Dec. 8: Taking a look at all the bowl matchups, including how Florida will beat Oklahoma.
Florida Gators 89, Oklahoma Sooners 86. Tim Tebow hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
OK, we’re kidding.
But not by much.
This is going to be fun, fun, fun. Yes, the BCS format is as arguable as ever. Who’s to say one-loss USC, one-loss Penn State and one-loss Texas — not to mention unbeaten Utah and unbeaten Boise State — shouldn’t get a shot at this prize?
But the computers have computed, and the humans have spoken. What we have is Florida-Oklahoma, and that’s not too bad. Unless, of course, you are a fan of grinding defense.
This is rock-em, sock-em action.
And in that setting, in that kind of game, we like the Gators.
Let us count the ways ...
The game features the last two Heisman Trophy winners — Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Florida’s Tim Tebow.
Or, if you prefer, Tebow and Bradford.
If you choose one player, it’s Tebow.
If you hold a draft of college football players, Tebow is the No. 1 pick.
He’s more of a weapon because, well, he has more weapons. Used to be, he was a single-wing bulldozer, a player capable of moving the pile for 4 or 5 yards at a clip. He still does that on occasion. But right before our eyes, he has morphed into a complete player, a big-time passer who utilizes all of his targets, a legendary leader who seems capable of willing his team to victory.
Bradford’s statistics will blow you away — 46 touchdown passes, just six interceptions. Oklahoma’s offense, which scored a record 702 points in 13 games and had a record five games that surpassed the 60-point mark, looks like it’s straight from a video game. So maybe it’s difficult to think of it in real terms.
Tebow has seen more adversity. Tebow has been tested more often, even back in his freshman season, when he was the change-of-pace option behind Chris Leak. Tebow has raised his game, adding layers of context.
It is easy to get intoxicated with stats. That generally happens in every big game, especially the NFL’s Super Bowl. But we tend to overlook the intangibles. And in that respect, Tebow’s skills are off the charts.
He’s the modern-day Knute Rockne, delivering a tear-filled apology speech following the 31-30 loss against Ole Miss, pledging he’d do everything in his power to make Florida a national contender again. And he did. Florida became a buzz-saw in the season’s second half.
He leads. They follow.
Even with a compelling game and remarkable statistics, Bradford can’t match all of Tebow’s qualities.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? Tebow is the ultimate leader.
But Harvin is the X-factor.
Harvin is the player who inspires the most fear in a defense.
Harvin is the player who can’t be shut down.
How do you describe this guy? He’s a touchdown-maker, part-receiver, part-tailback, a human blur. He didn’t play in the SEC championship game because of injury, and the Gators still toppled unbeaten Alabama. With Harvin back in the lineup, imagine the quandary awaiting Oklahoma’s defense.
Yes, let’s talk about defense.
Contrary to popular belief, it will exist in a Florida-Oklahoma game.
Here’s the difference. Oklahoma, at its best, outscored opponents. Florida, at its best, shut down opponents. The Gators allowed a measly yard — just 1 yard — to Alabama in the fourth quarter of the SEC championship game.
Oklahoma, at its worst, couldn’t stop Texas. Florida, at its worst, largely beat itself against Ole Miss (losing three fumbles and allowing a pair of long touchdowns to the Rebels on busted assignments).
Oklahoma, down the stretch, put up amazing offensive numbers. But Florida, down the stretch, crushed its opponents, embarrassing Georgia, slamming Florida State and handing the worst loss ever to Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks, who managed just 173 total yards and six points.
The Sooners rolled through the Big 12 (except for that pesky Texas game), but they haven’t seen anything like the Florida defense, a fly-to-the-ball, physical, athletic unit that is liable to dictate the flow of this BCS title game.
CFT: In a shocking move, QB Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame.
CFT: Former Penn State signalcaller Steven Bench joined the South Florida Bulls, he announced on Twitter.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
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Penn State football coach and 2012 National Coach of the Year shares the challenges in turning around a program shattered by scandal. Real Sports premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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Gators win BCS Championship Game
No. 1 Florida 24, No. 2 Oklahoma 14