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Florida Week - Bring on Saturday, already!

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First thing's first, I wrote my preview of the LSU-Florida game for the NCAA's official blog, Every Game Counts. It's part of a "dueling bloggers" bit they do most weeks when there's a big game. The Florida perspective was composed by Orange and Blue Hue. A snippet from my piece:

That said, we LSU types can't help but see some chinks in the armor and hold out with pretty high hopes given our year thus far. Conventional wisdom is that these Tigers, while among the most talented teams in the land, will forever be hamstrung by the fact that one Les Miles is our coach. Given, among other things, the change-of-possession timeout Les frantically requested on national television during last year's implosion at home versus Tennessee, and we Tiger fans can certainly understand the world's skepticism.

But brace yourselves, because I dare say it - maybe this year is different? The Tigers enter this game ranked #1 in the nation in total defense, and #2 in scoring defense. Disregarding a garbage time touchdown allowed against Mississippi State, the defense has allowed one touchdown all season, and none through the air. We know this group can play, and it may be our best group ever. On the other side of the ball, we've outscored our opponents 66-0 in the first quarter this year, and are 10th in the nation in scoring offense. Jamarcus Russell, meanwhile, is second in the nation in passing efficiency.

Now, aside from the Auburn game - which most any casual observer would tell you was an intensely hard fought battle between two elite teams - we've clearly had a cupcake schedule. But that said, each and every week this year, Les has brought the Tigers to play - which is more than can be said of his team last year, or several of Nick Saban's Tiger squads. The bottom line is, myriad questions enveloped this team in the preseason - namely, offensive line cohesion, defensive line ability, quarterback controversy, running back injuries, dropped passes, and sloppy play in the form of turnovers and penalties - and almost all have been answered with resounding success. From this fan at least, kudos to Les Miles and his staff.

The site has had some pretty great guest appearances thus far, including Peyton Manning, Mack Brown, Dan Hawkins, Tommy Bowden, and Vols WR Robert Meachem. Anyway, you can read the rest of my preview and feel free to let me know what you think.

The Florida blogger mentioned above thinks the Gators aren't a Top 5 team. Amusingly, his father demanded a right to a retort on said blog, and was given the opportunity.

Guard Will Arnold is officially out this weekend.

JaMarcus is getting Heisman attention. It's only fair, since after all he's the starting quarterback for the #9 team in the country and ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency.

From network brethren Swamp Ball, a discussion of the DeShawn Wynn injury situation.

I need to take this moment to bring a side note here from the Florida game, on Texas Longhorn fans and their expectations in general. Over at Burnt Orange Nation, Peter gives his reasons why the Oklahoma game is a must-win contest for them. I especially love this quote:

The national title with Vince Young? It'll be a footnote. A small little footnote that says Coach February only had a little Vince Young hiatus. The headlines will be all about Big Game Bob's return. They'll be discussing country clubs and their prominent location on the Texas athletics facilities.

We'll plummet in the polls and, really, when you get down to it... we'll be right back where we were two years ago. With more doubters than believers.

Whoa Peter! Step off that ledge! Take a deep breath!! A footnote??? The Horns' national title last year will NEVER be a footnote. I'd say the vast majority of this country east of the California state line was rooting for your Horns last fall, in a matchup that had been previewed - and anticipated - for more or less six full months. And from your Horns we saw one of the greatest single game performances in the history of college football, if not the history of all of sports. Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, they'll be spinning out extra-super digitally-remastered ultimate-def DVDs of the event. Fifty year old men will recount to their kids where they were the night Vince shredded the mighty Trojans. Michigan fans will retell the story, and how they got the same treatment a year before. Hell, the 23rd anniversary of the event will at least draw a repeat all-night showing on the Ocho...can you imagine when we hit the 25th anniversary of the new "Greatest Game Ever Played"? Vince is a player who'll never be forgotten, and guaranteed the memory of that "TEXAS" logo has been seared in the memories of even casual college football observers for generations to come.  Peter, regardless of the outcome of this weekend's tiff with Oklahoma, I'd have to say with all due respect, my good man: footnote my ass!