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Tag:Florida
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:24 pm
 

Chris Rainey is eligible to play once again

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Florida Gators are on a bye this week, but when they do return to action next week against Georgia, the Gators may have an old weapon back.  During his weekly appearance at the SEC teleconference on Wednesday, head coach Urban Meyer said that Chris Rainey is once again eligible to play for the Gators.  Rainey returned to practice last week, but has had to sit out for the last five weeks following his arrest for aggravated stalking.

Still, just because Rainey is eligible to play, Meyer didn't want anyone to make the mistake that all this means he will play.

“Chris Rainey is eligible to participate in the Georgia game, but I’m not saying he will,” Meyer said. “That hasn’t been determined.”

No, it hasn't been determined, but trust me, Rainey will be playing against Georgia.  You don't let him start practicing again and then restore his eligibility for him to sit on the sideline while your struggling football team battles for its life.  The fact is that while Rainey may not be the answer for what ails Florida, his return certainly wouldn't hurt the team's chances.

So unless Rainey manages to get himself arrested during Florida's off week, he's going to be on the field against Georgia.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 11:11 am
 

Did a concussion lead to Chris Rainey's arrest?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that 2010 is becoming the year of the concussion in football.  As we all learn more about what concussions are and the long term effects they have on those who suffer them, the world of football has begun to take the injury a lot more serious than it had in the past.  Just look at the NFL this weekend, as two big hits in two seperate games have the league wondering if it should start suspending players who make head-to-head contact while tackling.

While the long term effects of concussions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- CTE -- have included depression and suicide, what about the short term effects?  There's no question that a concussion could lead to some dramatic behavior changes in a victim, like perhaps that person suddenly decides he wants to text an ex-girlfriend that it's "time to die."  That's what some are wondering in the case of suspended Florida receiver, Chris Rainey, who suffered a concussion only a few days before his arrest.

Even the victim in the Rainey case thinks his concussion had something to do with the events of that night.
Since the arrest, the victim has maintained that Rainey's threatening behavior that night was out of character. According to state attorney's records, the victim told police Rainey "has been acting strangely since receiving a head injury in a game played on 9/11/10."

The Gators played USF on that day, and coach Urban Meyer told reporters two days later that Rainey had a concussion.

"He got dinged pretty good," Meyer said on Sept. 13.
When reviewing the text messages between Rainey and the victim that led to the infamous "time to die" message, the victim pointed to Rainey's concussion that very night.
Text messages exchanged between Rainey and the victim that night indicate she thought Rainey's concussion was affecting his behavior. "U want to act a fool so im gonna act a fool too and im here," Rainey texted the victim.

She responded, "I'm not opening the door. It will do no good. Go back home and cool off. U have a concussion chris. Ur acting ridiculous."

Now the question is, is the concussion an excuse or a reason?  It's not easy to answer, but Dr. Robert Cantu of the Sports Legacy Institute says that injuring the brain, which a concussion does, changes behavior and can cause people to act bizarrely.  Of course, Cantu also says that bizarre behavior changes don't normally include "irrational or emotional behavoir, or loss of impulse control."

Which there's no question Rainey displayed on that night.  Though whether it was love or a concussion, we'll likely never know.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:20 pm
 

Midseason Report: SEC

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that we've reached the halfway point of the season, we have a lot better idea of which teams to take seriously, and which ones we can forget about.  Of course, there's still a lot of football to be played this season, so in the Midseason Report we'll be taking a look at what each team has remaining in front of them, and what they'll have to do to call themselves conference champions.  In this post, we'll take a look at the SEC.

East


1. South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) - The Gamecocks may only be 2-2 in conference play this season, but in the 2010 version of the SEC East, that's all it takes to be on top.  The question is whether or not Steve Spurrier and South Carolina can stay there.  A question that is hard to answer when your quarterback is the completely unreliable and unpredictable Stephen Garcia.   As we saw against Kentucky, the Gamecocks need Marcus Lattimore to stay healthy down the stretch if they're going to hold on  and reach the SEC title game.  The good news is that they have two very winnable games up next on the schedule in Vanderbilt and Tennessee.   After that, however, they get Arkansas and Florida in The Swamp.  All four are winnable games, but if the SEC has taught us anything this season, it's that every game is losable as well.

