COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The leaves are already orange and red here. I searched this picturesque town this morning for a homespun eatery and happened upon Cafe' Strudels, a hipster hangout along Broad River and east of Williams-Brice Stadium. I'm sitting here with my laptop with mixed emotions. It's a beautiful day in South Carolina but Florida's SEC schedule is almost over. It seems like just yesterday the Gators opened conference play. A few thoughts and questions before I settle down in front of a TV for an exciting day of college football:
1. With Florida receiver Percy Harvin sidelined with a sinus infection, who will replace his productivity today against South Carolina?
1. Florida needs Georgia to lose to Auburn. Georgia spoiled the Tigers' 2006 season. Will Auburn return the favor today? Can the Tigers' defense shut down Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno the same way it stuffed Arkansas' Darren McFadden?
2. Florida also needs a loss from the Tennessee Volunteers. Can the Vols slow down McFadden and Felix Jones or will the SEC's best running back duo burn through Tennessee like it did last week against South Carolina?
3. Has Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon moved ahead of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow as the nation's best dual-threat quarterback?
4. Is Tebow's right shoulder healthy? If so Tebow's ability as a runner could be the deciding factor in today's game?
5. Is Notre Dame going to lose to Air Force today? Could it get any worse for the Irish? Does anyone south of Kentucky even care?
6. How many trick plays can Florida expect from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier? Gotta think the Head Ball Coach's creativity will test Florida's young defense?
7. Is Florida's defense really that young anymore? The Gators played well against Vanderbilt. Can they remain consistent?
8. Does Mississippi State upset Alabama today? It could happen. State already has signature wins against Auburn and Kentucky this season. A win would make State bowl eligible, a major victory for State head coach Sly Croom.
Gator Clause will be blogging live from Williams-Brice Stadium tonight. Don't forget to join me. And don't forget to check out MiamiHerald.com on Sunday morning for coverage of tonight's game, including a post-game podcast.