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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Know Your Foe - Florida

It’s the final game for Lloyd Carr when the Wolverines meet defending national champion Florida in the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl sponsored by Michelin and brought to you by Denny’s. Or whatever the fuck they’re calling the game this year. The teams have met only once before, in the 2003 Hall of Fame Outback Bowl sponsored by Tinactin and brought to you by Ace Hardware. Michigan won a thrilling game 38-31. Both teams will try to cap disappointing seasons with a win. But Florida’s disappointment stems from losing three tough conference games while Michigan has had its worst season in 23 years. So who has more motivation to win? Who the hell knows? But to know more about Florida, you’ll certainly want to read the final installment of the MZone's KNOW YOUR FOE.

History The current University of Florida was established in 1853 as East Florida Seminary. The seminary was closed in 1866 due to the Civil War and then moved from Ocala to Gainesville. The school then merged with a number of smaller schools in 1905 and the combined school was called the University of the State of Florida. Finally, in 1909, the school took its current name.

UF, which is the third largest university in the country, was the first to offer athletic scholarships in 1928 as a reaction to under-the-table payments that were being made by other schools. Interestingly, UF didn’t have a problem with those under-the-table payments in the early 1980s. Amazingly, the University of Florida did not become co-ed until 1947, and didn’t allow African American students until 1958. However, it currently ranks second in the number of Bachelor Degrees awarded to African Americans, and third overall to Hispanics.

Location Gainesville, Florida. Located at the base of American’s Wang, Gainesville is a city that has its roots in war. It was named for General Edmund P. Gaines, commander of U.S. Army troops in Florida during the Second Seminole War. The town also saw some fighting during the Civil War. After the war, citrus growing was the main industry but that moved to Orlando following a couple of major freezes in the late 19th century. Now Gainesville’s population of about 100,000 is almost entirely dependent on the university in one way or another. Gainesville is sometimes referred to as “the Berkeley of the South” due to the liberal leanings of the populace. It’s long been known as being on the cutting edge of great music and is the hometown of Tom Petty and bands Less Than Jake and Against Me!

Nickname - Gators. This nickname goes back to 1911, the year of the ONLY undefeated Florida football team. It’s believed the moniker was a result of the nickname of team captain Neal "Bo Gator" Storter. Regardless of its origin, it certainly makes more sense than Michigan being called the Wolverines. It’s estimated that there are over a million alligators in the state and their habitats increasingly overlap with area populated by humans. It’s one of the best names in college athletics and sports in general. It’s unique (there are no other Division I or major sports teams with the name), it’s descriptive of the area, and let’s face it, alligators are bad asses. They’re absolutely ferocious, they can run like hell (no, this isn’t an SEC speed thing), and they look great as a belt or shoes. And they taste like chicken.

Mascot – Albert and Alberta. These are truly among the most iconic mascots in college athletics. Cosutmed green alligators, Albert wears an orange letterman sweater and Alberta dresses in an orange cheerleader outfit. The school used a live alligator mascot – also named Albert - starting in 1957. But in 1970 the costumed version that we know today was born, and he was joined by Alberta in 1986. They have quickly become the symbols of the university and they are immortalized with a statue on campus. Albert was ranked as the #1 college mascot by SI Online this past year. And who’s to argue? That poll has as much credibility as any that decide the national football champion every year.

Colors Orange and Blue. These are perfect colors for a southern school in warm climes, but the combination was just a happy coincidence. The selection of the colors took place in 1910 and were taken from two of the schools that merged to form the new UF. The University of Florida at Lake City had school colors of blue and white and East Florida Seminary in Gainesville used orange and black.

This will be the second blue and orange team the Wolverines will face this season. Illinois was the first, but the Illini's colors are orange and navy blue, while Florida’s are orange and royal blue. Surprisingly only six schools use the blue and orange combo, and only Boise State’s shade of blue is similar to that used by the Gators. There’s no truth to the rumor that Florida is thinking of changing the turf at the Swamp to blue.

Logo/Helmet – The current Florida logo of a gator head inside an orange oval has been in use since 1998. It’s solid if unspectacular. The previous logo of a cartoon Albert which was used from 1992-1997, is one of the best in college sports.

Regardless, if either one were to be used on the Florida helmet, it would make the Gators’ headwear immensely better than, as the MZone mentioned before, the Sunkist soda logo they now sport. Despite having a top football program, and a magnificent mascot, the Florida helmets just aren’t big league. The colors aren’t the problem, it’s the lame use of a wordmark that makes the Gator helmets so horrible. They join Ole Miss in the SEC and Illinois in the Big Ten with the use of a wordmark on the helmet. Florida football belongs nowhere near the Rebels and Illini, even if we’re just talking about helmet design. The problem is that there’s no way Florida can change. Since the Gators moved to their current helmet in 1979 they’ve had the best success they’ve ever had on the field. They’ve won two national championships and have become one of the top programs in the nation. So unless the Gators go into a ten year run of losing, which is not going to happen, the Sunkist bottle helmets are here to stay, much to Know Your Foe’s deep regret.

