Urban Meyer's Florida Gators Prepare for LSU In Death Valley

Tom KesslerCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2009

Oct. 3, 2009 was a great day to be a Florida Gator.  


  • Georgia lost to an underwhelming LSU team.
  • FSU lost to a tepid Boston College team, and starts an ACC season 0-2 for the first time in its history prompting calls for Bobby Bowden’s retirement.
  • Tennessee was manhandled by Gene Chizik and company. Little Lane Kiffin is still winless in SEC play.     


Let’s talk about all these things…but first the real excitement comes from thinking about Florida’s game with LSU on Saturday night in Death Valley.  


Tim Tebow’s concussion is still newsworthy, but as I predicted, Urban Meyer and company have dispensed with the daily Tebow updates by tightening up the news regarding Tebow’s progress


I doubt we’ll hear much more substantive information regarding his playing status until game time.  All because the Gators want to keep LSU guessing, so that they’ll have to prepare for two quarterbacks. 


Probably the best news for Gator fans was the fact that Georgia lost. Or LSU won…depending on if you’re an optimist or pessimist.


Like a dead fish floating ashore in a toxic red tide…LSU enters the Florida game with a bloated ranking…eking out stinky wins against bottom feeders Vanderbilt, Washington, Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State. 


And the stinkiest win of all had to be against Georgia…not that I object.  But it took an excessive celebration penalty against the Dawgs to allow LSU the field position necessary for them score a late TD and to enter the Florida game undefeated with a high ranking.


And make no mistake, even though LSU is vastly overrated… Florida fans will wring every last drop of political capital from their assured victory over LSU …as it will still count as a win against a top 5 team. 


And, even when LSU falls from the top 25 after losing to Florida, Alabama, Auburn and quite possibly to Mississippi and Arkansas, they still were a top 5 team when we stuck a fork into their bloated body.


Maybe the Death Valley at night fairy tale will truly become a story line as the game progresses. But really, will a little bit of darkness help an anemic offense?


Tell me, how does a top 5 team only score six points until the last two minutes and 53 seconds against Georgia’s 85th-ranked defense? 


If this were track, LSU’s last touchdown would have an asterisk next to it as being wind-aided.  But it wasn’t the wind aiding LSU.  It was a questionable penalty.


The penalty flag that cost Georgia this game was not thrown late in the game, it was thrown in 2007.


Mark Richt earned the penalty this year with his Mother of All Excessive Celebration Penalties, which Georgia received when the team performed their tasteless end-zone celebration against the Gators in 2007.  


Richt has now lost two games because of that classless celebration, the game to Florida in 2008, and the LSU game in 2009.


Florida will shatter the LSU "invincibility at night" myth.  The night can’t beat the nation's No. 3 offense, a stadium can’t defeat the country's second-ranked defense. Florida will win with Tim Tebow, John Brantley, or Joe Haden at QB.  


That’s enough on LSU for now…check back on Oct. 9, as I publish my first Creature vs. Creature going head-to-head against LSU feature columnist Justin Goar.




Bobby Bowden to step down?


Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel writes, BC Loss Proves it’s time for Bobby to step aside, and Steve Ellis of the Tallahassee Democrat writes, Tough decision has to be made at FSU calling for Bobby Bowden to resign.


The general feeling is that Bowden has lost his edge, and he’s hurting the program by lingering around.


You know, the more Bowden’s teams looks bumfuzzled, the more I like him. 


Dadgummit, he was obnoxious in the 90’s when the press adored him, the NCAA came down lightly on his program, officials gave him calls…and he was beating the Gators.


I almost feel sorry for him, now that it seems that Joe Paterno will win the race to see who finishes with the most wins. 


Seems like Bowden is waiting to see how the NCAA decides on FSU’s appeal regarding the wins he had to vacate due to the FSU cheating scandal before he decides to retire. 


If this is true, then Bowden is just a vain, ego-driven old man. To mire a program in mediocrity because of pride is inexcusable. But, don’t tell Bobby that.


If Bobby does retire, it would be nice to see FSU give him a job teaching something he’s good at…defensive driving.




Lane Kiffin 0-6 in SEC before Vanderbilt game?


And finally, Little Lane Kiffin is still winless in the SEC after playing to just keep it close against Florida, and then getting manhandled by a good Auburn team at home.


Watching a pugnacious Lane Kiffin squirm on the sideline while losing is great theater. And it may get better.


Tennessee doesn’t have an easy SEC road ahead of them, as the Vols play Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Ole Miss.


Georgia is mediocre, so that game has to be close. Alabama will beat Tennessee, Steve Spurrier would love nothing more than to beat Kiffin, after the disparaging remarks he directed towards the Cocks program.


Ole Miss is still a good team, and the darling pick of the SEC west by many.  It’s conceivable that Tennessee won’t get their first SEC victory until playing Vandy on Nov. 21.


If Lane Kiffin has a one- or two-win SEC schedule this year…it’s ok. Tennessee won’t be as quick to fire Kiffin as Al “Just Win, Baby” Davis was in Oakland.


Remember, the Volunteers are accustomed to mediocrity after the Fulmer years…so “Just Win Sometimes, Baby” will suffice in the land of moonshine and quilts.


It’ll take about 10 years of so of childish outbursts and .500 seasons before Kiffin will be gone.


Gators 38

LSU 13


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