Gator Country’s Friday prediction podcast is back this week as the guys give you the latest information on the Florida Gators game against the LSU Tigers on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also look at some of the key match-ups for this game and what the Florida Gators must do if they want to pull the upset on Saturday night.
Andrew and Nick finish off the podcast by giving you their three players to watch for during the Florida Gators game, plus they give you their score prediction for this game.
Andrew: Hello, Gator Country. This is your man, Andrew Spivey, with Nicholas “bad news” de la Torre.
Nick: I am earning that nickname. We’re taping this on Wednesday because of our travel schedules, but I feel like it’s Saturday. This has been a week.
Andrew: I’m sitting here today, it’s Wednesday, and I’m like it’s 6:00? Where did the day go? I’m sitting here thinking, I spent the majority of my morning with Porter. Then I was taping a podcast. Then I was doing this. It’s like, where did this day go? Where did this day go? I don’t know. I feel like somebody looked at our phones they would think we were criminals, because we’re texting, charges this. Is this person doing this? You and I could be like an undercover policeman with our phones right now.
Nick: With as much as I’ve talked to Ben Tobias in the three years that I’ve been covering the team some people might think that I’m covering the Gainesville crime beat.
Andrew: Could you get a get out of jail free card?
Nick: I hope so. I hope I don’t need one, first off.
Andrew: They say everything runs in threes.
Nick: No. Not me.
Andrew: You better get out of town tomorrow.
Nick: I’m getting out of town.
Andrew: You better get very out of town. I don’t know about you, but I really want to talk about a football game here.
Nick: Wait, there’s a football game?
Andrew: There is a football game. It is going to be a, what is Mick Hubert’s word? It’s going to be mayhem.
Andrew: There you go. Whatever that means. I can’t say that word. It’s going to be a battle in the bayou between the Gators and the Corndogs.
Nick: Here we go. It took you to the third podcast of the week to break it out, but there’s the first, of what I’m sure will be many on this podcast, corndog references.
Andrew: Yes, sir. Gators versus the Corndogs.
Nick: Let’s get in. We talked about it on the Wednesday podcast, and we had some great guests on that podcast.
Andrew: No corndogs.
Nick: I really think that the news of Will Grier not playing in this game, probably not playing in any game coming up any time soon, isn’t the story of the week. I understand it’s the big headline. It’s what everyone’s talking about. It’s what’s on the tip of the tongue in the national news, but to me the story of this game was, is, always has been, will be, Leonard Fournette and the LSU rushing game versus the Florida defense. Florida’s got a very prideful defense who is embarrassed at the way they tackled and how much it was talked about following the Tennessee game. They have fixed those problems the past two weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how they go up. Jarrad Davis says, “We want to be a defense that makes you want to stop running the ball against us.” Leonard Fournette’s the kind of running back that makes you think twice and want to stop trying to tackle him.
I’m excited. I told you earlier in the week, Andrew, I would rather watch this kind of football game, one that promises blood, one that promises punishment and huge hitting, the kind of game where I’m going to be up in the press box, and I’m going to hear pads cracking over 103,000 drunk LSU fans, because the hitting is so hard. I’d rather watch that then Oregon score 100 points or Baylor score 100 points. I’d rather watch that any day.
Andrew: Absolutely. There is nothing better than pads popping, blood flying, getting nasty. This is a game that if you’re Jim McElwain and you’re Les Miles, you don’t care if there’s a personal foul penalty for hitting someone late or punching someone per say in the bottom of the pile where you get it. This is a game where it’s old school football. I told you this before, Jim McElwain isn’t the biggest fan of the LSU Tigers. Nick Saban absolutely hates LSU. Jim McElwain was with Nick Saban. Alabama fans do not like LSU. Jim McElwain probably isn’t a big fan of them. He has one of the two wins in Death Valley. He’s talking it up. He’s like a fan going into this game, but make no mistake he’s going in expecting to kick ass.
Nick: You stole my stat.
Andrew: I did steal your stat. You know what they say? Corndogs always finish last, you corndog.
Nick: Like a thief in the night, you’re running away with my stat.
Andrew: Running away with your corndog.
Nick: LSU is an incredible 44-2 at night in Death Valley under Les Miles. Les Miles in 2013 famously said, “Death Valley is truly a place where opponent’s dreams come to die.” Only Florida, I think it was in 2008, and Jim McElwain’s team, I’m not sure what year that was, but Jim McElwain’s team.
Nick: When he was the offensive coordinator at Alabama, those are the only two teams. Jokingly after McElwain’s press conference this week, on Wednesday, I was in the elevator with him, and I said, “Florida’s one team that’s done it. You were a coach of the other team that’s done it. Why not? You’ve already done it once it shouldn’t be too hard to win another one, right?”
Andrew: Here’s the thing. I was talking to somebody today, some south Florida people that covered Treon. They simply said, don’t expect Treon to go into this game scared. Don’t expect Treon to go into this game worried. Treon is a guy that has played in the big games. He understands. Someone said, in high school football opposing teams cuss at you, throw rocks at you, that kind of stuff, and he said, that’s what is going to happen in LSU. Don’t expect him to be scared. That’s pretty good. I don’t think that he will be scared. Again, I like Florida’s chances. I really do.
Nick: It’s kind of cool. For me, Jim McElwain has done this before. He’s been through the SEC. Alabama is a hated and respected team for anybody that they play inside the SEC, outside of Tennessee. They just hate them. He’s used to fans not liking them, getting an extra loud boo when they come into town. To see him go through it as a head coach, he’s kind of really soaking it all in. I think when you’re a head coach there’s more of a sense of ownership, kind of the buck stops here. For me, Jim McElwain is kind of soaking all this in. He genuinely enjoyed going on the road to Kentucky, genuinely enjoyed going on the road last week to Missouri.
Florida won’t play in an environment on the road like they are about to this week, and Jim McElwain’s eyes light up. He smiles when he talks about, those bus drivers, I don’t know who they hire to drive our buses in, but they go pretty slow when they’re driving through those LSU fans, and they’re throwing stuff, throwing rocks, throwing food, shaking the bus. All the while he is smiling thinking back to when he did it when he was at Alabama. To me, almost looking forward to it happening again this Saturday. Maybe he’s got a screw loose.
Andrew: He does have a screw loose.
Nick: Most football coaches do have a screw loose, but to me I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing how much he’s enjoying this ride, and I kind of feel like while he’s not a spectator I kind of feel like he’s doing a good job of allowing himself to sit back at some point during the week and think, this is a pretty cool job I have.
Andrew: Anybody that goes in to an opponent and can go in with a sense of confidence that they’re going to win, and he’s already done it, you have to go in with a little bit of a smirk on your face. It’s like, I’ve done it before. He’s not scared of it. Also, I think that it is cool. He has that Spurrier-esque about him that he doesn’t allow the moment to take away from his excitement. You see Spurrier all the time talking about his excitement. You always saw him talk about the Georgia vs. Florida game, that kind of stuff. I like to see that, because it just shows that they’re human. They understand what it is. You know McElwain’s soaking it in. He’s probably a guy that gets on the sideline and is taking photos on his phone, just not sharing them with anybody from the stands. You never know. He’s just a weird guy like that.
Nick: I don’t know if he’s doing that.
Andrew: It was more of a …
Nick: Tongue in cheek.
Andrew: Tongue in cheek kind of deal. I think it’s cool. I really do. I think it’s very cool the way it is. I think that he lives in the moment of that stuff, so he can tell his kids that. Would you rather him be talking about it in that or be afraid of it? Talking to the kids the kids sense afraid, sense that he’s not sure of himself, I’d much rather him feel confident about it.
Nick: That’s true. It’s a very high pressure job, one that can weigh on you, one that can wear you down. I don’t really see that. Obviously he’s only six games into it, but I don’t see that happening with McElwain, because he’s stepping back and kind of appreciating it, instead of taking the mindset of there is so much pressure on me right now. How do I make sure we don’t lose the game? Will people turn on me if we lose the game? He’s kind of just enjoying it, and I feel like while he may not enjoy losing, who does? I think he would even be able to take something out of a loss as far as this is a teaching moment, and we will get better from this.
Andrew: Absolutely. He’s kind of playing with house money right now. He’s going into this game. They’re 6-0. Nobody thought they were going to be 6-0. He can go in, he is playing with house money. Nobody wants to lose, but he’s going in playing with house money. Again, I think that he has the team believing in themselves again. They have that, I don’t want to say swag, because I think that’s kind of … I like to say confidence. I think he has their confidence back that they can go in and win these big ball games. Again, I think that the game plan he puts together, the team he has believing in them, he’s not out of this football game, despite Will Grier being gone.
Nick: I’ll say it. Florida’s got their swagger back.
Andrew: There you go.
Nick: Especially this defense. They have got their swagger back. They are playing with confidence. Nobody on Florida’s defense is scared of big, bad Leonard Fournette. I am scared of Leonard Fournette, and I’m not even going to be on the field. Good for them. I am ready to see a very physical football game. To me this is what makes the SEC different, games like this. It’s not Florida vs. Tennessee. It’s not Florida vs. Kentucky. Games like Florida vs. Georgia, Florida vs. LSU, that is what separates the SEC from all of these other conferences.
Andrew: Yup. It’s a big game. Got to go in. Got to go in with the confidence that you’re going to win it. We’ll see. I think it’s a good matchup. Again, I brought this stat up to you earlier today. LSU hasn’t played a great defense all year long.
Nick: Syracuse has a very good run defense.
Andrew: It’s Syracuse, bro.
Nick: Listen. They’re 44th in the country. That’s including giving up 240 rushing yards to just Fournette.
Andrew: You’re acting like a Corndog.
Nick: I don’t know. If Syracuse has a good rush defense, Leonard Fournette did whatever he wanted there. I’m not comparing Syracuse’s defense to Florida’s, absolutely not.
Andrew: You tried to.
Nick: No. No.
Andrew: Yes you did.
Nick: You said they haven’t faced a good defense, and I said Syracuse defends the run well. Florida is the best defense that LSU has played up to this point, and probably the best defense they will face, right up next to Alabama. If not better than Alabama.
Andrew: They’re better than Alabama, but you’re a moron for saying Syracuse. Whatever.
Nick: Words hurt.
Andrew: I’m sure they do. Sometimes life hurts. Deal with it, Nick. Don’t cry. Corndogs don’t cry. They bleed mustard or ketchup or whatever. I don’t know. Let me make my point here. LSU went in last year. Fournette had a great ballgame, great ballgame. Probably his breakout game of his career last year that set his career up. Florida was still in position to win this ballgame. Granted, it was in Gainesville. Granted, this game’s in Death Valley. It’s going to be a knockout, drag out war. Someone said, it could come down to a 4th down. It very well could come down to a 4th down in the 4th quarter. This is going to be a 4th quarter football game, strictly because of Florida’s defense, and because I think that Florida’s offense is good enough to go there, and I think Treon Harris brings a different factor to the game that will help the game plan.
Nick: Yeah. I didn’t understand it in the beginning of the year where fans kind of drew a hard line in the sand, and it wasn’t I would prefer Will Grier win the starting quarterback job, or I would prefer that Treon Harris wins the starting quarterback. It seemed like if you preferred one quarterback you had to take a stance that the other kid sucked, and we wouldn’t win any football games with him. So if Will Grier’s not the starter, we’re just wasting the season. It wasn’t too long ago that those same fans were begging for Treon time.
Andrew: Free Treon.
Nick: Free Treon. I remember it. I don’t know what happened since then. Treon Harris is a very good quarterback. He’s a gamer. He’s a winner. This is a kid who did not lose a single start his last two years of high school. He was 4-2 as a starter last year for Florida. He’s 5-2 as a starter in his career. I don’t think there is too much difference between Harris and Grier from a skillset standpoint. It’s part of the reason why the quarterback race was so close.
Andrew: I think it is a little bit of a difference with skillset. I think Will is able to make some throws Treon’s not, because of arm strength.
Nick: I actually think that Treon Harris has a stronger arm, and he’s more accurate on a deep ball, but that’s not Florida’s bread and butter.
Andrew: I think Treon’s better with the deep ball, because he is there. I just don’t think he can make those boundary throws that Grier can.
Nick: I don’t think he has the zip on those short intermediate passes. When we’re talking about on the left hash throwing a 5 yard, 10 yard out to the opposite side of the field. That’s a pass that Florida felt very comfortable calling when Will Grier was throwing it. Maybe not a pass that will be in the game plan this week with Treon Harris at quarterback.
Andrew: Again, I think things will be fine. I really do. I think at an offensive standpoint they’ll be okay. The thing about it is, this is what I told someone the other day. Florida’s offense wasn’t exactly lighting things up.
Andrew: They were just doing better than last year. For us that was lighting it up, because, damn, forward pass was legal again. It’s not like they just has to replace Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, excuse me. I did not just say that. Marcus Mariota or Danny Werfel.
Nick: Who’s the Corndog now?
Andrew: I’m the Corndog. I’m the wiener head. There you go.
Nick: Here’s Florida’s drive chart from last game. Touchdown on the first drive. Great. Punt. Touchdown. Here we go. Punt. Punt. Missed field goal. Half time. Punt. Punt. Punt. Touchdown, which was a pick six. Punt. Turnover on downs. Punt. Punt. By no means was the offense lighting it up. Six 3 and outs on 15 drives. Not getting the job done.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, the thing is that Mac puts together a game plan that is executed well. Unlike the past donkey that was around this place, he puts a game plan that fits his team, fits the skillset of this team, and is able to attack the other team. What a football coach gets paid millions of bucks to do Mac is doing. The game plan will be fine this week. Defense has to do its job. If defense does its job, Florida walks away with a win.
Nick: Yeah. I think what you need from Treon is this. Manage the game. Don’t turn the ball over. Just manage the game. Make the plays that are the easy plays, the plays that you’re expected to make. Make those. You don’t need to be Superman and try to put the team on your back. Florida’s defense will ensure that if the offense doesn’t turn the ball over they’re not going to get blown out of any game. They will be in every game. All Treon Harris needs to do is be efficient and not turn the ball over. Against this LSU Tiger team that might be easier said than done. LSU plans to get safety Jalen Mills back this week to pair with Jamal Adams. Tolliver, they’ve got some great DBs. There’s a reason why there’s that whole DBU debate. LSU has a very good defense, but it’s nothing that Treon Harris, they’re not too big for him. Like you said earlier, the moment’s not too big for him. He just needs to stay within himself.
Andrew: The thing that you’ve also got to remember is LSU is playing with a brand new left guard this week, and they’re also without their fullback. Their fullback is their quarterback of their offense, per say.
Nick: Leonard Fournette calls him his flashlight.
Nick: He leads the way through the hole.
Andrew: For Corndogs out there, that means he shows the way. He is the light to Fournette’s success.
Nick: Thank you for that clarification, Andrew.
Andrew: You’re welcome.
Nick: Oh my goodness. This week. Mark Richt has lost all control of this week and the GC podcast. He’s lost all control.
Andrew: Here we go acting like a Corndog over there. Mark Richt and Butch Jones got to make an appearance in this son of a gun.
