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18 posts from January 2008

January 31, 2008

For the record: Patchan III is a "Cane for life"; his son is a Gator

GAINESVILLE -- In case you haven't noticed, Miami fans are pretty upset about a story I wrote today in The Miami Herald. The story is about the art of persuasion and how Florida coach Urban Meyer has built a reputation as an expert of this art.

What better way to explain this than to offer the example of a Matt Patchan, a talented offensive lineman who committed to Florida. Patchan's father, Matt Patchan III, played for Miami. Patchan, the son, grew up a Hurricanes fan but chose to play for Florida. This background offered a perfect example of Meyer's ability as a recruiter. And since I work for The Miami Herald, obviously, I wrote it. Miami fans took great offense to this example and have lashed out at Matt Patchan's father for not steering his son to Miami. Hurricanes fans have also lashed out at me for writing it but, frankly, I don't care. What I do care about, however, is the reputation of Patchan III. For the record: Patchan III is a good man, a great father and a loyal former Miami Hurricane.

I have spoken with Mr. Patchan III today and he is upset about the article and thinks it portrays him as some sort of traitor to the University of Miami. This couldn't be further from the truth. Matt Patchan III is a "Cane for life" and loves the Miami Hurricanes. (I didn't write this in the article because that's not what the article was about. As I've already state, the article was about Florida. Also, I don't write headlines.) Patchan III says he is friends with Miami head coach Randy Shannon. While Patchan III loves Miami, he also loves his son. He is a good father and wanted his son to make his own decisions during the recruiting process. Patchan III removed himself from the recruiting equation and his son chose Florida.

Patchan's choice had nothing to do with his father, Randy Shannon or the University of Miami. Florida began recruiting Patchan when he was a sophomore (long before Shannon was the head coach at Miami). Patchan III should be commended for being a good father and not letting his convictions interfere with his son's decisions. While Patchan is now a Gator, his father remains a "Cane for life."   


January 30, 2008

Gators get a versatile defender in DE William Green; Is Florida's D-line deep enough?

GAINESVILLE -- Florida received a commitment from defensive end William Green of Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park on Wednesday. In case you're wondering, Spain Park is the other high school in Hoover, Ala. (As in, not the one that was featured on the MTV reality show "Two-A-Days" and just went through a major scandal, which included the firing of its head coach. Hoover High is also the school that produced former Florida receiver Chad Jackson.)

As most of you know by now, I'm pretty familiar with this neck of the woods. My kids attend an elementary school that feeds Spain Park. ANYWAY, I had a chance to see Green and the Spain Park Jaguars in action this season. Spain Park beat Oak Mountain handily that Friday night and I'm fairly certain it was the turning point of the season for Spain Park. The Jags went on to compete for Alabama's Class 6A state championship thanks in large measure to a defense led by Green. Green is being recruited as a defensive end but in the game that I watched Green played more linebacker than defensive end. The point being, he's a pretty athletic kid.

If Green's commitment holds up (anything can happen between now and Feb. 6) it would be another major recruiting coup for Florida. It's always difficult to lure a major recruit away from the State of Alabama. Add in the fact that Spain Park's special teams coach is a former Auburn legend and landing Green is a big victory for Florida.

Green is the 22nd commitment for the Gators and fills the recruiting void left by Chaz Sutton, who had his scholarship offer recently pulled. Apparently, Sutton wasn't going to qualify.

Green weighs about 215 but don't expect him to get too much bigger, 20 pounds max. He's tough and fast and will add a much-needed pass rush to the Gators' defensive line. Like Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens last season, I wouldn't be surprised if Green plays a little as a freshman. Florida coach Urban Meyer wasn't pleased with his defensive line in 2007. The D-line in 2008 has the potential to be better. Let's take a look:

Florida loses one starter, redshirt junior Derrick Harvey. While this is a pretty big loss, Florida is deep at the position. Possible DE starters in 2008 include returners Jermaine "Cup Toss" Cunningham, Lawrence Marsh, Carlos Dunlap, Jaye Howard and Duke Lemmens. According to Meyer, Trattou has been moved inside to defensive tackle. Green would take Trattou's spot.

Joining Trattou at defensive tackle will be Javier Estopinan, Torrey "The Open Container" Davis, John Brown and Terron Sanders. Add incoming freshmen Omar Hunter, Bryan Jones and Troy Epps to that list and Florida should be able to find a couple guys good enough to start.

