The Gators basketball team is currently headed into the "meat" of their SEC schedule, taking on Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and 'Bama over their next few games.
It's tough to not get overconfident heading into these games, as several of the upcoming opponents, just like the SEC in general, have not proven to be consistently good squads. However, these are all teams that could easily beat our guys if a couple of things go their way -- similar to the way that Mississippi State gave the Gators troubles last week -- especially on the road.
With that being said, the games at Georgia and at Kentucky could be wake-up calls for the Gators. Georgia is a team that can score a lot of points, meaning that if they get hot at home it will be very tough to beat them. Kentucky, as you know, plays at Rupp Arena -- a place that is never kind to any opposition. And as I said before, overconfidence could be a very troublesome thing for this Gators team, who has in the process of the last few weeks seperated themselves from the rest of the conference.
It is well-known how good this team can be. They won the National Title last season and looked nearly flawless in the process. They dominated Auburn on Saturday on the road, showing us once again the beautiful basketball they could put together. But then you can look at the FSU and Mississippi State games and see how opposing momentum and a few runs of sloppy play can really hurt you in college basketball.
Tonight the Gators will take on Vanderbilt, a team who has won 4 in a row -- including Ws over Alabama, Kentucky (at Rupp) and LSU on the road. As of right now they are more than likely the hottest team in the SEC outside of the Gators, and they will be upset-minded coming into Gainesville.
If the Gators coast to victory Tonight over the Commodores in the O-Dome, I will fully be expecting an extremely confident squad going into some of their "bigger" road games this season: the above-mentioned games at Georgia and Kentucky, at Tennessee and at LSU. In other words, the Gators could end up with a near-flawless conference record when the regular season is all said and done. It will be nowhere near an easy task to win all of these away games, but it is very realistic at this point.
I'm not saying this is a good thing, though. We saw last season how crucial momentum is come tournament-time -- something that may not come around with big egos and overconfidence.
Tonight's game against Vanderbilt could really show us how much better this Gators team is than the rest of the conference. Let's hope that margin is quite a bit, as long as Billy D and his players don't let that talent difference get to their heads.