It’s so not in their heads.

All those Gator fans, telling me, no insisting, that the whole Celebration thing and the Florida-Georgia rivalry was nothin’.

… I read the message boards and last weekend is already forgotten. Most of us dont really care about Georgia. Sure, many of the really old timers do, but the rest of us dont.

Too bad the head coach isn’t playing along.

… The Gators’ coach did not back off those statements Wednesday during SEC Football Media Days.

“It was uncalled for,” he said. “First of all it’s against the rules. If you really look at it, some players could have been thrown out the game for leaving the bench.

“As for the impact on the game … I understand the motivation of it. It was a big deal. It was just a big deal.”

The GPOOE™ seems to have a different take on the matter, too.

“I think it will definitely intensify it that much more,” Tebow said. “I think it will be a very big game, to say the least. It could be two of the best teams in the country playing for the right to play in the SEC championship and maybe for the national championship. They’re a huge rival of ours, and I think that just increased that much more this past year. I think that will inspire us that much more.”

Listen:  Georgia-Florida will be a big game this year, Gator fans.  Really big.  The biggest, in fact.  Your head coach knows it.  Your star player knows it.  I don’t know if he’ll admit it publicly, but Mark Richt knows it, too.

I can’t wait.

*******************************************************************

UPDATE: According to Barnhart, it’s a “fact”

… that Florida feels it lost to Georgia (42-30) not because of the motivational lift the Bulldogs got from storming the field, but because Tebow was banged up and nowhere close to 100 percent.

Whatever gets you through the night, folks.  But don’t worry, Gator fans.  Your man’s got the plan.

… Florida coach Urban Meyer told me that his Heisman Trophy winner won’t have to carry the ball 210 times as he did during the 2007 season. Keeping Tebow healthy and fresh will be a priority in 2008.

“The good news is that we now have some options,” Meyer said. “Tim ran the ball as much as he did last season because that is what gave us the best chance to win.”

And now everything’s changed?  He no longer gives Florida the best chance to win?  We’ll see how long that lasts.  Maybe we’ll need to start referring to the GPOOE™ as “Bubble Boy”.

20 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

20 responses to “It’s so not in their heads.

  1. Roger

    Hiya Blutarsky,

    I’m a Gator fan from way back (grew up in Gainesville in the 80′s) and this game is definitely in my head. But then, since I remember Lindsay Scott and Herschel Walker, the WLOCP has always been entrenched there. I remember the massive losing streak just as much as the massive winning streak.

    In fact, I think one of my greatest sporting moments ever was as a 13 year old going to the Gator Bowl and watching Kerwin Bell and Ricky Nattiel finally beat you guys. 1996 and 2006 topped it, but not by much and I only saw those on television. I definitely put that game over the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Playoff and English Premier League “football” games I’ve been to.

    On another note, I discovered your blog over a year ago through O&B Hue and Saurian Sagacity. I’m living overseas in the UK now, so I really enjoy seeing “the view from the other side.” You help keep my SEC football cravings at bay!

  2. Roger, thanks for the love, man.

    Maybe it’s generational thing, but I hate hearing any fans trying to downplay the rivalry. If it took a little gamesmanship on the part of Richt to rekindle the flame for some folks, then we owe him a debt of eternal gratitude for that.

    I’m glad you share my passion. And this year’s game ought to be incredible.

  3. kckd

    It’ll be good to get both sides back into it. Even when we were winning regularly I considered it a big rivalry.

    And I can tell you, the actions and words that get teams fired up works both ways. I’m sure the coaches will let the Dawgs know that the Gators think they won last year because Tebow was gimpy.

    Funny how DJ actually not even playing though was not a good excuse a few years back. LOL.

  4. Funny how DJ actually not even playing though was not a good excuse a few years back. LOL.

    Exactly.

  5. … that Florida feels it lost to Georgia (42-30) not because of the motivational lift the Bulldogs got from storming the field, but because Tebow was banged up and nowhere close to 100 percent.

    Or Knowshon or the fact that Georgia scored more points or the fact that, by virtue of being the SEC’s fifth place team, Florida wasn’t actually all that great, or what have you.

  6. cbd

    Any Gator fan who claims to not care about the Georgia game is a liar.

    The biggest game? If both teams come in undefeated, sure. But given the problems in Florida’s secondary, I have my doubts. And Georgia’s gotta go to Baton Rouge. You know the Cajuns are already stockpiling tailgating supplies for that one.

  7. Kit

    There’s an extended post I’m going to write soon about this year’s game and what the records should/could be going into it, but all I can say right now is that we’re not taking anything for granted either.