If you're counting, that's six defensive ends and eight defensive tackles. (With Trattou being the eighth DT.) Is this enough?


January 28, 2008

Why is Vandy ranked higher than Florida?

GAINESVILLE -- Florida beats Vanderbilt like a three-egg omelet and Vandy, No. 18 in the coaches' poll, is still ranked ahead of No.19 Florida. Why is this?


January 25, 2008

Is Urban Meyer a dirty recruiter? This idea is laughable...

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Urban Meyer is in a little trouble these days for the apparent recruiting tactics he used to lure receiver Carl Moore to Gainesville.

Trouble No.1: According to the Sacramento Bee, Moore got a call from Meyer while he was in New York for Tim Tebow's Heisman ceremony. Shortly after Tebow won the award, the quarterback was on the phone shouting at Moore to come to Florida.

Is this a problem? The NCAA might think so. There is a bylaw in the NCAA's rules and regulations manual that prohibits coaches from telling current players to speak with recruits.

Number of times this bylaw has been broken: 43,393,228 times. (And that's just at Southern Cal.)

Will this stick? Doubt it. Can't Tebow just say he asked to speak with Moore?

Trouble No.2: Meyer might have recruited Moore's girlfriend, Maranda Smith, who is now a gymnast at UF.

Is this a problem? Another NCAA bylaw stipulates that coaches can only recruit players for the sports they coach.

Will this stick? Doubt it. Can't Smith say she was already thinking about coming to Florida? She is certainly good enough. She competed for UCLA in 2006. The Bruins won the national title in 2004. Smith was a also a junior Olympian. AND she says she contacted Florida about possibly transferring way back in February of 2007. AND what girl wouldn't want to go to the same school as her soon-to-be-NFL-receiver husband? Smith said on Wednesday that she and Moore plan to get married after they graduate.

Is Meyer a shrewd recruiter? Florida doesn't pay the guy $3.5 million a year to be the moral police.

Is Urban Meyer a dirty recruiter? First off, this question is inherently absurd. ("Dirty recruiting" is about as redundant as "fast racecars" or "cold snow" or "good ... well, you know.") Secondly, the NCAA bylaws that might have been broken only exist for one reason: to be broken. If a school breaks an NCAA rule, guess who gets paid? If the NCAA really wanted to clean up major college athletics, then it would just have a draft. (OK, that idea might border on the absurd. But so is the current state of recruiting.)


January 23, 2008

POLL: How does this Florida basketball team keep winning?

How this Florida basketball team keeps winning these Southeastern Conference games might be more remarkable than convincing Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah to stay another season at UF.

Florida got so desperate on Wednesday night that coach Billy Donovan actually played a freshman walk-on. Yet Florida keeps on winning. The Gators rallied in the second half to beat South Carolina 73-71 in a road game that saw THE GREAT Shane Payne (great name, anyways) earn his first meaningful minutes (well, less than two minutes) of playing time this season. Payne is from Broward County, OF COURSE.

Florida (17-3, 4-1 in SEC) plays Vanderbilt on Sunday at the O'Connell Center. Until then, I'll leave my friends and loyal readers (What's going on in Peru?) with a poll. Well, more like a single multiple-choice question, which I would like answered in the most sarcastic refrains possible. Thank you.

Which answer best describes why Florida is the current leader in the SEC East?

A) Marreese Speights wears a rosary.

B) Walter Hodge's voo-doo hair-do.

C) Shane Payne.

D) The SEC is trash.

E) Jai Lucas' always-new Air Jordans.


January 22, 2008

Touted DT commits to Florida

GAINESVILLE -- Five-star defensive line recruit Omar Hunter committed to the University of Florida on Tuesday. This next sentence pretty much sums up how athletically gifted the kid is. He stands 6 feet and two inches tall, weighs 318 pounds and can dunk a basketball.

          Yes, Hunter's commitment was a slam dunk indeed for the Gators. Rated as one of the best defensive tackle recruits in the Southeast, Hunter said on Tuesday that he would have committed to Georgia but the Bulldogs did not have a scholarship available for him. Hunter had eight sacks his senior season for Buford (Ga.) High.

          "It was bad timing, "Hunter said. "[Georgia] was already full on commitments."

