I hope I'm not violating some sort of unspoken taboo against early discussion of some of the stuff in Phil Steele's new preview. In case there is, I'll avoid spoiling too many things for those who haven't gotten mitts on it yet, and limit this to one issue: are there any grounds for optimism in the 2009 Georgia-Florida game, given the Gators' scary return of talent from a championship team, and the results of that horrid contest last year?
There appear to be two, aside from Steele's positive assessment of Georgia's potential this year. One, of course, is the bye week before the Gator game; the Dawgs are 10-2 in regular season games after a bye week since 2002, and one of those games was the big win in Jax in 2007. The second is that Florida had a positive turnover margin of 22 last year. And as Steele always argues, such large margins, positive or negative, have a tendency to reverse in the next season. Given the role of turnovers in Florida's one loss last season, that's worth remembering.
As I've said here before, some of us old alumni remember when Georgia used to own Florida as much as Florida has owned us since the arrival of Spurrier. I have no superstitious awe of the Gators; just the realistic awe based on their performance last year and the players they have coming back.