Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome to the SEC Missouri and Texas A&M.

As a Gator fan who admittedly doesn't put much time and effort into what goes on in the Big 12, I'm doing my due diligence and getting to know each one of these teams prior to our upcoming season. So here's what I've discovered thus far:

  1. Missouri and Texas A&M have been middle dwellers (is that even a word?) for the past decade. shows the number of victories by all of the the Big 12 teams since 2000 and it seems like the SEC could have done better (Texas/Oklahoma) or worse (Kansas/Baylor).
  2. The folks at Bleacher Report did a nice write up on the upcoming Missouri schedule and the waters get deep quickly as the first league game is against potential title contender Georgia. A lot of tough road games will really test this team.
  3. Texas A&M doesn't have it much better, though, as they get Florida in game number two and then South Carolina and Arkansas back to back a couple weeks later. On paper, this is one of the most brutal conference schedules I've seen, but at least they get most of the better squads at home.
  4. Texas A&M almost knocked off Arkansas last year and rolled up huge numbers on offense, but looked hapless against them on defense. However, stud quarterback Ryan Tannehill's dual threat ability left for the NFL and that void on offense might be very tough to fill. The Aggies do return three all conference players including WR Ryan Swope and tackle Luke Joeckel on offense and LB Sean Porter on defense. 17 starters return, so the cupboards aren't bare and a lot of prognosticators seem to think A&M will be able to keep their head above water right away.
  5. Things aren't as rosy in Missouri, as only 11 starters return for 2012. Missouri tends to be a little pass heavy on offense, and none of last year's targets return. The Tigers run a single back set, so how well they can get quarterback James Franklin in tune with three new wideouts and a new tight end will be key. Tailback Henry Josey ran for more than 1,000 yards last year, so how well he can carry the offense in the early going could be key. How a mostly new offensive line can handle SEC defenses will also be interesting to watch.
It appears the "experts" expect these teams to come in and win enough to be bowl eligible this year. Me? I'm selling on that one. If A&M can pass the ball effectively they have enough tools on both sides of the ball to maybe win 7 or 8 games, but I just don't see this Missouri team beating anyone but the very few bottom dwellers of the SEC (read: Mississippi and Kentucky).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Florida Gators Gift Ideas for Father's Day

It may seem a little early to be psyched about the 2012 University of Florida football season, but for die-hard fans like myself, there is no better time than the present to start sporting your Gator pride. Father's Day is less than two weeks away, making it the perfect time to buy some practical Florida attire for your favorite old man. He may have acquired a lot of Florida sweatshirts over the years from fall tailgates and cold stadium seats, but chances are he's lacking gear for the warmer months. I'm personally not a fan of people who seem like "season-only" fans. Why not show your Florida team spirit 24/7, 12 months a year? If your dad isn't sporting orange and blue around the town, he's got some preseason work to do to show his team spirit. The good news is, I'm here to help! I've compiled a list of some necessary Gator fan gear your dad can put to good use at a cookout, on vacation, at a pick-up game, on the golf-course, and just about anywhere else he might visit this summer. I'm positive these items will generate at least a few discussions on last football season, the upcoming football season, and other sports teams he's been dying to talk about. Maybe he'll even get some high-fives or hear someone sing "We are the Boys from old Florida." I can't say for certain that anyone will break out in song, but what I do know is that he'll be proud of your gift choice! 

  1. Florida Gators Fiero Deluxe BBQ Set
  2. Florida Gators Woven Towel
  3. Florida Gator Mens Color Blocked Swim Trucks
  4. Florida Gators Rubber Logo Flip Flops
  5. Florida Gators Large Grill Topper
  6. Florida Gators MVP Black/Framed Dart Board Cabinet
  7. Florida Gators Set of Three Nylon Headcovers
  8. Florida T-shirts