College football kickoff

Parker Fox, Editor-in-Chief

Along with California and Texas, the state of Florida has always seemed to produce the best football players in the country.  So it’s not difficult to figure out why we boast a combined ten national championships between Miami, FSU, and UF.  That being considered, all three programs struggled last season by their standards.  Miami was an abysmal 6-6, continuing to struggle since their days of dominance in the early 2000’s.  FSU led the big three going 9-4, still not up to the standard they set winning two national championships in the 90’s.  UF went 7-6, ending their season with a shockingly bad performance against rival Florida State, losing 21-7 before “redeeming” themselves at the Bowl, beating Ohio State 24-17. 

            The only real hope at redemption in 2012 for the state of Florida rests in Florida State, ranked 7th in both the USA Today Poll and the AP Top 25.   Most of the hype with FSU is based around top notch recruiting classes since Coach Jimbo Fisher took over three years ago.  Skeptics point to the fact that FSU was ranked in the top five to begin last season, only to have a mediocre year with no noteworthy victories.  The dismissal of CB Greg Reid from the team certainly won’t help.  Reid provided the ‘Noles with a serious threat on special teams, always a looking to take a punt return or kickoff to the house.  But after several problems with the law, even FSU could no longer condone his behavior.  The ‘Noles will begin their 2012 campaign this Saturday against the dangerous Murray State Racers. 

            For UF, Head Coach Will Muschamp and his team will try to show improvement over last season, where the Gators showed no resemblance to their elite level of play in the Urban Meyer era.  The Gators will face a tough non-conference slate featuring Bowling Green, Louisiana Lafayette, and Jacksonville State.

            Not to be forgotten are the Hurricanes of Miami, five time National Champions.  The ‘Canes are coming off an awful season, which ended in a self-imposed bowl ban for the infamous violations of NCAA rules which occurred throughout the previous decade.  Considering they received zero votes in the preseason polls, Miami has nothing to lose.  But with NCAA sanctions looming, it’s not a great time to be a Hurricanes fan.  If there is any hope this season for the ‘Canes, it rests in QB Stephen Morris, who saw playing time the past two seasons only when starter Jacory Harris was unable to play. 

            In addition to the Big three, UCF, USF, and FIU each hope to reach a bowl game and relevance in the state of Florida.  Although Florida may not have produced elite programs last season, we definitely have a large quantity.