Chomp

AP/Chris O'Meara

AP/Chris O'Meara

Florida 24, Oklahoma 14Well, I wasn’t too far off, a touchdown a piece. Not bad.

We come not to bury Tim Tebow; we do have some praise for him, and he had a very good second half after a bland first half with two picks. The reason the “Greatest QB EVAH!” (according to just about every damn commentator Fox and ESPN can muster) was even able to overcome his early mistakes was because Charlie Strong and his defense put an absolute lock down on the Oklahoma no-huddle offense, forcing them to slow down, call time outs they normally don’t, and did what not even TCU could do: hold them under 20 points by tightening up when the Sooners got into the maroon (I can’t believe I borrowed that from Easterbrook) and red zones, including an early 4th down stop that set the tone for the rest of the game.

Sam Bradford could only finish a couple drives to Jermaine Gresham, not looking anywhere near the form that earned him a Hesiman Trophy, because he was rushed and his receivers covered fairly well most of the night. It was a slog ’em out where Florida, for the most part, when it scored, did what I thought it would do:  get the ball moving down the field, keeping it out of the hands of that offense, and the Gators would hamstring themselves with some dumb, cheap false start penalties, too.

Let’s be clear: Tebow is not the most dominant or best player ever in college football, no matter what Crazy Uncles Verne and Gary, various Four-Letter talking heads, and Thom Brennaman tell you*. This is the first national championship that is all his own as a leader; he was an important cog in 2006-2007.  This wasn’t dominance on the level of Vince Young in the 2006 Rose Bowl; that’s still the gold standard when we think of pure, unvarnished football domination by one player in the modern era, and rightfully so.  But to give Tebow his due without slurping, I’ll say this: that Gator team feeds off his energy and his presence. This is visible.  There are a lot of great athletes on that team, and they all deserve credit — Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, Anthony Hernandez, the Pouncey twins, Brandon Spikes, Jeff Haden, Jarious Jenkins, et al.  — but Tebow’s virtue is that he’s really good at being the leader of the team along with being a great athlete at the collegiate level. No more, no less.

(*Brennaman’s aural fellatio was particularly obnoxious, and thankfully captured by the Big Lead: “In such a cynical, sarcastic society, oftentimes looking for the negative on anybody or anything, if you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it.”

Go back to the Big Ten network, take Charles Davis with you, and never come back after next year. ESPN’s rights to the BCS cannot come soon enough, not only for these hacks but the studio guys [die in a fire, Chris Rose] and all their other impromptu announcing teams, including Zombie Pat Summerall.  Fire your entire truck and graphics crew while you’re at it.  An idiotic number of band shots and an inability to break down what defenses were doing are the death of television football broadcasts, and Fox is not helping, on either the pro or collegiate levels.)

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Ill-Advised BCS Championship Game Prediction

Getty Images/Doug Benc

Photo: Getty Images/Doug Benc

Not like this ever pans out or means anything. Please see everything under the “previews” category so you can observe my hit and miss ratio at this sort of thing, always.

So, consider the spectacle in Miami tomorrow, in which we only have the track records of the two 12-1 teams competing at Dolphins Stadium and their conferences to wage any sort of hacking through the guesstimation muck in order to consider what the end result of a BCS “championship” game might be (championship in quotes for damn good reason; Utah’s bid being the top one) between Oklahoma and Florida. We have the team with the fastest athletes playing the team that runs its offense the quickest.

Ultimately, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Florida will have all its playmakers, no matter how gimpy Percy Harvin may be — and OU is missing DeMarco Murray, which will hurt them in a sizable way, despite the capable back-ups available to take his place, Murray is a unique presence in that backfield.  Secondly, after watching two of the Big 12 South’s teams look rather pedestrian in bowl games, the equation is starting to skew a bit — and that’s before you consider that Bob Stoops has spit the bit in four consecutive BCS appearances, most recently, the Orange Bowl loss that was a wonderful rebound fuck of sorts for West Virginia after Rich Rod’s ignominous and acrimonious exit; as a result, WVU then decided to turn that ho Bill Stewart into a housewife (and has paid for it by wasting Pat White’s senior year in a bowl named after the dudes who fix your brakes.)

Meanwhile, the UF offense does not come unfocused much, and while the OU defense was stout enough to get by, there’s something that’s always unnerved me about a tema that’s compelled to put up half a hundred as often as possible — and sometimes they’ve actually kind of needed it (witness Kansas State, in which the Sooners actually allowed a 20+-point swing when up by gangbusters; it didn’t matter in the end, but you notice.) By default, it appears Florida’s defense will likely be the second best the OU offense faces, behind TCU — but the Horned Frogs don’t have anything close to an offense attack to respond in kind.

I will say Florida, 31-21, thanks to slow play from Tim Tebow and his corps of speed talent — an offense just as capable of slowing the pace down in order to keep the Sooners’ O and Sam Bradford off the field.

Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault

Boise State Oregon Football
Here are the final BCS rankings:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Texas Tech
  8. Penn St.
  9. Boise St.
  10. Ohio St.

Here are the BCS bowl match-ups (along with the rest of the bowls):

  • Title Game: Florida vs. Oklahoma
  • Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
  • Orange Bow: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
  • Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama
  • Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas

Now, who really got screwed? (Besides everyone; this system makes everyone feel like a loser without a fair shot to really prove who’s the best on the field.) Texas is still griping about not playing for a national championship, or to prove that it belonged in Kansas City on Saturday.

But Boise State has a real reason to bitch. As far as I see it, the Broncos have a legitimate claim that they were left out because Ohio State has more fans, travels better, and would assure better numbers in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas.

Ohio State lost twice, both times to BCS teams: the first to USC, who absolutely drubbed the Buckeyes in a heavy-handed fashion, leaving QB Todd Boeckman unable to see straight; the second to Penn State, in a defensive showdown in Columbus.  As far as teams to lose to, those are not bad ones, but they’re still two losses. What makes them more worthy than a second at-large team from a non-BCS conference? Strength of schedule or conference? The Big Televen, outside of Penn State and an OSU team trying to figure out its transition process between Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor, was absolute medocrity, with only Northwestern making any real attempts at trying to rise above its station.

10-2 in a down BCS conference shouldn’t trump undefeated from a conference that has sent two teams to the BCS with at large bids in the past two years. Yes, Hawaii got slaughtered by Georgia last year, but everyone remembers the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. That should count for something. Despite a year in which there was a bit less WAC competition, Chris Petersen led another squad, this one with a redshirt freshman QB in Kellen Moore, to his second undefeated season in the past three years.

There’s no rationale for the OSU selection outside of money, and that’s understandable, because the bowl games, including the BCS Championship Game, are a business. The primary goal is to draw eyeballs to the TV and fans to each of the neutral sites for sellouts. Ohio State is guaranteed to do that better than Boise State will; they have good, dedicated fans that will travel anywhere for a squad with a BCS bid. But let’s not act like they belong there.

The problem is that we keep pretending that this is the way to “select” a national champion in Division I-A (suck it, FBS) football because the NCAA doesn’t have the balls to tell the conference commissioners that it’s past time to stop farming out a sport’s post-season to outsiders.  The NCAA is in the thrall of its conferences and cannot do anything about it when four of the six commissioners of those conferences won’t even vote on a plus-one system.

Thus, Boise State will take on Texas Christian in what may be the best non-BCS bowl game in the Pointsettia Bowl. Hell, it sounds like it’ll be much better than the Orange Bowl.

It’s too bad the BCS selection committee can’t see it that way.   Of course, you cannot make men understand something if their jobs hinge on them not understanding it.