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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: CBs & Bedford, DEs, Tebow throws

1 » Speaking with the Florida Times-Union, Florida Gators defensive backs coach Vance Bedford went as far as to compare sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins to another player he once coached while with the Michigan WolverinesHeisman Trophy winning CB Charles Woodson. “Janoris makes more plays than most field corners ever make,” Bedford said. “Except I had one guy – Charles Woodson – was that way.” The duo of Jenkins and junior Joe Haden are one of the main reasons the Gators’ defense is so stout. Holding opponents to 138.8 passing yards per game (primarily to tight ends and running backs), the Florida defensive backfield features two corners who will certainly be playing on Sundays in the near future.

2 » Considering we are already talking about Bedford, OGGOA points you to this article by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald, who spoke with Bedford about the difficulties in recruiting out of Miami-Dade County, one of the most talent-rich counties in the nation. Miami-Dade is Bedford’s assigned territory, and he has already made strides. “[The players are] tied to Miami, which I understand,” Bedford said. “Miami is the local flavor and we totally understand that, but there are enough players to go around. There are a lot of young men down there who have strong interest in Florida, so we’re trying to get in there and recruit and say, ‘We’re here. We’re going to win.’ We’re going to keep working and hopefully get one or two this year and see what happens.”

3 » Florida’s defensive ends may have gotten off to a slow start – combining for just three sacks in the team’s first five games – but junior Carlos Dunlap and senior Jermaine Cunningham have rebounded for four each in the past three outings.

4 » Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow helps sick kids. He is a religious man. He does mission work. He signs autographs after practice. He does plenty of good things with his life. But is there anything you can think of that would brighten up a 10-year-old’s day more than randomly catching passes from his idol who just happens to be the Heisman Trophy-winning leader of the No. 1 team in the country? Didn’t think so.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Tebow for Heisman? Brantley better? Bye good for Georgia? Kiffin/Mullen reprimanded.

1 » After his performances the last two weeks, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow has raised doubts in the media and among fans whether or not he deserves consideration for the Heisman Trophy. There seem to be three prevailing thoughts on this issue. One that wants to play a wait-and-see approach, another that looks at the big picture and realizes the Heisman is about more than just a statistics, and a third that thinks he should not even be in contention for the award. Be sure to read the first article in full if you are a doubter.

2 » On that note, some Florida fans have actually expressed their desire to see what this team would be like with John Brantley at the helm instead of Tebow. Two ESPN columnists apparently received numerous e-mails and comments displaying this exact sentiment. I suppose I can see where fans would have this curiosity. But at the same time, it is a pretty ridiculous ideology to have at this point in time.

Two more BITS and a little extra after the jump…
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow for Heisman? Brantley better? Bye good for Georgia? Kiffin/Mullen reprimanded.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Defense resilient; Tebow not Heisman worthy; Soccer wins, in 2nd; Donovan overlooked

1 » In the unit’s worst performance of the season, the Florida Gators defense gave up 357 yards and 20 points to the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday. Distraught after the game and with a line ravaged with injuries, the defense is still keeping its head up and looking forward. “Our defense was crushed after that game,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “There’s only a couple of ways to analyze it: Are you winning games and are you statistically doing a good job? I think they’re doing great. I think there’s a defensive coordinator [Charlie Strong] that has very, very high expectations, a defensive staff, and more importantly, some players who felt like we could have played much better, and that’s kind of cool. I like that.” Gator Nation does too, Coach.

2 » While Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow is the leader of his team, tough as nails when it counts and a media darling, he is not deserving of Heisman Trophy consideration right now, writes Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald. “This isn’t a knock on Tebow,” Gutierrez contends. “This is more a criticism of the system that defines a Heisman candidate. Tebow can be the best player in college football. Not many would argue he isn’t. But it doesn’t mean he is having the best season.”

3 » The No. 12 University of Florida soccer team (12-4-2, 6-1-2 SEC) took it to the No. 17 LSU Tigers (10-4-3, 6-2-1 SEC) on Thursday, shutting them out with a 4-0 victory at home in James G. Pressly Stadium. The Gators scored a pair of goals in each half and, with the win, have moved to second place in the SEC standings. With only two games left on the league schedule (at Arkansas Razorbacks on Oct. 26 and vs. No. 10 and SEC leader South Carolina Gamecocks on Oct. 30), Florida is within striking distance of first place being only two points back.

4 » With his team missing March Madness in back-to-back seasons, a lack of luster surrounding the program and attention being paid to newly crowned head coach John Calipari and his Kentucky Wildcats, Gators basketball head coach Billy Donovan is no longer the media darling he once was at the SEC Media Day.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pressure mounting on Gators team and staff

Defending a National Championship is not an easy thing to do. Returning a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in senior Tim Tebow and a two-deep defense should have made things easier. But expectations for the Florida Gators to achieve the first undefeated season in University of Florida football history is putting plenty of pressure on those involved in the program.

“A lot of pressure on this team to perform on a very high level — on these coaches, on the trainers, on the weight coaches, on the secretaries, on everyone associated with our program, a lot of pressure — and I love that,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I feel it around the office. We want to play perfect, because the expectation level is to play at an extremely high level.” While that may be the case, Meyer understands why the expectations are so high. “It’s the Florida Gators, and Florida Gators have high expectations. But that’s why all these kids choose to come here, and that’s why these coaches choose to come here.”

As mentioned earlier, Florida’s two-deep defense was expected to be a strength for the team in 2009. Yet while Gator Nation is making a fuss about the lack of playmakers on offense, it seems to be overlooking the disappearance of playmakers on defense. In 2008, the Gators defense forced 33 turnovers, 24 of which were interceptions. In 2009? Florida has only taken away nine balls – seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Yes, injuries have ravaged the unit at this point – most of the defensive front seven is banged up. Nevertheless, the Gators defense must start to make some plays and play up to its capabilities for the remainder of the season.

Slive suspends SEC officials: Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended the officiating crew from the Florida Gators vs. Arkansas Razorbacks game last Saturday until Nov. 14. “While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play,” Slive said. ” I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program.” Slive also stated that the officiating in the crew’s last two games has “not been to the standard that we expect.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 12 of 13  « First  ... « 9  10  11  12  13 »