    I read a great line from Anthony Dasher over at UGAsports.com where Coach Mark Richt was asked about the rivalry and whether or not it has intensified. Of course he responded “yes,” but the next question was about Florida’s success against UGA and he responded along the lines of “well we’ve won 2 of the past 4 and if you want to count the previous years then you might as well count from the first game. See where UGA stands then.”

    GATA Richt.

  8. Horsefeathers on Tebow being banged up as “the reason we lost the game”.

    We lost the game because our defense SUCKED. It was the worst Gator defense in a generation.

    Scoring 30 points should be enough to win any game. Period. Not to mention 343 yards total offense for my Gators.

    If Meyer is of the notion that, had Tebow been healthier, he could have scored that 43rd point to win the game, then the Gator program is in trouble. How about a little defense Urban?
    How about actually covering one of those bombs Stafford tossed up? And though Moreno appears to be an unstoppable force of nature, 188 yards in his second best game of the season?!? (He only rushed for slightly more – 9 yards – against Troy the following week).

    As for the import of the game, if this isn’t the biggest FL-GA game in the series history I will be sorely disappointed. We both need to be undefeated, or someone has screwed up.

    So Senator, what do you think the chances are this game will be treated like other ESPN “GAMES OF THE CENTURY” seeing as we are not Big Ten teams? Will we get a countdown clock?

  9. If both teams are undefeated? Absolutely. They’d both be ranked in the top three and there’d be plenty of star power to satisfy the WWL.

    It would be flat out crazed.

  10. Kit

    Hey Good Senator, do you know how many priority picks for coverage ESPN has locked up so far? I wonder if they’ve got one left that they’re holding on to just for this game.

    And man, I’m sorry, but I’d rather be 8:00pm on CBS (like LSU/UF last year) than to be 7:45pm on ESPN. Not having Uncle Vern call one of the *potentially* biggest games for UGA is disappointing for me.

  11. Darryl Strawberry

    I might be alone on this, but how freaking awesome would it be to come out this year, run the ball every play of the first series, score and pull the celebration again?!!??

    I think they changed the sideline rules, etc. But it would be so awesome to do it again…

    hahaa

  12. If the Dawgs scored first, I’d like to see the entire sideline do a Tebow single step play action – you know, fake a step towards the field, do a knee bend and stop.

  13. I still have a feeling the game would be no way as hyped as Michigan-Ohio State 2 years ago. Probably my inferiority complex as a SEC fan.

  14. dawgfish

    UM/OSU ’06 was built up for weeks b/c there was no way either one was going to lose to some middling Big10 school, so they were confident in starting the hype machine early. With UF and UGa playing both LSU and Tenn. , plus ASU and Bama for UGa, there are likely a couple losses combined before Jacksonville. If it is an undefeated matchup, I am going to tell my parents to board up the house in J’ville because it is going to be absoluetly insane.

  15. Hobnail_Boot

    Guess what led off ESPN’s CFB show just now?

    The Celebration, as called by Howard and Zeier.

    I. Love. This.

  16. Hobnail_Boot

    CMR: “I’ll never ask the team to do that again”.
    ESPN: “Why not?”
    CMR: “Because I told Commissioner Slive I wouldn’t. (laughing)”

  17. Jim

    Hey Gator boys…UGA wins this year ,it’s 3 out of last 5..nex’t year’s UGA team will be better than 08! You’re screwed…Tebow 0fer

  18. Kit

    Hobnail_Boot
    July 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    CMR: “I’ll never ask the team to do that again”.
    ESPN: “Why not?”
    CMR: “Because I told Commissioner Slive I wouldn’t. (laughing)”

    Anyone else really enjoying the more laid back and candid Richt? I knew that handing off the playcalling duties to Bobo was going to be awesome as far as our Offensive aggressiveness, but I never knew it would make such a difference in CMR.

  19. Exactly, Kit — that’s what makes me much more optimistic than most of the pundits seemed to be about Georgia’s ability to handle such a tough schedule. Richt really seemed to come into his own in the second half of last season, and it appears that process is continuing. It’s been kind of awesome to watch.

  20. peacedog

    Mergz, I might argue that Michigan OSU being a couple of weeks later really made a difference in terms of the hype buildup. The WLOCP winner still has a number of games to play + an SECCG (if things go according to the ideal schedule). The Michigan OSU winner was done, and in the title game.

    So if the hype isn’t as rampant, that’s my guess as to why. But I don’t expect to see a huge difference. Though I might also add that Gameday has spent the better part of the last year (and arguably longer) trying no to suck as hard, and that also might lead to them trying not to focus too hard on one game, like the did for the entire second of half of the 06 season for Michigan vs OSU.