The secret is out; I love college football. College football fueled my desire to start this site way back when on March 19, 2008. But, in the words of everyone’s beloved grandpa Lee Corso, not so fast. The first article posted to The Bull Gator was about college basketball. Okay, okay. That is not entirely correct; the first post was a welcome to the site that three people read—me, the affectionately-named One Eyed Willy, and my mom. But the first post of any substance was about college basketball. (Do not go back and read it; it is not very good.)
In my mind, the most wonderful time of the year is and always will be college football season. A 4-8 record cannot stop me from believing that. There is a second place though and a good one at that. March Madness, the Big Dance, the NCAA Tourney, whatever you want to call it is great. For coaches, for players, for fans, for companies hoping to market the heck out of themselves, for sports in general, college basketball tourney time is a truly glorious time of the year.
It can (and does) get even better. When you are a fan of the nation’s No. 1 team, it is oh so much better. I will not be shy about that fact and at times will even become boastful over the next few weeks, assuming our top-ranked Florida Gators continue what has been a most wonderful stretch of victories. When your team makes the tourney, you are pleased. When they make a run, you are over the moon. When they enter as the prohibitive favorite to win it all, well, like the Grinch’s heart that day, your chest grows three sizes. If I played fantasy basketball, I would bet on the Gators for much more than the fact that I am a fan.
There is an obstacle between the Gators and the NCAA Tournament, sort of. Florida must first make their way through the SEC Tournament. A conference tournament championship will only solidify the Gators claim to the top overall seed, but it is far from necessary. We all would like Florida to carry momentum in to the bigger of the two tourneys, but a loss would not be the end of the world.
Wait, forget I said that.
Too many times in the past we have justified losses. Let us go ahead and stop that now. Yes, it is true a loss in the SEC Tournament would not destroy all hope of a Gators’ national championship, but it is also true that momentum can be a valuable commodity. Florida can go ahead and make it easy on everyone involved if they take care of business over the next three days and go in to the NCAA tourney with three more wins under their belt. Beat Missouri on Friday, take down the winner of South Carolina-Tennessee on Saturday, and win it all on Sunday.
That is all the Gators have to do. Get three more wins out of the way and move on to the next prize. Seems simple enough, and there is that pride creeping up. Expect it to be here for a while; it does not go away.
First things first, beat Mizzou. As always, Go Gators!