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Sprints Wants to Know What Tebow Ate for Breakfast // 07.16.09

Next up: OBAMBLOG. Welcome to the TIMTEBLOG -- because no one is paying attention to Florida's obscure signal-caller. Again, that name is Tim Tebow, spelled T-I-M T-E-B-O-W. (HT: Holly at Dr. Saturday's)

By the way, ladies, he's single.

Your humble correspondent begins to think that the biggest obstacle Florida faces is the non-stop media campaign crowning them national champions now. It is hard to think of any team -- with the possible exception of 2005 Southern Cal -- that built up this pervasive an aura of inevitability before the season began. When does the spotlight become so intense that even this team, as mature and motivated as it appears to be, loses focus?

Take as an example this attempt by Swamp Things, an MSM blog, to keep Florida fans "grounded." The entry begins with the idea that someone who thinks the Gators will go undefeated is "out of touch with reality."

Let's face facts folks: It's nearly impossible to go through a Southeastern Conference football season unscathed and win a national championship. Only four teams have accomplished that feat from the SEC in the past 30 years -- 1979 Alabama, 1980 Georgia, 1992 Alabama, 1998 Tennessee -- so it's only realistic to expect at least one loss en route to the national championship.

To summarize: Thinking Florida will go undefeated in the SEC? Unrealistic. Assuming a national championship in mid-July? Perfectly reasonable.

Except that's not what he's doing
Maybe it took the headline "UF President Bernie Machen continues his fight for safety at Florida-Georgia game" to make this idea finally click, but it did. First of all, it should be noted that Machen isn't "fighting for safety" by having rabid dogs removed from the area or putting lighting in dark staircases. He wants fewer places to sell alcohol during the game.

In a recent letter to the City of Jacksonville, Machen requested that the city limit occupancy at the Landing, decrease the number of temporary alcohol vendors and refuse to sell shots at Landing establishments. Two UF students have died during the weekend festivities in the past few years, Machen reminded me, saying his overall concern is safety.

But if you're primary concern is safety, this is exactly the wrong approach to take. College football fans in general, and particularly college students, are going to drink. Some of them are going to drink heavily. If your concern is for their safety, why push that drinking out of establishments where there is at least a plausible degree of supervision, and someone who can ultimately say "no" if they believe a patron is too drunk? Aren't those same people going then more likely to bring and drink however much alcohol they want -- potentially running the risk of even more alcohol poisoning and accidents?

Machen's battle is not a fight for safety. It's an attempt at social engineering. And it is extremely dangerous. 

C.C. Whitlock back on the team -- for now
But the cornerback -- expected to be a key part of the Gamecocks' secondary in the fall -- isn't completely out of the woods.

Sources have said Whitlock needs As and Bs in his summer school classes to remain eligible.

If that's all there is to it ...

'Your other option is more Kodi Burns' didn't make the cut?
Jerry at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash gives three reasons why Auburn might want to burn Tyrik Rollison's redshirt.

Another Dave saved
Dave Archer will do analysis for Fox Sports' SEC coverage as part of the league's conquest of sports television. We already reported on a new job for Dave Neal -- what's Dave Baker to do?

I feel dumber having read this
Florida players won't be signing footballs and helmets and such on the team's Aug. 16 fan day. Why?

"Unfortunately, when players have signed various autograph items such as helmets and footballs, they have on occasion been sold to the general public," said Jamie McCloskey, the UAA's compliance czar. "The practice could put the eligibility of some of our student-athletes into question."

The NCAA: Because someone might mistakenly think college football is supposed to be fun.

There will be zoned SI covers, it seems
Tennessee's will feature a shirtless Ed Orgeron and Florida's will be a collage of the Sunshine State's finest penal institutions.

Arkansas fans might have better understood the concept of 'underperforming expectations'
Ever finished driving home, turned on the television and found out that there was a massive accident somewhere on the road where you had passed just moments earlier? Arkansas fans must have had the same sensation reading this gem from The State's Q&A with Tommy Bowdenunearthed by The Slophouse.

According to Paul Strelow of The State, a questioner yesterday at a fund-raising event with the Bowden brothers and father Bobby Bowden asked, bluntly, "Did you say yes?"

"Probably," Bowden said. "I told them I wanted ... I said, 'Jeff (Long, Arkansas’ athletic director and a longtime Bowden friend), if I feel like I do in the morning, then let’s go. But let me pray about it one more time. I want to be totally convinced.' And I woke up in the morning, we talked one more time and went the other way."

Thus was Arkansas spared the fate of another sure to be ill-fated experiment in the SEC West.

Actually, all they have right now is a memorandum of understanding
Billy Gillispie and a freelance writer agree to pen a book about the former's coaching career.