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Sports Then and Now



Florida & Georgia Meet in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party 1

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Jim Hurley
Treon Harris has played well since moving into the starting lineup for the Florida Gators. His toughest test will come against Georgia.

Treon Harris has played well since moving into the starting lineup for the Florida Gators. His toughest test will come against Georgia.

After two seasons in mediocrity, the Florida Gators are ready to make a splash onto the national stage again. Florida is 6-1 overall and getting ready to for its annual rivalry game with Georgia on Saturday afternoon (3:30 PM ET, CBS). The Gators have blown out Ole Miss, played competitively in a night game at LSU and are in control of their destiny in the SEC East.

If Florida wins this game, they’re all but certain to be in the conference championship game come December. And if they keep winning out, they’re all but certain to get a ticket to the College Football Playoff. It’s a welcome case of a program climbing off the mat.

Following their Sugar Bowl season in 2012, Florida came crashing to earth. They had a losing season in 2013 and only qualified for the Birmingham Bowl in 2014. It got head coach Wil Muschamp fired and it cost Florida’s backers in Las Vegas some money, as the Gators went 10-13 against the spread (ATS).

No one ever disputed Muschamp’s ability to coach defense. It was offensive ineptitude that did him in and that was reflected in the totals line. In the awful 2013 season, Florida was 4-8 straight-up and also played just four games to the Over that season. This season, even with the defense still being strong and ranking #19 in the country, Florida has gone to the Over four times in seven.

The improved offense comes in spite of quarterback Will Grier being suspended for the balance of the season. Grier was posting solid numbers, with a 66% completion rate, 7.48 yards-per-attempt and a 10/3 TD-INT ratio. When he was suspended, Florida was written off a serious SEC title threat. Read the rest of this entry →

College Classic Rewind: Walker’s 4TDs Carry Dawgs To Win Over Gators 28

Posted on October 26, 2011 by A.J. Foss

In 1980, the greatest moment in the rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators occurred when Georgia quarterback Buck Belue connected with Lindsay Scott on a 93-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes to give the Bulldogs a 26-21 victory over the Gators and helped propelled Georgia to the national championship.

One year later, Florida looked for a shot at redemption as they met the defending national champions in Jacksonville.

The Gators entered the game with a 5-3 overall record and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida was led by third-year head coach Charley Pell, who had turned around the Gators following a 0-10-1 season in 1979 to a 8-4 season in 1980 and a win in the Tangerine Bowl.

While Florida is trying to become a consistent winning power, Georgia was in the hunt for a second straight national championship despite an early season loss to Clemson.

The Dawgs were the #4 team in the country with a 7-1 record on a team that featured only nine returning starters from the 1980 championship team.

However, three of the returning starters were the two heroes from the 1980 Florida game in Belue and Scott, and superstar running back Herschel Walker.

Though the first eight games of the 1981 season, the sophomore had gained 1,309 yards on 265 yards and scored 11 touchdowns as he rushed for more than 100 yards in every game to this point.

In the Dawgs’ showdown with the Gators, Walker put together one of his finest performances as a Georgia Bulldog.

Florida got the ball to start the game and drive from their own 24-yard-line to the Georgia 20-yard-line until Peace was sacked twice, knocking the Gators out of field goal range.

The Gators drove to the red zone again in the second quarter but Peace was intercepted by Tim Bobo at the Dawgs’ two-yard-line, to kill another scoring opportunity for Florida. Read the rest of this entry →

Mighty Zultan Returns to Predict the Outcome of College Football’s Biggest Games 26

Posted on September 27, 2011 by JA Allen

October 1, 2011

Headline: The mighty Zultan finally escaped captivity just in time to forecast the results of the first Big Ten conference games of the 2011 season.

The all-seeing seer was being held against his will in a cornfield outside of Lincoln where the gridiron guru was forced to time Taylor Martinez trying to out zigzag Jared Crick down 500 rows of corn…brutal stuff.

Eventually, however, without ever giving in to the Cornhusker demand to be picked as the winner in their opener over Wisconsin, the mighty Zultan vamoosed down Interstate 80, the most boring stretch of road in existence linking many Legends and Leaders alike.

Back in Mom’s garage, the most proficient football prognosticator plugged in at long last, ready to surge ahead picking winners as conference rivalries simmered, ready to boil.

But something was terribly wrong, the all-seeing one noted as his turban burst into flames.

After the pain subsided from short circuiting during his initial trace, Zultan realized that all hades had broken loose in his absence as football teams abandoned traditional conference alliances to bolt to other, greener conference pastures half a continent away.

The shifting landscape pulled all the wires loose—so much for geographical proximity and cultural similarities.

As Zultan predicts winners of college football contests this Saturday, you need to be aware that the economy has stricken the prognosticator, leaving him poverty stricken. There will be no prizes for this contest, just the satisfaction of besting the mighty Zultan.

So do you feel lucky?  If so, click here, and enter the contest for this week.  If you do better than Zultan, I will list your name in the next contest.

Be brave—what have you got to lose?

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week Seven Review: A Win Is A Win 3

Posted on October 18, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns held on to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners and remain undefeated.

Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns held on to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners and remain undefeated.

None of the top three teams in college football looked all that dominating this week, but they all took home the “W”, which is really all that matters.

With the first official BCS rankings coming out this week, we will get a sense of where everyone stands, but the reality is that Florida, Texas and Alabama all have their destiny in their own hands. The rankings will merely give us a better idea of which teams will step forward if any of the frontrunners stumble.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week Six Review: Style or Substance? 1

Posted on October 11, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Florida v LSU

It may not have been flashy, but the Florida Gators won a hard-fought game at LSU to remain undefeated.

After weeks of positioning, this was the week where the real contenders and pretenders started to weed themselves out. With a number of big games between contenders over the next few weeks, you can see the national championship picture starting to clear itself up as we head toward November.

Is it about Style or Substance, or Both?
It was very interesting to watch the different ways the top three teams in the college football rankings earned their victories this weekend.

The top ranked and defending champion Florida Gators were very methodical and workmanlike in their victory at LSU. Even though we all know that LSU is a dangerous team and playing a night game in Baton Rouge is usually a huge advantage for the home team, the Gators seemed to never really be in danger of losing the

game.

However, their 13-3 victory may be perfectly fine in the NFL where it is all about wins and losses and moving on towards the playoffs and Super Bowl. But, in college football many take such a low scoring win as a sign of weakness.

Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Week 5 Review: Putting the Fight Back in the Fighting Irish 6

Posted on October 03, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Jimmy Clausen has thrown 10 touchdown passes in 2009 with just one interception.

Jimmy Clausen has thrown 12 touchdown passes in 2009 with just two interceptions.

It was another interesting weekend of college football as several ranked teams received unexpected challenges while a couple teams solidified their place in the rankings.

Putting the Fight Back in the Fighting Irish
I’m not ready to call the 2009 Notre Dame Fighting Irish a good team, but they are definitely entertaining.

Now 4-1 following a 37-30 overtime victory over the University of Washington, the last four games for the Irish have been decided by a total of 17 points with all of them going down to the wire.

Except for in the 38-34 loss to Michigan when the Wolverines scored in the final seconds to pull out the win, Notre Dame has been able to make big plays when it counts.

That is a far cry from a year ago when Notre Dame finished 7-6 and seemed to always fall just short in crunch time.

I’m sure that the legions of Notre Dame faithful across the country are ready to claim the return of the “Golden Dome Aura”, and I suspect the Irish will probably inch back into the top 25 this week.

Read the rest of this entry →

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