George Edwards's abrupt departure as Florida defensive coordinator to take the same position with the NFL's Buffalo Bills caught most people by surprise yesterday, but it probably shouldn't. Anyone expecting loyalty from coaches these days hasn't been paying attention. Edwards has been an NFL focused guy for his entire career. Apparently he believes being DC under Chan Gailey is preferrable to a college gig, so he's gone. This certainly isn't some sort of crushing blow for Florida, as Edwards had little impact on the recruiting trail in his brief stay and they have ample time to replace him. The timing of the move was not ideal for PR purposes, but I defy anyone who's criticizing Florida for what happened here to find a single player who says he chose to sign with the school due to Edwards. There will be more candidates available for UF to choose from now that they're past national signing day than there would have been in the days leading up to it. It'll be interesting to see what direction they choose to go now.
The day after Signing Day, Lane Kiffin got a verbal commitment for USC from a quarterback. So why should you and I care about that? Because the quarterback in question is 13 years old. He's scheduled to sign as part of the 2015 recruiting class. This crap has to stop. Seventh graders don't need to be getting recruiting hype. Say this kid starts to struggle in the tenth grade, or gets a serious injury - anyone think Lane will still honor that offer? For that matter, anyone think Lane will actually BE at USC in 2015? Why should this kid be potentially set up as a "has been" before he even gets to his senior year of high school? The offer shouldn't have been made and the parents shoudn't have accepted it or publicized it.
Very important win for Florida basketball last night in Tuscaloosa. No one can say this team's boring, that's for sure. It's ridiculous that they have to play again on Saturday against an oppponent who had an extra day of rest AGAIN, but that's what the SEC served UF up three times this year. Mississippi State hasn't played very well away from home, but they're dangerous. Dee Bost may not be full strength after hurting his wrist the other night - that would be a big boost to Florida's chances if he's off his game. Ten SEC wins should get UF into the tourney, eleven definitely would. This is the kind of game you have to win to take the pressure off the ones at the end of the season.
There's an exciting new ride coming to the Kings Dominion amusement park beginning in April. It's a rollercoaster that is modeled on Dale Earnhardt called "The Intimidator". It's taken them so long to engineer it because they had to make sure it only made left turns. Design work continues on the Dale Jr. rollercoaster. That one features the best equipment but for some reason it always goes slower than all the other coasters and frequently burns out its engine.
Ben Folds is coming to Gainesville, as well as Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte. One of the coolest days of my career came back when I was doing afternoon drive for 900/1230 and mentioned I was bummed out that I hadn't got a ticket to the show Folds was doing that night at the Florida Theater before it sold out. After I got off air, I checked the station voicemail and found out that Folds was listening to the show when I said that. He personally took the time to find out our office number and left a message with his cel number so that I could call him to hook me up with a pass. How many famous musicians would ever do something like that? Folds is doing this tour solo with a piano, as opposed to recent shows with a full backing band. Either way, he puts on a terrific show. I'll have to work around the SEC and NCAA tournament because of when the shows are scheduled, so I'll probably go to the Atlanta concert, but I'm definitely catching one. Here's a pair of live videos of my favorites of his - "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You" and "Zak and Sara" (with a full orchestra!) Get tickets - you need to see this show.
Is there anything I've missed? Oh yeah, the Super Bowl. This should be an entertaining game, but even though I'm rooting for New Orleans I can't come up with a good reason not to pick the Colts to win it. It's been a quiet week, with Dwight Freeney's ankle problem and Reggie Bush's 3:30 AM clubbing on Monday the closest thing to exciting news. Remember that no team has ever lost to Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl. That stat may not scare you away from the Saints by itself, but the track record of first time Super Bowl participants should. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.