The Orange and Blue Game is nothing more than a glorified practice and to look at it is overstating its significance. But, much like baseball's Spring Training, the game situations provide glimpses into what the future holds. That is why the game is important. Saturday afternoon will not determine if Will Hill or Dee Finley cracks the starting lineup or if Tim Tebow really has a quicker release. It will give us enough information to start estimating what will happen in August. Between now and then, it will be up to the players alone to work hard, deal with school, not hook up with ladies of questionable status, save orphans, avoid falling down the stairs at Grog, or fire automatic weapons in the air. If the players survive that gauntlet, they we can start cracking the lineups.
As for now, what do we know? Tomorrow, what do we not know? And come Saturday, LIVE FROM BEN HILL GRIFFIN STADIUM I will live twitter the Orange and Blue Game.
1. Tim Tebow has a chance to become The Greatest Player In College Football: You know how annoying it is when Georgia fans talk about Herschel Walker or Auburn fans genuflecting after the mention of Bo Jackson? That's going to be us next year with Tim Tebow if he wins another National Championship.
But that means no other player in the history of College Football will be under the stress Tebow faces this season. He also has a lot of miles on him; 2037 rushing yards and 6390 passing yards. Now, he faces a season without his greatest offensive weapon, his original offensive coordinator/QB coach and two starting offensive linemen. If it wasn't Tebow, you'd expect a down season from the player. That the kid has answered every challenge put before him is a good thing. But can he win at LSU? Win without Harvin? Win with a new throwing motion? Lead Florida to an undefeated season? If he answers those questions, Florida wins a National Championship, church bells will ring, you will name your first born son Timothy and make him left handed.
2. Someone will start to suck: Championship winning teams always have two or three guys who peak and never reach that level again (Ruslan Fedotenko for the 2004 Lightning, Scott Brosius on the 1998 Yankees, Larry Brown for the 1995 Cowboys). If Florida wants to be successful, they better hope those guys are not exposed. I look at Ahmad Black as a possibility for this, simply because it was such a shock how well he played last season. If he became an average player this season, it would be a downgrade. Also, you better pray to the Baby Jesus and the Angry Old Testament God that Brandon Spikes and Jeff Demps are not the guys who suck.
3. Emmanuel Moody must live up to the hype: This is supposed to be a guy who can carry the load, leaving the outside runs and misdirection for Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. But Moody, due to injuries and fumblitis, has not gotten there yet. Now is his chance.