- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's been a rough start to 2013 for Florida's Big Two in big games.
Back in January, the Gators' football team, which surpassed all expectations and ended up in a BCS bowl game, imploded inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a 33-23 loss to Louisville. Sunday, the basketball team, which at one point was considered the best team in all of college basketball, was embarrassed 79-59 by Michigan in the Elite Eight. Earlier last month, that same basketball team relinquished a strong lead to Ole Miss and lost the SEC tournament championship game.
Big games have not been kind to Florida's big teams.
Honestly, both teams exceeded expectations, but when it came time to win the big one(s), the Gators fell short. Both regular seasons for both squads built enormous expectations for the postseason, and neither team delivered in the biggest games of all. You could even go back to the Georgia game for the football team during the regular season. If the Gators win that one, they are in Atlanta playing for not only the SEC title but a chance to play in the national championship, and we all know what sort of challenge the Gators would have faced in Miami against Notre Dame.
So it might be time for Florida to change out the Gatorade down there in Gainesville. I can only assume that the Gators use orange and or blue colors. I mean, those are the school colors and all. So maybe switch things up.
There's classic lemon-lime. It's yellowish-green, but it's your go-to flavor.
You have two purple options in Fierce Grape and Riptide Rush. Both are extremely refreshing and the new G2 line has less calories and carbs! But, I guess, carbs are a good thing for games. Might want to stay away from G2.
But you also have Strawberry Kiwi (pink), Tropical Mango (yellowish-orange and a personal favorite of mine), some weird cucumber flavor I once had and your classic red Fruit Punch.
There's also Propel, which is clear, but has some sweet flavors as well.
Clearly, Gators fans should be happy with the regular seasons both teams had, but you can't blame them if they were a little ticked by the way postseason play went. Florida's basketball team should have won the SEC tournament and it should have put up a much bigger fight in that lopsided loss to Michigan. The football team was the more talented team down in New Orleans, but didn't come to play and couldn't respond after getting punched in the mouth.
There's kind of a trend there ...
And that trend can't continue in Gainesville. Fans won't stand for it. This group has been waiting for some real positives on the football side of things, and the Gators can't keep sipping from the same Gatorade bucket they've used in 2013 or things will get awkward between the program and its fan base.
Improvement during the regular season is a good first step, but fans are looking for more of a postseason push ... immediately. That means Atlanta first and foremost.
Expectations will only be higher this fall -- for both programs, really -- so finding a new way to approach big games is very important.
Maybe it's the Gatorade, or maybe it's a mindset thing. I'll let the Gators decide.
4dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough