Now We Know
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Now we know which two teams will be playing in Miami in a few weeks for the National Championship of college football. Oklahoma and Florida both had impressive victories Saturday to almost certainly finish as the top two teams in the BCS poll, which will come out this evening. Controversy will be abound once again though, as USC, Penn State and Texas (as well as Alabama) all finish with records no worse than the two teams heading to the Title Game.
Before I ramble on for a second, I don't have a problem with Florida playing Oklahoma for all the marbles, I really don't. Right this second, I think it would be hard to say that these aren't the best two teams in America. These two teams convinced me last night that they could beat anyone set in front of them at this moment. Yet, even wwith the two teams turning it up a notch on national TV yesterday, arguments will be all over the place for Texas especially, but also USC and Penn State. Hell, Alabama, in my opinion, even has a GREAT argument! Their one loss on the entire season was to number 2, Florida - each of the other teams lost to teams ranked way worse than that, such as Iowa, Ole Miss, and Oregon State.
Each of these five teams sit at either 11-1 or 12-1, and all have some impressive wins and stats along the way. Why is it so hard to get a group of "experts" together and say, "Ok, now these five teams, plus Texas Tech, Alabama, and the highest available BCS team that is next (I guess Utah) will have an 8-team playoff." These 8 teams would begin play in two weeks, and play on the 20th, the 27th, and the Title Game on Jan 3rd. Real, real hard.
But I can't even dream playoff for a few more years, so I won't even go there anymore in this article. I will just enjoy the fact that the BCS got real lucky this time. Florida-Oklahoma will be a great game and will, as Kirk Herbstreit said, "have a Super Bowl type feel."
Florida 31 Alabama 20
Main story: Tebow.
It isn't often that a player lives up to his hype, but Tim Tebow has. After winning the Heisman a year ago, many believed he would fall off this year as teams marked him. But Tebow has distributed the ball well all season long to teammates Percy Harvin and Jeffrey Demps, among others, as well as racking up some pretty sweet numbers himself, and his Gators are heading to the BCS Title Game in their home state.
Tebow threw three touchdown passes and had 217 yards through the air, along with another 57 yards on the ground. He made key throws all night long and kept his team fired up with intensity that is hard to rival. He will go down as one of the best college football players of all-time regardless of whether or not he wins his second Heisman or his second National Championship ('06). His physical style as a big, tough quarterback and his lefty throwing motion make him an easy figure to etch into the memory books.
As for the game itself, Alabama hung right in with Florida until the very end of the game, and it is almost symbolic of their season. After a brutal 12 game SEC slate, it appeared that midway through the 4th quarter yesterday, the Tide just finally ran out of gas. Down 24-20, but still with over 9 minutes to go, Alabama did what it hadn't done all season: allow a team to march down the field when they had to. And that is just what Florida did, capped off by a short touchdown pass from Tebow to Riley Cooper with 2:56 to play to give Alabama the dagger.
The Tide should hold their heads up and wait on the second best available bowl for them, maybe a BCS at-large. This season marked a miraculous turn-around for this storied prgram. They gambled on paying Nick Saban that much money to coach their team. But it paid off as Saban brought the Tide firmly back into the national picture in just his second season.
On the opposite sideline, Urban Meyer is quickly becoming THE elite coach in the game. He will be playing for his second national title in just three years at Florida, after leading Utah to an undefeated 2005 season. Meyer's teams are sharp, well-disciplined, and play an offensive style that is unique. Meyer utilizes Tebow to the point of near-perfection, and that is a sign of a great coach: using the best players you have to the best of their abilties.
This was a fun game to watch. Two of the best minds in the game gave us a #1 vs. #2 battle that lived up to the hype.
Oklahoma 62 Missouri 21
Main Story: That OU O-line. Good Lord.
Every time I looked up last night, Oklahoma was moving the football (quickly) downfield. Whether it was setting up for a potent running attack or giving qb Sam Bradford all-night to hit his recievers, this Oklahoma offensive-line is a force to be reckoned with. These guys are big and mean and they will knock your ass straight off of the ball all night long. Problem number 1 for Florida next month: deal with this O-line.
Missouri is not a bad football team. They are not great, but they are not bad. And Oklahoma made them look like a high school team. The Sooners were up 38-7 by halftime, and the game got boring. It is hard to believe after watching OU in recent weeks (60 plus on TT, OK St, and now Mizzou) that this team could have possibly lost a football game this season. I wish I were able to write more in depth about this game, butthe fact is, it just wasnt very entertaining after the first quarter. OU is a dominant team. Period.
This team actually reminds me a bunch of Florida. They have fast athletes on offense, and big lineman. They are well-coached, and they have quarterbacks with experience and unreal leadership skills.
The BCS got lucky, but I'm not about to give them any real credit. Yeah , they might have gotten the best two teams RIGHT NOW to play, which is fine, but it is still a flawed system. This game will be a classic - no way it can't be, but an 8-team playoff would have produced several classics.
Maybe I'm stuck on the idea of a playoff. So what?! I'm allowed to be. And one day in the next ten years a playoff will show up to stay - mark my words. Until then, I will enjoy OU vs. Florida and just wonder if Southern Cal wouldn't show up in a tournament and beat them both in back-to-back weeks.
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