FOUR BITS: Tebow, gym, swimming, baseball

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow does whatever he can to make his fans happy. Unfortunately, he had to prioritize his health on Friday and miss the Meet the Players event at the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl, even after fans waited hours to meet him. Tebow, who practiced all week while under the weather, was still “very sick” on Friday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Speaking of Tebow, the Montreal Gazette reports that the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL hold the first option to his rights should he decide, for any reason, to head North and not play in the NFL. Tebow and wide receiver Riley Cooper will participate in the Senior Bowl on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will air live on NFL Network and OGGOA will have live coverage on Twitter.

2 » No. 4 Florida gymnastics (3-1, 3-0 SEC) took down the No. 13 LSU Tigers (3-3, 1-2 SEC) in a 196.725-195.05 victory Friday during the Fourth Annual Gators Link to Pink meet. While raising awareness about breast cancer, Florida put up its season-best total and set or matched 11 collegiate-best marks. The Gators hop on the road for their next meet, taking on N.C. State Wolfpack and George Washington Colonials in a triangular meet on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Reynolds Coliseum.

3 » Florida basketball will face them on Sunday, but the Gators’ men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each took down the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday to conclude their 2009-10 dual meet schedules. On the road at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN, the No. 6 men (9-0, 4-0 SEC) took a 164-133 decision over the No. 11 Volunteers on the heels of eight individual event victories. The No. 7 women (10-2, 4-1 SEC) won nine of 16 individual events to claim victory over the No. 12 Lady Vols 170-130. Florida handed Tennessee’s men’s team its first loss in the two-year history of the building.

4 » The Gators baseball team held its first practice of the 2010 season Friday, and No. 7/9-ranked Florida is ready to defend its 2009 SEC East division title. Players and coaches hope to improve on last season’s 42-22 record, which brought them ever so close to a berth in the College World Series. For quotes from the team and some more information on baseball’s first practice, read Jim Harvin’s story in The Gainesville Sun.

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TWO BITS: Scoring error, MSU strip club scandal?

1 » It appears as if a two-point layup was incorrectly attributed to Florida Gators sophomore point guard Erving Walker during the team’s 72-58 victory over the LSU Tigers last Saturday. Instead, the points should have gone to Kenny Boynton, giving the freshman guard 20 for the game. Simple fix, right? Not so much. Here are 281 more words on it. Reminder: Florida basketball takes travels to Fayetteville, AR, to face the Arkansas Razorbacks Thursday at 9 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN.

2 » The Mississippi State Bulldogs have been looking into comments posted on Facebook by some recruits claiming they visited The Pony, a local strip club, during a recruiting trip. Obviously, this would be a NCAA recruiting violation. Now that the story has floated around for a few days, some of the recruits involved in the alleged strip club trip are claiming their status updates were just jokes.

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Boyton shines as Gators chomp Tigers 72-58

Winless in Southeastern Conference play after two opportunities and dropping five of their last eight games overall, the Florida Gators (12-5, 1-2 SEC) and head coach Billy Donovan were looking to redeem themselves Saturday night against the LSU Tigers (9-8, 0-3 SEC). Redemption is exactly what Florida achieved after chomping LSU 72-58 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Freshman guard Kenny Boynton led the Gators with 18 points, but every member of Florida’s starting five posted double figures in points. Sophomore point guard Erving Walker and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin each contributed 14 points while junior forwards Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons each accounted for 11. Parsons earned the start Saturday over senior F Dan Werner, who was ill but still played 20 minutes. Werner did not take a shot and scored one point off of a free throw.

Part of the reason for the Florida’s success Saturday was their proficiency from beyond the arc. Boynton shot 4-for-10 from three, Walker went 2-for-4 and Parsons added a trey on two attempts. As a team, the Gators shot 41.2 percent from three while limiting the Tigers to 16.7 percent on 12 attempts.

Florida got out to a 15-point lead in the first half, but LSU narrowed it to seven as the teams entered the locker room. However, the Gators opened the second half on a 23-6 run, led at one point by 24 and held on for the double-digit victory. Florida’s victory over the Tigers was their first since March 11, 2006.

Senior F Tasmin Mitchel carried LSU in the first half, scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points. His supporting cast faltered as none of his teammates had more than eight points. Mitchell also led his team in rebounds (nine) and steals (three).

The Gators travel to Fayetteville, AR, on Thursday to face-off against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The game will air live on ESPN at 9 p.m.

Photo Credit: Tricia Coyne/Gainesville Sun

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SIX BITS: LSU, Macklin, gym, NCAA honors, Tebow

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1 » Florida Gators basketball (11-5, 0-2 SEC) is looking to rebound from losing five of its last eight games as it takes on the LSU Tigers (9-7, 0-2 SEC) Saturday at 8 p.m. at home in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The game will air live on FSN. Both teams are winless in Southeastern Conference action this season, and the Gators have not defeated the Tigers since March 11, 2006. Florida trails the all-time series 60-37.

