Tuesday Report

In his usual optimistic tone, South Carolina Lou Holtz spoke positively about his next opponent. Holtz said the Gators are the best team in the East....

It's nothing new for South Carolina coach Lou Holtz to hype up an opponent. As he spoke Tuesday about his next opponent, though, you almost started to believe him.

Holtz said he thinks the Gators deserve the opportunity to play for the Southeastern Conference championship.

"I think right now, Florida's playing better than anybody," Holtz said. "Tennessee's win at Miami was impressive, and I know Tennessee beat Florida early in the year, but that's not the same Florida team now that played Tennessee earlier in the year."

While the Gators likely won't be able to make it to the championship game unless the Volunteers lose, Holtz' suggestion would give Florida a better chance.

"Let the three teams involved decide it," Holtz said. "And the way you do it is, you vote for one of the two teams you're tied with, but you can't vote for yours. If that's still tied, then I think the athletic directors that aren't involved should make that decision."

Florida's media corps continued to pick Holtz's brain on Tuesday's teleconference about subjects ranging from college football's national championship scenario to the excessiveness of conference realignments.

The more important question, however, remains how long the Gamecocks' coach will hang around before retiring.

"I have no idea," Holtz said. "I'm just trying to get this thing straight here as best we can. I never put a time limit on that.''

For now, Holtz will simply focusing on the upcoming game against the Gators. And, of course, he's expecting an impressive opponent.

"I told our team, don't even look at any film before Ole Miss, because that's not the same Florida team you're going to see," he said.


As several Gators can recall quite clearly, Florida was in a similar situation last season when it came to the conference race. While the Gators handily defeated the Gamecocks 28-7, Georgia held off Auburn on the same afternoon.

Despite Florida's success, the Bulldogs' win killed the Gators chances at an SEC East title. Several players found out about the Georgia game on the sidelines, while others didn't find out about the bad fate until after their own game.

"We were happy that we won the game, but we were disappointed for ourselves knowing that we should have done more things earlier in the season," DT Kenny Parker said. "It made me sick to my stomach."

The Gators hope history doesn't repeat itself. Parker remained cautiously optimistic Tuesday about the consideration of a Tennessee loss. But that's not saying they aren't hoping for such an occurrence.

"I sure hope so," said Parker, when asked if he believes the Volunteers will lose. "I think so, to be honest with you. I think they will [lose], but we can't control it. It's a lot of pressure. I don't know what they're thinking about. I don't know if they're ready or not."


TB Ciatrick Fason watched practice in a sweat suit after coming down with the stomach flu….True freshman DE Julian Riley underwent surgery to his ACL, and expects to return in time for spring drills. Riley was yet to see action and previously intended on redshirting.

Fightin Gators Top Stories