Hunter is the 22nd commitment of the class of 2008 for the Gators. Players can begin signing national letters of intent on Feb. 6. Until then, commitments are non-binding. Hunter originally committed to Notre Dame but changed his mind four weeks ago after an all-star game in Orlando.

          "[Florida] never let off during the recruiting process even when I was committed Notre Dame," Hunter said.


January 21, 2008

Florida steals another from Miami

GAINESVILLE -- As if tensions between Florida and Miami weren't already red hot this recruiting season, Florida has apparently steered another former Miami commitment away from Coral Gables.

First it was offensive lineman Matt Patchan of Seffner Armwood, who was considered by many to be a future Miami Hurricane. (His father and uncle played for Miami.) Now Florida's coaches have changed the commitment of Ramon Buchanan, a safety from Melbourne Palm Bay. Buchanan spurned Miami on Sunday, changing his oral commitment from the Hurricanes to the Gators after an official visit to Gainesville. Players can, of course, change their commitments 393 times until they sign a national letter of intent. The signing period begins on Feb. 6.

If anyone was watching ESPN's College GameDay basketball show on Saturday, Buchanan was the football recruit who did the Tim-Tebow-aided Gator chomp on live national television. A 6-1 safety, Buchanan is the sixth defensive back of the 2008 recruiting class to commit to the Gators. The others: Will Hill (Jersey City, N.J.), Dee Finley (Auburn, Ala.), Jeremy Brown (Orlando), Janoris Jenkins (Pahokee) and Adrian Bushell (DeSoto, Texas).

Buchanan is the second defensive back to change a commitment from Miami to an SEC school in less than a month. Patrick Johnson (Pompano Beach Blanche Ely) told Miami coaches he wanted to be a Hurricane before he changed his mind (about 5,000 times) and eventually enrolled early at LSU. (It now appears Miami knew Johnson wasn't going to qualify. Johnson's test scores were recently red flagged by the NCAA Clearinghouse.)


January 20, 2008

Emails I get: Goodman, your skull is empty

This email comes to us from Rolando Morales, loyal reader...

Hey Goodman,
Every blog that you write is filled with sarcasm, which is why I decided to check your bio. Bio?  When I click on it, nothing comes up. I guess it is empty just like your skull. Have a good one.

Dsc00716Dsc00476OFFICIAL GOODMAN BIO: All of my friends are smarter than me. I am 29 years old. I have three younger brothers and three sons (pictured). I have a dog named Guinness, who I rescued from the Broward County Humane Society. Guinness (pit/lab/greyhound/great dane/manic mix) is from the mean Superbowlpic2streets of Miami. She runs the 40 in 3.2 seconds. Like my dog, I am an American mutt and proud of it.  I'm getting married in May in Birmingham, Ala. That's where I grew up. I was born in Mobile, Ala.  I'm named after my dad and my mom is named after a flower, God bless her. I graduated high school from Irondale Shades Valley (Go Mounties!) and double majored in English and journalism at UAB Kevin(Southside U!). My favorite writer is Irish and dead, like my grandmother. I've got a bad hair-do but I'm a pretty good friend. Need a kidney? One of my best friends is fellow Miami Herald sports writer Manny Navarro, who covers the Miami Hurricanes for The Herald. Here's a picture of Manny and I before last year's Super Bowl at Dolphin Stadium. I met my first friend ("The Skinny Bandit," a.k.a. "El Dsc00652Flaco," a.k.a. "Slim," a.k.a. "Bryant, Get Me Something Cold To Drink") when I was completely naked 27 years ago on the corner of Beacon Street and LaSalle Lane in "The Dale," a.k.a. "Hillside," Ala. About 25 1/2 years  later, we took this picture together inside Mangos on Ocean Drive, South Beach. Coincedentally, the beautiful woman I'm so lucky to be marrying took the picture. Her name is Sarah "Pup" Goldman and she's got a big heart and little toes.


January 19, 2008

Big weekend for recruiting in Gainesville; Expect lots of partying

GAINESVILLE -- Alabama prep receiver Julio Jones is staying at the University Hilton this weekend. Don't expect a stakeout by me just to learn a variation of this answer: "I enjoyed the visit but I'm still undecided."

This is apparently a big weekend for recruiting in Gainesville. About 10 players (several have already committed) are in town to tour the university, watch their name flash on the megatron inside the football stadium, binge drink at local clubs and then go home. (I will be in the clubs tonight ... with a camera.)

Not really sure how important this recruiting weekend is for the Gators. Coach Urban Meyer already has 20 commitments and before the mass defection (Jarred Fayson, Bo Williams, Bryan Waggener, Chevon Walker: Am I leaving out any quitters?) Florida had about 18 scholarships available. By my count that means two or three scholarships are still available.

Of course, you never know. Florida might pull an offer or two because of bad grades or test scores, 15 players might say "SIKE" to the Gators and go to UAB or South Alabama (I hear the Jags are starting a team, Julio.) ANYWAY, here's the list of kids expected to visit. I'll try and track down a few tonight at the basketball game (and then later in the clubs).

Daniel Andrews, wide receiver from Jacksonville Trinity Christian. (Probably wants to go to UF but UF doesn't have room. Wide receiver quota of Andrews' type already filled.)

Ricky Barnum, Lakeland Lake Gibson, offensive line (center); Does this mean the circus is in town?

Ramon Buchanan, Melbourne Palm Bay, wide receiver, This kid is going to Miami.

Jeffrey Demps, Groveland South Lake, Another UF running back commitment who should have gone somewhere else. (Always a bad sign when the running backs coach leaves the team so he can actually be a RUNNING BACKS COACH.)

Dee Finley, Auburn (Ala.) High; How this safety is still committed to Florida and not Auburn is beyond my (nobody cheats in the SEC) comprehension.

William Green, Hoover Spain Park (Ala.); Played for the OTHER Class 6A high school in Hoover, Ala., which actually made it to the state finals this season. I actually watched this kid play this season awhile visiting family (my kids live in Hoover and are zoned for Spain Park). Great motor on this kid.

Frankie Hammond Jr., Hallandale; I'm going to love interviewing Mr. Hammond next season. Smart kid.

Omar Hunter, Buford (Ga.); Expect this talented defensive tackle to commit to Florida this weekend.

Julio Jones; Foley (Ala.); Aforementioned Jones reminds me of another former Alabama prep star, Terrell Owens.

Burton Scott; Prichard (Ala.) Vigor; This kid is committed to Bama.

Chaz Sutton, Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins; This defensive is 100 percent committed to the Gators.


January 17, 2008

Prized UF hoops recruit causing problems? Nah, he was just being a loyal friend

GAINESVILLE -- One of Florida's 2008 basketball commitments has apparently gotten himself into a little trouble about a state championship ring.

Plantation American Heritage's Eloy Vargas, a 6-10 power forward who has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Gators next season, was one of two American Heritage players suspended for three games this week for boycotting a game against Miami Monsignor Pace. The game was televised nationally by ESPNU.

Vargas missed the game in support of one of his teammate, Ray Taylor, who boycotted the event because he apparently isn't going to receive a state championship ring, which he earned last year while playing for Miami Monsignor Pace.

Sounds silly, right? You can view this from two angles. One, Taylor and Vargas are the latest examples of a high-profile prep stars gone bad, prima donnas with out-of-control egos.

A contrarian's perspective is a little different: Vargas was simply being a good friend.

This might seem ridiculous. After all, wouldn't a good friend advise his teammate to forget about the ring and just play the game? It's a little more complicated than that.

If you know anything about the highly competitive world of high school sports in South Florida, then you're fully aware that recruiting has become commonplace. It's no coincidence that three of the best basketball players in South Florida -- Vargas, Taylor and Kenny Boynton Jr. -- are playing on the same basketball team this season. (It's also no coincidence that Miami Monsignor Pace won a state championship last year with Taylor. The school is being hypocritical if it buys a player and then doesn't buy the same player a ring.)

With so many players changing schools every year, allegiance has shifted from loyalty for one's school to loyalty for one's friends. This is just natural, so American Heritage can't get too upset when something like this happens. It's just a product of the culture schools like American Heritage and Monsignor Pace have created.


January 15, 2008

Betting odds: 2009 BCS National Champion

In case anyone wanted to place an early bet on the Gators ...

GAINESVILLE -- Betting odds for the 2009 BCS National Championship, provided by some offshore handicapper named Bodog, who emails me a lot of junk like this and it gets annoying.


Odds to win 2009 BCS National Championship    
USC                             3/1
Florida                          6/1
Georgia                        6/1
Ohio State                    6/1
Oklahoma                     8/1
LSU                              10/1
Texas                           12/1
West Virginia                 12/1
Virginia Tech                 15/1
Missouri                        20/1
Auburn                          25/1
Illinois                           25/1
Clemson                       30/1
Kansas                         30/1
Penn State                    30/1
Tennessee                    30/1
Arizona State                40/1
California                      40/1
Oregon                         40/1
Wisconsin                     40/1
Alabama                       50/1
Florida State                 50/1
Michigan                       50/1
Rutgers                         50/1
South Carolina              50/1
South Florida                50/1
Cincinnati                      60/1
Miami Florida                60/1
Notre Dame                  60/1
Oklahoma State             60/1
UCLA                            70/1
Boise State                   80/1
Kentucky                       80/1
Louisville                      80/1
Oregon State                80/1
Nebraska                      80/1
Arkansas                       100/1
Boston College             100/1
Georgia Tech                100/1

College Football Predictions 2008 (including UF vs. Miami!)

First, an update ...

GAINESVILLE -- You know those reporters and columnists who write as if they are infallible and God-like. Well, "that ain't me, kid." Me had a little downtime the last two weeks. Things me did during the downtime.

1. Made a New Year's resolution on Jan. 1.
2. Broke New Year's resolution on Jan. 2.
3. Bought a 2008 day planner.
4. Bought some Heely's.
5. Played Rock Band (karaoke on karacoke-E!) on Playstation 3.   
6. Read Killing Yourself To Live by Chuck Klosterman (official infallible and God-like review: this book sucks)
7. Walked in the woods ... with a gun.
8. Ate some sushi ... but it was fried.
9. You married her?
10. Watched Star Wars (Darth Vader is the original gangsta'; C3PO gets it right at the beginning of the movie when he tells R2D2 "The damage doesn't look so bad from far away.")

2008 College Football and Basketball Predictions ...
1. Patrick Johnson (Pompano Beach Ely) will change his mind again.
2. Nick Calathes is named SEC Freshman of the Year.
3. UF basketball team loses in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
4. So does Miami
5. Final Four: Kansas, Memphis, UCLA, Clemson
6. national champ: Memphis
7. Gators' starting free safety: Jamar Hornsby
8. Let's not stand on ceremony ... Florida 30, Miami 27.
9. Saban loses four games.
10. Georgia wins national title


January 12, 2008

Florida is 2-0 in the SEC? How many wins are needed for a ticket to the Big Dance?

Watching the final moments of Florida's second win in Southeastern Conference play and thinking Jai Lucas would be a pretty cool name for a Jedi knight.

Hans Solo, Mace Windu, Jai Lucas. [crickets ... and a now a predictable transition]

Lucas was certainly an unassuming hero on Saturday in the Gators' 72-56 win against Auburn. The little guy (Lucas is, as they say in Alabama, no bigger than a mole cricket) scored 14 points including his own 7-0 run in the final minutes. It's Lucas' second impressive SEC game in a row. He dropped 17 points at Alabama.

Florida's 2-0 start to conference play is intriguing, provides a few answers but also raises just as many questions. Let's play the Jeopardy game.

Answer: This current Florida player is better than Taurean Green when Green was a freshman.
Question: Who is Jai Lucas?

Answer: This stormy incarnation of basketball toughness scored 11 points and had five rebounds off the bench on Saturday despite a foot injury.
Question: Who is "Thunder" Dan Werner?

Answer: The regression of college basketball in this southern state over the last three years is so pathetically profound that a local sports radio pundit can only say, "Well, we're a football state. Next caller. Hello, Gary. Thanks for calling in." Gary: "A football state that loses to Louisiana-Monroe." [CLICK]
Question: What is Alabama?

Answer: Six
Question: What is the number of wins Florida (15-2) still needs to assure itself a spot in the NCAA Tournament?

OK, enough of the Jeopardy game. Florida next travels to Oxford, Miss., for what's sure to be one of the Gators' toughest road games of the season. If Florida beats Ole Miss (13-1), then you can go ahead and buy your tickets for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.


January 10, 2008

Drayton and Holliday gone; What does this mean for the Gators?

GAINESVILLE -- First Stan Drayton left for Tennessee and now Florida assistant Doc Holliday is bolting for West Virginia. Anyway you spin it, this isn't good news for the Gators.

