COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- There were two distinctly SEC elements to Florida's 20-17 victory over Texas A&M on this historic Saturday deep in the heart of Texas.
The atmosphere, passion and pageantry were off-the-charts good. We're talking Baton Rouge, La., good; Tuscaloosa, Ala., good; and Athens, Ga., good.
The Aggies are going to fit right in.
Unfortunately for them, though, they also got a taste on the field of what lies at the core of SEC football, particularly in the second half.
"It's smash-mouth football, winning the line of scrimmage and getting it done in the fourth quarter," said Florida junior offensive guard Jon Halapio, reciting the second part of what made Saturday's game a vintage SEC affair.
It wasn't always pretty and teetered on being boring in spots, but was yet another reminder that grinding it out is a way of life in this league.
The Aggies will learn. They are well-coached and have the personnel to play with most of the teams in this league. In fact, they were clearly the better team in the first half Saturday and the team that dictated the tempo.
But the Gators were successful in turning it into more of a scrum in the second half, and they already had endured all the lessons they could stomach last season about being physical and playing for 60 minutes.
For Chris Low's full column, click here.