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Bulldogs Try to Create a Real Stir

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Martini, please, shaken, not stirred. This annual game played in Jacksonville is known as “the world’s largest cocktail party” for its traditional pregame tailgate festivities, but it’s usually the straw that stirs the drink in the Southeastern Conference.

No exception this year.

By winning, Florida can knock Georgia out of the Eastern division race and all but box out Tennessee from the SEC title game. The Gators hold the tiebreaker over the Volunteers by virtue of their early-season win over Tennessee and will finish the SEC season with phone-ins against Vanderbilt and South Carolina.

“If you look at the history of the University of Florida, every year we’ve won the SEC we’ve had to beat Georgia,” Florida Coach Steve Spurrier said.

Spurrier used a week off to put the psychological hammer on Doug Johnson, threatening to include Jesse Palmer in the quarterback mix if Johnson doesn’t start making the coach look like the offensive genius he is.

After sputtering most of the season, and surviving one-point victories over Central Florida and Louisiana State, Georgia played its best game last week in a 49-34 win over Kentucky in Athens, Ga. Quarterback Quincy Carter passed for 304 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 87.

Georgia has become good again in the SEC under Coach Jim Donnan, but the Bulldogs can’t become a national power until they find a way to beat Tennessee and Georgia in the SEC East.

Georgia is 1-18 against those schools in the decade, the only win a victory over Florida in 1997. Georgia’s only loss this season? To Tennessee.

Spurrier seeks his 100th victory as Florida’s coach, but those things aren’t important to humble guys like him.

“Personal accomplishments are not all that important right now,” he said. “Maybe when my coaching days are over I can look back and reflect. But we’ve got plenty of reason to beat Georgia this week, not worry about that number in my coaching career.”

Oct. 29, 1960: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Air Tragedy Remembered

Los Angeles Times

It has been nearly 40 years now, so the wounds have healed over, like an old Sequoia growing steadily around an old burn.

Thirty-nine years ago on Oct. 29, 1960, a brooding Cal Poly San Luis Obispo football team boarded its chartered C-46 airplane at Toledo, Ohio. The Mustangs had been beaten that afternoon at Bowling Green University, 50-6.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane lost power in the left engine. It lurched downward and to the left, crashed, cartwheeled, broke in two and burst into flames. Twenty-two of the 46 on board died, 16 of them players. At the time, it was the worst sports air disaster in history.

For weeks, San Luis Obispo was a familiar dateline, with news organizations reporting on how the little Central California town bore its grief.

One of the survivors was Gil Stork, now 59 and a vice president of Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. He suffered multiple broken bones.

“All things considered, it’s changed my life for the better,” he said recently of the experience. “I’m able to more sharply focus on today’s events, and my relationships with people close to me are better. I don’t think of (the crash) every day like I used to, but I do every time I read about a crash.”

Also on Oct. 29: In 1960, Olympic light-heavyweight champion Cassius Clay made his pro debut, stopping Tunney Hunsaker in six rounds. In 1973, Mark Donohue, 37, won The Times Grand Prix at Riverside, then made a surprise retirement announcement. However, he returned to racing in 1975 and died in a Formula One crash while practicing for the Austrian Grand Prix.

No. 1 Florida State Feeling the

Heat of Runner-Up Penn State

Los Angeles Times

1. Florida State, 8-0; Rankman cuts plea bargain with attorneys to keep Seminoles in top spot.

2. Penn State, 8-0; Paterno thinks Kramer’s BCS is the worst idea since FDR’s WPA.

3. Florida, 6-1; Look out, Georgia, Spurrier is messin’ with his QB’s head again.

4. Tennessee, 5-1; Rankman thinks Vols may be better this year than last.

5. Virginia Tech, 6-0; Third place in BCS rankings is sort of like third guy on a two-man bobsled team.

6. Georgia Tech, 5-1; School’s new promoter, Don King, demands a rematch with Florida State.

7. Kansas State, 7-0; This team has more heart, guts ... jeez, what is Rankman saying?

8. Nebraska, 6-1; Third consecutive loss to Texas has Cornhuskers seeing red-headed Major Applewhite.

9. Marshall, 7-0; School buys sophisticated equipment in attempt to become blip on BCS radar screen.

10. Mississippi State, 7-0; BCS schedule rank of 90 a great selling point to recruits.

11. Georgia, 6-1; QB Quincy Carter pitched a complete game last week against Kentucky.

12. Texas, 6-2; Looks like those “one year away” projections may have been 12 months off.

13. Wisconsin, 6-2; Runaway Dayne lumbers his way back into Heisman race.

14. Alabama, 5-2; Loss to Vols turns team into Alexander’s Ragtime band.

15. Brigham Young, 6-1; Looks from here as if Cougars are playing King of the Mountain (West).