My name is Joseph Morgan and I'll be breaking down each of the 2008 Florida Gators' opponents and making predictions game by game. Please feel free to give your input and make your opinions known throughout the series. I am happy to discuss the games.
Game Five vs. LSU, October 11, 2008
Info: It's safe to say that everyone knows the story of the 2007 LSU Tigers.
A national title favorite from the moment the season kicked off, LSU experienced one of the wildest seasons in their own history, as well as college football history.
Whether it was their last-second win over Auburn, crushing the Gators with five straight fourth down conversions, or their two shootout losses to Arkansas and Kentucky, LSU experienced every emotion possible during the 2007 season.
If that wasn't enough, the Michigan rumors swirling about Les Miles didn't help calm the storm.
Despite their topsy-turvy season, the Bayou Bengals won when it mattered most and clinched their second BCS National Championship since the inception of the BCS in 1998.
Offseason: LSU's offseason should have a dramatic effect on their outlook for 2008.
The Tigers were forced to re-evaluate their offensive strategy due to head coach Les Miles kicking quarterback Ryan Perrilloux off the team due to repeated rules violations.
In addition, LSU also lost defensive leaders Glen Dorsey and Ali Highsmith, as well as former starting quarterback Matt Flynn.
However, the Tigers shouldn't lose a step. Despite their losses, LSU is a magnet for speed and talent, pulling in another Top 25 recruiting class in 2008. The class featured top-ranked cornerback Patrick Johnson and defensive end Chancey Aghayere, one of the nation's top recruits.
2008 Outlook: LSU will always have talent, regardless of how much they have lost from the previous season. The same will hold true for 2008.
As for the loss of Perrilloux, the starting job will go to the winner of the quarterback competition between juniors Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch.
Although, inexperience will be an issue at quarterback, the offensive load will be carried by returning rushing leaders Keiland Williams and Trindon Holliday. The loss of leading rusher Jacob Hester will hurt, but Williams and Holliday should be able to pick up where Hester left off.
Overall, the Tigers are very capable of returning to the BCS and will be in the title discussion, but they will not repeat as BCS Champions. The Tigers have to overcome a tough schedule once again and will have to beat out Auburn and Alabama in a loaded SEC West.
Look for the Tigers to play in a New Year's Day bowl and get ready for another title push in 2009.
Game Prediction: Florida 35 - LSU 31
Undoubtedly Florida's toughest opponent to date, the Tigers will give the Gators all they've got and then some. This matchup could go either way, but I'll give the nod to the Gators.
Florida, with the aid of what should be a hostile crowd at "the Swamp," will be firing on all cylinders and should be able to squeak out a close win at home against the Tigers.
LSU's defense will be able to match Florida's playmakers step fpr step, making Tim Tebow and Florida work for every point they score.
Although he's not the greatest player of his era, contrary to Florida head coach Urban Meyer's belief, Tebow is the best college football player in the game today and he will prove why by putting out a great performance in a close game.
The Gators improve to 6-0 headed into a bye week. The Gators' next opponent, Kentucky, should not be taken lightly. Stay tuned for Florida's homecoming matchup!