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13 posts from May 2008

May 31, 2008

Gators ranked No.1 by Athlon

GAINESVILLE -- Is this a curse or a compliment by the folks at Athlon?

Athlon Sports' PRESEASON TOP 25
1. Florida
2. Ohio State
3. Oklahoma
4. USC
5. UGA
6. Mizzou
7. West Virginia
8. Auburn
9. LSU
10. Clemson
11. Texas
12. Wisconsin
13. Kansas
14. BYU
15. Arizona State
16. Illinois
17. Tennessee
18. Texas Tech
19. Oregon
20. South Florida
21. Virginia Tech
22. Rutgers
23. Penn State
24. Wake Forest
25. Fresno State

-jo-

May 30, 2008

Florida receives a pair of commitments, Gators get Nu'Ked

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Urban Meyer picked up two non-binding commitments today when Mike Gillisless (Deland) and Nu'Keese Richardson (Pahokee) said they wanted to play for the Gators in 2009.

Gillislee (6-0, 200 pounds) is a running back but probably would not play that position if he sticks by his oral commitment and signs with Florida in Feb. Richardson (5-9, 151-pounds) is a wide receiver and comes from the same school as UF freshman Janoris Jenkins.

Props to Nu'Keese for the wackest name since Oriole Nebula. (That's a real person's name, by the way.) Gator Clause looks forward to writing Georgia got Nu'Ked in the fourth quarter with a long touchdown catch.

-jo- 

May 28, 2008

Five games we DIDN'T expect to shape the SEC...No.4, Ole Miss at Arkansas

Game No.4 on our countdown of top five games you didn't expect to shape the SEC:

GAINESVILLE -- You thought Alabama-Auburn was a rivalry? Florida-Georgia? The SEC hasn't seen anything like its latest cutthroat rivalry. Ole Miss vs. Arkansas takes on new meaning this season when former Hogs coach Houston Nutt brings his Ole Miss Rebels to Fayetteville.

What once was one of the SEC West's forgotten rivalries gets new life in 2008. The divorce between Nutt and Arkansas was a nasty one and this rivalry will be laced with overtones of hatred, spit and guttural cries of displeasure.

GAME 4
Ole Miss at Arkansas
When: Oct. 25
Why this game matters: Other than it being one of the best SEC games of the regular season? Ole Miss had no business landing Houston Nutt. Gator Clause suspects that half of the reason the coach went to Oxford was to spite his old employer. Now that Ole Miss has their man, watch for the Rebs to improve quickly. The winner of this game could prove to be a major spoiler in the SEC West. Gator Clause isn't sold on LSU, Auburn or Alabama.

-jo-

Cops' message to Noah: Stay out of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE -- Joakim Noah's recent visit to Gainesville couldn't have gone much worse. So much for returning to campus and expecting to be treated like a king.

Ap_joakim_noah_070629_ms_2First, Noah (now with the Chicago Bulls) gets busted by the Gainesville Police Department for open container and misdemeanor possession (one little 'J'). Next, Noah gets harassed by the University of Florida police. The campus cops tagged Noah with two traffic citations: driving with a suspended license and not wearing a seat belt....ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

This is Joakim Noah we're talking about here, folks. Give the guy a break. First the cops search him for no good reason (It's JOAKIM NOAH) and then he gets pulled over for not wearing his seat belt (It's JOAKIM NOAH). Cops, man. Alls I got to say. Freaking cops. For some reason I don't think Jeremy Foley or Urban Meyer gets pulled over in Gainesville for not wearing a seat belt.

Simpsons20copIt's time to wake up, Gainesville cops [pictured]. Noah is the face of Florida athletics. Nationally (and internationally), JOAKIM NOAH is bigger -- WAY BIGGER -- than Tim Tebow. You're supposed to treat this guy like a king. Instead, the cops are sweating Noah like he's Public Enemy No.1. It's not like Noah is inconspicuous. It's not like cops don't pull over Joakim Noah and not already know that they're pulling over JOAKIM NOAH.

I mean, what are we to believe. That maybe Noah got away with murder while he was a star at Florida and now that he's a professional the Gainesville cops are thinking pay back. The message is clear. In the eternal words of JOAKIM NOAH himself: It's time to "get your light feet going."

-jo-

May 25, 2008

Joakim Noah busted for marijuana

GAINESVILLE -- Here's a shocker: Joakim Noah smokes weed.

WeedThe free-spirited former Gator was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana early Sunday morning in Gainesville. Apparently, cops initially approached Noah in downtown Gainesville (where the bars and nightclubs are located) for an open container. The fuzz found a joint in Noah's pocket.

Noah led Florida to consecutive basketball national championships before being drafted ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls.

Drugs are bad, mmkay.

-jo-

May 21, 2008

Five games we DIDN'T expect to shape the SEC...No.5, Bama at Arkansas

100 days until Hawaii...

GAINESVILLE -- College football columnist Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered readers five games this fall he believes will shape the SEC championship. Here's the link CLICK ME.

It's a pretty predictable list. It shouldn't be, of course. Last season was one of the most UNPREDICTABLE college football seasons in history. Need I remind anyone that Mississippi State beat both Auburn and Alabama, Florida clobbered Tennessee but the Vols still played in Atlanta and -- most unusual of all -- LSU lost two games and still won a national championship.

The unpredictibility will surely carry over into this season. Georgia lost to South Carolina last season but is now expected by most everyone to win the SEC and play for a national title. With that in mind, Gator Clause presents FIVE GAMES YOU DIDN'T SEE COMING THAT WILL SHAPE THE SEC title game...We'll look at one match-up per day for the next five days...And remember, folks, 100 days until college football season!

5. Alabama at Arkansas
When: Sept. 20
Last season: Alabama 7-4, Independence Bowl win against Colorado (30-24); Arkansas 8-5, Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri 38-7
Why this game matters: The first SEC game for both teams, this match-up is all about momentum. Second-year Alabama coach Nick Saban won't just be looking to improve on his first season, he's looking to win the West. Alabama begins the season as the West's dark horse and a win against Arkansas in Fayetteville will send Crimson Tide fans into a frenzy. Arkansas lost a lot (Darren McFadden and Felix Jones) last season but don't expect a major down year from the Hogs. First-year coach Bobby Petrino would like nothing more than to beat Saban in his SEC debut. Arkansas will be ready.

-jo-

May 15, 2008

NCAA 09 overall ratings: Florida, Miami, FSU, UGA, LSU and Tenn.; Tebow leads all with 99

HERE'S SOMETHING WE CAN ALL ARGUE ABOUT ...

GAINESVILLE -- For those video game nuts out there, here's a sneak peek at some individual player ratings for NCAA '09. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has an overall rating of 99. Percy Harvin has a speed rating of 98.

Some random thoughts: Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram isn't rated among the Gators' best...LSU defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois appears to be underrated...Florida linebacker Dustin Doe is overrated...What, no Drew Weatherford?...A punter is Tennessee's second highest rated player...Georgia's video-game likeness looks pretty stinking good.

-jo-

FLORIDA

Tim Tebow, junior, quarterback 99

Percy Harvin, junior, wide receiver 96

Brandon Spikes, junior, middle linebacker 95

Dustin Doe, junior, outside linebacker 93

Phil Trautwein, redshirt senior, offensive tackle 92

Jim Tartt, senior, offensive guard 91

Maurkice Pouncey, sophomore, offensive guard 91


MIAMI

Eric Moncur, senior, defensive end, 93 (Miami)

Randy Phillips, senior, cornerback, 92 (Belle Glade)

Lavon Ponder, senior, safety, 91 (Miami)

Colin McCarthy, junior, outside linebacker, 91

Jason Fox, junior, offensive tackle, 90

Graig Cooper, sophomore, running back, 88

Darryl Sharpton, junior, linebacker, 88 (Coral Gables)


FLORIDA STATE

Myron Rolle, sophomore, rover (strong safety), 97

Derek Nicholson, junior, middle linebacker, 94

Everette Brown, redshirt sophomore, defensive end, 94

Antone Smith, junior, running back, 92 (Pahokee)

Marcus Ball, sophomore, outside linebacker, 92

Preston Parker, sophomore, wide receiver, 92 (Delray Beach)

Patrick Robinson, sophomore, cornerback, 91 (Miami) 


GEORGIA

Knowshon Moreno, sophomore, running 96

Dannell Ellerbe, senior, middle linebacker 95

Asher Allen, junior, cornerback 95

Jeff Owens, senior, defensive tackle 95 (Plantation)

Trinton Sturdivant, sophomore, offensive tackle 93

Matthew Stafford, junior, quarterback 93

Prince Miller, junior, cornerback 92


LOUISIANA STATE

Herman Johnson, redshirt senior, offensive guard, 96

Tyson Jackson, senior, defensive end, 93

Darry Beckwith, senior, middle linebacker, 95

Curtis Taylor, senior, free safety, 94

Ciron Black, junior, left tackle, 94

Al Woods, junior, defensive tackle, 93

Kirston Pittman, senior, defensive end 93


TENNESSEE

Demonte Bolden, senior, defensive tackle, 94

Britton Colquitt, senior, punter, 94

Robert Ayers, senior, defensive end, 94

Eric Berry, sophomore, defensive back, 94

Rico McCoy, junior, outside linebacker, 91

Lucas Taylor, senior, wide receiver, 91
Josh McNeil, junior, center, 89

While I was away...egad!

It never fails. I leave for vacation and the Florida Gators make headlines.

Last year it was Billy Donovan's change of heart. This year, the news is less spectacular but more concerning. First Jamar Hornsby gets busted for credit card fraud and then Matt Patchan gets shot. Hornsby was kicked off the team and Patchan is recovering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Our prayers go out to Patchan and his family for a quick and painless recovery. Matt was at a Tampa-area park when he, reportedly, got caught in a crossfire. It has been a tough year for Matt. First he had mononucleosis, then he had surgery on his shoulder and now he's recovering from a bullet to the shoulder.

Before his latest injury, Patchan impressed his coaches with a strong spring practice. He played both offensive and defensive line during the Orange and Blue Game. Florida coach Urban Meyer was hoping Patchan could provide depth to the Gators' weak defensive line next season. Patchan's playing time now depends on how fast he recovers.

SIDENOTE: I'm getting married on Sunday, so check back next week for the latest news on the Gators.

-jo-

May 09, 2008

Hornsby's career likely done at Florida

LINK TO THE STORY: UF football player charged in credit card fraud

GAINESVILLE -- Nice knowing you, Jamar Hornsby. Well, not really.

Hornsby was accused on Friday of using the BP gas card of Ashley Slonina, a UF student who died in a motorcycle accident in October 2007 along with Florida walk-on quarterback Michael Guilford. If true, that's pretty much one of the most disgusting things I've ever written. My fingertips feel dirty just typing it.

Imagine the Slonina family. Imagine receiving that credit card statement every month for the last six months. Tragic.

What's most bizarre about all this is that Slonina was the girlfriend of Florida cornerback Joe Haden. How did Hornsby get Slonina's credit card? According to Slonina's father, Hornsby took the card from Ashley Slonina's apartment while helping the family remove her personal belongings one day after the accident.

Hornsby emerged from spring football as a back-up safety to Major Wright. Florida coach Urban Meyer praised Hornsby this spring for showing signs of his potential. So much for that. There's no way Meyer can save Hornsby now.

Florida has lost two safeties in as many weeks. Back-up Jerimy Finch was recently granted permission to transfer.

-jo-

May 05, 2008

Hoops gains a player; Football loses one

A FEW NOTES...

GAINESVILLE -- The Gators' basketball team will likely fill the loss of center Marreese Speights with a transfer from Georgetown. Vernon Macklin (6-9, 230 pounds) visited Gainesville last weekend and is apparently ready to enroll. Macklin, who averaged 3.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg last season for the Hoyas, will have to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules. Macklin played with Speights at the prep-school level (Hargrave Military in Chatham, Va.), so he's got to be pretty smart.

In football news, reserve linebacker Jerimy Finch (the guy who broke his leg in the fourth quarter against Tennessee last season) is reportedly transferring out. Finch, who Urban Meyer said was struggling academically, was buried on the linebacker depth chart at UF but will likely play safety elsewhere...perhaps Indiana.

-jo-

Top 10 things dumber than LSU's Perrilloux

FOR A STORY ON RYAN PERRILLOUX, CLICK HERE

Not many organic compounds -- never mind life forms -- on this planet (and presumably any other) are dumber than Ryan Perrilloux. There are a few, though. Let's make a list.

10. Rev. Jeremiah Wright: While we disagree with everything this moron says, we will fight to the death for his right to say it ... or something like that.

