Gators, 3-0; Tail-Gators, 1-1
The college football season can be counted on for its unpredictability, if anything. Several top-tier teams have already lost games and have dropped precipitously from their former elite status. Michigan State lost to Notre Dame to fall from the top-10 all the way down to No. 21 following an unexpected loss to Notre Dame.
Southern Cal, which began the season as the No. 1-team in the entire country, lost to Stanford for the fourth straight year and fell from the No. 2-slot it had been residing all the way to No. 13. Ouch.
One team, however, that has exceeded expectations, maintaining a pristine 3-0 record despite two difficult road games against conference foes, is none other than the Florida Gators.
Coach Will Muschamp’s team opened up the season at No. 24 in the nation. Despite the program’s lofty status (there are 124 teams in Division 1A, remember) a fan base used to Heisman Trophy winners, national championships and regular top-5 finishes was not impressed, and it really showed up at the ticket office and eventually in the stands.
The announced attendance for the team’s opening game of the season, against a better-than-expected Bowling Green team, was 84,704. Yes, that number sounds high, and in fact it is quite a bit of people. However, for Muschamp’s first game ever as the coach of the Gators, the opening weekend of the 2011 season, the attendance was 88,708, far more people and even then there were plenty of empty seats in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
All of that seems to be changing, however, as the team plays host to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. The Gators fan base has felt a real turnaround in the ability and the mental fortitude of a football team that has made incredible, improbable second-half comebacks against extremely talented SEC foes in Texas A&M and Tennessee. Where teams like Southern Cal, Michigan State and Wisconsin have stumbled, the Florida Gators have begun to really find their legs. Just to be certain we here at Gator Country were not just hallucinating, however, we took to the streets around the stadium on Saturday morning, spoke to ‘a few good Gators’, and gauged the throbbing pulse of Gator Nation.
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2014 Football Commits
|Davidson (NC) Day|
|Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County|
|Jacksonville (Fla). Raines|
|Deland (Fla.) High|
|New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine|
|Miami (Fla.) Central|
|Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas|
2013 Basketball Commits
|Clermont (Fla.) Montverde Academy|
|Bonifay (Fla) Holmes County|
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