Urban Meyer's half suspension of Brandon Spikes against Vanderbilt, which was then endorsed by the SEC, probably comes as a shock. The way things work now, IF THERE IS ENOUGH ALL CAPS LOCK ANGER!, someone gets in trouble. If the SEC thought 30 minutes was enough to teach Spikes not to stick his fingers inside facemasks, they must have seen or heard some stuff that makes Spikes' move look like kids' play. The Orlando Sentinel points out one of those other plays; Tebow getting blindsided on a late hit.
Since the masses have decided that Spikes' play was the dirtiest play of all time, and a suspension is merely a slap on the wrist, Florida will use this to their advantage. Georgia can wear the black helmets, Florida will wear the black hats.
As vile as eye gouging is, Spikes saw it as in defense of his team. Florida's opponents are right to say that there was light discipline and Spikes could have seriously hurt someone. But Florida's opponents now have another reason to fear the Gators. Not because they are a bunch of cheap shot artists, but now they really believe everyone is out to get them.
Instead of this becoming a distraction, UF is going to rally. Spikes is their star pitcher, risking suspension, but still throwing a 95 mph fastball at the head other team's best batter. He is the team captain, starting a fight with the other team's enforcer, and winning the fight. When those things happen in baseball and hockey, they can be a spark for change. The only suspension that would have hurt UF would have been if Spikes got a season suspension, and there was no way that was happening.
The Gators now have momentum and a nation of detractors at their back. They will gladly take it, even if it means having their best defensive player sit out for a half hour.