2013 Football Recruiting: Jarrad Davis Flips From Auburn To Florida; Gators Add OLB

Over the last week, the Florida Gators are up one outside linebacker. Last weekend, the Gators added Matt Rolin, but lost Quinton Powell. This past weekend, Florida went back on the positive side, getting Jarrad Davis to switch his commitment from Auburn to Florida.

Davis comes in a mold similar to Powell’s. He is an athletic linebacker that will need to fill out before making an impact at the next level. 247Sports lists him as the No. 30 OLB in the 2013 recruiting class. He has steadily moved up that ranking as he was at one point down at No. 59.

Davis comes to Florida from Kingsland, GA (Camden County) and is regarded as the final linebacker the Gators will take.

Florida Gators Enter Bye Week With Front Row View Of The Top 10

The Florida Gators enter their bye week in a better position to compete than many may have thought. Florida is currently 4-0 (3-0 SEC) and sitting just outside the top 10 in both polls as the AP has the Gators No. 11 and the Coaches has them No. 12. Browse the sports betting sites and you’ll see Florida is still a long-shot to win it all, but we’re all just taking this one game at a time and not even allowing Atlanta or beyond into our minds.

It’s hard to say exactly what we expected of the Gators at this point. There were so many questions entering the season. Who will be the starting/primary quarterback? Can Florida finally produce another 1,000-yard rusher? Will the receiving corps step up? Can the defensive line dominate? Can the offensive line hold up? Will the linebackers remove their invisibility cloaks? Can all the talent in the secondary come together for a truly special season? Will the rigors of an SEC schedule eventually bog down the Gators?

Some have been answered and others are still questions. The way the schedule began, 4-0 was a real possibility, but even then many weren’t sure because of the last two seasons the Gators had produced. Some fans had even settled on 3-1 with 2-2 meaning 2012 would be a disaster. After starting 4-0 and getting an early jump on the SEC East, things are looking up and October doesn’t seem as daunting as it did just one year ago.

The Gators enter their bye week with a familiar foe on the horizon. The LSU Tigers sit at No. 3 in both polls and have a first-place vote in each. After their less-than-impressive victory over the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, that first-place vote should really go elsewhere though. Not that LSU can’t be a top team, but there’s a reason the Oregon Ducks took over the No. 2 spot.

After starting the season strong, the LSU offense sputtered against Auburn. The Tigers’ defense was as dominant as ever, but the offense could best be described as efficient and not otherworldly. 12 points has Florida fans believing the Gators stand more of a chance than they did maybe one month ago; and they do. Steady improvement, stellar fourth-quarter play, and a team that looks to be playing like a team has the Will Muschamp-led Gators believing they deserve to be 5-0 in two weeks time.

Like Florida, LSU is also in the midst of a bye week (sorry Towson, but this could be ugly). It’s a scrimmage-like warm-up for the Tigers and one during which they will attempt to erase the memory of those 12 points and a narrow victory. LSU will be ready on October 6, but so will Florida. The Gators could very well be a top-10 team at that time and should not be overlooked.

Predicting The 2012 SEC Football Season Game By Game (If Each Team Played 1,200 Games)

I guess it’s not that weird, but it is different. We here at The Bull Gator started this last season and figured we might as well continue. (We’re still not sure where our inspiration came from, but we’ve seen similar things done elsewhere, so thanks to anyone that may be doing something like this.) This is our way of predicting the 2012 SEC football season. It’s more than just win vs. loss. Instead, it’s how many times a particular team might beat another. Averages, if you will.

Instead of picking Team A over Team B, we tried to determine how many times we thought Team A would beat Team B if they played each other 100 times. While Team A may be heavily favored over Team B, there’s always that chance of an upset and we try to take that into account. Need an example? Here you go:

If the Florida Gators and Bowling Green Falcons played 100 times, you think the Gators would win 75 of those games. You feel the same way for each of the remaining 11 games on Florida’s schedule. That’s 12 matchups and 75 wins per game. 12 multiplied by 75 is 900; 900 divided by 100 (because in reality, the Gators don’t play each team 100 times; they play each team once) is 9. Therefore, based on your win number for each game, you believe Florida will end up with 9 victories in 2012 for a record of 9-3. Yes, you have technically predicted the Gators to win every game, but a 75% chance of winning each time out is far from perfect.