Nick: Let me ask you a question. I mentioned it to Ross, and he didn’t really talk about it too much. To me, I think South Carolina is already one dimensional. When you’re a football team, when you’re a defensive coordinator, your objective each week is to make the offense you’re playing one dimensional. You take out the pass or you take out the run, and when you’re able to do that, shut one part of the game down, it makes it even easier for the defense to defend that offense. I do not think Florida will shut down LSU’s rushing game, but can they slow them down enough to get points on the board and force Brandon Harris to make throws and make plays with his arm?
Andrew: I don’t think so. This is my way of looking at it. LSU runs an up tempo running game, and that’s weird to say, but they get to the line quicker and try to snap the ball early with Fournette. Fournette’s not your typical running back. If they go up 14 points early on, maybe so.
Nick: Here’s something to think about. Florida in six games has scored first in five of them, and they’ve scored on their second drive of the game in all six games except for last week when they scored a touchdown on their first drive of the game. Florida’s offense is getting on the board early.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t think it will turn into that where they go one dimensional LSU, unless it gets late in the game. In my opinion Florida should try to make LSU go one dimensional. Load the box. If Brandon Harris beats you on a deep throw, go shake his hand. Give him the ball, and say, good job, buddy. Do it again. If he does it again, give him the ball back again, and say, do it again. I don’t think Brandon Harris can do that against Florida’s DBs. Brandon Harris is not Chad Kelly. Chad Kelly couldn’t do that. Brandon Harris is not, sorry, he is better than Josh Dobbs, excuse me.
Nick: Never a wasted opportunity to jab the Vols.
Andrew: Never a wasted opportunity. By the way, them jackwagons really and truly said Florida can’t win, because Vegas has them a 9 point underdog. Are you kidding me? This is not Tennessee where they go off the line, you morons. Anyway, back to my point. I don’t think that LSU goes one dimensional unless it gets late in the game. Their running game is too good. Fournette can break an 80 yard run at any time of the game, but Florida should load the box, try to make them throw the ball more. I don’t think Brandon Harris can throw the ball one on one. LSU doesn’t have any receivers that Florida shouldn’t be able to spot in this ballgame.
Nick: I really do like Malachi Dupre. They’ve got some skill guys there, but obviously you can have Calvin Johnson at receiver. You still need someone to get him the ball. It’ll be interesting to see if Florida can tackle and not let Leonard Fournette get that 80 yard play. I think if you can prevent Leonard Fournette from those explosive plays and make him earn 150 yards on 25, 27, 30 carries, make him earn those yards, make those yards tough. South Carolina did a good job containing him in the first half, then he comes out in the first drive of the 3rd quarter and busts an 87 yard touchdown run. There you go. Game’s over. Don’t let that happen.
Andrew: Would you agree though Malachi Dupre is a guy Vernon Hargreaves should stop?
Andrew: Quincy Wilson should stop him. That is my thing. I think you can leave your receivers on an island. They did it against Ole Miss, and I think you and I both can agree that’s the best receiving core they’ll face all year.
Andrew: They did fine. They could do that this week and allow Neal, Maye, Morrison, McMillian, Jarrad Davis focus on the running game.
Nick: Yeah. Getting back to a point you just said, you want Brandon Harris, if you’re going to lose this game, you want it to be because Brandon Harris made a play with his arm. Ole Miss tried to do that, and they did it successfully to Florida. The numbers weren’t there. Florida ran the ball enough to sort of keep Ole Miss honest, but you could tell Ole Miss’s game plan was we’re going to stop the run, and if we lose it’s going to be because Will Grier made a play. Then he made one, and you tip your cap to him. Say, do it again. Then he does it again, and you tip your cap, and you say, maybe this wasn’t the game plan we should have had. He does it again, and then you start thinking, this game’s probably done. Maybe we’ll try again next year.
Andrew: Exactly. Let’s go to our players this week.
Nick: I caught the O last week.
Andrew: You did, and you got the first pick. Go ahead with your first pick of this week’s breakout. Maybe you can do some damage this week, because you’ve lost two in a row, buddy.
Nick: Yeah. My first player is going to be Keanu Kiki Neal. I remember Keanu Neal on the road last year at Alabama absolutely steamrolled Derek Henry.
Andrew: Hit stick.
Nick: Then celebrate after. Derek Henry is a bigger man than Leonard Fournette. I think LSU’s front five on the offensive line will be able to get to the second level a little bit and get their hands on Antonio Morrison, get their hands on Jarrad Davis. That’s when you need the safety to come down, finish the play, clean it up. Keanu Neal, my first player.
Andrew: There you go. You wanted this player, and you forgot about him.
Nick: I was hoping he would slip to the second round.
Andrew: You were hoping Antonio Morrison, but I’m going Morrison. Antonio is from the streets of Chicago, and this game on Saturday night will be a Chicago brawl fight. Morrison, it’s time to show the NFL scouts you can bust heads. Bloody up a nose, my friend. I want to see something. I told you the other day, how awesome would it be if he got on top of Fournette like Spikes did to Knowshon Moreno? You told me I was crazy. I think it’s happening. #3, you are pick #1.
Nick: This game is what Antonio Morrison was born to do.
Andrew: He’s no Corndog.
Nick: No. Maybe we should not talk about dogs though. My second player I went away from him like some kind of fool last week, because I didn’t want to pick him three weeks in a row. It bit me in the butt. I’m going with Kelvin Taylor. I’ve already talked about it. This game is going to be won in the trenches. It is going to be dirty. It is going to be bloody, and their pads are going to be popping. Florida will be able to run the ball, and I think adding the extra dimension of Treon Harris being a more elusive runner at the quarterback position makes LSU have to stay home on anything option and open some more lanes for Kelvin Taylor. 21, stunting like his daddy this week against LSU.
Andrew: I’ve been kind of putting the Taylor made tweet out when he gets a touchdown, so I’m hoping he continues to score more and Taylor made golf will be like, Andrew really like Taylor made I’m going to hook him up with a sponsorship. Can’t go Taylor made, you got it. I’m going #3 on offense, Treon Harris. I think he has a big game this week. He’s a guy that I just see getting pissed off from having to sit the bench, and now that he’s got the job he just wants to throw the middle finger to everybody and be like, I am the goat. I am the man. I’m going to the bayou, and I’m going to show them what Booker T is all about. #3, Treon Harris, pick #2.
Nick: I thought it was willy goat.
Andrew: No, it’s not willy goat. It’s Treon goat.
Nick: Does not roll off the tongue quite the same.
Andrew: Treon goat. The Treon goat. I like that. Treon goat. If you hashtag Treon goat I’ll follow you back.
Nick: Andrew will follow you back.
Andrew: The first person to do that.
Nick: All of you. He said all of you.
Andrew: No, I did not.
Nick: My third player, we are sticking with the Booker T Tornados. I’m going with Antonio Callaway. I called him last week, let me down. I think this, I even went out on a limb and called a special teams touchdown last week. I got nothing.
Andrew: You got nothing this week.
Nick: I got nothing. Callaway had one reception for 6 yards last week. I think Antonio Callaway will continue to play on special teams. We’ve already kind of talked about how LSU’s struggled a little bit on special teams, and I think Callaway can make a difference there, and also it’s a connection that Treon Harris is familiar with.
Andrew: Agreed. They did have a punt return returned last week. I know I told you a different player this week, but as I always do I like to throw snakes out there for you to chase. Pocket rocket takes a kick return to the house this week against LSU. I am going #4, Brandon Powell.
Nick: That is two weeks in a row that you have gone sneak attack. For you guys listening, Andrew and I go through and pick our players before we start the podcast, before we start taping, and two weeks in a row Andrew has gone off script and changed his third player.
Andrew: Come on, man. I’m sneaky. That’s just what it is. I let you have it.
Nick: You ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’. That’s what your boy, Bill Belichick, would always say.
Andrew: Don’t hate the man because he wins championships. Just because the Miami laughable Dolphins can’t win championships don’t hate the man. Hate the game.
Nick: Leave the Dolphins alone. Leave them out of this.
Andrew: They suck. Let’s just go through a couple thing real quick, go through a couple games. Let’s go with the big one in the SEC, maybe the second biggest game in the country comes from the SEC, and that is Alabama going to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. Who do you got, Nicholas?
Nick: Roll Tide. I got Nick Saban, as much as that pains me to admit, I have Nick Saban in this game. I like Alabama. I think Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss kind of woke them up a little bit. There is some stuff going on there with their quarterbacks, but I like Alabama to win at Texas A&M. I am also very high on Kyle Allen. I think Texas A&M is a very good team, but I’m rolling with the tide.
Andrew: Rolling with the tide. You never pick against the great Nick Saban when he’s going to Texas to face a passing offense. I am going to go with Alabama to go at it again. I think that the defense that they’ll bring with the rushing of the passer I think that they’ll be fine. I really think that they’ll be able to make Texas A&M feel uncomfortable in the game. Let’s not forget, last year 59-0. If Texas A&M is going to get motivated for this game, this should be it. I’m going with the tide in College Station this weekend. Nick, another game. Let’s go with Michigan State at Michigan.
Nick: In the picks column that I do with the Alligator, the Independent Alligator here in Gainesville, I have picked against Michigan both times they’ve played this year. There we pick the spread, so Utah did not cover the spread in the first week. I lost that one. I picked against Michigan against Northwestern last week, I lost that one. I am done picking against Sir Khaki himself, Jim Harbough. I am done with it. I’m rolling with Michigan. Go blue.
Andrew: Go blue. As much as I want to say go blue I ain’t agreeing with you two times in a row.
Nick: That can’t ever happen.
Andrew: No. So I’m going Sparty. Sparty wins the game, shuts up the Harbough drama, which, by the way, has one loss already, and they got Gameday. Don’t get me started on that rant again, because it could come, and it could come in a hurry, because ESPN’s still a joke for that BS. Sparty it is this weekend, Nick. Finally Michigan comes back down to Earth where they belong. Dirkin gives up some points, even though I really do like Coach Dirkin. One more pick. Let’s go with this one. I’m going to throw a curve ball that you and I probably have no idea of either of the teams. Iowa and Northwestern.
