SIX BITS: Strong is No. 1, vote for Tebow, Alabama players, Jones vs. Haden, volleyball in NCAAs

1 » Over the past few days, OGGOA has reported that Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is the leading candidate to replace Steve Kragthorpe as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. Yesterday, it was reported that Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich planned to wait until after the 2009 SEC Championship game to contact Strong after asking Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley for permission. Jurich expanded on his stance to the Courier-Journal Tuesday evening. “I want to get the program rolling, I want to get after it, but I gave my word to several people that I didn’t want to be a disruption to their program,” he said. “A lot of guys are still playing for a lot of important things. I’m the last person I want to get in the way.”

2 » Senior quarterback Tim Tebow has been named as one of three finalist for the 2009 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, which is given annually to the top quarterback in college football. The other two finalists are Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy and Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum. Fans are given 5 percent of the vote and can cast their ballot for Tebow to win the award every day until Dec. 6 by visiting http://www.VoteOBrien.org.

Check out four more very informative Florida Gators BITS after the jump…
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Strong is No. 1, vote for Tebow, Alabama players, Jones vs. Haden, volleyball in NCAAs

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FOUR BITS: Heisman, Big Board, Keys, Redshirts

1 » Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow continues to gain ground in the Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll. Accounting for five touchdowns and 311 total yards on Saturday, Tebow now holds the No. 2 spot on the list, earning three first-place votes. Ahead of Tebow is Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (5), while Stanford Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart (2), Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (0) and Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (0) round out the top five. Ingram led the poll the last three weeks. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking a top five.

2 » Skyrocketing up ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s NFL Draft Big Board all season, junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap has fallen back to earth after his recent DUI arrest. Dunlap dropped 14 spots from No. 3 last week to No. 17 on Wednesday. Also on the list are junior cornerback Joe Haden – a “polished cover corner with tackling ability to match” – who is up to No. 7 after holding down the No. 9 spot last week, and junior tight end Aaron Hernandez brand new to the list at No. 19. Kiper says Hernandez has “great hands and excellent run-after-catch skills for a TE.” Noticeably absent from the board for a second-straight week is senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who last appeared at No. 25 on Nov. 18.

3 » ESPN Insider and Football Outsiders are featuring the five keys to the Florida vs. Alabama game. While OGGOA cannot reprint the article, here is the gist of it. The five keys and teams with the potential advantage for each are as follows: Yards Per Play (Florida – 6.8 vs. 6.0), Sack Rates (Alabama – 3.9% vs. 10.5%), Second Quarter (Push), Turnover Battle (Push), Field Position Advantage (Florida – 14th vs. 25th).

4 » The Orlando Sentinel reports that redshirt senior safety Dorian Munroe will apply for a medical redshirt and expects it to be granted by the NCAA. Junior cornerback Moses Jenkins, sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan and senior transfer WR Carl Moore have all been granted medical redshirts so far in 2009.

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FOUR BITS: Deal, FSU offense, Heisman, cake

1 » Some of you may have noticed the new advertisement in the right column for the OGGOA Gator SportShop. For opening a store with them, th affiliate has decided to provide us with two special promotions to share with OGGOA’s readers. Take advantage of them now before they expire on 11/30/09, especially if you wish to purchase a Tim Tebow jersey or some of the new Nike Pro Combat merchandise. Enjoy!
(1) Free Shipping Over $50 With Coupon Code: FreeShip
(2) 20% Off All Clearance Items (No Coupon).

2 » The Florida State Seminoles may have a 6-5 record, but Florida Gators junior cornerback Joe Haden sees a bunch of talented, athletic players that pose a threat to his team’s 21-game winning streak. “They look a lot better than 6-5,” Haden said. “They have athletes. A couple of plays here and there and they could have a lot better record than they have now. They have the same athletes [they used to have]. Their record isn’t as good, but they have the players. Head coach Urban Meyer agrees. “There is a lot of concern. [E.J. Manuel] is a really athletic guy, and they’re running a lot of triple option. What makes FSU dangerous is their athletes.”

3 » Senior quarterback Tim Tebow continues to lose ground in the Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll. Though he accounted for three touchdowns on Saturday, Tebow is in a tie for No. 2 on the list, earning two first-place votes. Ahead of Tebow is Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (5) while Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (2) shares the second spot. Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (1) and Stanford Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart (0) round out the top five. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking a top five.

4 » Unfortunate circumstances for me this weekend as I will be attending a wedding while the Florida vs. Florida State game is going on. Ironically, another Web site posted on Wednesday what appears to be the absolute greatest wedding cake of all time. Why? Well it is Gators-themed, of course. Check out one of the pictures below, then head over to the original site and find out more about it.

