We have to humbly apologize for the delay in posting this week’s Our Two Bits Top 25. I could list all the excuses – election week, parent-teacher conferences at school, busy helping Lane Kiffin deflate his balls – but in all honesty, we figured this week’s column should be an homage to the Gators offense. So we were non-existent for the first half of the week, finally opened the word document on Thursday and are going to exploit some stories from earlier in the week to finish up strong with just enough words here on Friday to give you some late week entertainment.
It struck right before kickoff last week and is now only reinforced on the eve of our second to last home game of the year – the season has flown by and we now only have one legitimate game left (barring an On the Plains miracle) before a bowl matchup against who knows. Let’s face it, no matter how badly we struggle on offense against Lafayette and Jacksonville State, neither game figures to be competitive in the second half. That’s the way the schedule shook out this year and it is no knock against scheduling those teams given the conference schedule and rivalry game with FSU we play every year. It just so happens that the new SEC schedule lined up this way and left us with a mostly empty November. The good news is we should see some improvement and hopefully some much needed confidence for the offensive line and Jeff Driskel.
But if that doesn’t happen, no matter how awful the offensive line blocks, no matter how many locked on receivers Jeff Driskel throws to, I’m vowing to enjoy every minute of these last few games. The jokes will still flow on Twitter but no real angst can be shed at this point for this Gators team that has so far exceeded expectations that Gator Nation looks ridiculous and foolish for any complaints. This is a 10-win team in a rebuilding year where eight wins was the consensus.
To that point, those of not fortunate enough to still live in Gainesville or within driving distance are holding out hope that the Swamp is packed from the start on Saturday and next week. Last week’s half-empty student section was humiliating. Having attended nine Gators homecomings from 1991-1999, I know how hard it is to spatula yourself up and get to Ben Hill for those 12pm kickoff games against an overmatched opponent. But if I could make it in each of those nine years after consuming approximately 23 beers on Friday night, you can to. Cherish each game you have the opportunity to attend, this year and for your limited time in Gainesville.
I know I sound like your father and that’s because I’m feeling older than usual, inching my way closer to the big 4-0 with another birthday on Sunday. I don’t mean to, lord knows I still feel like a kid each and every Saturday and I can certainly still put a few cold ones back with the best of them. Time equals experience and after not getting back to Gainesville for a game since 2005, I miss it more than ever. So those of you fortunate enough to be there have a duty not just to yourselves but to all of us who wish we were there.
Enjoy Gator Growl tonight, Homecoming and all the festivities. Be safe out there, mix in some water tonight and watch out for each other. To paraphrase a speech I heard recently, we aren’t a blue nation, we aren’t an orange nation, we’re a Gator Nation.
2. Kansas State
4. Notre Dame
5. Ohio State
10. Florida State
11. South Carolina
13. Texas A&M
14. Oregon State
17. Louisiana Tech
21. Kent State
23. Mississippi State
25. Northern Illinois