As always, all images of the helmets are from the incredible Helmet Project site, and the logos are from the equally wonderful SportsLogos.net.

Fight Song – The Orange and the Blue. Again, this fight song does not meet Florida’s standard on the field. The title is unimaginative, the tune is average at best, and the lyrics are laughable:

So give a cheer for the orange and blue
Waving Forever
Forever Pride of old Florida
May She droop never
We'll sing a song for the flag today
Cheer for the team at play
On to the goal we'll fight our way
For Florida.

Any fight song that invokes the words “waving” and “droop” is not worthy of the teams the Florida puts on the field every year. Hell, these lyrics aren’t even worthy of a bullshit team like Michigan State.

Most of the MZone’s readers are probably not familiar with The Orange and the Blue. But a football fan can’t watch a Gator football game and not come away humming Gimme A G, Go Gators. Listen to the last part of that song. Can’t you just hear Verne Lundquist announcing another Gator victory? And what a catchy tune. It might even make up for the lame fight song.

Academics – According to the most recent U. S. News' ranking of America's Best Colleges, Florida is 49th, one slot behind Penn State. This places UF second among SEC schools, trailing only Vanderbilt and in the top ten among southern schools. The ranking would put Florida fifth if they were in the Big Ten. The school has become a very hot commodity among high school applicants. It's no mystery why - nice weather, solid academics, great sports teams. It's a great time to be a UF student.

Athletics – Let’s see. They are the current national champions in football and the two-time defending champion in basketball, the only school to be the reigning champions in both of the major college sports. They, along with Sparty (!), are the only school to win multiple national championships in both sports. So, yeah, Florida athletics is as good as any school in the country. Overall, the Florida has won 27 national championships (10 men’s and 17 women’s) including ten women’s tennis titles.

Amazingly, the Gators have only won seven conference titles in the 75 years of the SEC but they’ve all come since 1991 (the 1984 title was stripped by the conference for NCAA sanctions). The school has now produced three Heisman Trophy winners (all QBs) and pack in over 90,000 fans into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium which is widely considered one of the loudest and best college venues in the country.

Famous alums – As would be expected of a school the size of the University of Florida, the list of distinguished alumni is long. But it’s not that impressive (though, hilariously it includes a section for “Pageant Winners”). It certainly pales in comparison to a few of Michigan's opponents such as Northwestern and Illinois. Where are the big names? Faye Dunaway? Mel Tillis? This isn’t 1975. UF can claim the second most famous flannel shirt wearer Bob Vila, and comedian Darrell Hammond. The only categories where UF has excelled are athletes (duh) and sports announcers, as both Red Smith and Erin Andrews are former Gators. They claim three astronauts – in total not on one mission. Space, bitches, space. Oh, and no U.S. Presidents.

The Game – It takes place in the new year, but the game will mean a lot of goodbyes on the Michigan sideline. The school’s all-time leading rusher will be playing his last game The head coach will be coaching his last game. And based on the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, this will really be the last Michigan football game that will have the imprint of Bo Schembechler after having influence over the program for almost 40 years. It’s too bad all that happens in a game the Wolverines lose. FLORIDA 45, MICHIGAN 37.


Joshua said...

Hottest. Sasquatch. Ever.

Rob G said...

Florida was a men's school for so long because FSU was the women's school. There is no excuse for the delayed integration, however.

Also, while Florida's alumni list doesn't have a lot of famous people, it includes basically everyone of any importance in the state of Florida. CEOs, government officials, and everything else...UF has ridiculous alumni giving (sadly only to the AD though). Whether you are impressed by this really depends on whether you live in Florida or not, but still...I believe Florida has more members of the US House than any other public school. UF is super powerful, but only if you care about the state of Florida (hey, maybe we'll be a national University one day)

Ironically, we often use Michigan as the benchmark program for Florida's goals...important in Michigan and the rest of the country.

Love Know Your Foe, as always. Also, Against Me! rules. Best punk band since the Clash.

Katie said...

Damn that Erin!

We do have a chance of winning!!

It would be a victory so friggin sweet!

GO BLUE!!!!!

TitleIX said...

joshua you are LOL funny!

god she's unnaturally gorgeous.

and rob g: I wouldn't be bragging about members of the house of congress there buddy...given the track record of that legislative body. ohhhh the house of hypocrisy.

ya'll remember to vote and push HARD on them chads.

hopefully this is the last KYF of the SEASON and not the last ever. An amazing piece of bloggeration, those KYF's

well kids, since the first kick isn't til 12:30, i'm gonna go get me some vitamin D....

