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Fair and balanced, my ass. Our roundtable would have included a representative from the Vol Nation, but "Over the Top" was playing on USA last night, so we had to make a go of it with two Gators and no Vols. (Yet another in the long line of eighties movies that kept Kenny Loggins' eyeball-high beard looking plush thanks to cheesed-out theme song royalties.) We kept reasonably on topic--Urban Meyer's chest hair is fair game, right?--and managed to score at least two quality Phil Fulmer gags in. Mmmm....gravy IV....

We know what the Vol Nation was watching last night. And it was bad.

WATB: All right, let's get this started John McLaughlin style.

EDSBS: Your vibe on Saturday's game... Jackie Germond!!!

WATB: I honestly have no idea what to expect. The Gators have pretty
much scrimmaged the first two games. I think we're fooling ourselves if
we think we've seen the offense Meyer was paid millions to bring to

Meanwhile, UT should have had a "scrimmage" game against
UAB, but it got away from them for a bit. So, in short, while the Gators
have looked eons ahead of UT in the three games the teams have played
so far, I really don't know what we're gonna see scheme-wise from the
Gators. I know what UT will throw out there, I just don't know how well
they'll do it.

EDSBS: Good summary. A trick bag of unknowns at this point.

WATB: I'm probably most worried about our o-line vs. their d-line. We
kinda stunk it up against Wyoming.

EDSBS: Our o-line hasn't broken eggshells yet, which concerns the hell
out of us. That's Tennessee, and Jesse Mahelona isn't some freaky
Nandralone fireplug like Wyoming's nose tackle.

WATB: Those guys are definitely beasts, and they're out for blood under

EDSBS: This game for us is the first real litmus test for UF in a few
ways. First, how much of the Zookiness has been beat out of the team at
this point? Second, how's Urban's O gonna run against a V8-scale
defense like Tennessee's? Third, Leak, Leak, Leak. This game is huge for

WATB: I think, most importantly, this game is a chance to see how Meyer
coaches a big-time conference/rivalry game. They don't play games like
this in Bowling Green or Salt Lake City.

EDSBS: Ja, Ja. Think he's got orange urinal cakes in the johns?

WATB: I'd guarantee it. Meyer doesn't seem like the kinda guy to dig
too deep in the creative well for stuff like that. He'll stick with
what's worked.

UT/UF: Eat or be eaten for Meyer's first big game.

WATB: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (ding!). Next topic?

EDSBS: Matchups.

WATB: Well, we've already touched somewhat on the Gators o-line vs. the
UT front 7. UT's secondary, from what I can gather, is still as awful
as it was last year.

EDSBS: We're calling UT's ends versus Chris Leak. He's going to be
reading them on those option plays, and if they can bust some blocks,
that'll crush those shovel/WR options, and force Leak into bad decisions.

WATB: I wouldn't say "bad decisions." If nothing else, Leak has proven
himself to be the king of self-preservation. In the past, the minute
things look like they're starting to break down, he blows hatch on the
play. That'll be the downfall before any big messups.

EDSBS: But he's never had that "you're mah bitch" game we've been
looking for.

WATB: Never. Some columnist, I forget who, wrote that Leak has been
"more famous than good." That about nails it.

EDSBS: The SEC's full of those right now, actually: Brodie Croyle, DJ
Shockley, Leak, Jamarcus Russell... famous recruits with good, but not
great careers.

WATB: Portis chatter... your thoughts?

EDSBS: We know you're a skeptic, but we think there's something to the

WATB: At Leak's expense, though?

EDSBS: If it pushes him, Meyer will do it. Portis is his prize recruit,
too, which a lot of the punditry cites as being a given motivation for
Leak's replacement. We don't buy that, but we do believe the argument
that the faster player can do some serious pushing on the depth chart in
this system.