Holliday's wife, Diana, confirmed on Thursday that Holliday accepted a position at West Virginia. A member of the Gators' secondary also confirmed the news.

Drayton and Holliday were considered the Gators' best recruiters. Drayton leaving for an SEC East Division rival is bad enough, but now Florida coach Urban Meyer must replace Holliday, who has been recruiting South Florida for years.

Every high school football coach in South Florida knows Holliday and considers him one of the best recruiters of the area. Holliday made a name for himself recruiting Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties for West Virginia before leaving the Mountaineers for N.C. State and then Florida. Losing Holliday is a considerable blow for the Gators recruiting efforts in South Florida.


January 03, 2008

Updating this story: Ingram staying

GAINESVILLE -- Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram thought about turning pro but changed his mind. Good decision? Yeah, probably. Ingram's NFL Draft stock can only rise after another year of experience at the position. The senior-to-be has only played tight end for two years.


January 02, 2008

Florida 88, High Point 70

GAINESVILLE -- On to the big boys of the Southeastern Conference. Florida ended its easy-breezy non-conference schedule with an 88-70 win against High Point. Mo Speights had 24 points and 15 rebounds and played a career-high 31 minutes.

Florida coach Billy Donovan is happy with Mo Speights' endurance level heading into conference play. Florida opens SEC action with Alabama on Jan.8.

One of Florida's most consistent shooters at the beginning of the season, Allen's shooting touch is a bit off right now. Good news, though. He is attempting to shoot himself out the slump. Allen played nine minutes against High Point and attempted five shots, all three-pointers.

Florida forward Jonathan Mitchell is red-hot entering conference play. He was 5-of-6 from the field against High Point. Mitchell hadn't missed a shot since Dec. 5 when he missed his first shot on Wednesday night.

Oh yeah, blog. Florida up 75-58 with 7:50 to play. Speights with 22 and Jonathan Mitchell with a surprising 12.

Halftime and Speights appeared so winded at the end of the half that he needed a grad assistant to hurry him off the court. Speights with 18 points and UF leads High Point 50-34.

Speights with another dunk and Adam Allen follows with a three-pointer. Florida 46-31; 1:15.

The best thing about covering this basketball game tonight is the TV on press row, which is showing the Fiesta Bowl. West Virginia and Oklahoma are tied at 0. (And Florida leads High Point 39-29 here at the O'Dome with 2:56 left.)

Mo Speights dunks home his sixth bucket of the night. Florida leads 37-24 with 4:14 left in the half.

Florida leads 31-19 with 5:56 to play. Tyus back in for Mo Speights and still playing well (six points, three rebounds and two blocks). Should Tyus start against Alabama next week alongside Mo Speights?

Mo Speights leads the Gators with 10 points through the first 11 minutes and 24 seconds. Florida leading 24-14.

Florida up by 10 (20-10) with 11:45 to play after a Calathes lay-up.

Tyus playing great basketball tonight. He just recorded his second block of the game and has four points. Looks like Billy D is subbing him out of the game, though. Mo Speights back in. Florida 16, High Point 7; 13:40.

Big dunk by Alex Tyus gives Florida a 11-5 lead with 15:17 left in the half. Tyus follows with a defensive rebound and Chandler Parsons makes it 14-5 with a three-pointer.

About four minutes in and Florida leads 6-5 on a pair of Mo Speights put backs and a Nick Calathes backdoor cut. Speights out of the game already for Alex Tyus.

Here in the O'Dome for the Florida Gators' home game against High Point. It's all basketball all of the time now that the Gators' football season is over. The Gators are 12-2 and this is the team's final regular-season game before SEC play.

High Point (6-5) has a player named Arizona Reid. He's apparently a pretty good basketball player, averaging 24.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Interested to see how the Gators' young defense does against him. This much I know already Arizona Reid as the best hair (dreads) and name in college basketball.

If I owned the video game College Basketball '08, Arizona Reid would be a guy I created and dominated the world with: 6-5, cool dreads, cool name and purple shoes! Ok, maybe I'd get rid of the purple shoes.

Move Deonte Thompson to cornerback? Why not Chris Rainey

GAINESVILLE -- If Florida is to compete for a national championship next season, then the team needs a few more quality cornerbacks.

