Gator News and World Report (12/29/2005)

Gator News and World Report for Thursday, December 29, 2005. Natural selection; Every twist brought these teams together; Gators look sloppy in tourney opener; Meyer to team: Your priority is Iowa, not NFL; Goin' Bowlin'; Cornerback takes part in fourth straight bowl in Florida; UF in need of attitude adjustment; Ferentz: Comeback win defined Iowa's season; Gators caught looking too far ahead; Playoff an 'awful' idea says Iowa's Ferentz and more....

Florida Gator Football

Natural selection
By early in the season, Urban Meyer's much-publicized and much-anticipated spread option offense had become Florida's awkward offense.

Every twist brought these teams together
On a cold night in November, the Chicago traffic was making a bad trip even worse.

Meyer to team: Your priority is Iowa, not NFL
Much of the recent focus on and around the Florida football team has centered on players possibly leaving early for the NFL. Coach Urban Meyer said that's got to stop at Florida, now and in the future.

Goin' Bowlin'
Great UF Bowl moment 1967 Orange Bowl:Steve Spurrier had won the Heisman Trophy, but the Gators again fell short of an SEC title. In Spurrier's last game as the UF quarterback, it was a sophomore running back named Larry Smith who stole the show. In Florida's 27-12 win over Georgia Tech, Smith rushed for 187 yards and ran 94 yards for a score as his hip pads kept rising, giving the appearance his pants were falling down.

Cornerback takes part in fourth straight bowl in Florida
Iowa cornerback Antwan Allen didn't know he was in store for this when he signed to play for Kirk Ferentz. Nowhere in his scholarship papers did it say he'd get a trip back to his home state for a game every year.

UF in need of attitude adjustment
-- It was during the Nov.12 flight from Columbia, S.C., to Gainesville when Urban Meyer finally had more than he could stomach. The first-year Florida coach was disappointed and angry at the attitude on his football team. He was tired of the selfishness and hearing players openly talk of their NFL futures and possible plans to leave school early.

Ferentz: Comeback win defined Iowa's season
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz didn't hesitate a bit when asked about the turning point of the Hawkeyes' season. What was supposed to be a Big Ten Conference title-contending team had fallen to 5-4 after back-to-back losses to Michigan and Northwestern, and faced a trip to Madison, Wis., for Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez's last home game.

Meyer: Focus Can't Be On NFL
University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer told his players to stay on the plane.

Just Playing Bowl Games Just Fine With Iowa, Florida
Good enough to rack up double-digit wins three times and tie for the Big Ten championship twice in the past four years, Iowa is one of those schools that could make a strong case for a college football playoff system.

Bowled over? UF has been
The words of choice change from day to day and player to player. The favorites are uttered with shoulders slumped and describe familiar feelings at Florida for this time of year.

Degory's streak to turn 50 in bowl
The braces on C Mike Degory's knees make him rumble rather than run. The balding on his head make him look decades older than his 23 years.

Gators caught looking too far ahead
It wasn't Florida's woeful offense. It wasn't the injuries. It wasn't even that demanding SEC schedule.

Playoff an 'awful' idea says Iowa's Ferentz
Like the idea of a playoff system for college football? Don't run it past Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. ''I've given it a thought, and I think it's an awful thought,'' Ferentz said. ``College football is not the NFL. To even think it's workable, feasible and good for anybody involved I think is ludicrous.

Vernell Brown has changed positions and moved past the woes of his last Outback Bowl.
Sitting in the far end zone, his mind wandering during the final minute of the 2003 Outback Bowl, Vernell Brown Sr. figured his son's freshman season had come to an end.

Meyer: Selfish Players Sabotaged Gators
No names were mentioned, but coach Urban Meyer made it known Wednesday that his first Florida team is not likely to go down as his favorite.

What could have been for Hawks
Part of the beauty of college football is the uncertainty of it. Unlike the NFL where players get drafted to a specific organization, college football teams are formed by the decisions of fickle teenagers.

What Brownlee did for Iowa
When time expired on Sam Brownlee's 15 halves of fame as Iowa's starting running back, life as he knew it with the Hawkeyes before 2004 returned.

BCS works this year but lacks support from coaches
The set-up used to determine college football's national champion worked just as its designers planned this season, and it's critics were left only with bullets from previous years to poke holes in the system.

Meyer: Gators caught looking too far ahead
UF coach Urban Meyer said his team's losses could be attributed to players thinking past this season to their potential careers in the NFL

Outback Bowl sold out again
The 20th Anniversary Outback Bowl featuring the 16th ranked University of Florida and the No. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes is officially a sell-out. Outback Bowl officials said no more tickets are available for the game outside of the ticket allotments requested by and sent to each school.

Jackson expects to return
Florida's Chad Jackson, whose 81 receptions are seven shy of Carlos Alvarez's single-season record, said Wednesday he expects to return for his senior season -- though he has petitioned the NFL to learn his draft status.

UF's Meyer calls out players
Some of Florida's players were more interested this season in improving their NFL draft status than winning games, Gators coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday

Leak to test Iowa pass defense
Florida quarterback Chris Leak has momentum heading into the Outback Bowl, and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz isn't surprised. "The bottom line is, as the season goes on, everybody becomes more comfortable," Ferentz said Wednesday. "For a quarterback, it's more than just him. It's everybody else doing things. Offense is all about how things work as a unit. It's everybody being comfortable."

Four local football players named first team All-State
Landstown High School star Percy Harvin highlighted a quartet of South Hampton Roads football players selected to the Group AAA All-State football team.

Meyer tries to root out selfishness
UF's coach says a culture of me-first players has been a big challenge during his first season.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

Gators look sloppy in tourney opener
The Florida Gators walked out of the O'Connell Center Wednesday night proclaiming themselves a lucky team. Lucky to walk away with a win.

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