Coming into the game, all I heard was that Oklahoma’s defense shouldn’t even be allowed to come onto the field and that Florida’s defense was just too fast for even Sam Bradford and the Oklahoma Sooners’ high-octane offense to do much of anything.
For a moment, I thought maybe the Soooners would just stay in the hotel and play XBox, since the result was already in hand.
But while Oklahoma’s defense was ranked 58th in the country and thus no match for Tim Tebow and Co., everybody should’ve slowed down for a second. Oklahoma was rattled by injuries on its defense and it wasn’t exactly a shut-down unit, but when the offense is blowing people away and teams are forced to try to play catch-up all the time, you’re going to give up a few breakers.
That said, Florida’s defense isn’t necessarily the greatest thing since the 1985 Bears. I mean, what offensive juggarnauts were the Gators playing in the SEC this year? After Georgia, what was there? Auburn? South Carolina? LSU? Please.
Guess I’m glad both teams decided to show up and go ahead and play, because it made for an entertaining game.
Got to say, after all of that, both defenses were pretty much on the mark, making both Tebow and Bradford seem human for long stretches of time. I wonder what the over-under for interceptions was coming into the game. .5? 1? And yet the over would’ve been the pick.
Two huge — HUGE — goalline stands in the first half for the Gators. Different game, maybe a different winner, without those.
Coming in, I picked Florida to win. I just thought, after seeing the other Big 12 teams and their various forms of the spread in bowl games, that if the Gators were able to get any pressure on Bradford, that they would prevail.
An interesting stat: Bradford was hit — either a sack, a rush or even a tackle on a run play — just once in every 13 snaps. That’s incredible.
But the way Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell struggled against a quick and able Ole Miss defense, throwing off the Red Raiders’ timing, and even to a smaller extent, the way Ohio State did the same to Texas QB Colt McCoy for the first half, could have foreshadowed Bradford’s struggles.
When he had time to survey the field, Bradford was a deadly assassin. But his jersey was rumpled and had grass stains against the Gators, and the interception with 10 minutes to go is telling.
I was hoping for a pinball game, something with both teams scoring in the 30s or 40s and going back and forth.
This was the second choice though — a hard-fought, earn-everything kind of game.
17-14, Florida, third-and-12, with 8 minutes to go — and the Oklahoma defense can’t stop Tebow, who ripped a 16-yard strike to Riley Cooper.
There’s a chance that that play right there — one few may remember — will wind up being the play the won the game for Florida and lost it for the Sooners.
Oklahoma’s second chance to win the game and only give up a field goal at 17-14, Florida helped again with a false start penalty to make third-and-1 third-and-6 inside the Soooners’ 20 — yet again Tebow finds a way to get a first down.
The Oklahoma defense will likely catch a lot of grief for this series that decided the game, but I think it’s more Tebow making plays than the Sooners failing to come up big.
And there’s the ballgame — Tebow to David Nelson, on a jump pass, no less, and it’s 24-14 with 3:07 left.
Let the Tebow Lovefest continue.
I bet Notre Dame fans just hate the Florida Gators.
The strange thing is, after another loss in a BCS game, Oklahoma fans and boosters are going to begin working on running Bob Stoops out of Norman and into the NFL.
Which is beyond stupid. But it’ll happen.
Tim Tebow — 236 yards passing, 107 rushing. Two TDs, two picks.
And this just in: there’s a report that Barack Obama voted for Tim Tebow for president back in November.
And so the Gators win their second title in three years, pushing Urban Meyer ahead of Steve Spurrier on the “Best Coach in Florida History” list.
See, it’s not all bad.
So is Florida the real national champion?
What about Southern Cal? Utah? Texas?
No, it’s Florida. Utah could conceivably have a case, and it would be nice to see three more games decide this all once and for all, but the Gators are a pretty good choice here.
Couple of quick hits — Charlie Strong, Florida’s defensive coordinator, needs a head-coaching job and should get one right now; Percy Harvin is good; I hope Tebow at least gets a shot to be an NFL quarterback, no matter how it ends, just to see what happens; Oklahoma should go from playing for a national title to being ranked around fifth, right?
One last thing: at least with ESPN buying the rights to the BCS games, we’ll finally have people who actually covered and followed college football during the season bring us analysis. This Fox stuff with Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson in studio is a joke. And, for the most part, so were the game broadcasts.
It’ll just be nice to get Brent Musburger and Co. in the booth.