Flash Gordon: Prince Barin, I'm not your enemy. Ming is.
Prince Barin: Lower him into the swamp.
(from the 1980 movie Flash Gordon. Click on title to be taken to a link)
Shug Jordan once said that Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David. I thought about starting with that until I realized that LSU will probably be more heavily favored over us than Florida is. The line started at Florida by 20, but I think the last one I saw had Florida by 17. The last time Florida was this big a favorite over us was in 2001. They came in a 21-point favorite.
Auburn won that game, sealing it on a Damon Duval kick that traveled 44 yards (not including the additional yardage it covered going towards the sideline and then flying back into the field of play) in rain, with a 25 mph crosswind.
This time it’s a little different. The line dropping slightly has a hidden meaning. Translation: We’re not going to get beat as bad as people originally thought, though they probably first thought that Florida would easily cover 20 points the way Auburn is playing. Now, Charles Hollis (a sportswriter in Alabama) is predicting Florida by 4. I think it will be close. I hope for the best.
One of the odd things about this game, though, is that they keep using the line, “Tuberville has never won in the Swamp.” Big deal. He’s played there what…twice? The first time, it wasn’t pretty. The last time, 2002, it started out pretty much the same way. Florida jumped out to an early lead. Carnell broke his leg. And Florida stopped us on a fake punt FROM OUR OWN END ZONE late in the 2nd quarter, tacking on a last minute three points as time expired.
In the 2nd half, Ronnie Brown ran over the Florida defense. We tied the game. Then, with time running out, we drove down the field. On the last play of the game, we had a chance to kick a field goal to win it, with the ball placed at very nearly the exact same spot you would kick a extra point.
Duval, the man who did not miss an extra point in his career, missed the exact same kick when it was worth three points.
We lost in overtime.
So far, that game is kind of reminiscent of our season. We feel so close to winning more, but the end result just didn't go our way.
It should be noted that there is one thing in tomorrow's game that is exactly like 2002: Florida wanted revenge for losing to us the previous year. They got it last time, though not how they expected.
This time, let’s hope it falls our way.
P.S. The networks can't stop talking abut next week's Florida-LSU match-up. Wouldn't it be nice to tick them off.