Florida Gators Look to Renew Championship Swagger

Eugenio TorrensContributor IOctober 23, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 10:  The defense of Florida Gators celebrate a stop against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With another college football Saturday on the horizon, Gators fans are relieved to put another win behind their team.

No. 1 Florida's narrow 23-20 win over Arkansas last Saturday was a mammoth sigh of relief for the team and UF students. It may have been ugly, but a win is a win and the Gator Nation would take the "W" any way possible.

Not to mention, a sloppy game like the one against the Hogs could be the spark the team needed to refocus on a title repeat. Indeed, the win over Arkansas last Saturday exemplified the fans' worst nightmare: this isn't as good a team as last year and may not be able to repeat.

The Gators' offense looked dull and inept at times against the Hogs. Quarterback Tim Tebow finished 17-of-26 for 255 yards and one touchdown.

Saturday, when the Gators travel to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State, they'll look to regain the swagger they had last year and at the beginning of this season. AP pollsters have ranked Alabama over Florida. While the BCS poll—which is the one that ultimately matters—has Florida at number one, fans and players were most likely a little irked at being jumped over by the Tide.

Up to this point in the season though, students have to face the fact Alabama has played like the better team.

The Crimson Tide defense has climbed national ranks to rival the Gators' and the offense scored 30+ points in its first five games of the season-including a 34-24 win against then-No. 7 Virgina Tech.

It's not that UF students aren't confident in their team, it's that they're sure the Gators will lose if they have another game like they did against Arkansas. Students know the Gators had a bit of luck to get out of the game with a win.

Florida's defense has looked solid so far and played its worse game against the Razorbacks and still managed to hold them to 20 points. It may help playing against MSU, who ranks 104th in the nation passing.

It can't hurt too, that the Bulldogs' first-year coach is Dan Mullen, Florida's offensive coordinator last season.

If the Gators are going to start a hot streak or even rebound from a sub-par performance, the MSU game would be a perfect place to start.