Deonte Thompson doesn't seem to be doing much for the offense. Could a move to defensive back be out of the question for him. Why not move Chris Rainey to cornerback next season. Rainey won't get many carries as a running back with Percy Harvin, Kestahn Moore and Percy Harvin (and Tim Tebow) vying for carries. Can Jamar Hornsby play free safety next year and incoming freshman Will Hill move to cornerback?

Give us your solution to the Gators biggest problem (the secondary) and I'll pass it along to the coaching staff up here in Gainesville!


January 01, 2008

Michigan sends Carr off with a win

ORLANDO -- Sorry for the delay guys. Had to run down to the field for post-game interviews. More on that a little later. The sidelines was an interesting place to watch the final minutes of this game. Florida's defense finally got a stop in the fourth quarter but Tim Tebow couldn't lead the comeback due to Michigan's swarming pass rush. Final: Michigan 41, Florida 35.

Seemed like Michigan played with more passion in game's final minutes.


Florida took its first lead of the game with 5:49 left when Percy Harvin scored on a 10-yard run. The score was set up by an interception from freshman defensive tackle Mike Pouncey.

Michigan kicker K.C. Lopata put Michigan ahead with a 47-yard field goal.

Florida tied the score at 28-all after Tebow found Andre Caldwell wide open in the end zone for a 14-yard scoring play. The touchdown was set up by an 44-yard run by Percy Harvin. Caldwell now has two touchdown receptions and Harvin has 151 rushing yards.

Mike Hart fumbles again inside the five-yard line. Florida recovers and now driving.

Tebow rushed for a one-yard score to cut Michigan's lead to 28-21. (7:55, 3rd quarter)

Michigan's lead now stands at 14 points after the Wolverines converted their onsides kick into a quick touchdown. (12:50, 3rd quarter)

The second half couldn't have started any worse for Florida. First, Michigan recovered an onsides kick and now Mike Pouncey is being helped off the field with what appears to be a knee or ankle injury. Michigan at Florida 22. (14:18, 3rd quarter)


Percy Harvin turned in one of his best runs of the season--66 yards--but it was all for not as a penalty later nullified a touchdown pass from Tebow to Harvin. Tebow was then sacked and Joey Ijjas' 35-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Michigan is having its own difficulties. The Wolverines followed the block with a 65-yard pass play from Henne to Carson Butler but Mike Hart fumbled away the momentum at the Florida 2. It was Hart's first fumble in 1,005 carries. (5:27, 2nd quarter)

Michigan ties the score with a painfully slow drive. Mike Hart scored from two yards after a 24-yard pass from Chad Henne to Mario Manningham put the Wolverines inside the Florida 10. (9:51, 2nd quarter)

As noted by Miami Herald writer Mike McCall, Andre Caldwell's obligatory drop is out of the way. After dropping a short out route (he does this every game), Caldwell answered with an 18-yard score. He caught a quick pass from Tebow and raced through Michigan's lumbering defense for the touchdown. (14:48, 2nd quarter)

Michigan self destructing now. A 15-yard personal foul tacked on to the end of a 23-yard punt return by UF's Brandon James has Florida in position to score.

Florida's defense is playing well after its shaky start. First Dorian Munroe broke up a pass to end a Michigan drive and now Derrick Harvey got into the backfield to force a fumble. Michigan quarterback Chad Henne (why do I always want to call Chad Henne Brad Penny?) recovered but the Wolverines were forced to punt.

A 19-yard run by Tim Tebow, a 10-yard run by Percy Harvin and a 17-yard pass from Tebow to Cornelius Ingram set up Florida's first score, a 10-yard pass from Tebow to Harvin. (2:37, 1st quarter)

Time off didn't help Florida kicker Joey Ijjas. He missed a 49-yard field goal to end the Gators' first drive. Gators again driving after a Michigan offensive holding penalty ruined the Wolverines' possession. (5:41, 1st quarter)

The Capital One Bowl is underway ... Florida's defense is still terrible. Michigan raced down the field for the game's first score. The 93-yard drive was capped off by a 21-yard pass from Chad Henne to Mario Manningham.

PREGAME NOTES: Florida safety Tony Joiner was renamed captain for the Capital One Bowl. Joiner lost his title as team captain after being arrested for breaking into a Gainesville towing service's impound yard to retrieve his girlfriend's car. The charges were later dropped. 


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