We set two rules for this exercise. One rule is obvious: A single game must have consistent results. If you believe Florida would beat Texas A&M 75 times, then you also believe Texas A&M would beat Florida 25 times. The other was set to force each of us to pick an overall winner: No matchup can be 50-50. You have to go one way or another even if your chosen mark is 51-49. Ultimately, we’re attempting to predict outcomes and there are no longer ties in college football.

Now that the lengthy (although much shorter than last year’s) explanation is over, here are the results. Discuss, agree with, argue against below.

A few notes:

• The highlighted numbers under the SEC East standings are there to show the only place in the entire standings where we disagreed with each other. Although Vanderbilt ends up fourth overall, individually Willy had them fifth behind Missouri.

• The highlighted schools under the SEC West standings are for the two national title contenders. We both ended up with Alabama ahead of LSU in the SEC West standings; however, if you look at just our picks, that’s not necessarily true. I give the edge to Bama in every game they play, while Willy has LSU beating Bama 55-45. The reason the Tide still come out on top for him is because of greater average confidence in their 11 wins than the Tigers’ 12.

• Finally, the highlighted numbers in the individual team schedules show the games we disagreed on from a win-loss standpoint. Last year, we didn’t disagree on a single game! That’s right, not one. This year there were six, four of which involved Tennessee. I’m not proud to say that in all four of those, I have the Vols coming out on top, but that doesn’t change the fact that we both think their probably a 6-6 team.

There you have it, our long-winded way of predicting the SEC in 2012.

2013 Football Recruiting: DeMarcus Walker To Alabama Crimson Tide Over Florida Gators

2013 defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker has made his decision and it’s not good news for the Florida Gators. On Friday night, Walker committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide over the instate orange and blue. The decision isn’t surprising as many had pegged Walker as a member of Bama’s class.

Walker was on many a Florida fan’s wishlist, but fit may have played a role in his decision to head to Alabama. Walker feels he can play an important role for a team that has been at the top of college football for the past few years.

Although the announcement was predicted to bring good news for Bama, Florida may not have even finished second in the race. Auburn was in it until the very end for Walker and it seemed a sure thing that he would leave the state of Florida to play college football.

With plenty of names still on their board, recruiting is far from over for the Gators. Walker was a big name that got away, but one they were probably not banking on for a while now.

Will Muschamp Wants LSU To Remain On Florida’s Schedule

With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, many discussions have centered around what schedules will look like in the upcoming years. Will the league go to a nine-game conference schedule? Will the divisions remain as is? Will annual cross-division rivals be scrapped? We don’t know which direction commissioner Mike Slive and the SEC will take, but we do know that head coaches are in support of some possibilities and against others.

Will Muschamp has his opinions and isn’t one to shy away from them and one of those opinions involves keeping LSU on the Florida Gators’ schedule.

“I like the every year playing LSU. I think that’s good. I think that’s good for the league. It’s two national programs with the recent success we’ve both had.” – Will Muschamp, Florida Gators’ Head Coach

Muschamp is also in favor of the current eight-game conference schedule and hopes the SEC sticks with it. Regardless, he wants LSU on the schedule. The rivalry that has developed in recent years coupled with the prominence of the game is just too much to throw away and turn into a twice-every-six-years affair.

There wasn’t long ago that I may not have agreed with this. I felt that the other Tigers – Auburn – presented a stronger rivalry and should be the permanent game. It could have just been a fan’s perspective, but that was the game I wanted to see continue. Over time, that feeling has lessened and I’m more than comfortable having Florida play LSU year after year. In fact, I look forward to it with increasing anticipation. The rivalry has intensified and the fanbases have recognized that.

I don’t hate LSU with the passion a diehard Florida fan hates Florida State or Georgia or Tennessee, but I don’t have that deepdown hatred for Auburn either. It’s more of a rival’s respect of sorts and the desire to experience good football. The game has developed an aura about it over the years and is something I look forward to annually. While I still feel a rise of sorts during the seasons Florida plays Auburn, the annually contest with LSU has climbed the charts.

My vote doesn’t count, but I’m with Muschamp on this. The eight-game vs. nine-game schedule is a different argument, but keep playing LSU. The coaches want it, the players want it, and the fans want it. The SEC should want it too.