WATB: Without a doubt, Portis is the future of Gator football. But
Leak has too much pocket QB talent to be wasted. If Meyer can't adjust
his system to Leak, it's completely unfair to punish Chris. How can you
go from Top 5 Heisman candidate to backup? I just can't see it
happening. Portis's presence is good to keep Leak on his toes, but I think
Meyer's crazy if he actually ever considers making a change. Let's hope
there's never any reason to.

EDSBS: Agreed. He's a change of pace QB at this point, meant to disrupt

Leak...Portis...both have to worry about Jesse Mahelona. In Hawai'ian, Mahelona means "Caution: do not anger."

WATB: So at least we agree that Portis is now nothing more than a
distraction for our opponents. My issue with this Lakeland Ledger column
was that the columnist took Portis's current role, and spinned it into a
supposed controversy. A) That's a hack columnist trick. B) It's way
to early to play that card. Wait until we lose a game first.

EDSBS: There's no plausible deniability in Meyer's motivation -- he
seems capable of doing something like that. And that's the point -- if it
pushes both QBs, so much the better for him. Bill Parcells stuff
without the mantits.

WATB: And here we go veering off topic... I saw Meyer's call-in show
tonight. First time I've seen Urban in a polo without an undershirt.
He's got a serious chest hair sweater going on. It looked like he was
smuggling a brown, shag bathmat under his shirt. Chest hair: better or
worse than mantits?

EDSBS: Masculine! As a pelt wearer ourselves, we have to say mantits
are worse. And right back off the segway and onto the freeway of
coordinated discourse... speaking of mantits, what's Fulmer concerned about

WATB: Wait for it...

WATB: Wait for it...

WATB: The Hardee's closed a couple of months ago.

EDSBS: NOOOOOOO!!!! What the fuck?!?

EDSBS: Kind Tennessee alumni will just have to have the gravy IV
waiting on the sidelines postgame.

WATB: Gravy = comedy

EDSBS: Your Pam line almost made me crap my pants today, by the way.

WATB: Thanks. I've been doing Fulmer fat jokes for years. This week is
sorta a "best of."

EDSBS: No shit. We actually feel bad about some of the things we've
written this week...

WATB: No way. I generally play things pretty straight, but this week I
get to throw around some smack.


EDSBS: Whew. That felt like treason coming out of our hands. Glad to
rectify it two lines later.

WATB: Atta boy. So, I gotta ask... is Stranko like the "Teller" of your

EDSBS: You mean the smart one? Oh, yes. Like Teller, he's fond of being
mock-killed for entertainment's sake, too.

WATB: But who isn't?

Stranko and Orson, the Penn and Teller of the College Football World.

WATB: So, back on track... Gameday plans for you? Go.

EDSBS: Wife's got a picnic scheduled, so we have to play the part of
asshole husband football addict and spend half the time hunkered inside
checking scores, but we'll be freed up for the Tennessee game at the
Brewhouse, where we will more than likely require a thorough
pepper-spraying after a few of those German-size high-proof beers. You?

WATB: Bru's Room in Pompano Beach, which has about 300-400 Gator fans
each game. My crew and I will probably get there to claim a table at
about 3:00. Anyone in South Florida who hasn't caught a Gator game there
is really missing out. It's the closest thing to a Gainesville bar
outside Alachua County.

WATB: Any threats from Tennessee peeps this week?

EDSBS: No, just bizarre psychoanalysis in the comments. Check it out:
"I hate myself because I'm a Gator fan." That's self-LOVE, dammit. And
believe us, we know a thing or two about self-love. Just ask the ladies
in the park.

WATB: Exit 67 Rest Area been good to ya?

EDSBS: Plenty of Swindle DNA left there, for sure. Any concluding

WATB: I can't stress enough that this game is pretty much our entire
season, and it will likely define Urban Meyer's career in Florida. Other
than that, it's just another game.

EDSBS: No pressure. Just the fate of the whole year, that's all. I'll
be in the gutter on Sunday morning, smashed laptop, bottles and misery
all that remains of my soul.

EDSBS: If we lose, of course.