September 29, 2006

Gators about to "run the gauntlet"

Craig James beat me to it - the better broadcaster of the old Pony Express posted this story on ESPN today.

His agenda seems to be - Get Ready to see UF at the top of the rankings if they get through the next five weeks unscathed. For the uninitiated, check out the next four games for the 4-0 Gators:

09/30 Alabama
10/07 #9 LSU
10/14 at #2 Auburn
10/28 #10 Georgia in Jacksonville (don't call it a Cocktail Party)

And recall that they have already beaten Tennessee at Rocky Top 21-20.

This weekend is a rough start - Florida hasn't rolled the Tide since a 16-10 win in 1998. But the Gators are rolling at home, winning 11 straight at the Swamp. "Smart money" has Florida as a two TD favorite after last year's embarrassment at Bama.

If you reference my top 13 (emailers suggest i need to expand that to 25), I have the Gators outside looking in while the AP has the reptiles at 5. Remember, that difference is because I do not expect them to get through this list clean - the game that causes me the most pause is the matchup with the other team in the Yellowhammer State - Auburn, my pre-season #1 who may fall based on last night's squeaker past South Carolina.

Vs. Alabama
The Alabama defense is as good as usual, but they haven't seen the spread-misdirection-horizontal fiesta of an offense like Florida's this year. Chris Leak leads the nation with 12 TD passes, and no doubt is beggin for blitzes. The absence of a speedy playmaker on the Tide offense or special teams like Tyrone Prothro will hurt. Edge to Florida

LSU has crushed all comers easily, except...

at Auburn
The biggy for SEC supremacy - if Urban's boys can beat LSU, this will be fun at Jordan-Hare. You all know that Kenny Irons is one of the best RBs in the nation, but the Tiger defense is special. How they handle the Gamecocks tonight could change my thinking however.

Gators own the Bulldogs.Plain and simple. I expect the Gator defense to embarrass the Bulldogs offense, regardless of the other game results.

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