Baseball Recap: Florida 6 – Auburn 1; Gators Win SEC Tournament Opener

The young guns came to life on Tuesday as the No. 2 Florida Gators defeated the Auburn Tigers 6-1 in the opening game for both teams in the 2012 SEC Tournament. Sophomore starting pitcher Jonathon Crawford struck out nine over five and two-thirds innings to get his fifth win of the season. At the plate, freshman left fielder Justin Shafer drove in three runs and freshman second baseman Casey Turgeon drove in another two. The 41-16 Gators scored first with two runs in the bottom of the second inning and never lost the lead.

Florida has Wednesday off and will be in action again on Thursday, May 24 at 9:00pm. The Gators play the winner of either the South Carolina Gamecocks or the Vanderbilt Commodores who face off on Wednesday. Vanderbilt beat Georgia 4-1 in its first game and South Carolina received a first-day bye.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Florida Gators Get No. 3 Seed In 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament

A win on Saturday would have given the Florida Gators a chance to earn a share of the SEC regular season title, but as the Gators fell to the Auburn Tigers 5-4, so did those hopes. With the loss, Florida found itself as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming 2012 SEC Baseball Tournament.

Florida is looking up the seeding at the No. 1 LSU Tigers and the No. 2 South Carolina Gamecocks. The two gained the advantage of watching the first day unfold when the rest of the field will be in action.

The No. 3 seed earned Florida another game against Auburn. The two face each other for a fourth-straight time at 5:30pm on the tournament’s first day. The Gators are the favorite after taking two of three from the Tigers in the final series of the regular season, but they need to prove it when game time comes. The double-elimination tournament must start with a win for Florida as there are much tougher opponents ahead.

Baseball Recap: Auburn 5 – Florida 4; Regular Season Ends With Gators Loss

The Auburn Tigers edged out the No. 3 Florida Gators 5-4 in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon. Hoping to end the season on a high note, the Gators took the series, but couldn’t beat the Tigers in the final game. The game was tight throughout and it would be a three-run seventh inning that put Auburn up for good and gave the Tigers the victory.

Florida did hit the ball well, totaling 12 hits over the course of the game. However, those 12 hits would result in only the four runs, or one too few. This one came down to the final out as senior right fielder Preston Tucker was thrown out at the plate to end it.

The Gators end the regular season with a record of 40-16 (18-12 SEC). They now head to the SEC Tournament where they will face, yes, Auburn in their first game on Tuesday, May 22 at 5:30pm.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Recap: Florida 10 – Auburn 1; Pitching Dominant, Bats Come To Life

The No. 3 Florida Gators looked like a complete baseball team in their 10-1 over the Auburn Tigers on Friday night. While the Gators’ offense was busy scoring 10 runs and collecting 12 hits, the pitching was putting together a one-run, two-hit performance. The victory gave Florida its 40th win of the season, improving the Gators’ record to 40-15 (18-11 SEC).

Senior right fielder Preston Tucker pushed his career hits record further as he went 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and his 14th homerun of the season. Junior catcher Mike Zunino and junior first baseman Vickash Ramjit also went deep. The blasts were Zunino’s team-leading 15th and Ramjit’s fifth.

One night after junior Hudson Randall pitched a complete game shutout, classmate Brian Johnson went seven strong innings. Johnson allowed just one run and only two hits to improve to 6-4 on the season.

The Gators and Tigers will do it one final time on Saturday at 2:00pm in the regular season finale.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Recap: Florida 6 – Auburn 0; Preston Tucker Sets Gators Career Hit Record

The No. 3 Florida Gators started their final regular season series off on the right foot, defeating the Auburn Tigers 6-0 on Thursday night. The stories of the night were senior right fielder Preston Tucker – now the Gators’ career hit leader – and junior starting pitcher Hudson Randall – who threw a complete game shutout.

Tucker wasted little time breaking his tie with Mark Ellis at 319 career hits. In the second inning, the senior sent a pitch over the outfield wall for a two-run homerun. Tucker would go 3-for-4 on the night, raising the new record to 322. With two games left in the regular season and the possibility of a long postseason, Tucker could add a substantial number of hits to what is now his record.

Hudson was brilliant through nine innings. The junior allowed just three hits and only walked one Auburn batter. The Tigers only put 29 men at the plate throughout the night and Randall finished off the shutout with 106 pitches.

With two games remaining, the 39-15 (17-11 SEC) Gators look to finish with two strong victories. Florida and Auburn face off in game two on Friday at 7:00pm.

Baseball recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.