Hey guys (and gals), guess what? Last week, the Florida Gators have added their 35 National Championship, seven more than the Miami Hurricanes (9) and Florida State Seminoles (19) have combined.
On a more serious note, how incredible are Tim Walton’s softball teams? Two straight National Championships, the number one recruiting class for next season, and a team full of power, speed, pitching, and fielding that is destined to be the odds on favorite to three-peat next season. Incredible. After Billy Donovan left Florida to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder and Rhonda Faehn left to work for USA Gymnastics, I said that Tim Walton was the best coach at Florida and I truly mean that.
And just think, Florida Gators still have two (very, very good) National Championships opportunities left with baseball in the College World Series and Men’s Outdoor track ranked as the number one team in the country.
Obligatory Tip of my Cap
Last week in “Thoughts of the Week”, we expected the Gators to win the National Championship in softball. While it hadn’t happened yet, this week we need to tip my cap. While I already gave credit in my aforementioned opening, they deserve so much credit. Whether it was Lauren Haeger’s pitching or #HaegerBombs, Tim Walton’s great coaching, or just overall great teamwork day-in and day-out, this team had it all.
Tim Walton is the best coach in softball and it is incredible to think that he is just in his 10th season at Florida. Florida should be an unstoppable force for a very, very, very long time.
Last week, we talked about how hot the Gators baseball team was. Well, they were hotter this weekend than they have been all postseason.
The Gators baseball team has now outscored their opponents (some very good teams) in the SEC Tournament, Regional Tournament, and Super Regional Tournament – 89 – 25.
Read as: The Gators have outscored a conference that qualified half of the teams to the World Series, and then three teams that qualified for the playoffs, and then the number five seed by 64 runs on an 9-1 record (nine wins in a row).
The Gators continue to win with exceptional fielding defense (.985 fielding percentage), freshman phenom J.J. Schwarz, great pitching (for the most part), and great coaching.
Hats off to the Gators baseball team for bouncing back after a very disappointing 2014 season and punching your ticket back to Omaha, NE.
Finally, a Triple Crown
I have loved horse racing since I was a young boy. My uncle had a few racehorses and I will never forget cheering on “Flipforthegold” (his horse) claim first place in 2000 and standing in the Winner’s Circle.
Because of this upbringing, I have followed the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont closely for the last decade and a half and have hoped and prayed for a Triple Crown – and finally we get one from probably the best all-around horse of the last three decades and a top-five horse of all-time and it was awesome to watch.
My betting interests aside, it was great to see a Triple Crown because of how rare and difficult it is, but even more, because horse training over the last twenty years has really not built horses to win the Triple Crown because they are either built for speed or distance – not both.
Hopefully, we see one again soon, but hopefully not too soon because I want American Pharoah’s reign (no pun intended) to, selfishly, last for a while.
Lesser-Known Recruits Starting to Become Better-Known
The Gators have offered a lot of, and received commitments from, a number of lesser-known players in the class of 2016. While many fans lambasted some of these players (and who am I to say you’re wrong?), some of them are starting to become get significantly more noticed.
A few that are starting to really pick-up steam:
- Vosean Joseph
- Lamical Parine
- Isaiah Johnson
- Rick Wells
Now I know Florida is Florida and their class should be filled with four- and five-star players, but looking at a lot of these prospects, I see a lot of scheme fits not just good/great players. Now this does not mean that I like every player that is committed to Florida, but I do think some of these lesser know players that people are complaining about now, will turn out to be real solid players.
Incredible Stat of the Week
Freshman J.J. Schwarz is batting .564 in the post season with four homeruns, five doubles, 14 runs, and 17 RBIs.
Must Read Articles of the Week
- Marin Cogan | The Secret Life and Death of an NHL Hockey Analytics Pioneer
- Mike Sager | The Life of a Clown
- Ken Belson | Lightning Owner Wants to Build to Last, in Tampa and on Ice
- Adrian Chen | The Agency
- Ashlee Vance | Larry Ellison Is Spending a Fortune to Save American Tennis
Song of the Week
I don’t usually give y’all sappy country because it is too stereotypical and i don’t think you would listen to it, but this is a great song by Tyler Farr.