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Florida Gators arrive in South Florida

Sitting here in my hotel room at the Fort Lauderdale Harbour Beach Marriott. Nice view from the 14th floor.

The Gators' arrived a few hours ago at the Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale Airport jet center. The silver American Airlines plane rolled through a giant arch of water created by flanking fire truck water cannons and came to a stop about 200 feet away from a horde of print, television and Internet reporters and a few dozen members of the Orange Bowl Committe. Orange Bowl Committee member Nat Moore, the former Dolphins receiver and UF running back, was among those in attendance. The highlights from the Gators' arrival:

1. UF safety Major Wright, a South Florida native, wins the award for best pimp suit. Look'n good, Major. The first runner-up award went to linebacker Brandon Spikes, donning the same pink suit he wore two years ago to the 2006 BCS national championship game. The second runner-up award was given to defensive end Duke Lemmens, keenly dressed in a purple suit. Lemmens' best friend, defensive end Justin Trattou, takes fourth place with an all-orange suit. Nice touch. Fitting since the Orange Bowl Committee was on hand to welcome the team.

2. Orange Bowl Committee president S. Danny Ponce was the first person to welcome the Gators off the plane. Ponce, a Miami lawyer, is a Bull Gator. He gave UF coach Urban Meyer a bear hug. Quite touching.

3. Meyer said that UF receiver Percy Harvin will play on Jan.8. Meyer says Harvin will begin practicing with the team tomorrow.

4. Gator Clause personally welcomed Tim Tebow to Miami. "Nice to be here," he said. Tebow said former UF offensive coordinator Dan Mullen will communicate with him from the press box during the national championship game. Tebow also said bowl preparation has gone smoothly despite the Gators' coaching staff changes. Assistant Steve Addazio is the new offensive coordinator. Addazio, also the offensive line coach, will call plays from the sideline with help from Mullen.

5. Nice sunset here on the beach.

6. Anyone surprised by Ole Miss' SEC smack down of Texas Tech this afternoon? Is it a hint of things to come?

-jo-

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