Thursday, September 17, 2009

There Will Be Blood ... in the Swamp

Which fantastic finish will punctuate Saturday's bloodbath between Florida and Tennessee?

a) With Florida clinging to a 73-3 lead, Urban Meyer calls a timeout to tack on an insurance field goal as time expires.

b) With Tennessee trailing only 59-0, Lane Kiffin calls a timeout to set up a goose-egg-busting field goal from 52 yards out, only to have the Vols kicker iced by a Meyer timeout.

c) Florida scores with a minute left to go up, 61-7, then surprises Tennessee with an onside kick to get the ball back for more.

d) When asked why Florida went for two at the end of the game, already up 52-6, Meyer replies: "Because I couldn't go for three."

The better question is, really: Is Kiffin insane?

If you ask Al Davis, he'd say no. He'd tell you that Kiffin is just "a flat-out liar."

This much we do know: Whatever happens in the Swamp on Saturday, it ain't gonna be pretty for the Vols. And they'll have their head coach to thank, who did everything but spray painting Meyer's lawn with graffiti to get the Gators all riled up.

Kiffin attempted at some damage control this week, but it's too little, too late. If Meyer is anything, a forgiving and magnanimous sort, he's not. Last year alone, Meyer punished Miami by kicking a late field goal with Florida already ahead, 23-3; and paid back Mark Richt by calling three timeouts at the end of the game to let Georgia soak in their 49-10 loss.

Florida will flex its muscles on Saturday. The top-ranked Gators, after sort of taking it easy on two overmatched opponents to open the season, are ready to hit somebody, hard. The Vols come to Gainesville just in time as Florida's live tackling dummies.

Can't wait to see that post-game handshake that should make the Bill Belichick-Eric Mangini man-hug seem sincere. Meyer's parting words to Kiffin?

"Welcome to the SEC ... now get the F(... not Florida) out of my house."

★★★★★ GAME OF THE WEEK: Nebraska at Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m. ET. The Florida-Tennessee death match will be great for drama, but it won't be much of a football game. This game, however, will shed a lot of light on just how legit either the Big 12 (North) or the ACC is. Virginia Tech is supposed to be the standard bearer for the ACC - it needs a good performance to wipe away the growing doubt about the conference's BCS fitness.

★★★★ FOUR-STAR GAME: Florida State at BYU, 7 p.m. ET. The Seminoles were a minute away from losing to I-AA Jacksonville State and going 0-2. Now they're visiting Provo against a BYU team that may contend for the BCS national championship. The Cougars get another shot at impressing a national audience in their last major nonconference tilt. A blowout win will solidify their perch in the top 10.

★★★ THREE-STAR GAME: Boise State at Fresno State, 9 p.m. ET. This may be the toughest game remaining for the Broncos in their quest for a third unbeaten regular season in the last four years. Last year, Boise blew out Fresno, 61-10, but this time it won't be as easy down in the San Joaquin Valley. The Broncos still must go to Bowling Green and Tulsa, but neither place is as intimidating for a visitor as Bulldog Stadium.

★★ TWO-STAR GAME: Tulsa at Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m. ET. One Conference USA team pulled off a shocker in the state of Oklahoma last week. Will it happen again? In fact, this game may be for the bragging rights in the Sooner State. The Golden Hurricane are playing for their fifth straight bowl berth, and with a victory over Sam Bradford-less OU, the path opens for a BCS bid.

★ ONE-STAR GAME: Cincinnati at Oregon State, 6:45 p.m. ET. This game has huge ramifications for the Big East, already denigrated as undeserving of its automatic BCS berth. If the Bearcats, the highest (and only) ranked Big East team, can't handle the middle-of-the-Pac Beavers, the conference will be the poster child of what's wrong with the BCS all season long.


Adam Lankford said...

So far so wrong for the "GURU"!!! Love Tennessee's first drive! Let's see if Tennessee tires out or if they can stay fresh and keep this game close!

dethwing said...

You missed the "Tennesse trails by 10 with 6 minutes to go, but continues to play it safe, happy in losing close" prediction, but then again, so did everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Well, you had the three's correct just a simple 2 instead of a 7 in front for florida, and a 1 instead of a 0 for tennessee. Only sixty point differential, but you were right about the threes!