Nick: Iowa actually Kirk Ferentz has got Iowa playing some good football. Iowa has been a joke, the butt of a joke in the Big 10. I do think that Northwestern will bounce back after a very embarrassing and convincing loss, shutout loss, to Michigan. I am going to go with Northwestern in the bounce back to beat Iowa this week.
Andrew: You can’t pick that, man. That was my pick. That was my pick, man.
Nick: Stop making me go first.
Andrew: I’m tired of it, man. I am really tired of you thinking you own this show. We are a team, Nicholas. 50/50. Change your pick.
Andrew: No. Okay. Missouri vs. Georgia, let’s go with that one.
Nick: You’re not even picking the game?
Andrew: I told you, I’m picking the same team you are, picking Northwestern. I have nothing to say. You stole every bit of my line, like you were reading a script for me. I was going to say bounce back game, Northwestern wins, and you said that. I can’t sit here and say the same thing. I’m just going to say I agree with you. I’ll let you have this one. I agree, Northwestern wins in a bounce back game. I’m going to go with this one first though. Missouri vs. Georgia, I am going to pick it first here. I am going to go with Missou to beat Mark Richt, because Mark Richt is not a very good football coach, is not very good in big games, and Missouri officially eliminates the Bulldogs from the SEC competition.
Nick: Not a chance. Georgia wins this game. Missouri was a fraudulent 4-1 football team. They will not be able to stop Georgia’s rushing attack, even without Nick Chubb. Georgia wins this game easily.
Andrew: You’re wrong.
Andrew: You’re acting like a Corndog. I guess Mark Richt’s feeding you some of that energy that he feeds his AD to continue to allow him to have a job. Let’s just talk about that for a second here real quick.
Nick: Oh my goodness.
Andrew: You have lost control. Let’s just talk about this for a second. How does a guy like Mark Richt keep his job? If you’re a Georgia Bulldog fan how are you happy with always being the butt of a joke, always having great talent and never winning? I’m being serious here. This is not me ranting on Georgia at all. It is, of course, because it does kind of go along with it, but I’m also being honest here. As a Georgia Bulldog fan, how do you accept that, Nick?
Nick: Georgia wins football games. Mark Richt has had, maybe not the championships.
Andrew: You’re okay with just winning games and never winning a championship.
Nick: He is a very successful coach, championships aside.
Andrew: Let me just ask you this. Is the day and age right now it’s okay to never win a championship, just win football games? Is that what you’re telling me? I’m being honest. I’m not trying to bring up a joke and get us started on this rampage. I’m asking you honestly. Is it okay that he never wins championships?
Nick: If I was a Georgia fan I would probably not be super happy about that, no.
Andrew: Okay. You’re a Miami Dolphins fan. You’re a Miami Heat fan. I can’t use the Dolphins and Marlins, because I don’t even know. Miami Heat fan, Pat Riley is there for 10 years. He wins 60 games a year, never wins a championship. Are you firing him? Are you okay with it?
Nick: Pat Riley?
Andrew: I’m just saying, Erik how do you say his last name?
Andrew: Erik Spoelstra. Erik Spoelstra wins 60 games 10 straight years, never wins a championship. Finishes second in his division every year, or makes it to the title game twice like Mark Richt has, the SEC championship game, and has lost it. Would you be okay with him staying as the coach?
Nick: I don’t know.
Andrew: You can’t tell me you would be okay with that. Any realistic person in the world does not just settle for being mediocre, especially when you have championship caliber teams. You have the top talent, and you continue to be bad.
Nick: I don’t know if they’re bad. I don’t know. I don’t even know what you’re getting at here.
Andrew: I’m just simply making a point.
Nick: I don’t even know what we’re talking about. I’m completely lost. Mark Richt and I have lost complete control of this podcast. I don’t know where we’re going.
Andrew: I’m just asking you a question. If it’s okay to suck. If it’s okay to be just mediocre. If I’m Jim McElwain I go into a kid’s house, and I say, Brian Burns is down to Florida and Georgia. He has Florida State in there as well. I’m going in there, and this is simply my message to him. Brian, do you want the opportunity to compete for championships at Florida, because we can give you that opportunity, because we haven’t shown that we’re going to blow it every year, or would you rather go to Georgia and win 9 games four straight years and never sniff the championship?
Nick: Yeah. Maybe.
Andrew: I’m asking you. At least Will Muschamp can sit there and say, I took my team to the Sugar Bowl in four years.
Nick: Let’s not talk about that. We were one game away from the national championship. Florida would have gotten waxed in that national championship game.
Andrew: Let me ask you this. Would Georgia fans rather go get waxed in the Georgia Dome or go get waxed in Jacksonville?
Nick: They’d probably like to win both games.
Andrew: It doesn’t matter. You want the opportunity. You can never win the game if you’re not in the game, and they’re not in the game. Let’s just go on. Let’s just get away from this. We’ve talked about everything. Nick, it’s Death Valley this weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun for both you and I. I think we’re both kind of excited about it. Any final thoughts on this week before we get out of here?