2 » Two things must happen for the Gators to get back to prominence, the team must regain its swagger and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin needs to stay out of foul trouble. If this was not obvious enough from watching the team play its last two games, both The Gainesville Sun and The Florida Times-Union are happy to break it down for you. “He’s just got to be smarter with what plays he puts himself into and what plays he doesn’t,” head coach Billy Donovan said. The Florida coach also expanded on some of the team’s recent difficulties to the Miami Herald‘s Joseph Goodman. “The loss of eight really, really good players over the last three years has probably been more of an impact on us,” Donovan said. “I think our team would look a little bit different with Nick out there right now; our team last year would have looked a little bit different even with Maurice out there.” Even so, Donovan is not opposed to bringing in one-and-done players in the future to give the team enough talent to make the March Madness run it so desperately has been waiting for since back-to-back National Championships. Donovan is also trying to give the team a much-needed wake-up call.

Four BITS on gymnastics, Tim Tebow and other Gators sports after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: LSU, Macklin, gym, NCAA honors, Tebow

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FOUR BITS: Moody’s injuries, swimming vs. LSU

1 » Redshirt junior transfer running back Emmanuel Moody always seems to be injured. Whether it is a sprained ankle, tweaked knee or pulled hamstring, something is consistently there preventing him from performing at 100 percent. Moody told The Gainesville Sun on Sunday that bone spurs are actually the cause of the majority of his ankle injuries both previously with the USC Trojans and now with the Florida Gators. Surgery last week cleaned out the fragments and has him excited for next season.

2 » Unranked Florida women’s basketball (9-7, 2-1 SEC) fell to the No. 8 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (16-3, 3-0 SEC) 61-52 Sunday evening in Athens, GA, at Stegeman Coliseum. Redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Jones led the Gators with 13 points while freshman forward Jennifer George nabbed a career-high and team-high 10 rebounds. Florida returns home to face the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers (14-1, 2-0 SEC) on Thursday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Comcast Sports South.

3 » Conversely, the Gators men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams had a great weekend, as the No. 6 men’s team took down the No. 18 LSU Tigers 157.5-134.5 and the No. 7 women defeated No. 21 LSU by 171-121 in the O’Connell Center. Senior Kara Salamone set a school-record in the one-meter springboard diving competition with a 318.15; she would also win the three-meter competition on Sunday. The UF women won 13 of 16 events while the men took 10 of 16. Check OGGOA’s weekly schedule to the right for the next Gators swim meets.

4 » Gators freshman golfer Tommy Mou took home the 84th annual New Year’s Invitational at the St. Petersburg Country Club with a four-day score of 2-over 290. “I tried to play my game, and it was so hard to do that (Sunday),” Mou told the St. Petersburg Times. “I only hit four or five greens all day. It was tough out there.”

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SEC reigns as Alabama takes home BCS title

Chants of “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!” rained down from half of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, as the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide completed its dismantling of the No. 2 Texas Longhorns 37-21 Thursday night in the 2010 BCS National Championship. Winning its first title since 1992, Alabama’s defense led the way – first knocking Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the game and then finishing with a fumble recovery and interception to ice the game in the fourth quarter.

Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban became only the second coach (next to the Florida Gators’ Urban Meyer) to win two BCS titles, and the first to accomplish the feat at two separate schools (LSU Tigers). Alabama’s victory propelled the Southeastern Conference to its fourth-straight BCS National Championship, its sixth overall and fifth in seven seasons. The Crimson Tide also became the third different SEC team to win it during the last four seasons.

The SEC is 6-0 in BCS title games (Florida 2-1, LSU 2-0, Alabama 1-0, Tennessee 1-1) and has won as many (6) as every other conference combined. Four SEC teams finish the 2009 season ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 polls (Alabama 1/1, Florida 3/3, LSU 17/17, Ole Miss 20/21).

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SIX BITS: Urban Meyer absence edition (Part 1)

1 » Urban Meyer’s Press Conference Transcript

2 » Perhaps the key component to Meyer’s recent decision and then about-face is the effect it will have on rival schools and coaches who will use it as an opportunity to pounce on the Florida Gators and their recruits. OGGOA starts the festivities with a piece from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who contends that Meyer’s flip-flop is a bad sign for Florida and an opening for the Georgia Bulldogs. “Meyer isn’t so much on the clock now as he is looking at it,” Schultz writes before flip-flopping himself. “Don’t misunderstand. I’m not projecting the Gators’ program is going to implode. But odds are, the Gators take a significant step back.”

3 » Next to jump on the pile are the Tennessee Volunteers faithful. The Knoxville News-Sentinel named Gainesville, FL, the flip-flop coaching capital of the world. No real reason to click that link – not much to read there. Just covering all angles.

Check out three more BITS (worth reading) after the jump!!!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Urban Meyer absence edition (Part 1)

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Sporting world reacts to Meyer’s resignation

Much has already been said about Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s resignation, and it has only been hours since he has decided to step down from the program. Many of Meyer’s players, former players, peers and friends have already released statements about their thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Check out the sporting world’s reaction to Meyer’s announcement after the jump!!!
Continue Reading » Sporting world reacts to Meyer’s resignation

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