This time, on September 19, the rage will begin to boil in your stomach. It will start low, slowly building to the surface, until they show the alligators moving through a swamp on the big screens. The rage will not leave your body until the game is over and you can go back to acting like a civilized person.
The Gators' season may begin with Charleston Southern and Troy, but Tennessee is the game that starts the season. In a year when Florida has everything they could want; great QB, great coach, two of the last three National Championships, the Gators want blood. This isn't some homer bull. There is a feeling that not only must Florida go undefeated, they must destroy people, as if any insult or frustration experienced by the team and fan base will be cured with 14-0.
I contend that Lane Kiffin's comments regarding UF or any SEC team are deliberate attempts at cleverness. But the last thing he should have done is poke the big alligator. September 19 will be the most aggressive and violent UF fanbase since the aftermath of the 2003 ACC Refs Game. The idea that Kiffin could challenge UF is serious enough that it cannot be laughed off. It must be replyed to with blunt force.
Part of the beauty of sports, especially college football, is how the personality of the team is reflected in the fan base, and vice versa. As much as the Gators like to talk about winning SEC titles, we expect to see 14-0 and nothing less. This is the burden of a defending champion. On September 19, we all start carrying that burden.