Gators, Jaguars can’t repeat 2008 seasons


Gators football fans still sigh in relief over last week’s three-point victory to escape the Swamp with a victory over Arkansas. Last year, it was a loss to Ole Miss that prompted one of the most historic college football speeches since Notre Dame’s ‘Win one for the Gipper.’

There is no Tim Tebow speech this year. They will receive no extra boost, no learning experience. This year’s Gators will have to win every game for the rest of the season with the national media banging the idea into their heads that they’re expected to win.

The Gators have to travel this week to play Mississippi State, which will be anything but a pad the-stats win for Tebow, especially since Dan Mullen will be on the other side of the field. All the while, Georgia has a bye week and prepares for the “World’s Biggest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in Jacksonville.

This will be the first football game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium being televised locally this fall. And Jaguars fans, the few and the proud, are uncertain what will happen over the coming weeks for their own team.

This time last year, the Jaguars were 3-3 just like they are now. Except last year, they finished the season by only winning two of their last 10 games. So with a bye week in front of them, the Jaguars must get prepared to go to Tennessee next week and win to stay in contention for a playoff spot.

Lately it’s been off-the-field troubles that keep the Jags in check. The Jaguars’ Sims Walker couldn’t catch any passes in the Seattle game after being benched for missing curfew, and Quentin Groves apparently lacks the ability to make it to the airport on time without driving like a maniac. It’s going to take playmakers to keep the Jaguars in contention this season. Neither Jones-Drew nor David Garrard can carry the team, and the team shouldn’t put the fate of the game on Josh Scobee’s shoulders every time regardless of how reliable he is.

The Gators can also use this logic. There will be a time when the Gators need Caleb Sturgis to come through with a game winning kick. Last week shouldn’t have been the game. Turnovers put the Razorbacks in a position to win. Tebow also needs guys like Deonte Thompson to step and catch passes. With Tebow’s eyes slowly turning toward the NFL, he needs to show he can hit receivers better than linebackers The turning point for the Gators is now that they have had this year’s Ole Miss moment they need to win every week and avoid complacency. And for the Jaguars, it’s for their next 10 games. Don’t go 2-8.