Six Pack of Observations: BCS National Championship Game

Here are six quick-hit observations on Florida’s 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game.

1. These were the best two teams in college football?
One game shouldn’t make or break how teams are perceived for an entire season (Florida and Oklahoma had tremendous years). But if college football refuses to implement a playoff to determine what teams are the best in the country, than the BCS needed a better showing than that. That was one hell of a sloppy football game, complete with stupid penalties, ugly turnovers and bad decisions by both players and coaches. To say that that wasn’t a cleanly played game would be a gross understatement and anyone from the BCS that can unequivocally state that Florida and Oklahoma were the two best teams in college football after that mess should be embarrassed. This game did nothing to support the notion that college football doesn’t need a playoff system.

2. Utah could play with both of these teams.
There’s no question that Utah’s performance over Alabama was more impressive than Florida’s win over Oklahoma. Again, without a playoff system, how can anyone from the BCS say without question that Utah isn’t the best team in the nation? They were the only team to go undefeated, beat two teams that did/will rank in the top 10 (Alabama and TCU), and they won their BCS game in convincing fashion. The Gators, who absolutely bulldozed everyone in their path after losing by one to Ole’ Miss earlier in the season, lost a game and didn’t look particularly sharp in their BCS victory. Who knows, maybe Florida would shit-stomp Utah on a neutral field next week. Maybe the Utes would run the Gators over like they did ‘Bama. We’ll never know and that’s the problem with the current college football system – it leaves too much to debate.

3. What happened to the shootout?
One word: pressure. Both of these teams did a great job of pressuring the quarterback and disrupting the rhythm of the opposing offense. Oklahoma didn’t see a defense as good as Florida’s all season. But you know what? Florida didn’t see a defense as good as the one Oklahoma trotted onto the field tonight, either. While the offenses played awfully sloppy, you have to give it to the defensive minds on both sides for coming up with great game plans. Tebow and Bradford could hardly set their feet and that’s the main reason why the final was 24-14 instead of 44-38 like most people expected. (Of course, Oklahoma’s struggles inside the red zone played into the low score, too.)

4. Percy Harvin was more valuable to Florida tonight than Tim Tebow.
Harvin (9 carries, 122 yards, 1 TD) was the best athlete on the field tonight – period. And the funny thing was, he played on a bum ankle. With all due respect to Tebow, without Harvin the Gators don’t win tonight. He provided a spark to an offense that seemed to be off all night, he provided Florida with its biggest plays and he opened the door for Tebow in the running game in the second half. Oklahoma’s defense was pretty damn good tonight, but Harvin was even better. I shutter to think how well he would have played if he was completely healthy.

4A. Chris Brown is lighting in a bottle.
Percy Harvin’s play out shadowed him, but Brown was absolutely phenomenal tonight. He was the backbone of Oklahoma’s offense and he picked up some much-needed first downs in the second half. Too bad Bob Stoops and the OU coaching staff decided to run what looked like the same damn play on the goal line when he was stuffed on consecutive 3rd and 4th down plays, because I would have loved to see if he could have scored on a screen pass. He’s so quick.

5. Sam Bradford is the real deal.
Bradford’s final numbers (26 of 41 for 256 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) certainly weren’t as dazzling as they have been all season. But it doesn’t take a pro scout to see that this kid is loaded with talent and doesn’t get rattled. Florida drummed up some decent pressure at times and Bradford often starred down the heat and delivered the ball in a timely manner. And the two interceptions he threw were hardly his fault considering they both hit his receivers in the hands. I think he should stay at least one more year at school to hone his skills and try for a national title again next year. But it’s pretty clear that he has the intangibles to play at the next level. (I’ll let the people in the know determine whether or not he’s got everything else.)

6. Every team would be fortunate to have a Tim Tebow.
He might have annoyed a lot of Sooner fans tonight with his sideline antics, but Tebow is the kind of emotional leader I’m sure every football coach wish he had. He’s got so much fight and determination that he’s easy to root for and I’m sure he has no problem rallying his team, too. I also love how he’ll lower his shoulder and head to fight for just one more inch – there’s no way he’s running out of bounds. I don’t know if he can be a pro quarterback or not, but there’s no question that he’s quite the football player and has a future playing on Sundays (at whatever position).

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