Nick: Final thoughts are I think Jim McElwain each week he’s masterfully played the media and manufactured rallying points for his team. The first road game it was Kentucky, and it was we’re going into a great environment. This is not your grandpa’s Kentucky. This is not your father’s Kentucky. This is a good football team, best they’ve had in years. New renovations. The following week it was Tennessee and Jalen Hurd and they were picked to win the East. They’ve got all of this stuff going for them, Josh Dobbs. The next week it’s Ole Miss. It’s a team that probably thinks they’re going to come in here and kick our asses. They should think that. Last week it was the back to back champs. Back this week with Leonard Fournette probably called Josh Dobbs and thinks he’s going to run for 300 yards. Jim McElwain has manufactured things, rallying points for his team.
I think the team manufactured their own rallying points, stealing a word from Jim McElwain, by the choices they made this week in getting their names into headlines in a negative fashion. I think Florida has a rallying point, and I think these guys are really feeling, first off, they were underdogs going into the game with Will Grier and with Deiondre Porter. They’re a heavy now underdog, almost a double digit underdog, without the two. I feel like the team is kind of rallying around that this week.
Andrew: Definitely. As always, it’s that time. Make your prediction. Nick, I’ll let you go first here.
Nick: You go first. I go first all the time.
Andrew: Yeah, but I think I’m going to hurt your feelings, and I think I’m going to have to rebuttal. You’re going to have to give me an opportunity to rebuttal now, because you’re about to make a fool of this podcast, and we’re not ending on you making a dumb decision. I said it. I said it two weeks ago in the Ole Miss game I was going to be a perfect podcaster the rest of the season. By golly, I am. Today I’m picking the Florida Gators to go into Death Valley, and they’re going to upset the LSU Tiggers, the Corndogs. For a couple of reasons, and a couple of reasons only.
Nick: Hit me with those reasons.
Andrew: Fournette is going to get his yards. No question about it. You can probably line up 25 guys on the team, or have the New England Patriots defense out there, he’s going to get his yards. It is what it is. I don’t think Brandon Harris can beat the Gators. I think the pass rush is going to be there. Treon Harris doesn’t get afraid of the competition and doesn’t get afraid of Death Valley. Quite frankly, the Gators are the best team that LSU has seen in close to a year, since they face Alabama last year. For all of those reasons, and the reasons that the team is fired up, rallied around this and kind of an us against the world mentality. I’m going Gators here, and I’m going Gators 20-13.
Nick: You’re picking Florida wins 20-13.
Andrew: That is correct, my good friend.
Nick: Andrew, this is my time to shock the world and agree with you.
Nick: I am picking Florida to win this football game for the reasons you said. I think Leonard Fournette gets his yards, but I think what Florida does is they hold off those huge plays, those deflating plays for defenses. I think Florida does enough on offense with Treon Harris, Kelvin Taylor, Demarcus Robinson, Antonio Callaway. I think they do enough on offense to get some points. Florida wins 24-21.
Andrew: Call 9-1-1. I am having a heart attack over here.
Nick: Shock the world.
Andrew: Shock the world is right.
Nick: No one saw that coming.
Andrew: I don’t know what Will Grier gave you, but whatever he gave you, congrats, my good friend. That may be a little early, but holy cow. Gator Country, the world, this man was fire right there, boys.
Nick: I think I have almost accomplished the impossible. I have left Andrew Spivey speechless. He doesn’t know what to say.
Andrew: I don’t. I really was putting you in the Butch, Mark Richt kind of category of not being able to pick the Gators in a big game. I thought you were scared of it, but you really showed me something there. You really did. I’m proud of you. I really am. I’m proud of you.
Nick: Thank you. I appreciate that. Florida fans may not like it. I’ve actually picked Florida in every game except the Ole Miss game, like you, but I have a feeling that if Florida does not win this game they will yelling at me not to pick Florida to win anymore.
Andrew: They’ll be yelling at you. They like when I pick them, because they liked my promise. I really think this is going to be a very good football game. I’m very excited. It’s been a long, about five years, six years since I was in Death Valley at night. I’m excited to see it. I think it’s going to be a very good football game. Atmosphere wise it’s up there as one of the best, and I’m excited.
Nick: Yeah. This will be my first nighttime in Death Valley. I was there two years ago, but that was a 2:30 local time kick. I have not seen what Death Valley is. I watched their opening, their little intro video. It was a pantheon of concrete and steel. I loved that video. I’m a college football fan. I can get behind traditions and something that’s well done like that. LSU has been almost unstoppable at night at their place. I can behind that. I love traditions. That’s a really cool video. It’s really well done. I’m going to enjoy seeing how loud and how crazy that place is. I’m going to enjoy being down on the field before the game, down on the field when there’s a couple minutes left. I hope it’s a close game like we both predict and we’re able to get down there on the field with someone on the line. I’m just looking forward to it.
It’s like I said before. This is what college football is about. This is what the game of football is about. Not that nonsense the NFL has created where running backs are useless. They’re just window dressing, and you have to throw the ball. These are two teams that are both coming in. They want to hit each other in the mouth. I am excited, and we still have an NFL football game to watch on Thursday before we even get there.
