THE FLORIDA GATORS might have one more cupcake left on their schedule.
Anybody else think the Gators are feeling kinda mushy and gooey these days, with a half-baked plan to win another national title?
The Gators will not beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game if it doesn't get its offense in sync. 'Bama will win if the game becomes slobberknocker city.
The Gators certainly drooled all over themselves against a bad football team Saturday night in the Swamp. There's no excuse for all the missing points against Vanderbilt, even if the Gators knew they were a lock to play against the Crimson Tide on Dec. 5.
Vanderbilt hung around for three quarters, holding the Gators to 13 points until Tim Tebow ran in for a score from a yard out to give the Gators a respectable lead. Florida pushed the lead to 27-3 on a tipped pass in the end zone caught by David Nelson.
Sorry, not good enough.
"It was a little bit choppy," quarterback Tim Tebow said.
Obviously, everybody is happy to be 9-0 this season, and on a 19-0 run dating back to 2008.
"There is absolutely nothing ho-hum about what this team is doing," Florida Coach Urban Meyer said.
Sorry. We nitpick because we care.
Where is the dominance and the dazzle, Gators? Are you not the best team in the country? Is this the best you can do against a team that ranked 102nd in rushing defense in the NCAA, and 55th in total defense? And yet, the Gators putzed around for much of the game, as if they were disinterested spectators.
Where is the pursuit of perfection everybody is talking about?
There will be no perfection unless Florida finds all those missing X's and O's. It would be excusable if this wasn't an issue in previous games, but Florida fans remember all the stumbles against Arkansas and Mississippi State in recent weeks. The momentum gained against Georgia disappeared.
Complacency is a coach's worst enemy. Meyer doesn't need me or anyone else to remind him of this. He's got it covered. But he's dealing with a bunch of young adults who will be impressed with their press clippings, the No. 1 ranking, the chance to repeat as national champions, yada-yada-yada.
Meyer will have to be a diligent traffic cop to make sure the Gators Bandwagon doesn't crash on the way to Atlanta, much less Pasadena.
No matter how good a team is, no matter the level of competition, stuff happens when a team is on cruise control. We saw that Saturday night.
Two of the three remaining teams the Gators face this month can give them trouble if the Gators think they can just show up and scream "We're No. 1." Steve Spurrier will get his South Carolina team primed to play, and FSU may be playing its last game of the Bobby Bowden era. Is there a better way to close it out than to spoil the season for Florida?
Barring any of those catastrophic missteps, Florida will close out the regular season undefeated before facing Alabama. It will be one of those colossal deals if both teams stay undefeated, of course. The SEC will bumps chests with anybody in the country, knowing that the conference can beat up your conference, plus its little brother. Having two of the top three teams in the country allows you to shout it out loud, and then some.
Alabama is 9-0 for a second consecutive season, a first since the 1973-74 seasons during the Bear Bryant era.
The Gators are shooting for the first undefeated season in school history after losing only one game last season.
This is why it's great to be a Florida Gator these days.
Emphasis on great. Those are the expectations in Gainesville. Everybody embraces that word in the chase of another national title.
Good isn't enough anymore, Gators. Fair or not, it's an albatross you must bear the rest of the season.