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Ever seen the Gators and ‘Noles both this bad?

Posted on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm


Ken Jackson
The Sports Column

Alabama, Clemson, Georgia’s a little surprising, and Notre Dame has the Catholics reaching for their rosaries, but the brand names are winning, so it’s a typical college football season.

Then you get south of Tallahassee, and it turns into Bizarro World.

The Seminoles can’t win. The Gators can’t score, lost their coach — and here’s where it gets weird, Gator fans covet something that UCF has, depending on the variety of “sources” which, as usual, will be mostly guys in backward caps reading silly blogs in their parents’ dens.

I tread lightly with my black-and-gold blood saying this: with the Gators flopping around coachless and Florida State unable to come together and win a game comfortably, you can’t avoid the case that the Knights are the best team in the state of Florida.

Better yet, they need to play Miami for that title, but the Hurricanes are too busy trying to finally win their ACC division, and UCF is fixated on winning out and getting to a respectable bowl.

Meanwhile, Florida and Florida State aren’t even in the conversation. Tallahassee is reduced to a drinking town with a football problem, and UF is being reminded that coaching there can shorten your coaching career — by like a decade.

If Will Muschamp ever wins a division title at South Carolina, you’re welcome to my 401k. They still hate Urban Meyer in Gainesville. And anybody heard from Ron Zook lately?

Why do I share this cautionary tale? Because DON’T GO THERE, SCOTT FROST!

Oops, there’s more of that black and gold blood peeking out there. But since we brought it up, isn’t it shameful how the playoff selection committee — what a joke, this isn’t a playoff, it’s an invitational — is slighting a UCF team whose average margin of victory is only behind Alabama’s?

Yes, there are soft parts in UCF’s schedule — No. 22 ranked Memphis and the 40-13 pasting the Knights hung on them not withstanding — and they’ve curb stomped them.

The Knights may only grade out at No. 18 in a poll relied upon by a TV network to hand-pick the four brands that serve it best come January, but when you wield your own poll, the Mighty News-Gazette Divine Nine, that can be remedied. The envelope, please …

  1. Alabama. 2. Georgia. 3. UCF. 4. The Eagles. 5. The Patriots. 6. The Steelers. 7. The Notre Dame. 8. Roy Halladay (his pitching, not his piloting. R.I.P., Doc). 9. The Osceola Kowboys. 9a. Gateway.

And now for some picks …

Connecticut at UCF (-38): Huskies’ starting QB out with a concussion. If the Knights are mad about their ranking, expect it to get ugly early. Knights by eleventy million.

Notre Dame (-3.5) at Miami: With a loss, Irish lose their playoff spot, and ‘Canes lose their respect. Tough for a Catholic in Florida to pick. Home Hurricanes by 3 in “I’ll Say Two Our Fathers Later” Upset Special.

FSU at Clemson (-16.5): Ever think you’d see the day the ‘Noles were a three-score dog? Tigers by a three-cat night.

Florida at South Carolina (-7): Speaking of Muschamp, he’ll look like Spurrier today. Gamecocks by 11.

Michigan State at Ohio State (-15): These games are always organ grinders. Buckeyes by just 3.

Georgia (-2.5) at Auburn: Could Auburn, with the Dawgs this weekend and Alabama soon enough, wreck the playoff for the SEC? Maybe, but not this week. Dawgs by 6.

TCU at Oklahoma (-6.5): Without their Big 12 credentials, TCU is UCF. Sooners by 10.

The paid professionals:

L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville (-3.5): More Total Eclipse of Football stuff; at 5-3, the Jags are GOOD!  JaxCats by 3.

N.Y. Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay: Choose any team playing against QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jets by 7.

Dolphins at Panthers (-9): ESPN still lists Jay Ajaji as a Miami “player to watch”. Well if the network’s living in the past … Panthers by 10.

Brian “Big Man” McBride Super Sniffer Upset Special: Cowboys over Falcons by dinnertime.

Petey “The Gators Are Going to Win” Covino, says: well, he didn’t say anything. He just laughed deliriously. Then said something about the weather in Columbia this time of year.

Rick Pedone … is still retired. (For now!)