Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday (Panicked) Quickie

This is strange. This is my 10th season as a Florida football fan -- 6th of the Meyer Era -- I have never felt as uncertain about a Florida game outcome as I am about today, when the Gators play South Florida at the Swamp.

Not last year at LSU in the "Tebow post-concussion" game. Not any of the "win-or-else" games in 2006 or 2008. Not even last year's SEC title game against Alabama.

But a combination of factors have me freaked about Florida losing to USF:

(1) The way Florida played last week. In a word: Dreary, particularly the offense. (And now comes word Florida may be without its kicker.)

(2) USF QB BJ Daniels. I polled folks yesterday trying to figure out if Florida had ever played as talented of a dual-threat QB in the Meyer Era. No one could think of any.

(3) For USF, this is their national-championship game. I would argue they care more about winning this game than winning the Big East title. Florida simply can't care as much.

Again, I have never been as uncertain about a Florida game's outcome as I am today. I really do think there is a serious chance they are going to lose. Winning would be a relief, not a thrill.

(Perhaps, with expectations like those, it should be the other way around: When you least expect it, shouldn't the win be particularly thrilling? Hmm: Have to consider that.)

So there's my agita for the day. I can only imagine how fans of national contenders are feeling whose teams are in even tougher match-ups: Ohio State, Miami, Oklahoma, FSU, Penn State... I suspect that Alabama fans feel pretty comfortable about where things are.

What a great day in college football: From the Swamp at noon to the couch at 3:30 for OSU-Miami and Oklahoma-FSU to the 7 p.m. kickoff of Alabama-Penn State.

More this morning, briefly:

*What a brutal result for Marshall fans. I watched most of that game and the Herd had that thing won... right up until they started playing not to lose.

(Houston did nothing in routing UTEP last night to change my mind that they are a Top 20 team that is being too easily dismissed by the pollsters. Keenum didn't even throw a TD.)

*Did I say "Monday" about the Padres officially losing their lead in the NL West? I meant Friday.

*Roy Halladay for NL Cy? I can get behind that. (I am absolutely behind the "King Felix for AL Cy" movement. Would be an even bigger moment for voters than picking Greinke in '09. Felix pitches today, and I suspect all the voters will be paying attention.)

*Fantasy Stud: Nelson Cruz, a star on my fantasy team -- which, naturally, earned a bye-week in the consolation bracket. Can use those HRs next week, Nelson!

*Injury Watch: Johan Santana's shoulder. Let's keep an eye on that in 2011. A brutal Mets season gets even worse. Hey, at least their single-A team in Brooklyn is playing for a league championship.

*Schadenfreude alert: Bruce Pearl.

*Villanova football into the Big East? It's not a bad idea: Nova is a 1-AA power, and 1-A status with Pennsylvania and New Jersey's recruiting base could yield a pretty good team. (Also, the league wouldn't have to expand the hoops league to bring in a new football team.)

*USA Hoops: World Basketball Championship semifinal vs. Lithuania, no easy game. Again: Team US is a failure if they don't win gold. So winning today is obviously a must.

*Although I was in Gainesville, I did not see Penn State women's volleyball extend its record winning streak to 109 matches last night against the Gators.

*Good gosh, Tiger really does suck right now.

Happy birthday to my father-in-law! Happy to be able to be in Gainesville with him to celebrate. Um, let's hope it doesn't include a Florida loss.

-- D.S.

No comments: