Gator Basketball is having a heck of a year. They are 20-3 on the season, etching their 15th straight season with 20 or more wins. Erik Murphy leads the the SEC in three point shooting (49%), Patric Young leads the SEC in overall shooting percentage (61.8%), Scottie Wilbekin is 2nd in the SEC in assists (5.2 per game), and Kenny Boynton (barring injury) will move from his current #3 slot on the All-Time Gator Scoring List to #1. The SEC is down this year (see Kentucky specifically) and the Gators are taking full advantage.
The one the Gators want back is Arkansas. Florida lost to Arkansas last week when they were #2 in the Nation. Had they not lost they would be the #1 team in the land, and the bandwagon would be overflowing. But the road loss to the Razorbacks was NOT pretty. A sour note on an otherwise incredible season. I’ve struggled to find an analogy for my feelings following the loss. But then an analogy was found for me. This perfectly describes my feelings and concerns about our 2012-2013 Gator squad…In Grantland.com’s Top 12 NCAA Power Rankings this week, Mark Titus writes the following about Gator Basketball:
“Say you’ve dated a girl for a few years and you finally decide to propose. She says yes. You’re madly in love and can’t believe how perfect you are for each other. Your fiancée suggests that you go out on the town to celebrate. So that’s what you do. As the night wears on, your friends buy both of you more and more drinks. You both get hammered, but you don’t care — you’re in love and that’s all that matters. At some point later in the night, your fiancée goes to the restroom. Five minutes later, as your buddy is looking over your shoulder, his jaw drops. You turn around to see that your fiancée is standing on top of the bar with her shirt pulled up, giving everyone in the place a good look at her chest. You turn back to your buddy, give him a high five, and say “That’s my wife!” because you don’t fully comprehend what’s going on.
When you wake up the next morning, you remember what happened and now that you’re sober it doesn’t seem quite so awesome. You confront your fiancée. She says she doesn’t remember anything after 9 p.m. and thinks you’re lying about what happened because she would never do something like that. Now what do you do? Do you believe her and try to move on like nothing ever happened? Or does the fact that she just flashed her breasts to the world (including your friends) raise a huge red flag that leads to you backing out of the wedding? You want to treat the event as a minor mistake made by an otherwise perfect woman, but a small part of you thinks you’ll never get over it, and every time you and your wife hang out with your friends, you’ll think about the incident.
That’s Florida for me. If you take away the Arkansas game, everything about the Gators is marriage material. They have a perfect college team on paper, and with the exception of the Arkansas game, the last month and a half has proved it, including Tuesday night’s easy win over Kentucky. The SEC isn’t great this year, but the conference isn’t so bad that the Gators’ dominance should be taken for granted. Then again, you can’t just forget that game. You can’t just ignore that a little over a week ago, a team that won’t even sniff the NCAA tournament made the Gators look like an intramural team. Florida and I had a sacred thing, and then they had to stand up on the bar and flash their high beams. I want so badly to forget it ever happened, but I can’t. Not yet, anyway. If the Gators can go on the road next Tuesday and embarrass Frank Haith and Missouri, maybe I’ll be able to move on. But honestly, I think Florida will need to win out the rest of the regular season and the SEC tournament to rebuild our trust and make me believe they are the national title favorites I thought they were two weeks ago.”
I think Titus is likely right. Non-Gator fans will NOT climb back on the bandwagon again unless the Gators nearly run the table. The rest of the schedule is unimpressive: Auburn, at Missouri (the only “on paper” challenge), a rematch with Arkansas at the O’Dome, at Tennessee, Alabama, Vandy, at Nerlen Noel-less Kentucky, and then the SEC Tournament.
Don’t get me wrong the regular season will look great when it is all over. We will be heavily favored to win the SEC Tournament. And as long as we don’t get drunk and topless again we’ll likely be a 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. And if we were to win the whole thing this year…well I might just get drunk and topless.
I’m not a huge fan of internet memes, most people are not as funny as they think. The Rowdy Reptiles however have been impressive this year, and well organized. First came the organized (flash mob-like) dance during the Missouri game, and now they have moved on to the Harlem Shake…