9. The enabler? Les Miles isn't to blame, right? I mean, this guy gave Perrilloux every chance to prove my stupid-people theory wrong. My stupid-people theory: Given time, stupid people will all wear Velcro. Nothing says institutionalized quite like Velcro.

8. LSU frat boys: A special kind of dumb, folks. I have stories and factual evidence to prove this.

7. dehydrated macaroni

6. Roger Clemens (King of the Pridesters)

5. People who support Roger Clemens

4. Another brilliant American footballer with a French surname: Maurice Clarett. This is where Clarett lives. CLICK HERE FOR CLARETT'S HOME. This is where Perrilloux will be living soon. CLICK HERE FOR PERRILLOUX'S FUTURE RESIDENCE.

3. Charles Deas: Fruit-fly dumb.

2. The BCS people.

1. Me for actually wasting my time on a Perrilloux blog post.

A SIDE NOTE TO THIS BLOG POST: Why does the LSU athletic website have the Perrilloux press release plastered all over its front page? CLICK HERE FOR A PEEK.  Does anyone find this odd other than me? We recruited Perrilloux. We failed. Now we're going to boast about kicking him off the team.

-jo-

May 03, 2008

Gators' rookie-camp roundup: Leak asking God for help

AROUND NFL ROOKIE CAMPS...

In Kansas City, former Florida Gators quarterback Chris Leak is asking God to help him make the Chiefs' 70-man summer roster. Leak, who went undrafted in 2007, was cut by the Bears last year before getting involved with the AAFL, the has-beens league that never happened. Said Leak: "I'll leave it in the Lord's hands." It's probably time Leak accepted his fate and became a quarterbacks coach for Illinois.

EggheadIn Tampa, safety Kyle Jackson (pictured) is trying to make the Bucs' 80-man team. Jackson was benched his senior season at Florida in favor of a true freshman. No word yet if the Bucs are fitting Jackson with a special helmet. In Nashville, Florida's other former (car-boosting) safety, Tony Joiner, is serving as a tackling dummy for football players who actually have a shot at making an NFL roster.

One of Gator Clause's favorite former Gators, offensive lineman Carlton "Package Store" Medder is trying out for the Arizona Cardinals. Medder used to make me laugh out loud when he would show up for Monday press conferences wearing -- no lie -- a discount card for a Gainesville liquor store around his neck. Medder should fit right in with Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinhart. Or maybe not. That would be one crowded hot tub.

Former Florida offensive lineman Drew Miller is in Jacksonville with defensive end Derrick Harvey. Miller actually has a pretty good shot of making the Jags' practice squad, where he would presumably go up against Harvey every day in practice.

In Cincinnati, former UF receiver Andre Caldwell is being praised daily for not being Chad Johnson or Chris Henry.

-jo-

Gators to raise awareness for charities with strength-and-agility competition

GAINESVILLE -- Anyone ever stumble across a cable TV show called Ninja Warrior while flipping through the channels? Hilarious stuff. Basically, it's a Japanese reality show aimed at exploiting dorks. The producers find the weirdest people possible (this is just me assuming everyone in Japan is not like the people on this show) and run the freaks through obstacle courses suspended about 10 feet above some nasty, muddy water. See dork run. See dork fall. See dork splash. Repeat.

Now imagine the freaks on Florida's football team running around and risking bodily harm for your entertainment. (OK, I realize that happens every Saturday in the fall.) ANYWAY, part of Florida's annual summer workout rigors always include a strength-and-agility competition. This is nothing new. What is new is that the competition is open to the public this summer and will take place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Friday, July 25. Mark your calendars.

Ninja_warrioThe athletic department is calling the event "Friday Night Lights," or some derivative of that. According to one of the football players, a large portion of the football team is going to split into six groups and compete against each other in several different athletic disciplines: Pulling tires, roller derby, four square, calf roping, etc... The winners get nothing. They're amateurs, duh. Each team, however, will "represent" a charity already associated with Shands Medical Center. For some reason, the UAA was hesitant to say the football team was going to raise money for charities. Apparently, the NCAA frowns on raising money for anyone accept the NCAA.

Here's hoping that the athletic department let's crazy ol' coach Urban Meyer design a bizarre obstacle course in the vein of Ninja Warrior. Or, better yet, here's hoping Urban Meyer competes with the dorks of Team Sportwriter against his own players. Now, that would be weird. (All in the name of charity, of course.)

-jo-


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