Killing My Liver said...

Milk ?

Dave said...

For the fight song section y'all might have added "We Are the Boys" which is as unique a tradition as there is in college football. Also, Mr. Two Bits is someone who is an icon of college football. Just some suggestions, but good article and good luck tomorrow.

Joshua said...

Killing My Liver,
Apparently another tremendous source of Vitamin D is.......liver. Interesting. Anything you and T9 want to tell us?

KYF's are awesome. Many grand thanks for them!

Though i might have to explain that one, glad you liked it. Once again, why didn't this particular girl next door grow up next door to me? And why is it considered stalking if I move specifically so she'll be the girl next door? And why is bail so much for stalking? And could you guys loan me some bail money? ;)

Less than 24 hrs to gametime!!!! GO BLUE!

MGoBlue93 said...

Damn that Erin!

What's wrong with Erin?

mlmintampa said...

From a Gator; very well done. But you missed out on 'We Are The Boys' which we "sing and sway" to before the fourth quarter. It has this gem...
"Where the girls are the fairest, The boys are the squarest,
Of any old state down our way."
That's right. We're smart and have hot women.

zen wizard said...

They should have stayed, "East Florida Seminary."

Then there would only have to be ONE BOOK in the library--and they could spend more money on football.

Katie said...

"What's wrong with Erin?"

Uhhh, nothing, she is naturally gorgeous just like me ;o)

You know when you guys say you have a man crush, yeah. well. I could consider a girl crush, then, she talks and it ruins it for me....rofl.

MGoBlue93 said...

I thought you were doing that catty thing where women hate on each other ;)

Has she had any work done? Her body is AMAZING in that pic. It's too bad I have to ask such a question in this day and age but with the likes of drive thru plastic surgery in SoCal, one never knows anymore.

BTW, a few years ago, it always looked like her and Herbstreit were way too chummy with each other during broadcasts -- calling each other pets names and such on the air. But this past season, I don't recall seeing her do any games Herbstreit was calling. Coincidence, or did Mrs. Herbstreit (and I don't mean Kirk's mom) notice the same thing too?

MGoBlue93 said...

almost forgot.... mmmmm girl crush!

Joshua said...

TALKING?!?! Whoa whoa whoa whoa whao! Hold it right there. No one ever mentioned there would be talking involved. Such a deal-breaker. Silly Katie, as if there'd ever be talking....

LOL Zen. nice one.

Pryor semi-kinda but not really update:

According to the personal assistant to my brother's uncle's dog's hairdresser's financial advisor's yoga instructor, who overheard the news at a rave while discussing the finer points of being paris hilton and how she'd lead everyone to world peace if we'd just give her a chance, and no the ecstacy has nothing to do with it, he sincerely feels that way oh look something shiny.....

Pryor will go to Michigan if Mallett transfers, otherwise he's headed to Columbus. It's in the newspaper. It's on the radio. And all because some high school kid from Detroit who's going to play for Three and Out Jesus said this is what he thinks is going to happen on his Rivals.com recruiting diary. So it must be true!!!!!

Jonas Gray, I salute you! You may never score a touchdown at ND (and certainly not with Jimmy Clausen playing every position on the field cause he is the bestest ever at everything ever. If he wanted to he'd take over for Rachel Ray and run a cooking show from the backfield DURING GAMES, using only the tears of other Heisman hopefuls and hair gel as ingredients. And you'd eat up his yummy concoctions and ask for seconds. Really. He's that good.)but your "guess" is spread everywhere.

So anyway Jonas, somebody somewhere thinks your opinion is relevant in the Pryor situation. Congrats.

Seriously, what did we do before the interweb? did reporters do real investigation?


srudoff said...

what to do, what to do...

on one hand, i'd love to see hart, henne and long go 'o fer' in their careers against Osu and in bowl games after all the hype they got throughout the years

on the other hand, i'm so fucking sick of the sec talk

for once in my life, i'm going to say..... GO BLUE

kick florida's ass please

Joshua said...

Speaking of real investigation, I would like to be the first to volunteer to investigate whether Miss Andrews has had any work done or simply likes to work it. In the name of science of course. I plan to be strictly professional in my research and being an ass man as opposed to a breast man I'm confident in my ability to remain steadfastly clear headed and impartial to- OMG BOOBIES!

MGoBlue93 said...

Not that I would like to see this board turn into a rumor mongering mgoblog, but I'm beginning to think this Pryor kid sounds a lot like Alex Legion.

And another Alex Legion is NOT what U of M needs -- no matter how talented Pryor may be.

Katie said...

"I thought you were doing that catty thing where women hate on each other ;) "

I was, but I wasn't going to let her have that on me...ROFL! And I would bet money that those puppies are not real!!

