GAINESVILLE -- Sports writers are really good at hyping things out of proportion. Pretty much only preachers and politicians have us beat. (Gator Clause has lent a hand in launching Tebow beyond the "hypeosphere" for the past three seasons.) Are we wrong in doing the opposite? Is Gator Clause wrong in launching an anti-hype campaign for Florida at Mississippi State?
I just wrote a story for the paper about how there are plenty of signs pointing to a possible Mississippi State upset on Saturday. There's the ol' trusty Dan Mullen angle that everyone has been hyping. Booooring. Who cares if Tebow and Mullen are friends? To me, that just means Tebow is going to kick a hole in his friends teeth on Saturday.
There's the whole angle about how UF hasn't won a game in Starkville since 1985 (four-game losing streak). Booooring! Just checked the record books. Yep. Florida has won 16 in a row. Pretty sure that streak isn't ending at the hands of Mississippi State.
[PICTURED, A man whose brain and heart are both ready for Halloween.]
There's the whole angle about how UF's defensive line is struggling with depth (DTs Lawrence Marsh, Brandon Antwine and Jaye Howard are either questionable or doubtful for Saturday's game). Booooring! Florida is going to load the box on Saturday, shut down the run and beat Mississippi State by about 35 points. I'm calling 42-7.
You know what excites us? Florida vs. Georgia on Halloween! You know what else gets are blood pumping? Florida at South Carolina on Nov.14 and Florida vs. Florida State on Nov. 28 AND Florida vs. Alabama in the SEC championship game!!! Mississippi State? Sorry, guys, y'all are just the team in the middle.
The comparisons between Florida and Alabama have already started. Who's better? While I agree that Alabama deserves its ranking at No.1 in The Associated Press poll (defeated two ranked teams soundly compared to UF's one), I've watched every game both teams have played and it's fairly obvious to me that Florida is just as good as Alabama, BUT PROBABLY BETTER! I know, I know. Which games have I been watching, right? Well, Florida hasn't peaked yet and Alabama hasn't faced a team good enough to capitalize off of the Crimson Tide's mistakes. Simple as that.
Check these stats out: Florida's defense is ranked No.1 in the country, allowing just 8.67 points per game. Florida has allowed a total of 52 points this season. Now, here's something to consider when comparing Florida and Alabama. Opponents have scored 20 points against Florida's defense off of turnovers. That means 38.46 percent of the points Florida's defense has surrounded have come after Florida's offense has given the ball away! Alabama's defense has allowed a total of 81 points this season (the Crimson Tide has played one more game than Florida) but Alabama's opponents have only scored three points off of Alabama turnovers. Three points! Florida has 11 turnovers and Alabama has eight.
[PICTURED, Not Tim Tebow.]
What does all this mean? Well, it could mean that Alabama is due for a clunker of a game similar to what Florida survived against Arkansas. Tennessee has had two weeks to prepare for Alabama. You really want to compare Florida and Alabama? Wait until this weekend.
Is there something wrong with Florida's offense? Yes, the Gators have been turning the ball over in the red zone too often. If this team can limit its turnovers, nothing will likely stop this team. Not even Alabama. Florida is 6-0, ranked No.1 in the BCS, has the best player in college football at quarterback running the Thundercat Offense (which is ranked No.6 nationally in rushing and No.1 nationally in toughness), a defense that's one of the best in the country, a kicker who can hit from 50 and a punter who can pin a team deep. That's all you need to win a championship, folks.