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FOUR BITS: Meyer/Spurrier, Matthews practices, Kiper’s Big Board, Scripps Heisman poll

1 » One Southeastern Conference coaching relationship that is surprisingly both polite and friendly is that between Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer and South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier. Both spoke to the media on Wednesday and exchanged pleasant comments about their respective opponents. Meyer said he respects the appreciation Gators fans have for Spurrier and still sees his success all over The Swamp. “It’s always going to be there,” Meyer said. “Just walk out of the stadium and look on the wall at a bunch of great stuff Coach has done. I think it’s still there, and it should be.” Spurrier said he still roots for Florida when he is not going head-to-head with the Gators and thinks that the team is playing perfectly fine. “Sometimes they were so good last year, maybe [they] haven’t been quite as proficient I guess, scoring as many points,” he said. “They score when they have to and they’ve won all their close games.”

2 » Another tidbit Spurrier dropped on the media Wednesday was that injured defensive end Cliff Matthews, who had previously been ruled out with a shoulder injury, could return to face Florida on Saturday. Matthews was running around at practice on Monday; if he does play, it would allow South Carolina to revert back to the 4-3 formation that it has gotten away from since he initially got hurt.

3 » Junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap continues to skyrocket up ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s NFL Draft Big Board. Moving up from No. 7 last week to No. 4 on Wednesday, Dunlap’s “physical tools are off the charts” and he is potentially filled with “unlimited upside,” according to Kiper. [OGGOA has long held that Dunlap will easily be a top five selection and potentially the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.] Also on the list are junior cornerback Joe Haden, who held down the No. 11 spot for a second consecutive week, and senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who dropped one spot to No. 25. Kiper believes Haden is a “polished cover corner with tackling ability to match,” while he says Spikes is a “complete MLB, solid in all areas.”

4 » Following a less than stellar performance against the Vanderbilt Commodores, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow once again lost the top spot in the Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll. Though he accounted for two touchdowns in the game, Tebow fell to No. 3 on the list, earning three first-place votes. Ahead of Tebow were Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (4) and Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (3), while Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (0) and Stanford Cardinal RB Toby Gerhart (0) rounded out the top five. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking a top five.

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Tebow back on top of Scripps Heisman Trophy poll

Following a rousing win against the Georgia Bulldogs where he accounted for four touchdowns, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow regained the top spot in the Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll that he had previously held for the entire season. Earning three of 10 first-place votes, Tebow jumped Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (4), Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (3), Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen (0) and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (0). Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking a top five.

OGGOA readers can cast their vote for Tebow to win the Heisman Trophy by visiting THIS LINK! Fans receive one official vote as a group in the selection process.

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Tebow falls in Scripps Heisman straw poll

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow fell out of the top spot he has held since the beginning of the season. Earning only two of 10 first-place votes (he had six last week), Tebow fell to fifth behind Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (4), Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen (1), Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (1) and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (1). Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking their own top five. This is the closest the Heisman race has been in the Scripps straw poll all season.

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QB Tim Tebow leads Heisman, wins OGGOA poll

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow earned six of the 10 first-place votes. Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram followed him with three votes while Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen received one vote. Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy did not receive a single first-place vote. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking their own top five. This is the closest the Heisman race has been in the Scripps straw poll all season.

Tebow won another poll this week, OGGOA‘s, which began on Sunday and asked who your MVP was for Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks. 183 of you registered votes and the results are in. Tebow narrowly defeated kicker Caleb Sturgis who (after missing his first attempt) nailed three consecutive field goals including a 51-yarder and game-winning 37-yarder. I was actually surprised by this result as I figured Sturgis would have earned the gratitude of Gator Nation for his game-winning kick. This was Tebow’s first OGGOA weekly MVP award.

Be sure to vote in the new poll up now!

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Basketball’s Donovan honored with Wooden award, Gators football award updates

University of Florida men’s basketball head coach Billy Donovan will be honored with the John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching Award” in April 2010. This award recognizes successful coaches who exemplify Wooden’s high standards of integrity on the court. Winners are selected based on character, success, student-athlete graduation rate and coaching philosophy. Donovan will be one of only four active coaches who have both guided teams to multiple NCAA National Championship titles (20006, 2007) and received this honor. The others are the Duke Blue DevilsMike Krzyzweski (3), North Carolina Tar HeelsRoy Williams (2) and Connecticut HuskiesJim Calhoun (2). Donovan is 310-126 (.711) in 13 seasons as coach of the Gators with 11 consecutive 20-win seasons, nine NCAA tournament appearances and three SEC Championships.

Two Florida Gators defenders have been nominated for the 2009 Rotary Lombardi Award. Given annually to the nation’s top college football lineman, the trophy is awarded for not only on-field ability but also discipline resembling that of Vince Lombardi. Middle linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive end Carlos Dunlap were nominated this year in a group that is very defense-heavy. Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is considered the overwhelming favorite to win.

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, senior quarterback Tim Tebow earned eight of the 10 first-place votes. The rest of the top five – Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy, Cincinnati Bearcats QB Tony Pike, Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen and Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum – did not receive a single first-place vote. Scripps is simply a straw poll conducted to determine the sentiment among college football writers throughout the country.

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