduling. Losing such a contest may hurt our national rankings, but it doesn’t affect our chances of winning the SEC (years like 2005 excepted, of course). Winning the SEC should always be our primary goal.

  15. SLH

    FL may play MSU but didn’t that same team cost Zook his job? Obviously, not the same FL team now, but don’t be the typical arrogant gator and take Dan Mullen for granted. He and his staff will work harder for that game than they will for the other combined 11, just to prove a point. I think MSU returns some pretty good ones on D and Mullen does have a little knowledge of the gator O – right?

  16. “FL may play MSU but didn’t that same team cost Zook his job? ”

    And I remain eternally greatful to those bell clanging Starkvillians for it.

    “…don’t be the typical arrogant gator…”

    As opposed to, say the typcial arrogant bulldog?

    “…and take Dan Mullen for granted.”

    Granted.

  17. Mergz, how much do you think Mullen blitzes Tebow in that game?

  18. The problem with blitzing Tebow is 1) he’s always in the shotgun, so it’s hard to get to him in time, and 2) there’s so much speed around him that you’re leaving yourself susceptible to really getting torched.

    The best way to defend that (or any other) offense is to get pressure with your front four…something UGA didn’t do too much of last year.

    The other thing, and I actually do think our defense gets this, is to just tackle him, don’t go for the kill shot. Everyone wants to kill Tebow, but with him either being in the shotgun or on a designed run, it’s hard to ever get a really clean, hard shot on him. He’s always in a situation where he either sees it coming, or he’s the one initiating contact. If you’re fortunate enough to get to him, just get him on the ground, there are no extra points for Thomas Davising him.

  19. If that experiment lasts anytime beyond the Charleston Southern (first the Citadel, then Charleston Southern, what did that city ever do to you Gator fans? Maybe next year C of C can come down and get a beating), then we need to blitz from the moment we cross the state line.

    However, I’ll set the over/under on the number of times we see Tebow under center in Jax. at 4.5.

  20. Cue obnoxious Gator comments about running out the clock now.

  21. Don’t make me call a time out.

  22. SLH

    No Mergz. Like the typical gator whose arrogance shines through even on an opposing team’s site. Like thinking your team is too damn good to recognize that the one person who is perhaps more intimately familiar with your O than meyer could pose a challenge.

    Sure you’ll defeat MSU, but it’s the smarmy arrogance that reminds me of volunteer fans circa 2000 – and of gator fans circa 1985.

    Enjoy it while it lasts b/c it never does.

  23. AceG8tr

    Mergz:

    Boy, these guys have a short fuse. You would almost think they lost the game last year and are feeling a little bitter.

    AG

  24. SLH

    Ha Ace – good one. You have a keen sense of the obvious. As for me, my bitterness is justified as having begun my freshman yr at GA in 1990. This, after enjoying our run during the 70s and 80s.

    One could say that my perspective is like that of a Florida fan whose first yr was 1970 or so. Not good times.

  25. Aligator

    senator ….The only downside I see is that Georgia has a bye week before the WLOCP again.

    Are you kidding me? we are two deep on Defense and you have joe cox at qb? give me a break.

    Dan Mullen will get his teeth kicked in because Urban Can.

    people … Tebow will not be playing under center next year, they tried to tinker with tebow for the first few games this year and it did not work.

    SO PENCIL IN THE ASS WHOOPING!!!

    • Al –

      sar·casm (särkzm)
      n.
      1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
      2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
      3. The use of sarcasm. See Synonyms at wit1.

      Seriously, you guys will be a clear #1 going into the season and will deserve it. But as the saying goes, there’s many a slip…

      I doubt you figured the Gators would lose in the Swamp to Ole Miss, did you? ;)

  26. Senator,

    Didn’t you get the memo? Like the ’07 WLOCP, the loss to Ole Miss didn’t count b/c Tebow of Nazareth was hurt. Apparently he had a wicked ingrown nail…they pack quite the wallop.

  27. SLH

    Senator,
    Remember, never argue with an idiot (Gator). They’ll only bring you down to their level and win every time.

    You cannot reason with such arrogance. And they were that way before they started winning.

  28. Aligator

    yes we knew that unless they stopped trying to play tebow as a nfl prospect we would lose, and ole miss ended up winning as they were not half bad and we lost that game because of stupid ass play calling on dan mullen, thank god he is gone!

    you guys had such an overblown reality in being number one this year. don’t give me the we got injuries, we had just as many and we took home the cake and ate it too.