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Category: Florida Gators

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Gators can’t convert at end in loss at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Tyrece Radford scored 26, including the final three points of the game, and Texas A&M rallied to beat Florida 67-66 on Saturday. Zyon Pullin hit a jumper to put Florida up 66-64 with 3:04 remaining, but the Gators would not score again. Radford made the second of two free throws with 2:37 to go and buried a go-ahead jumper with 35 seconds left. Florida had three shots at the winning basket on its final possession but could not get one to fall. Radford made 10 of 16 shots with two 3-pointers and 4 of 7 free throws for the Aggies (13-8, 4-4 Southeastern Conference),...

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GATORS PODCAST: Is Florida coach Billy Napier’s seat hot or not? (Ep. 211)

By virtually any measure, Billy Napier entered 2024 squarely on the hot seat after consecutive losing seasons and a substandard brand of football. Florida AD Scott Stricklin disagrees and passionately backs the coach he hired to turn around the Gators. Will Stricklin be the one who ultimately decides Napier’s fate? During the latest Swamp Things, Mark and Edgar agree Stricklin has to stand by his man but wonder whether Napier’s approach to the transfer portal relative to the Gators’ competition is the latest red flag. Scott Stricklin on Billy Napier (:00) Adjusting coaching staff (8:05) Need...

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Dalton Knecht scores 39 to lead No. 6 Tennessee past Florida

By Al Lesar Associated Press KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Dalton Knecht scored a career-high 39 points and had 8 rebounds to lead No. 6 Tennessee past Florida 85-66 on Tuesday. Jonas Aidoo had 19 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to help the Volunteers (13-4, 3-1 SEC) win their 12th straight at home. UF AD Scott Stricklin insists Billy Napier is not on hot seat: ‘It has nothing to do with reality’   “Anytime Jonas is aggressive and locked in, he’s a major factor,” said Tennessee coach Rick Barnes. “The guys are starting to understand each other where they need the ball.” Knecht averaged 32 points in...

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College ADs cower in the presence of coaching super-agent Jimmy Sexton | Commentary

Who do you think is the most powerful person in college football? SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey? Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti? NCAA President Charlie Baker? College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock? Influential ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. You’re not even close. It’s college football coaching super-agent Jimmy Sexton, the man who has literally and legally convinced college athletic directors to sign away mega-millions, if not billions of dollars, in one-sided coaching contracts to his grateful clients over the years. Sports agent Jimmy...

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Gators bounce back with resounding win against Arkansas

GAINESVILLE — The Florida men’s basketball team and star Riley Kugel followed their most embarrassing performance with an emphatic response to avoid an inescapable hole in SEC play. The Gators’ 90-68 win Saturday against Arkansas was the bounce-back performance coach Todd Golden’s squad (11-5, 1-2 SEC) and Kugel needed after a 103-85 lopsided loss Wednesday at Ole Miss. The Rebels were the first opponent to crack the century mark against UF since Tennessee in 2008, and Kugel failed to score during just four minutes after getting crossways with his coach. But against Arkansas, to 6-foot-5 Orlando...

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If FSU and other college stars are getting paid, then they should play in bowl games | Commentary

With apologies to the the legendary Simon & Garfunkel and their iconic song Mrs. Robinson: “Where have you gone, Charlie Wysocki? A college football nation turns its lonely eyes to you — woo, woo, woo.” As I sat in the press box for the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl matchup Monday between Iowa and Tennessee, I thought back to the first bowl game I ever attended in this same stadium more than four decades ago. I was a wide-eyed teenager as I excitedly watched the Charley Pell-coached Florida Gators play the Jerry Claiborne-coached Maryland Terrapins in the 1980 Tangerine Bowl. I don’t remember a whole...

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Gators lose 5-star S Xaiver Filsaime to Texas, class drops 5 spots to No. 10

GAINESVILLE — Florida football coach Billy Napier’s pivotal 2024 class fell five spots to No. 10 after 5-star safety prospect Xavier Filsaime changed his commitment to Texas. The McKinney, Texas, native was a key member of a class that reached as high as No. 3 nationally in August but declined as the Gators struggled to a 5-7 finish in Year 2 under Napier. Filsaime, the second-rated player at his position per 247Sports, committed to the Gators in April 14 following the team’s spring game. Recruited by Corey Raymond, who was fired Nov. 27, Filsaime chose UF over Georgia, LSU, Oregon and USC. But...

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Alabama knocks off No. 1 Georgia for SEC title

ATLANTA  — Alabama is again the top dog in the Southeastern Conference — and perhaps headed to the College Football Playoff — after ending Georgia’s 29-game winning streak with a 27-24 victory over the No. 1 Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday. Now the big question: Is Georgia’s bid for a third straight national title over? Iron Bowl hero Jalen Milroe threw a pair of touchdown passes and No. 8 Alabama’s defense dominated much of the way after giving up a score on Georgia’s opening possession — a compelling playoff statement for a Crimson Tide team that lost at...

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Changes are coming with Gators among 3 things learned during home loss to FSU

GAINESVILLE — Florida football’s 24-15 flop against unbeaten Florida State followed a familiar, tired script. Coach Billy Napier’s squad staked a 12-0 lead as a sellout crowd at the Swamp rattled backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker on Saturday night. But the Gators (5-7) stumbled down the stretch as penalties, offensive ineptitude and special-teams miscues sent UF to its fourth straight loss after leading during the second half to end 2023 on a five-game skid. “We didn’t have the season we wanted to have,” linebacker Teradja Mitchell said. “When it was needed, we didn’t execute.” Here are three...

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FSU’s Jordan Travis, UF’s Graham Mertz epitomize football courage | Commentary

At the time, three weeks ago, it seemed a bit out of place when Florida Gators coach Billy Napier began his postgame press conference after a devastating loss to Arkansas with a discourse on the innate quality that is a mandatory prerequisite to playing college football. “It takes courage to play this game,” Napier said. “Courage is giving your best with no guarantee of the outcome you want.” Napier should have added: “Courage is also giving your best with an absolute guarantee of an outcome you don’t want.” Like a devastating injury. Napier’s “courage” speech after the Arkansas game rings even...

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