I don't get wet thinking of two guys with each other, so it is rather curious to me that you guys get frisky thinking of two girls together. Although, going to a strip club with your boyfriend, can produce some very good results for the girl ;o)

Joshua, I would not expect anything different from you.....no talking.....ha! Don't you guys think that she talks funny? She starts talking and I think, STOP!

I am rooting for Oregon, it would be nice to see them win without Dixon.

MGoBlue93 said...

joshua... I speculated first, therefore I got first dibs!

MGoBlue93 said...

countdown to a Joe Rogan reference in 3... 2... 1...

Katie said...

The more I hear about Pryor, the more I hope he doesn't come. But then, I am hearing things from second hand sources, not from him. We do not need a Clausen that is for damn sure.

MGoBlue93 said...

I don't get wet thinking of two guys with each other, so it is rather curious to me that you guys get frisky thinking of two girls together.

Ahhhh yes, one of life's double standards. EVERY female in my life says the same thing and gets pissed off at it. The also get pissed off that they can predict the number 1 fantasy, with no other information or background, of most men too.

Yes, we really are that transparent.

MGoBlue93 said...


I don't think we hear any sound coming out...

Kinda like my younger days when Michigan would come on TV and I'd turn the volume down and listen the Bob Ufer instead.

Katie said...

Hey, I am not complaining, it makes it much easier for the girl, absolutely no guess work.

Katie said...

"I don't think we hear any sound coming out... "

I am assuming this is a reference to what Erin sounds like......and all I can do with that is ROFLMAO!

Joshua said...

But Clausen can cook yummy concoctions from hair gel!

No one has heard a peep from this kid, it's all been speculation. He has exibited nothing but class thus far and is declaring at the army AA game, not the CFB Hall of Clausen. He stated his intention and has kept quiet, so I don't think we can fault him. Unlike that Bibboko Cissoko or wtf ever his name is. That kid can't take a crap without notifying the Detroit News.

"And I would bet money that those puppies are not real!!"

When did we start talking about puppies? I'm clearly trying to concentrate on the mammary glands of one florida alum and how glorious they are, and you're bringing up puppies, small bastions of furry love that represent all that is good in the world. And you wonder why i said no talking! women, sheesh.

And the tea cups at disney land? The huge over sized tea cups? Clearly fake. Doesn't mean it's not a good ride.

MGoBlue93 said...

Katie... glad I'm good for a couple of laughs!

Regarding the Pryor thing. I'm personally a little frustrated with H.S. athletes who think they are celebs. Like when Chris Webber's team won the state championship and while the rest of the team is celebrating, he's calling a press conference to announce who won his personal sweepstakes -- no class!

Pryor seems to bill the All Star game as his personal coming out party. I hope I'm judging him incorrectly though.

Katie said...

OMFG....both of you guys have me in stitches! TOO much!!

The tea cup ride....Joshua....Point, Match, Set.

ROFL! Transparent and shallow! LOL (I still luv ya both!) You have reaffirmed to me that you are both truly MEN.

MGoBlue93 said...

Katie... I'm leaving for a bit.

Everyone have a happy, safe, and prosperous new year!

Here's to Mike Hart keeping his mouth shut, Sean Crable thinking before he acts, and a Michigan victory tomorrow!


Oh, yeah, I forgot... congrats to men's hockey on their GLI championship. It's good to be a Michigan Wolverine!

Katie said...

Happy New Year 93! Be safe!


Joshua said...

"She starts talking and I think, STOP!"

You mean you can think it and not just blurt it out? No wonder I'm still single.

Katie said...

"You mean you can think it and not just blurt it out? No wonder I'm still single."

hee hee, that could be part of it! You have to learn how to do it in a suave way, Like "Baby, don't spoil the moment with words, I just want to look at your beautiful boobies, errr, I mean eyes."


Joshua said...

Lol. Duly noted Katie.

If there are any Bruce campbell fan's out there "Aw, that's just what we call pillow talk baby!"

Go Blue!

Joshua said...

Oh, and for the record- I'm voting real. It's the angle and the sweater that make them look enhanced.

Btw, did you guys know tight sweaters are the new Cleavage?

Yup, this is me bored at work.

Katie said...

You are at work? Where the hell is my quote? GET TO WORK slacker!

IamCris said...

Lazy today so apologies for not reading the entire thread before commenting.

Erin Andrews, body is the best. Face is your average girl next door. Really and honestly guys, you've all dated a more attractive lady at some point in your life. Ok back to the body....

Go Blue beat UF and I am praying for a upset in the season of upsets.

Katie said...

Someone tell me what the hand wave in front of the face means. I keep seeing it and I am sure it has some meaning? RIght, it has to mean something?

And...before we all go off and bring in the new year let me say HAPPY NEW YEAR to the entire Mzone Family!