ESPN goes deep with coverage of Saturday night’s Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers game

By Adam Silverstein
October 9, 2009

ESPN has a habit of going overboard with coverage of whatever game they decide to feature on College GameDay for any given week. This week, that promotion is justified as No. 1 Florida Gators head into Baton Rouge, LA, at night to take on No. 4 LSU Tigers. Add to that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow‘s questionable status following a concussion and a media freak-out fest over whether or not he will/should play, and Saturday night’s game will easily be the most hyped of the season.

Pat Forde begins with what seems to be the standard catch-phrase from the media this week: “Whether Tebow plays or sits, whether Florida wins or loses, the Gators are still in the title hunt.” Forde goes on to say that if Tebow has a 100% clean bill of health, he should play, but with “even a hint of doubt, hide the guy’s helmet and hold him out.” Forde believes the risk is not worth the reward for the Gators. I don’t see how anyone can, or where anyone has, disagreed with that sentiment.

Next up is Mark Schlabach, who easily has the hardest name to say next to Gene Wojciechowski for ESPN. Schlabach keys in on LSU head coach Les Miles and his aggressive style, citing that it is fueled by confidence. Well, that and testicular fortitude. The Gators know all about this, watching as Miles had his team attempt five fourth down conversions (and converted four) against them in 2007 – two for touchdowns, another on a fake field goal and two on its game-winning drive.

SEC blogger Chris Low weighs in on Tebow’s recovery, taking off where Forde left off. He believes there is a possibility head coach Urban Meyer sits Tebow whether or not he is fully cleared and even speculates about a potential Superman moment. “Could you imagine Tebow coming off the bench and leading the Gators to a win? His legend is only going to grow if he plays in this game and the Gators win.”

Finally, Scouts Inc. wraps it all up on ESPN Insider where they give the Gators the edge at QB, RB, OL, DL, LB, DB and Coach, leaving only WR and ST in the Tigers’ possession. With a prediction of Florida defeating LSU 31-21 (quite close to my predicted 30-17 score on Newsday), they give LSU a touchdown for the nighttime homefield advantage at Tiger Stadium. “Look for Chavis’ defense to build off the momentum of last week’s strong showing at Georgia and play an emotionally charged four quarters in front of the home crowd. Florida’s noticeable speed and depth advantages will eventually kick in though, and the Gators’ defense will prey on a young quarterback (Jefferson) and a subpar offensive line by LSU’s standards.”

One Comment

  1. Daniel M. says:

    LSU better in special teams based on Holliday I’m guessing? Kid’s awesome but does LSU really outperform UF ST’s overall?

    I’ll give Scouts the WR pick but I think ST’s is a charity pick.

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