Saturday's game against Kentucky will be one day short of the year anniversary of Florida's loss to Ole Miss. Since then, the fortunes and scope of Florida Football has changed for the better. But that was also a perfect storm, as Texas, Penn State, USC and Alabama all lost, creating a cluster of one loss teams. Florida's charge following the Ole Miss game, and defeating the No. 1 team in the nation in consecutive games, finally secured them the No. 1 ranking. If you expect the same results in 2009, should Florida lose, you'll be wrong. There is no requirement that a defending champion gets to defend their title.
That is why Florida may have to lean on three of their healthiest guys right now as the team fights off the flu bug to end all flu bugs. Those guys are Tim Tebow (mildly shocking, I know), Brandon James (again, shocking), and Emmanuel Moody (wait, what?). I'm still upset at the quality of play calls in the Tennessee game, but with the flu bug spreading from students and into the football complex, not taking shots downfield and using your senior quarterback with 100,000 miles on the odometer seems like a good idea. Of course, in regards to Tebow, that should not be happening. That is why Brandon James, at least until the flu bug stops, needs to be the featured back. He is far more valuable on offense rather than splitting time on special teams. If Florida is supposed to have all these fast dudes, there should be someone to fill James' role on returns.
In addition, the push-and-pull around Moody's playing time is an embarassment. Moody has 7% of the touches this season (14 of 180; 7% is the same percentage as last year) and is a big back who can move the pile. His run against Tennessee proved that. Yet, Moody is being held out for either not being ready, not being healthy, or as a pawn in Urban Meyer's head games. Hopefully, it's not any of the three. With Moody not being used and James used even less (8 of 180 possible touches, plus 13 returns), it's time for Florida to start getting creative. If they want to control the clock and avoid pitching it to sick or inexperienced wides, that's fine. But safe is death and Florida is not in a position to think the same ideas will win again.