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A warm welcome awaited Gator Clause in Mississippi

SOMEWHERE IN MISSISSIPPI -- This is not a joke. This is real. What I'm about to write is completely true. I stepped out of my rental car in the parking lot of a Courtyard Marriott somewhere in who-knows-where Mississippi, looked down at my shoe and noticed what appeared to be a nice present of the canine variety. It's true. You can call my brother and ask him. I was on the phone with him when it happened. Man, it's great to be alive and in Mississippi!

It's cold here by Florida standards. The skies are gross and gray and pretty much match perfectly the first pair of camo pants I spotted. Packed two bottles of hand sanitzer. Never can be too safe in gun country...

OK, all senseless needling aside, Mississippi really is a beautiful state. It's good to be here. Let's get ready for some football!

Just finished my college football picks column inside the ol' hotel room. I'm thinking Florida 38, Mississippi State 10. As for Alabama-Tennessee, I'm calling for a close one: Bama 21, Vols 20. Might be giving Tennessee too much credit but Monte has had two weeks to prepare for Mark Ingram and the boys and this is pretty much Tennessee's game of the year.

Here's a link to my story today on Florida-Mississippi State. LINK! We've had our fun on the blog this week but there really ARE some good angles here to keep everyone interested for at least the first two quarters of the game. Florida fans are waiting to see how their Gators respond after a mostly poor performance against Arkansas. Mississippi State fans will go to bed tonight dreaming of upsetting the No.1 team in the Bowl Championship Series.

Herald columnist Israel Gutierrez thinks Tim Tebow isn't doing enough to win the Heisman. You can read that column by clicking on this link. LINK!

As for my Friday column, here's the link. Link! I took a look around the state and filled out my midseason ballot for the Herald's College Football All-Florida defense. I outlined my mideseason offensive ballot last week. (Already made one change to that list. UF tight end Aaron Hernandez is hands down the best tight end in the state. Sorry Jimmy Graham and Jason Harmon.) The All-Florida team will be published around Christmas.

-jo-

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