Records, conference notes, and a Navy flyover

Southeastern Conference Eastern Division champion Florida will try to extend its’ home winning streak to fourteen against a South Carolina team that has never won in Gainesville. Interestingly, Urban Meyer currently holds the second longest winning streak in school history for a beginning coach with 11 wins. Who ranks first?

Like you didn’t already know… Steve Spurrier holds the record by winning his first 23 games in the stadium he affectionately called ‘The Swamp” as the Florida coach. While it doesn’t figure to be a big motivating factor in Saturday’s contest- it is certainly a record that Spurrier cherishes. Becoming the first South Carolina head coach ever to win on the road at Florida is the record Spurrier most cherishes though.

Records were made to be broken and if anybody can appreciate that fact it’s Spurrier, who took pride in rewriting the record books at his alma mater. Admittedly, the old head ball coach didn’t enjoy setting records as much as former Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme, who seemingly believed that breaking records were just as important as W’s. That was especially true when playing the Gators, Vols, and Bulldogs.

Establishing an extensive winning streak at home helps in recruiting and there will plenty of them in “The Swamp” on Saturday. Among some of the more important things recruits want is opportunity to compete for a championship, an opportunity to showcase their abilities, to play at a school and for coaches that send players to the league, and to be a part of something special.

Being a part of something special is something I’ve personally heard recruits say many times. Redefining “The Swamp” as a horrible place for the opposition to try and win because of an extended home winning streak (as Meyer is doing) is very special. Breaking school records is special. Those things are not at all lost on most recruits.

Gladly taking a giant leap into some Florida nonsense- if the Gators were to run the table and help Meyer establish the record it would happen against LSU in 2008.

Speaking of the Bulldogs…Georgia lost to the Wildcats and Vanderbilt in the same season for the first time since 1973.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a front page story that shined a light on some happenings the last time Georgia lost to both Kentucky and Vanderbilt in the same season. Those included, construction of The World Trade Center, “The Godfather” taking best picture honors, and that Georgia coach Mark Richt was only a 13 year old junior high school kid at the time.

The ‘Dawgs also lost to Florida and Tennessee. Did you pick them to finish with a 1-4 Eastern Division record? I sure didn’t. Staying within The Peach State, it was also a horrible year for the most prominent name in all of high school football. Valdosta High School, the winningest team in America finished 1-9, the worst record in school history.

The ACC is bad to the bones…How bad are things for our coastal neighbors when Florida State (5-4, 3-4) is favored by seven over the top ranked Demon Deacons (8-1, 4-1)?

The Almost Competitive Conference is a reality in 2006. In the AP poll, Auburn checks in at #5, Florida #6, Arkansas #11, LSU #12, and Tennessee #13. Wake Forest is the highest ranked team in the ACC at #18, followed by Georgia Tech at #19, Virginia Tech #20, Boston College #22, and Maryland #23. I guess the ACC brass is glad that Virginia Tech and Boston College joined the conference.

On the positive side, at least Duke is ranked ahead of Florida International. The Panthers are dead last at #119. The Blue Devils are #118.

The Seminoles- who failed to make an appearance in the “also receiving votes” category is favored in a game against the class of the conference. Marvelous.

What does it say when EVERY ACC team would be an underdog if they were to play in Tuscaloosa or Athens at a time when even the most die-hard fans of those two unranked 2006 Southeastern Conference also-rans admit they have too many problems?

Welcome wounded servicemen and the Navy Blue Blasters…This Saturday, the University of Florida will recognize service members wounded during the war on terror through the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). Members of the WWP program and soldiers from the Combat Aviation Support Battalion will escort the Florida captains from the tunnel to midfield for the coin toss. There will also be a fly-over prior to the game by the Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 34 (VFA-34), the Blue Blasters. VFA-34 recently returned from an overseas deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln. The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist those men and women of the United States armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world.