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Gameday Notebook: Miami @ Florida

- This is how far Miami has fallen; the Florida game is a measuring stick. Meanwhile, it is up to Miami and Wake Forest, two non-traditional ACC powers, to restore some pride to the disappointing conference.

- Former Tampa Plant QB Robert Marve will be starting tonight for da U, his first college start. Urban Meyer, who recruited Marve, is not taking him lightly. Hopefully Marve craps the bed like the kid who followed him at Plant. Aaron Murray, who turned down UF for UGA, was 17-37 with a pick in the Panthers' 9-2 loss to Armwood last night. The game is probably the biggest Hillsborough County game this season.

- The Herald's Joseph Goodman thinks it will be 31-28 for UF. He might be the most disliked Gator beat reporter, so he's got that going for him too.

- Also from the Herald, a reminder from earlier this week;

''Are they going to be able to match up with our defense -- that's going to be the question,'' [safety Anthony] Reddick said Tuesday. ``We're not too much worried about them.''

- That same Herald articles notes that Florida wins the more it runs the ball. If the 1-2-3 of Harvin, Demps and Rainey protect the ball and keep the clock moving, UM will have no chance of winning.

- I don't think this game will tip on speed. It will tip on intelligence and strength. I guarantee Miami's skill players are as fast as UF's. But the difference is can they outmuscle UF. That's the difference between a team like UF, who has some experience, versus UM, which does not. UM is still a year or two away from being a top-10 team.

- My 12 year old sister asked me on Thursday what the line was for today's game. When I told her it was 21, she was excited. When she is not gambling, my sister is also a political commentator; she said McCain picked Palin, "because she's pretty."

Guide To Championship Mode

Championship Mode's start was actually in 2003, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles (below 40 degrees!) and the Oakland Raiders to win the Super Bowl. For each game, I wore the same clothes, sat in the same seat, even drank the same drink (Pepsi and now Mich Light/Bud Light). In 2004, the process was repeated as the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup and I was at Game Seven. It was first spread to the masses during the Gators' 2006 run to the NCAA Basketball Championship.

Now, Championship Mode has a life of it's own. In addition to the Urban Dictionary entry, it is the motto of this website, and is a staple of gameday for numerous Gator fans and great Americans. Since we have many new readers to the site, here are some keys to Championship Mode with examples.

1. You must truly believe you are impacting the game by yelling, clapping or cursing at the parents of the opposing team's players. (Ex: My brother screaming at the parents of former FSU player A.J. Nicholson that their son should get another DUI during the 2005 FSU-UF game.)

2. You must stay focused on the game. (Ex: Me screaming at the 2007 Tenn.-UF game after Erik Ainge was removed; "PHIL! LEAVE HIM IN YOU FAT F--K! F--K YOU YOU FAT F--KER!" As you see, very classy and done during a TV time out when most of the stadium was quiet.)

3. You must remain sober to moderately sober. You can and should be drinking, but if you are drunk, how can you be focused on the game? (Ex: Despite drinking several Z-hills bottles filled with gin, Alligator Army writer Hanson stood strong during the 2006 LSU game, firing Katrina-related insults every 37 seconds.)

4. You must have a set routine for Championship Mode games, even if you are in attendance or not. (Ex: I will be watching tonight's game at a party in Brandon but will be wearing the same clothes as if I was in Gainesville. Also, if you look at pictures from the last three Gator titles, Hanson and I are wearing the exact same clothes.)

5. Championship Mode is only used for highly meaningful regular season games, rivalries and postseason games. (Ex: Today is a Championship Mode game as well as traditional games against Tennessee, Georgia, LSU and FSU. However, games can become a Championship Mode game based on the importance of the outcome like the 2006 South Carolina game.)