Friday, October 28, 2011

Rev's Prediction for Tomorrow

Since LC was doing his Friday Frivolities yesterday, I decided to hold my prediction until today.

If you read my thoughts from earlier in the week here and over at the CFBZ Roundtable, you know that I'm not as optimistic going into this game about us being the better team on the field.  Not that I think Florida is better than us, I just think the matchup is overall relatively even in talent.  So that leaves coaching and the mental state of the two teams as the deciding factors for me.

As for the coaching comparison, it's hard to give an edge either way, due to the limited body of work from UF's staff.  Muschamp got the Gators out of the gate quickly early in the year, and it's hard to knock him for getting blasted by Bama and LSU, as at least 95% of the teams in the country would likely get blasted by those two teams.  The performance against Auburn left a lot to be desired, but they were playing with true freshmen at QB, and again coming off of the back-to-back beatdowns from probably the two best teams in the country.  So in retrospect, though it surprised me at the time, their performance against Auburn really should have been somewhat expected.

They've had time off just like us now though to recharge their batteries and get healthy, so I anticipate a very different looking Florida team tomorrow.  Even if you feel we have the coaching edge though, as many have pointed out, Zook beat us 2 games out of three.  That was even back when we were having our greatest level of success under Richt..........and for all the criticisms lobbed at Richt the past few years, nothing will ever convince me that Zook is a better coach than Richt.  So coaching will have an impact on the game, especially who can make the correct adjustments the quickest, but we know we can find ways to lose like nobody's business in this game.

The mental part of this game has been hashed and rehashed across the blawgosphere the past couple of weeks, but that's still what it comes down to for me.  If we had shown the ability to put teams away at all, I would feel a lot better.  But no matter how badly we have dominated teams statistically this year, we've always managed to keep the opponent close enough to make it interesting (not counting FCS-level opponents).  What my gut tells me is that we're going to pretty well control the game statistically through 3 quarters, but look up at the scoreboard going into the 4th quarter and realize that despite winning all the other statistical categories, the score will still be very close.  Then THAT is where the mental part kicks in. And then if it's still a close game going late into the 4th, I just don't like our chances to buck the curse of the past 20 years and close it out.

Long story short, the gut feelings that I have are pretty much identical to what I had when making my Boise State prediction.  My heart tells me we're finally going to come out and have a Statement Game, letting everybody know that we are back.  But my head says we're still not quite there, and to prepare for disappointment.  I hope my heart is right, but for my official prediction, I'm going UF 23, UGA 21.

Have a great weekend hard, cheer even harder, and let's hope LC is right with his prediction and Simpleman and I are wrong.  Just because I don't think we win sure doesn't mean I don't want us to.  GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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