2. Florida (4-3, 2-3) - Oh the SEC East, the one place in the country where losing three straight conference games still leaves you in control of your own destiny.  Sure, the Gators are 2-3 in the SEC, but all three of those losses came against SEC West teams.  Which means that if Florida wins out it'll be going to Atlanta.   The Gators play Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina to finish out their SEC slate over the next three weeks, and both of the tough games (Sorry, Vandy)  either come at home or at a "neutral" site.  What will determine whether Florida can get it done is which offense shows up.  Will it be the unit that managed to put up 29 points against a tough LSU defense, or the one that couldn't break double-digits against Alabama and Mississippi State ?  I wish I could say I knew, but getting Chris Rainey back can't hurt.

3. Georgia (3-4, 2-3) - Yes, that's right, Georgia is still alive in the SEC East.  Forget about those four straight losses that left us all wondering if Mark Richt would survive the season, the Bulldogs have exploded the last two weeks and are right in the thick of things.  The problem for Georgia is they have no room for error, and have already lost to South Carolina this season.  So even if they do survive a trip to Lexington this weekend -- something Auburn barely did, and South Carolina couldn't -- they still have to play Florida in Jacksonville and travel to Auburn.  Yes, seeing the Bulldogs outscore Tennessee and Vanderbilt 84-14 over the last two weeks was encouraging, but let's not forget that Tennessee and Vanderbilt are horrible.

4. Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2) - Listen, I'm not going to pretend that Vanderbilt has any chance of winning the SEC East.  It's just I have to include them because the way the dominoes have fallen thus far in the season, they're not out of contention yet.  So, yes, Vandy has a chance to win the SEC East.  I also have a chance at convincing Megan Fox to drop the dude from 90210 and marry me instead.  Let's see which one happens first.

5. Kentucky (4-3, 1-3) - Kentucky is in the same boat as Vanderbilt in that it's alive, but barely.  Though to Kentucky's credit, they've been a lot more impressive than Vanderbilt.  The Wildcats nearly knocked off Auburn and did take down South Carolina, and the tough part of the schedule is done.  The problem is that not only would Kentucky need to win out, but they'd also need quite a bit of help from everybody else.

WEST


1. Auburn (7-0, 4-0) - Cam Newton is the new Tim Tebow, but this kid isn't nearly as interested in quoting the Bible as he is in running over defenses.  I have no doubt that Newton is good enough to lead this Auburn team to the SEC title game, but the Auburn defense leaves me incredibly concerned, as does its remaining schedule.  The Tigers get LSU at home this week, and then have three winnable games before finishing the season in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl.  If Auburn can overcome its defense and win out then I don't think there's any question that this team will be playing in Arizona come January with a crystal football on the line.

2. LSU (7-0, 4-0) - Can you comfortably say that you can predict what Les Miles is going to do next?  No, of course not.  The man is insane, and his team seems to have taken on the identity of its bi-polar head coach.   The most worrisome aspect of the Tigers is obviously the offense, and you have to figure that at some point Jordan Jefferson or Jarrett Lee are going to throw that back-breaking interception to end this team's hopes.  Considering that the Tigers still have Auburn and Alabama back-to-back over the next few weeks before finishing the season in Fayetteville, there will be plenty of chances for them to do just that.

3. Alabama (6-1, 3-1) -
You didn't make the mistake of thinking this team was dead, did you?  Is this Alabama team as good as last year's national champion?  No, there's no way the 2009 Alabama defense lets Stephen Garcia tear it apart.  Still, even if this defense isn't as strong as last season's unit, it's pretty darn good.  The Tide have an easy game with Tennessee this week before having to travel to Baton Rouge, but then they have their last three games at home with Georgia State sandwiched by Mississippi State and Auburn.  If Alabama wins out, it's going to Atlanta, and barring some catastrophic injury, I can see it happening.

Prediction: Trying to predict what's going to happen in the SEC is a fruitless exercise in that come Sunday morning, the entire conference could be turned upside down.  Still, a prediction is what is asked of me, and a prediction is what ye shall receive.

Two teams will travel to Atlanta to play for the SEC title, and I believe those two teams will be Alabama and Florida.  Yep, again.  As far as Alabama is concerned, I just think they'll win out, with the SEC West being decided on the final Saturday when they end Auburn's bid at an undefeated season and a national title.

Florida?  Well, I don't have that much faith in the Gators at this point, but that's still more faith than I'll ever be willing to put in Stephen Garcia.  So they'll be the lucky recipient of a second beating by the Tide in December.
Posted on: October 17, 2010 12:23 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct 16)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Parity has wrought havoc in the SEC.
  Remember the days when there was no question that the SEC was the class conference in college football?  Well, that either no longer applies to the conference, or everybody has become so good that everybody can beat everybody.  No matter which side of the argument you fall on, one thing is clear: when it comes to who is going to win the conference, none of us know anything.

2. The SEC East is up for grabs. Sticking with the parity theme, while we know that the SEC West is going to finish with either LSU, Auburn or Alabama on top, the SEC East can be had for the taking by anybody who wants it.  South Carolina may have lost to Kentucky on Saturday night, but no matter, if it wins out it's still theirs.  Right behind the Gamecocks is Florida, who have lost three in a row, and Georgia.   The same Georgia team that we all thought might have a new head coach by the end of the season.

3. Cam Newton is a monster.   Newton had a monster performance against Arkansas on Saturday, leading the Tigers to 65 points -- the first time that Auburn's hung 60 on an SEC opponent since they did it to Florida in 1970.  With all the losses in the top 10 this week, it's safe to say that Newton will be on top of the Heisman list come Monday.  The only question is how long will his defense let him stay there?

4. Florida REALLY wishes it still had Cam Newton.
You really do have to wonder how much time Steve Addazio has left in Gainesville following another anemic performance from the Gators offense against Mississippi State.   Anytime your defense holds an opponent to 10 points in your building, you have to win that game.  Florida just couldn't get it done.  It's time to go back to the drawing board, and the Gators may need to put the dry erase marker in somebody else's hand.

5. Marcus Lattimore is the key to South Carolina's offense.
  Lattimore had 212 yards and three touchdowns in the first half against Kentucky, and South Carolina had a 28-10 lead.  Then Lattimore spent the second half on the bench on the second half, and the Gamecocks couldn't do anything on offense, getting outscored 21-0 in the second half and losing.  Leaving the ball in the hands of Stephen Garcia is just not a winning formula.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 8:40 pm
 

Upset Alert: Miss. State shutting out Gators

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Florida may have been hoping to end its two-game losing streak this week, but so far that's the only thing the Gators have done: hope.  It's halftime in Gainesville and Mississippi State has a 10-0 lead.  Though it's really not as bad as it sounds, and, yes, being down ten to Mississippi State at home does sound really, really bad.

The truth is, though, that Florida has an edge in just about every meaningful stat.  They've outgained the Bulldogs 138-to-126, and have had the ball three minutes longer.  The problem has been putting points on the board and keeping John Brantley off of his back.  Oh, and if Florida could start getting more than one yard a carry in the second half, that would probably help too.

The Gators had a nice chance to get some points in the second quarter, putting together a 15-play 59-yard drive, but Chas Henry missed a 33-yard field goal that would have cut the lead to 10-3.

