GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Urban Meyer says he respects Kentucky's defense. Meyer is apparently the only one.
The betting line on Florida's homecoming against Kentucky has risen from 19.5 to 26 this week. Two things have contributed to the large swing in points. 1. Florida's surging offense. 2. Kentucky's battered starting line-up. At the beginning of the week, 10 Kentucky Wildcats appeared unable to play on Saturday due to injuries.
While a few of Kentucky's hobbled starting defenders have been upgraded to probable, the team will still be competing without its two best offensive weapons. Senior wide receiver Dicky Lyons Jr. is out for the season and so is leading rusher Derrick Locke.
AVOIDING THE UPSET
Florida is the heavy favorite but it doesn't take a historian to recall the last time a heavily favored Florida team was upset at home. Ole Miss, which was a 23-point underdog, beat Florida 31-30 earlier this season. All week the Gators told reporters that they learned from that mistake and that the attention to detail that was lacking against Ole Miss has not been overlooked in the preparation for Kentucky.
"We've just got to stay focused and think about taking it one game at a time," safety Ahmad Black said. "[Coaches] make sure we worry about Kentucky and Kentucky only -- not last week, not next week. It starts out with the players, though. We've got to worry about Kentucky."
Florida has had two weeks to prepare for Kentucky.
Florida has beaten Kentucky 21 consecutive times. The streak dates back to 1986 when UF lost to Kentucky 10-3 in Lexington.
"Beat a team that many times, that's incredible," Demps said.
JANORIS JENKINS' WORDS OF WISDOM
On his success:
"I just go out and ball."
On Kentucky freshman receiver Randall Cobb:
"I really don't know him but they say he's about 6-6. Like I said, go play."
Jenkins, UF's starting freshman cornerback, will certainly be tested on Saturday. Keep an eye on the match-up between Jenkins and Cobb.
IMPRESSING THE BCS
The initial BCS standings came out last Sunday and Florida has got some work to do. The Gators are ranked No.10. Since the BCS was created, only one team outside the initial top six teams has gone on to play in the BCS national championship game (LSU was ranked No.12 in 2003).
Style points are recommended this week against a hobbled Kentucky squad. Voters will be watching.
THE JEFF DEMPS SHOW
The young Jeff Demps enters Saturday's game riding the momentum of back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. Demps will likely get a shot at another 100-yard effort against Kentucky. Redshirt sophomore running back Emmanuel Moody (high-ankle sprain) is questionable for Saturday's game and so is Chris Rainey (shoulder).
Expect Florida's coaches to keep these players out of the line-up (Rest up for Georgia, guys.) if Demps and senior Kestahn Moore can handle the backfield responsibilities.
"I knew coming in that I would get a couple carries but I didn't think I would have this many carries and leading the team in rushing," Demps said.
Putting the option back in the spread-option offense, by me. CLICK ME!
Janoris Jenkins slaughters rabbits, by me. CLICK ME!
Jeff Demps, fastest man to play football, by the New York Times. Comparing Demps to other speedy football players of the past. CLICK ME! Is Demps actually a better college running back than Auburn's Bo Jackson or Georgia's Herschel Walker in any way? Seems absurd when you think about it that way.
Seven SEC players named to Sporting News midseason All-America team. Find out which Gators made the list. CLICK ME!
MR. TWO BITS
The lovable old man is calling it quits after this season. He's 82, so it's probably time to pass the torch to another two-bit cheerleader. UF is honoring Mr. Two Bits before Saturday's homecoming game. Be in your seats by 12:10 to clap for Mr. Two Bits. Or just stay in the parking lot and shoot whiskey.
What: A college football game. UF's homecoming.
Who: UF (5-1, 3-1 in SEC) vs. Kentucky (5-2, 1-2)
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, E University Blvd, Gainesville, Fla., U.S.A., Earth
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: Raycom (Oh, joy!)
Is the SEC the best conference this season? Most seasons I wouldn't even have to ask this question but this time around doesn't seem like the SEC's best effort. Many people thought at the beginning of the season that this would be the best year in the history of the league. People thought this for several reasons but mainly because the league has more high-profile coaches than ever before and the SEC is being taken over by ESPN and therefore the SEC is on TV all the time. But the SEC hasn't lived up to the hype, in my opinion. Through eight weeks, the Big 12 seems to be the toughest league.
Let's take a look at the SEC from top to bottom.
No.2 Alabama...The Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0) has surprised many and is now considered the best team in the SEC. Considering the Tide is less than one season removed from losing to La.-Lafayette, is this actually a good sign for the SEC?
No.5 Florida...The Gators (5-1, 3-1) lost to Ole Miss at home and murdered LSU, which was supposed to be a good team.
No.9 Georgia...The Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1) haven't lived up to their hype, get arrested too much, aren't very good along the offensive line and have a coach with a bad haircat. Other than that, the Dawgs are great.
No.11 LSU...The Tigers (5-1, 3-1) have problems at quarterback...Speaking of LSU quarterbacks, did anyone see Ryan Perrilloux on ESPNU last night playing for Jacksonville State? I have it on good authority that no university east of the Mississippi smokes more weed than JSU.
Vanderbilt...When the Commodores (5-2, 3-2) are the fifth-best football team in your conference, that's not a good thing.
Kentucky...The Wildcats (5-2, 1-2) are already looking forward to basketball season.
South Carolina...The Gamecocks (5-3, 2-3) are on their third quarterback and Stephen Garcia is a knucklehead.
Auburn...The Tigers (4-3, 2-3) are absolutely terrible, yet they're the third-best team in the SEC West.
Ole Miss...The Rebels (3-4, 1-3) are an excellent bad team!
Arkansas...The Hogs (3-4, 1-3) beat Auburn.
Tennessee...I don't care what anyone says. When the Vols (3-4, 1-3) are one of the worst teams in the SEC, it's not a good year for the SEC.
Mississippi State...The Croomers (2-5, 1-3) are back at the bottom.
LINKS OF THE WEIRD
Waffle House freeloaders unit! CLICK ME!