Four years ago, two friends and I dragged our girlfriends to the Archer Road Moe's to discuss making a sports blog. That became the extinct The Sporting Orange and in August of 2007, Alligator Army. Since that time, two of those girls have gone away and all of us have jobs that take up far too much of our time than we would like.
Starting Monday, SBNation's Andy Hutchins will take over Alligator Army. Like me, he is a real Gator, so Alligator Army will be in good hands. Andy will build Alligator Army into a site that can matchup with the other outstanding SBNation blogs, especially DawgSports and RockyTopTalk.
There were several times that I thought about not doing Alligator Army. What stopped me each time was that I did not know who would take it over and that I love my school so very much. With Andy and the writers that he will bring on, Alligator Army will be well positioned to be successful. And with each day, I love my school more. Everything I have done in my career I owe to Florida.
If there is anything I can leave you with it is that you love and support the University of Florida as much as you love the Florida Gators. Our sports teams are crucial for the strength of the school, but we must keep progressing and excelling as a University. Bernie Machen deserves a lot of criticism for his treatment of liberal arts, agriculture and tuition increases, but he knows that the only way to save UF is to become a dominant research school. UF can't hope on the state legislature or Bull Gators who would never get into UF now. (Hell, I might not get into UF now and I graduated in 2006.) You should keep ripping on him for tuition increases that could price out students, but also understand that we are gone from the days that UF was the favored school of the state. Last year we saw Shands funding killed by Gov. Charlie Crist for political revenge and who knows what Gov. Rick Scott has up his sleeve.
But the power of the University of Florida lies in you. Sign up for the Gators for Higher Education and the UF Alumni Association, both of which are available to those who are not UF students or alumni. If you think that Florida should have top-25 teams in football and basketball, I hope you would think that we should be a top-25 school too.
As always, thanks for reading.