Still, even though they haven't played well in the first half, the Gators still only trail by ten points and Mississippi State hasn't exactly been playing magnificent football either.  Though if the Gators don't find a way to get a ground game going in the second half, the ten point deficit may be too much to overcome.  And if the Gators lose this one, well, hello, Cotton Bowl.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:54 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:16 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's another gorgeous day across the country, but it's starting to get just a little bit chilly. You should still bring the sunscreen. All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Boston College at No. 16 Florida State , 12:00, Tallahassee, FL: Low 70s, clear

Illinois at No. 13 Michigan State, 12:00 , East Lansing, MI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

Missouri at No. 21 Texas A&M, 12:00 , College Station, TX: Low 70s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 15 Iowa at Michigan , 3:30, Ann Arbor, MI: Low 60s, partly cloudy

No. 12 Arkansas at No. 7 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear

Texas at No. 5 Nebraska , 3:30, Lincoln, NE: Low 70s, clear

Evening kickoffs

No. 10 South Carolina at Kentucky , 6:00, Lexington, KY: Low 60s, clear

No. 1 Ohio State at No. 18 Wisconsin , 7:00, Madison, WI: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

Mississippi State at No. 22 Florida , 7:00, Gainesville, FL: Low 60s, clear

Late night kickoffs

Ole Miss at No. 8 Alabama , 9:00, Tuscaloosa, AL: Low 50s, clear

No. 24 Oregon State at Washington , 10:15, Seattle, WA: Mid 40s, partly cloudy


Posted on: October 14, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Florida wants you to stop using its logo

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's a brand new trend taking place in the state of Florida where colleges go after state high schools for using their logos in their sporting programs.  First Florida State went after Southeast High School in Bradenton for using both the Seminoles nickname, and the spear head logo that Florida State uses.  Now Florida is going after another high school who is using the Gators name and logo, Palm Beach Gardens.

Palm Beach Gardens has used the name, logo and insignia for years, but it seems that Florida has decided it's time for them to stop, issuing a cease and desist order to the school through Collegiate Licensing Company.  CLC is a company in Atlanta that offers licensing protection to Florida and over 200 other schools.

Which isn't exactly music to the ears of principal Robert Egley, who himself is a Florida graduate.

"Initially, everyone was really upset by it," Egley said . "Why now? Surely there are other battles they can fight.  Legally, I understand it, but do battle with other people who are making money off it. We don't make a dime. We're just proud to be Gators."

Egley says he sent a letter to the CLC explaining that the school makes no money from using the logos or name, but said that it didn't matter and they may as well comply because the school can't "weather this storm."

Now, Florida does come off as kind of a jerk in this situation, since there really is no competition between the two schools.  It's not like there are people buying shirts from Palm Beach Gardens as a cheaper alternative for Florida gear.  Still, the school does have its reasons.

If the school doesn't police its trademark, and a hundred other schools begin using it, then the school would have a hard time proving that the logo truly belongs to the University of Florida.  Which would mean they'd lose a lot of money from merchandising.

Though who knows how much it's going to cost Palm Beach Gardens to get rid of all their current logos and produce new jerseys, equipment and everything else with a new one.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 11:01 am
Edited on: October 14, 2010 11:05 am
 

Meyer: Demps probable, Brantley at full speed

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida's home loss to LSU on Saturday night left Gator fans with a lot of "what if's."  Fans wondered how the game could have been different if quarterback John Brantley had been 100%, or if the outcome would have changed with the presence of speedy playmaker Jeff Demps.  Head coach Urban Meyer was able to deliver good news on both players on Wednesday.

"Good news on Demps," Meyer said during the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. "He's feeling a lot better than he did last week.  Obviously, we need his big-play shot. I put him as probable for Saturday (against Mississippi State). He's going to do some practice (Wednesday) and then, he's telling me, he's going to practice (Thursday)."

While the exact extent of Brantley's rib and thumb injuries have been a topic of much debate, Meyer continues to insist that his starting quarterback is ready to play.  Though this time he has some more evidence to present, with Brantley going full speed in practice for the first time in almost two weeks.  Brantley was limited leading up to the LSU game due to shoulder complications from his rib injury.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com