Rapid Recon is a new, weekly feature reviewing the performance of Florida's future opponents in the last week.
Kentucky: Lost to Louisville, 24-17. And how does A Sea of Blue feel about that?
Overall, I think that the best you can say about Kentucky today is that they didn't give up.
Well. Then. Kentucky is now 2-1 on the season and plays host to Florida in its SEC opener this Saturday.
Alabama: Shut out North Texas, 41-0. Roll 'Bama Roll:
As expected, 'Bama went through North Texas with no real issue on Saturday night and at no point did the Mean Green ever mount a serious challenge. To be sure, though, no sane person ever thought Alabama would be legitimately tested, and the biggest concern throughout was clearly injuries with Arkansas a mere six days away. To that end, fortunately, all seemingly went well.
Alabama plays Florida on October 1 in Gainesville, in a game that may or may not (but probably will) be broadcast by CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern. The Crimson Tide are 3-0 and have yet to play an SEC game; they will open their conference schedule on Saturday against Arkansas.
LSU: Defeated Mississippi State, 19-6, last Thursday, to earn first SEC win. And The Valley Shook:
This was the classic "Bill Parcells win". You got a win, but the coach still has plenty of things to yell at his team about. LSU can't afford to sleepwalk through the season because there's too many tough teams on the schedule. Conversely, you can't ride the emotional roller coaster every week or you will crash.
Last year's Tigers got by on that roller coaster. They lived and died by emotion. This year's team is better. They can get a big win, on the road against a top 25 team, without needed to dip into that tank of emotional fuel. This win wasn't as impressive as Oregon, but it was just as revealing of LSU's overall quality. Maybe even moreso.
It was just so ugly, you might have missed the beauty in it.
Florida heads to Death Valley to face the Bayou Bengals on October 8. LSU, 3-0 overall and 1-0 in SEC play, will travel to Morgantown to face reported SEC reject West Virginia this Saturday in primetime.
HA, AUBURN FINALLY LOST AGAIN! The Tigers left their Death Valley for Clemson's, and fell, 38-24. Track 'Em Tigers laments:
The seventeen game win streak is at an end. The final three quarters were ugly. Auburn blew a 21-7 lead, lost by 14, and gave up 624 total yards. In just three games, the Tigers have given up 107 points, more than the 1988 team gave up all season. This is Auburn's first loss to Clemson in 60 years, dating back to a 34-0 loss in 1951 by Shug Jordan's first team.
That's too bad, really. The Tigers fell to 2-1 on the season, but are 1-0 in SEC play. Florida will travel to Auburn for a rivalry renewal with the Tigers (the teams haven't played since 2007) on October 15. Auburn welcomes punchless Florida Atlantic (three points in two games!) to Jordan-Hare this Saturday.
Georgia: The Bulldogs finally got a win in 2011 on Saturday, clobbering Coastal Carolina 59-0. Dawg Sports is relieved:
Let’s acknowledge this much, though: My son and I arrived in Sanford Stadium early this afternoon wearing light jackets to ward against the first faint chill of fall on an overcast autumn day, but, before long, we had shed them, preferring instead to cheer on the Bulldogs in our shirtsleeves as the cloud cover broke, the light shone through, and the day was warmed. Today didn’t get us as far as, "I say it’s all right," but at least it got us as far as, "Here comes the sun."
I'm sure Mark Richt still has "Hello, Goodbye" in his head, though. Georgia is 1-2 and 0-1 in SEC play, and travels to hapless Mississippi on Saturday. The 2011 Florida-Georgia game is October 29 in Jacksonville.
Vanderbilt: Crushed Ole Miss, 30-7, in a game that had Anchor of Gold raving about defense:
THAT. DEFENSE. I have never seen a Vanderbilt defense that was as fun to watch as this team was Saturday. Everyone hit like the Ole Miss players had just kicked their puppy. The secondary was flying around and leaving no room for any passes that weren't Tom Brady-grade bullets. The line chased Zach Stoudt around until he decided that interceptions were a valid alternative to getting sacked. The linebackers continued to improve despite being mostly composed of players getting their first significant SEC action at the position. It. was. awesome.
Also, there was a Statue of Liberty play and it worked?
Vanderbilt is 3-0 and 1-0 in the SEC, and heads to Columbia for a road test at South Carolina on Saturday. Florida welcomes the Commodores to Gainesville on November 5, and yes, it's Homecoming.
South Carolina: Survived Navy's option attack, 24-21. Garnet and Black Attack is agitated.
We should have won this game at least relatively convincingly, but after watching Carolina fail to capitalize on several golden opportunities to blow this game open, we're sitting wondering when this team is going to begin to play to its potential. If it doesn't do so soon, I have the sinking feeling that we're going to suffer an upset in one of our upcoming games. This team simply can't continue to win while playing in this way.
South Carolina hosts SEC East surprise Vanderbilt this Saturday, and welcomes the Gators to Columbia on November 12. The Gamecocks may also be in hot water with the NCAA regarding cheap hotel rooms and an association with the same foundation that got Sharrif Floyd suspended.
Furman: Beat The Citadel, 16-6, to improve to 1-1 on the season and 1-0 in the FCS Southern Conference, and will play host to Presbyterian this Saturday. Furman is quarterbacked by Chris Forcier, last seen releasing a patently absurd press release announcing his transfer from UCLA in 2009.
Somehow, Google did not produce metallic laughter when I Googled "Furman Paladins blog," and so here you have The Paladin Walk, not updated since before Forcier's press release. I've got to write eight more of these blurbs about Furman before Florida plays the Paladins on November 19. Think good thoughts for me.
Florida State: Lost to Oklahoma, 23-13, in one of 2011's better games. But still lost. Tomahawk Nation, correspondingly, revs up the waahmbulance:
The game revealed fully the inanity of scheduling major powers for non-conference games. Not only did whatever national title hopes FSU harbored suffer a serious blow, but the Noles played a brutally physical game and suffered a number of key injuries the week before its most important conference game of the season, at Clemson.
Florida State, 2-1 and yet to begin ACC play, will visit Clemson this Saturday. The 'Noles come to Gainesville for Florida's regular season finale on November 26.