By Dr. John Huang
Being the first team in thirty-one years to lose to the Wildcats, you would think the returning Florida players this year might have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Surely every one of them feels the sting of humiliation heading into the rematch this Saturday night, right? After all, they’ve disgraced all of Gator Nation.
Well, think again. According to Pat Dooley of Gatorsports.com, Florida players have appeared rather dispassionate about all that transpired down in the Swamp last year.
“They are trying to dismiss that,” Dooley said in his appearance this morning on The Leach Report. “And I think it’s probably coming from their head coach. That was last year.”
Between you and me, I don’t buy it. Even Dooley admitted that deep down inside, Kentucky’s postgame revelry didn’t sit too well with the Florida players and fans.
“We’re motivated because it’s the first SEC game,” Dooley acknowledged. “The streak being over has nothing to do with it. But you know it’s got to be there in the back of their minds—that this team came into Gainesville and won the game last year—and seemed to enjoy themselves.”
Nice soundbite, but what was really telling was what Dooley said immediately afterwards.
“These guys have a lot of motivation and they want to have a good year. I’ve said this and I believe Dan Mullen believes this—this can’t be a special season if they lose to Kentucky again. Just because of what they have down the road. Playing Auburn, playing at LSU, Georgia…They’ve got to win this game to kind of get this season going in the right direction.”
Wow! It sure sounds like lack of respect to me. This can’t be a special season if they lose to Kentucky? What are we, chopped liver? I guess we’ll find out on Saturday night.