@PeteThamelNYT My story from Columbia on how Florida has turned into a bizarro Ohio State, winning with great defense and special teams.
The headline for his other story: Florida's Bizarro Season
In a fitting slice of symmetry that intertwines this most bizarre college football season and its top-ranked team, Florida is being perceived in some circles as an underachiever. The Gators are 10-0, finished the SEC regular season undefeated for the first time under Urban Meyer and are a favorite to win back-to-back national titles.
They’re also better, at least in the won-loss column, than the team they’re chasing — last year’s dominant unit which won with dominance and panache. (And also lost to Ole Miss.)
Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said he had to remind his staff this week to enjoy the run.
“I told my staff on Tuesday, ‘This is the best ride in the history of the university of Florida,’” Foley said. “If we’re not having fun and smiling, what happens when it’s not this way.”
Florida Coach Urban Meyer said that his team and coaching staff felt the pressure to be perfect.
“We’ll do that every time,” he said of winning by 10 points. “That’s what I’m trying to get across in there. They feel it, and the coaches feel it.”
And he said that the reality of this season had come down to winning ugly at times, something he had openly embraced.
“I don’t know if it’s the most bizarre ever, but it’s awful rewarding,” Meyer said. “We’re getting everyone’s best shot now. When you play the Florida Gators now, you’re getting their best shot.”
And the way this surreal season is going, they may take shots all the way to the national title game.
Its no longer just "Bizarro Tebow" but also the "Bizzaro Gators" and the "Bizarro Season."