Florida Is The First Piece In Championship Puzzle

Las Vegas made them big favorites. The press made them big favorites. And in the end, Florida deserved to be favorites over Alabama. After an impressive 31-20 victory over the Crimson Tide keyed by two fourth quarter drives, the Gators are almost certainly headed to their second national championship game in three years. Go ahead. Start bracing for all the “look back” video cut-aways and “is two-in-three years a dynasty?” story lines.

tebow sec title

(Sigh. Everything’s coming up Tim Tebow again.)

Tim Tebow may not have put up the prettiest game, and coach Urban Meyer may have cost his team a gimmee touchdown within the final four minutes with an atrociously stupid penalty, but Tebow responded with a pinpoint pass for a game-clinching touchdown anyway. Sorry Nick Saban, guess it wasn’t your year (again) after all. Now Saban’s left to tell John-Parker Wilson to go watch some Two-A-Days. Maybe he’ll pull something from it.

At the end of the day, maybe Alabama just wasn’t that good. They beat an overrated Clemson team in the first week of the season. They beat an overrated LSU team. They beat Arkansas before Bobby Petrino had the Razorbacks going anywhere, and they beat Georgia who, in case you’ve forgotten, just got dumped by a Georgia Tech team that couldn’t make it to the ACC Championship Game in the downest of down years. Put all those wins together and its still pretty hard to tell if the Crimson Tide are particularly good at all.

urban meyer gatorade bath

(Did he need another bath? Didn’t he just have one? How bad can he smell?)

Did Tebow do enough to win a second-straight Heisman Trophy? Maybe. He threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns, he almost ran for one (he surely would have without the Saban penalty) and he didn’t make any mistakes. That last factor was the biggest in making sure the Gators won, but Tebow will need all the statistical ammunition he can get to get on top of Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Texas’ Colt McCoy. And Tebow didn’t have Percy Harvin to play — and pad stats — with. With Bradford and McCoy sure to split some of the votes, Tebow’s definitely got a good shot. Not that being named the SEC Championship MVP will be a king-maker.

Now we all get to sit back and watch as the plot thickens even further with Oklahoma and Missouri facing for the Big 12 title for a second straight year. Whether the Sooners should be there or not is one issue, but whether Missouri can mount any kind of a legitimate challenge is another. Last year the Tigers got housed with a berth in the national championship on the line. This year, they can return the favor, and quarterback Chase Daniel can help the team he pulled for throughout childhood, the Texas Longhorns, get there in Oklahoma’s stead.

Hey, no matter what happens, we can sit back and be assured of the most important consideration: At least Florida won’t be playing Ohio State. We’ve seen that movie before. The ending sucks.