Gator News and World Report (8/6/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, August 6, 2006. Gators are ready to get up and go; Winter optimism fades to fall doubt; Five questions facing UF; Graham's role with Bucs starting to gel; McDonald's goal simple: Ring one up and more...

Florida Gator Football

Gators are ready to get up and go
To say that Urban Meyer is excited about the start of fall practice today would be an understatement. Florida's football coach not only has repeated how excited he is, he even described it as the best time of the year.

n the post-Outback Bowl locker room last Jan. 2, the seniors who had finished as Florida Gators wished aloud to play one more year. Outside, one of them talked about the togetherness of the team coming back.

Five questions facing UF
1. Is there any doubt who will be the Gators' starting quarterback? Read coach Urban Meyer's lips: It's Chris Leak. The last thing Meyer wants is a quarterback controversy, and as long as Leak wins every game, he might not have one. But the minute the Gators lose (or Tim Tebow has a big night in a relief role), it's going to be a topic that won't go away. Tebow is a much better fit for the spread-option offense, but by the end of last season, Meyer had scaled down his spread offense to take advantage of Leak's skills as a drop-back passer. If Meyer can find a way to protect Leak and give him a chance to do what he does best -- sit back and pick teams apart -- then Leak could throw for more than 3,000 yards, which he did before Meyer became the Gators' coach.

Board Games: Sports message boards become major players
Hi, I'm Larry - my friends know me as 1ChopCity1 - and I'm an Internet message board addict. Hi, 1ChopCity1!

OU says so long to title hopes
Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops dismissed starting quarterback Rhett Bomar on Wednesday for violating NCAA rules. OU's national-title hopes left along with Bomar.

McDonald's goal simple: Ring one up
His fingers are bare. And he's tired of feeling naked. Florida defensive lineman Ray McDonald came to Florida dreaming of winning championships. Now he's one of possibly as many as 15 senior starters who could leave Gainesville without a ring.

Gators coach a surfer dude?
Urban Meyer someday might become the gnarliest coach in all of college football. Thursday evening at his home in Gainesville, Meyer was presented with a special Florida Gators surfboard from East Coast Hall of Fame surfer Joe Twombly of Melbourne Beach. And it might not be long before the 40-year-old head coach is getting stoked on the waves in Cocoa Beach.

Florida Gator Earnest Graham

Graham's role with Bucs starting to gel
Earnest Graham satisfies his passion for sweets with gummy bears. He hopes he can satisfy his passion for the NFL by expanding his role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Florida Gator Basketball

2006-07 Western Kentucky Basketball Schedule Released
In addition to playing defending national champion Florida, UAB, Montana, Southern Illinois and Tennessee during that stretch, the Toppers will also face road contests against BCS-league members Georgia and Nebraska this year. Including defending Sun Belt Conference champion South Alabama, WKU will play seven games against NCAA Tournament teams and eight contests against schools that qualified for the postseason last year.

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