Tight End Jordan Reed fumbled the ball into the end zone in the final minutes of Florida's 17-9 loss
For more than a week now I have been haunted by the 6 turnovers that Florida committed in their 17-9 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. Florida, who was ranked #2 nationally and leading the SEC East at the time, controlled their own destiny; win their games and go to the championship. Following the loss Florida must now add another element to their title hopes: win their games and hope for 5 teams ahead of them to lose.
That is a big and.
That loss was a tough one for me. Well, technically all losses are tough for me. I am not a fair weather fan. I followed the Gators chess team even through their rebuilding years. I bleed orange and blue. If there is a Gator on the uniform then I whole-heartedly pull for them. For whatever reason, I have emotionally invested myself in the University of Florida, a school that I did not even attend.
I know just how hard it is to win a national championship in college football. I have watched three times where the Gators had a near perfect season, losing only once, and still been able to lift up that crystal ball (’96, ’06, and ’08). But I also know that usually that one loss is enough to keep you out of the title hunt. Just ask the ’09 Gators who had a Tebow-led perfect season, then lost in the SEC Championship game.
So back to the 6 turnovers and the loss against Georgia. Things were just beginning to feel like ’06, ’08, and ’09 again. We felt like we were back. Then the 6 turnovers happened. It’s not even that we lost, it’s that we self-destructed.
We had committed just 4 turnovers in the 1st 7 games of the year. Our quarterback, Jeff Driskel, had thrown a lone interception through 7 games. But on that day in Jacksonville Driskel threw 3, and he lost a fumble. Our 2 best offensive players, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed, each lost an uncharacteristic fumble as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pulling for some unlikely upsets and a BCS game for Florida, but right now we are all still hurting from the loss. It’s a tough pill to swallow when your best playmakers turn the ball over and let the team down.
But then I remind myself that football is not the most important thing in life. In fact, it even serves to teach a lesson. We all drop the ball sometimes in life. We don’t mean to, but it happens. And I’m glad that in those times I have a Savior who forgives unconditionally as long as I am willing to confess my sin and forsake it.
If there is something in your life that you are not proud of, repent of it before the Lord, and He will totally forgive it. As a loyal Gator fan I am still proud of Reed, Burton, Driskel, and the rest of the team, but more importantly, I know that God is still proud of me through the forgiveness offered in Christ Jesus. And that is better than any BCS title.