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Florida Gators No.1 in AP poll; Plus the Ron Zook-Urban Meyer flap

GAINESVILLE -- As expected, the University of Florida is No.1 in the Associated Press Top 25. The poll was released on Saturday morning. The Gators received 58 of 60 first-place votes, which is a record for the preseason poll. The poll started in 1950.

Here's a link to the poll. LINK!

OK, all the polls have been released. Now, let's start the season already.

In other news...

Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Saturday that quarterback Tim Tebow had a sore lower back this week. Meyer said that Tebow rested during "live situations" but hasn't missed a practice.

Meyer added that Tebow was "fine, 100 percent."

"He has been held out of live situations against the defense, mostly go get [back-up quarterback] Johnny Brantley reps," Meyer said.

It appears Illinois coach Ron Zook took offense to Meyer's suggestion this week that UF freshmen were hazed during Zook's tenure at Florida. Zook released this statement in defense of the criticism:

"I was surprised to see that, once again, five years later, we're blamed for something else at Florida. But by now I guess I shouldn't be. This one was most disappointing because it implies we didn't look out for our players. From someone who wasn't there at the time. I can assure you I've never, ever been accused of that. I thought I was too much of a players' coach. The implication is incorrect. There is no place for hazing in college football and we've put a stop to that if we've ever seen it. I applaud Florida for fostering what they say is a wonderful family atmosphere. I would invite anyone to talk to any of our players here at Illinois and, although we don't look for media opportunities to brag about it, it is a wonderful family atmosphere."

Meyer addressed Zook's statement on Saturday.

"Some people said that they thought there was some criticism on Coach Zook," Meyer said. "There absolutely was not. That was about the locker room, the way the locker room was set up. Our staff has never been critical of any staff."

On Friday, Meyer said this about the locker room atmosphere before he arrived in Gainesville:

"This is a big-time college football program and we had some fights and stuff because they treat some freshmen like there were non-people," Meyer said. "Don't walk through here. We'll kick your tail, we'll shave your eyebrows. It took us awhile to break that great culture."

This is all nonsense, right? Moving on...



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the truth of the matter is that the program was dysfunctional under Zook.. from the relationship of the program with the former players, to the relationship with the team with the other students on campus, to the work ethic of the team ..the list could go on. but Foley righted the course of the program with the hiring of Urban Meyer and unfortunately for our opponents, it doesnt look like Coach Meyer is goig to stay for awhile..a long while.

Cant wait until Tebow graduates and Urban Really has to actually coach.

Yea they all get along great in the locker room now. However they just don't get along very well with the law. Of course according to Timmy Tebow, none of them were at fault for anything they did. They were all just at the wrong place at the wrong time. In other words, "THEY GOT CAUGHT."


The Zooker hasn't changed one bit....he screws up and can't own up to what he did wrong. What a loser.

Wow, this is really being blown out of proportion in a he said/she said fashion. One coach makes a comment on his perception of the locker room culture when he arrives at a program and another coach takes it personally.

From what I've heard, the locker room culture under the Zooker was basically the same one from the Charley Pell era carried over through three coaches (Hall, Darnell, Spurrier) before the Zooker. The fact that Zooker left it the way it was says something about his commitment to Gator tradtion (he didn't want people to think that too much had changed from the Ol' Ball Coach), but it also says something about how Zooker didn't put his own positive stamp on the program. In order to make something yours, you have to be willing to repaint it, refurbish it, and change everything. Meyer has done that and it brought the Gators success. Zooker didn't and he wasn't as successful a Gator coach as Meyer. You can interpret that as you wish.

Many people say Meyer basically inherited all the great talent recruited by the Zooker and that's what got him the championship (a la Gruden with Dungy's Tampa Bay team) and some say that if Zooker was a better coach, he would have gotten that performance out of them himself (a la Gruden with Dungy's Tampa Bay team).

All I can say is this--under Meyer, my perception is that players are more serious about being Gators than they were under Zook. They seem to have more Gator pride, know and sing the fight song, and for the most part, are great student ambassadors of our school and athletic program. Under Meyer, the players expect to pull out tough games; under Zook they were trying to run out the clock (classic example--Miami '03 where the Gators blew a 23 point lead in the second half and lost to former Gator Brock Berlin because they were sitting on the ball--the most embarassed I have ever been as a Gator fan, mainly, because I was in the stands wearing a 2ft. Gator mask). The last game Zooker coached as a Gator was spectacularly embarassing, with Michigan kicking our butts in what was essentially a home game in the HOF Bowl in Tampa. Meyer's seriousness (no frat house fights for him), and his genuine concern for our players, their future and our program exudes from everything the guy does. And he also likes to have fun, except he knows the MOST fun is when you kick the butts of your opponent. That's his focus and I'm glad he's our coach.


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