Andrew: Yeah. Rise up, my good friends. These games are those games that you get that butterfly feeling of what are we about to see here? You get that feeling of, this is real here. It’s like you said, this is what college football is about. We had a couple people invite us to tailgates. That, in my opinion, if you’re going to go to LSU make sure you stop by a tailgating scene. LSU fans are the craziest son of guns in the world, but they really are some of the nicest fans in the world.
Nick: They might poison your food. We had Richard go down there for us to write his fan experience. He went down there with his fraternity, and I think Richard went to three or four different tailgates, and he was dressed out in his Florida colored fraternity letters. It doesn’t matter. They’re there. They enjoy football. They are smart football fans down there. When it comes to tailgating time they’d rather come over, share a bowl, a plate of jambalaya with you and debate football, rather than just yell at you as you walk by.
Andrew: I have a funny story real quick before we sign off of here. About four years ago, five years ago, I was taking a couple of guys that I coached down to LSU for the LSU vs. Arkansas game when Darren McFadden was on the team. It was triple overtime. Nick, I told you a little bit of this story. Anyway. I’m driving the kids down there, and at the time that was the year, I believe that was the year Florida had won the championship, whatever. I had on an SEC championship hat with the Alabama vs. Florida logo on there. This guy, I was going to park, and he looks at me, and he goes, sir, if you don’t want your ass beat you might want to take that hat off. This is my first experience in Death Valley, and I look at him, and I say, really? He goes, yes, sir. Do you need to borrow at hat? I said, I have a golf hat. He goes, I suggest you put that on. Sure enough, get out, there is no other gear around. It’s all the LSU gear. I’m glad the man gave me a full warning.
Nick: I guess that’s a nice way. It might not sound nice to be like, take that hat off, but it might have just been a forewarning. LSU doesn’t like either of those teams on your hat right now. You are not in friendly territory with either of those teams.
Andrew: It was an SEC championship hat. It was the logo hat. It was the ones they give out. They used to send them.
Nick: Was it an SEC championship that LSU was involved in?
Nick: They’re not going to like it.
Andrew: It was just the SEC championship logo hat, and it just had the two participant’s logos on the side. Anyway, it was a funny story. Nick, we’re running way over time. People are probably sick of hearing us this week. Quick thanks for Billy Horshel coming on, for Ross coming on from the Advocate, Fee Bartley coming on this week. For everyone putting up with us this week, it’s been a rough week, and I never like to complain. It’s just it’s been a rough week for Nick and I.
Nick: Yeah. It’s been a rough week for us, rough week for Florida. A win would erase some of those bad feelings, turns all your bad feelings into good ones. Let us know if you made it this far. Andrew and I both know a lot of former players. We’ll continue having the beat writers on. Next week we will be in a bye week, and we’ll have a little more flexibility to kind of bring people on and just talk about the first seven games, like a Jon Halapio, a Max Garcia, an Ahmad Black. We’ve got some connections with some former players. Who do you guys want to hear from? Please don’t say Tim Tebow. I have zero connections to get Tim Tebow onto this podcast.
Andrew: I have him on speed dial.
Nick: That will not happen. If you give us someone not named Tim Tebow we might be able to come through for you.
Andrew: I have him on speed dial, but I only call him for the hookup on the women.
Nick: I feel like you’re really missing the Tim Tebow thing here, the whole staying pure till he’s married.
Andrew: Nick, get your mind out of the gutter. I just was going on a date.
Nick: You were just taking somebody out to a nice sea food dinner and then never calling them again?
Andrew: Yeah. There you go. Good idea. I don’t know about you, Nick, but I may be podcasting from the river or something, because I’m planning on hitting some fishing next week, a couple of rounds of golf, as always. I may find a way to podcast from the golf course or fishing, something like that. If it’s from the golf course, iTunes, please rate it R, because my golf shots require very bad language.
Nick: I will be in Gainesville for most of next week. We haven’t really gotten a media schedule for next week, but I will be back home in sunny south Florida. I think my bye what I look forward to most is watching football. You’re probably thinking, you get paid to watch football. Yeah. I kind of only get to watch one game a day, depending on when Florida plays, and Florida’s played all night games, so I’m missing all the prime time games. I’m ready on Saturday to crack open a beer at 10:00AM, right when Gameday starts, and enjoy football at noon, at 3:30, at 8:00. Then I’ll even watch Hawaii if they’re playing at 10:00.
Andrew: Whatever it is, my good friend. Say your magic words, because I need to say my magic words. Then we need to hope off for the long weekend ahead.
Nick: Thank you all for listening to the podcast. I don’t think either of us expected to get the kind of reactions that we have from it. It makes it fun for us to know that you guys are enjoying it. We appreciate all of the feedback, all of the comments. As always, GatorCountry.com is your spot for anything Florida Gators. We’ve got you covered. @NickdelaTorreGC on Twitter, @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter. Hit me up on Instagram, just NickdelaTorre, no GC, drop that off. I’ve got some good pics. We’ll have some good stuff from LSU this weekend as well. Also, theGatorCountry on Instagram for the official Gator Country Instagram. I’m out of breath. You stay classy, Gator Country.
Andrew: Out of breath. That’s because you’re retarded with corndogs. Anyway, Butch, Mark, you know the drill, buddy. You ain’t football coaches. Go Braves and rise up this week.