Editor's Note: Clark here is a long-time Tampa guy, while Janie is a long-time Gator. They both offer differing viewpoints on this weekends USF v. UF matchup. While Janie says 'Go Gators' (read that here), Clark picks the Bulls.
Jane, you obviously intelligent standard bearer of decency and reason.
I didn't graduate from USF or UF as I never attended college (something about them having "standards" and only allowing smart people in. Whatever) so I don't really have a horse in this race. Or rather, a bull in this ring nor a gator in this swamp. I am what the college kids might call a "townie". And the town I live in is Tampa, home of the mighty USF Bulls! As such, that is where my allegiance lies.
In addition to my natural inclination to root faithfully for my home teams, it's really just been a lot of fun to cheer for the Bulls. Every other start-up sports entity in Tampa Bay has gone through ridiculously severe growing pains that have taxed the fan base mentally and emotionally. Not so much with USF football though. If Tampa Bay sports was The Simpsons, USF football would be Lisa. They hit the ground running in 1997 and have charged from milestone to milestone, bowl game to bowl game and conference to bigger conference with nary a stumble along the way ever since, It's been nice.
They're still new enough at this to be experiencing First Big (fill in the blank) moments on a regular basis. Heck, they just went though their First Big Scandal (and subsequent First Coaching Change). This trip to Gainesville is the latest step in the journey. The Bulls have already surpassed the FIUs, FAUs and UCFs. And while they haven't figured out Miami (yet), they thumped FSU at their house pretty soundly last season. A good showing against the Gators...and Bulls fans aren't unaccustomed to getting wins in situations where "a good showing" would have sufficed...is another argument for The Big Three to be re-branded The Big Four in the state of Florida, with USF right there in the mix.
Plus, it seems to me that the Gators may have spoiled their supporters with all their success over the years. Last Saturday, I was bombarded by Gator fans on Twitter bemoaning how awful their team looked in a game they eventually won by 22 points. In addition to being a fan of the home team, I'm also a fan of giving somebody crying something to cry about.
As a townie, I may not know the words to the USF alma mater, but I do know how the fight song goes, and I hope to be singing it loud and proud on Saturday.