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Full Version: Zook new era in UF-FSU rivalry
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Can't we all just get along? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bobby Bowden cringed and tried, in his own grandfatherly way, to act upset at the photographer's request.

"Aw, don't make me shake his hand,'' he joked.

Then came the moment no football fan thought he'd see for a long, long time: The head football coach of Florida State sharing a podium, sharing a handshake and actually yucking it up with -- Do you believe in miracles? -- the head football coach of Florida.

"It's definitely different,'' Bowden said afterward.

The Ron Zook era has begun at Florida, and now that Steve Spurrier is gone, so, it seems, is much of the enmity that has defined one of the nation's most-heated rivalries over the last decade.

"Steve had a way of stimulating that thing, irritating it, riling you up,'' Bowden said Sunday at the annual get-together of media and coaches from around the state of Florida. "Most coaches work differently than that. It's going to be different.''

The next big question: Is different better?

Those who say yes are looking forward to a detente of sorts. They chafed at the rawness of Spurrier's attacks on the Seminoles over the years. Last year, he triggered "The Battle of Twisted Knee'' for his inflammatory and repeated accusations that Florida State tackle Darnell Dockett intentionally twisted running back Earnest Graham's knee after making a tackle.

In 1996, it was public accusations of late hits against quarterback Danny Wuerffel.

"I think most of those things will be handled behind closed doors now, at the administrative level,'' said Bowden, who felt that's where those debates should have been held all along.

But Spurrier's role as lightning rod was refreshing, too.

Love him or hate him, he gave people something to get passionate about, and his obstinate political incorrectness stood out in an era when college football coaches act more like CEOs each day.

Zook is taking the more conservative approach in his first year. Big talk, big predictions and picking on Florida State aren't on his agenda.

"Obviously, I've met coach Bowden,'' Zook said. "I assume we'll have a cordial relationship.''

Pushed for a pithy one-liner about his new rival -- Florida fans loved it when Spurrier called FSU "Free Shoes University'' -- Zook demurred.

"I'll try to skip over that,'' he said. "This is one of those rivalries where there doesn't have to be a lot said to get people fired up. There are just certain games on the schedule where you don't have to say a whole lot.''
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img border="0" alt="[Cheers]" title="" src="graemlins/cheers.gif" /> Here's to a GREAT SEASON <img border="0" alt="[Cheers]" title="" src="graemlins/cheers.gif" />

~NOLEY~ <img border="0" alt="[Wavy Guy]" title="" src="graemlins/wave.gif" />
I read about this. They may be a nice little rivarly.
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