The Gator 'Bate: UF Football Expects Exceptional Season
This college football season, the Florida Gators will look to do what no team has in the 11-year history of the BCS—win a second straight title.
Not only that, but Tim Tebow and the swamp crew are eyeing an additional prize—an undefeated season. Surely this goal will keep the prosperous UF team vivacious.
"Our focus is to get better every day. How can we be the best team, best play, best unit we can be. Not how we can get by. I think that's our mindset. If we do that, I think we'll be successful," Tebow said.
They'll be more than merely successful. Urban Meyer has never been "more anxious to coach a football team", a quote that should signal non-Gator fans to prepare for disappointment.
Complacency won't be an issue for this team. Following the National Title win in 2006, a diminished work ethic and lack of leadership contributed to a disappointing 9-4 year. The current team has carefully reviewed that mistake, and won't make it again.
"We have to be focused on every team, every game," linebacker Ryan Stamper said.
The winning formula this year starts with Tebow, who last season threw for 2,746 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions and ran for 673 yards and 12 more TDs.
His decision to return to the orange and blue instead of the NFL Draft immediately strengthened a unit that ranked fourth nationally in scoring (43.6 points per game) and pass efficiency (170.7), 10th in rushing (231.1) and 15th in total offense (445.1) in 2008.
Even though questions still remain at receiver, the team is confident they'll be able to put up big numbers time and time again. The spread offense will remain, albeit a few tweaks here and there (the offense will be partially tailored to Tim's transition to the big leagues).
Defensively, the Gators have serious depth. Led by returning All-SEC linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has 239 career tackles, word is that some of the backups are better than the starters.
The team is not invincible, but they're stacked. And when you have one of the best amateur athletes of all time as your QB, it's hard not to feel inspired.
There isn't a more perfect storm for an undefeated season than this season. The team is ready to rally around each other and take care of business.
They seem to have the optimal blend of a mindset—not full of themselves, but confident in their ability to together send their team to an exceptional season.
For more on the Florida Gators, stay tuned for more of The Gator 'Bate.
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