Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, March 04, 2024

Put the bottle down, Gators fan, and let your friends off their 24-hour suicide watch.

Don't burn your UF T-shirts or rip up your season tickets.

What happened in the Swamp on Saturday was shocking and downright embarrassing, but it was far from crippling.

Sure, the loss hurts UF's national championship hopes. But deep down, Gators fan, did you really take this for a national championship team?

Surely, even the most biased and arrogant UF fans had some slight reservations about this squad, considering all the fresh faces in the starting lineup.

But even with the loss to Auburn, the Gators' aspirations for a Southeastern Conference title are still very much alive, and a national championship is not beyond reason, either.

It's still very early.

In the suddenly parity-riddled landscape of college football, it's difficult to believe there will be two undefeated teams at the end of the season. There are only a handful of unbeaten teams remaining that would garner any consideration for a national title appearance.

Two of them, LSU and Kentucky, are UF's next two opponents. USC and California have to play each other, as do Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Boston College has a chance to run the table because it's in the less-than-impressive Atlantic Coast Conference, but even that's a long shot.

Purdue, Cincinnati, South Florida and Hawaii are still undefeated, but those schools would be two-touchdown underdogs against any of the aforementioned teams and will not get in over a strong one-loss team. (On a side note, I am advocating that a lifetime ban on free speech be imposed upon anyone who declares that South Florida is the best team in the state. The use of force is acceptable and encouraged in such a case.)

If the Gators really are worthy of a national championship berth, they'll bounce back and defeat LSU on the road next week. I don't see it happening, but great teams persevere.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

And if they do knock off LSU, they'll essentially be in the same position they were in prior to losing to Auburn. They'll soar up the rankings and gain lots of respect from the pollsters.

In fact, UF would be much better off in the long run losing to Auburn and defeating LSU than vice versa.

Who knows, maybe the Auburn loss will act as a wake-up call for the Gators, propelling them to victory against LSU in a game they would have otherwise lost.

But now let's consider the more likely scenario of UF losing to LSU.

Even in that case, the Gators still have a whole lot to play for.

Auburn and LSU are both in the SEC West, and even with losses to both, UF can probably still make it to the SEC Championship Game by running the table in the East.

What more can you really ask for, Gators fan?

The only scenario in which UF could run the table in the East and not clinch an SEC title game berth would be if Kentucky doesn't compile a single conference loss other than to the Gators.

With a trip to South Carolina looming this weekend and their own showdown with LSU in Lexington the week after, I'd say the odds aren't very favorable for the Wildcats.

So hold off on declaring this the official start of basketball season, huddle up around your television sets Saturday, and for God's sake, cheer up, Gators fan.

There is still a long way to go.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.