Apparently there was a Gators game this weekend. I thought we were off, since I didn't hear a peep about it on ESPN all last week. I think we played some orange and white team with a young coach; didn't recognize the guy. Regardless, the spread was eleventy–billion points, and we failed to cover, so it was a big letdown, right?
Eh, maybe, maybe not. I was happy we won; then again I had just drank a 12-pack of Dundee craft beers, which might be delicious enough to make me happy over anything.
Some of the other Gators around me were less enthusiastic. Honestly, the immediate reaction felt a little bit like a loss. Everyone loosened up as the night wore on, though, so I believe that my initial reaction was correct. A win's a win, right? It's definitely better than a three point loss to Washington (take that, USC!).
Regardless of whether you subscribe to my "holy crap, we just won a rivalry game; I don't care how much we were favored, that's still awesome!" philosophy or to the possibly more sane "we were favored by 30 ****ing points, dammit!" school, you have to agree there were both good and bad aspects of the game.
As with every week, I'll be covering both, along with the Heisman race, a look at our rivals, and maybe something a little extra.
Tebow—Wait, what? He managed two turnovers and only 115 passing yards, am I just part of the media's hype machine? Maybe, but that was a winner's performance.
It wasn't pretty, and it probably hurt his Heisman bid, but that was vintage Tebow on Saturday. When he had to, Tim willed the Gators to a first down, eating up minutes and ultimately winning the game.
The defense—Take away a really crappy celebration penalty and Tennessee doesn't find the endzone. The Vols' rushing attack was better than expected, but never truly threatening, and Crompton is Jake Delhomme bad. Two hundred total yards is a pretty good performance, especially when you factor in two Gators turnovers.
Eric Berry vs. Tim Tebow—Offensive POY vs. Defensive POY. All-American vs. All-American. Neither player was a letdown. In the second quarter this happened, answering the question of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object (answer? Everyone!).
The Flu—Either swine flu, normal flu, or some other bug shut down the Gators' offense. No disrespect to Tennessee's defense, they played a hell of a game, but they didn't go up against the Gators' offense that they expected to play.
Demps apparently had a 101 degree fever, and Hernandez reportedly suffered from flu–like symptoms during the week, slowing him down, as well.
The drama—prior to the game, it was Kiffin vs. Meyer, after the game, it's still Kiffin vs. Meyer. Meyer called Kiffin's play-calling overly conservative, Kiffin called Meyer a liar on the flu thing. Get over it, guys.
Turnovers—The Gators had zero turnovers at this point in the season last year. This year, they've lost the ball five times. Eventually this is going to matter.
Receivers—It's Riley Cooper or bust right now, and he got busted up by Tennessee. Someone else has to step up or else the Gators can forget about the deep ball.
Tebow didn't help his case this week, which, when you're the early season front–runner, might as well be hurting it. The Slo–mo Seneca Wallace tribute to convert a third down will be memorable enough to last the season, but that was about it.
Colt McCoy's game was similar, tossing a pair of picks in an ugly win. So far, Colt is still searching for his breakout game of 2009. He's riding on the hype from last year, and honestly, he's down to fumes at this point.
Jahvid Best is my new No. 1. He's racked up over 400 yards so far at nearly eight yards per carry, and Saturday's performance was one of the best a running back can have with 131 yards and five TDs (the team's only points).
Jacory Harris is quickly rocketing into national attention. Two sophomores have won it in the last two years, and if he keeps putting up numbers like he did on Thursday, he'll have a case for three in three years.
Stick a fork in: Max Hall
Still on life support: Dez Bryant
AROUND THE SCHEDULE
Tennessee is halfway to being a good team. They need a QB and that's about it. Unfortunately, quarterbacks are that important, and Crompton's never going to win them a game.
Georgia's defense is anemic, but Joe Cox knows how to find his playmaker, AJ Green. They're definitely a more threatening team than I thought they were after Week One.
Arkansas hasn't found a ground game yet, but Ryan Mallet looks like he's for real. If they continue to shy away from the run, I don't think they stand a chance, though.
LSU hasn't exactly wowed me yet, though the win at Washington got a little boost thanks to USC.
Finally, the Noles looked good on both sides of the ball for the first time all season. 473 yards is a lot to give up, but forcing five turnovers more than makes up for it defensively.
As for the rest of the league, we lost another potential title contender. Not that the Trojans can't make it as a one loss team, but they cannot keep the Gators out if the Gators go undefeated.
I'm going to go ahead and add Miami, though. They're playing unbelievably well right now and they have the schedule strength to vault up quickly if they remain undefeated.
I think the schedule segment works better on it's own rather than tacked on at the end here. Plus, I'd rather talk about whatever here, instead of limiting myself to football. Today I'm talking beer. Why? Why not.
I spent the weekend in Gainesville tailgating and enjoying myself. The tailgate was a BYOB affair, so my buddy and I stopped off at Sweetbay to pick up some drinks. Having already drank away hangovers earlier in the morning, we decided to go beyond macrobrews and picked up a Dundee craft pack for $12.
That's cheaper than a pack of Heineken, plus you get variety. The craft pack gets you two bottles of six different styles of beer: an IPA, a Pale Ale, a Porter, a wheat beer, a pale bock, and the Honey Brown.
The Honey Brown was just like I remembered it when I had it last year—too sweet. If you're sharing, give these to someone who doesn't know beer. The Porter's a little heavy for Gainesville day drinking, but it's not undrinkable. Let it get cold if you're planning on drinking it outside.
The Pale Bock Lager was somewhere between the Porter and the IPA on the drinkability scale, but it's pretty alcoholic at 6.5 percent ABV, something worth noting if you're planning on drinking it like a light beer.
The IPA and Pale Ale were both really good, probably my favorite beers in the pack. Note for non–beer connoisseurs: IPAs are traditionally strong beers. They're hoppy and alcoholic. This example had 6.3 percent ABV; stronger than your Budweiser, but not nearly as strong as many of the IPAs out there.
Pale Ales are basically IPA lights. Well, it would be more correct to call an IPA a pale ale x2, but same difference.
Despite the alcohol and hops, both the IPA and the Pale Ale were high on the drinkability scale (Sorry, Bud Light, I'm totally jacking your vocab). They keep well—I didn't mind that it was freakin 98 degrees with 1,000 percent humidity while I was sitting in my chair with these two brews.
Last and second to least was the Wheat Beer. I just couldn't get into this brew. It wasn't bad; it was just boring. Maybe I had already ruined my palette, but I didn't particularly enjoy drinking it and I ended up drinking the second IPA afterwards to curb my disappointment.
Verdict: if you're looking for a different tailgating drink outside of American Macros or overly expensive imports, check out the Dundee craft pack. Don't expect to be getting something ultra high end like a Dogfish Head, but at $1 per beer it's priced right, and it's got a little something for everyone, perfect for making new friends.