Vermont is a ball club that was one point away from the big dance last season. Now, they can't beat Loyola or Dartmouth. That wasn't even the good Loyola, it was the Maryland one.
At 2-4 with a field goal percentage around 44%, the Catamounts are not the frisky mid-major they once were. Three players, forward Marqus Blakely and guards Kyle Cieplicki and Mike Trimboli, make up 70% of their output. But with Blakley the biggest of the group at 6-5, Vermont will not present the problem FSU did in having size and strength. That doesn't mean it's ok if the Gators allow Vermont to jump out to a 10-1 lead like Stetson did. Since the Catamounts have four juniors in their starting lineup, it is possible they keep it close. But I would expect the Gators to start to pull away late in the first half and not look back.
By the way, if you are in Tampa, there are tickets still available for the game. Plus, The Tampa Gator Club is having a pregame party at Andreychuk's. If you don't speak former Lightning players, it's the old Beef's on Channelside.
Just like the FSU game last Saturday, Friday's game will be a big deal to me. Not only is it the first college basketball game my little sister has seen, it will be my last Gator event before I move to Massachusetts for business. Since I'll be there for a while, I actually have to declare residency in the Commonwealth, so I will no longer be a Floridian. But I have already promised my friends I will be the most obnoxious Gator fan north of Millhopper Road.
The past four months writing for Alligator Army have been awesome. Not only have people like the lovely Lindsey (pictured here) jumped on the bandwagon, but seeing how many hits the page gets and comments has made me feel pretty good about the site. EDSBS, Orange and Blue Hue, and Saurian Sagacity are way more than we will ever be, but it's still pretty cool to think that we're at least fourth on Gator fans' reading lists. (Well, hopefully fourth.) Since our first article on August 20th, about 40,000 visitors have viewed Alligator Army. In the 19 months prior, about 60,000 viewed the site when it was called Swamp Ball. The goal when I took over wasn't to increase traffic. It was to offer another perspective to the Gator voices already on the internet. Hopefully profiles of man eating alligators and my lovely friends did that.
Between now and the end of the year, articles on Alligator Army will be a little off schedule. I usually try for 12 posts per seven days, but with traveling between Tampa, Boston, Denver, Tampa, and Boston again, that will be almost impossible. So, if you need to go someplace else for Muhammad Ali references, that's cool.
All that said, I can not thank the readers enough. Think of the next few weeks this way; just like Gator athletics, we're taking a break for exams. But that just means we're preparing for the spring semester.
You can email Alligator Army at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, EDSBS may be the inspiration for this site, but I totally beat Orson Swindle in the picture department. No chest rug here baby. Just ugly sunglasses and 'I Hate FSU' jerseys.