One would have thought that Tim Tebow and Florida learned from their loss to Ole Miss last year to never take an opponent for granted. Maybe that wasn’t the case on Saturday, but it sure seemed like it.
The Gators are extremely lucky to still be undefeated and when the BCS releases its standings for the first time on October 20, Florida will be extremely lucky if they’re still ranked No. 1.
The word “lucky” might not sit well with some Gator fans, but most teams that play as bad as Florida did in its 23-20 win over Arkansas on Saturday usually don’t win. The Gators turned the ball over four times, benefited from two Razorback missed field goals and had no answer for backup running back Dennis Johnson, who broke so many tackles the stats people will need a calculator to add them all up.
Tebow was good – damn good. He threw for 255 yards on 17 of 26 passing with one touchdown and also added 60 rushing yards on 24 carries. But the key in this game wasn’t Tebow – it was that Arkansas didn’t capitalize on Florida’s mistakes. For all intents and purposes, it was a game they probably should have won.
But “should have” and “did” are two different things. Bobby Petrino’s squad didn’t win and that’s the bottom line. They could have shocked the college football world by beating the No. 1 team in the nation but in the end they choked. That said, this is one of the most dangerous unranked teams in the nation, which they’ve proved over the past two weeks by routing Auburn and hanging with Florida.
Back the Gators. If Alabama comes out and absolutely crushes South Carolina, does the Crimson Tide deserve to be No. 1? Alabama hasn’t suffered one setback this year – not one. I realize Florida still won today, but the Gamecocks are ranked and would therefore prove to be a more worthy opponent than Arkansas.
If ‘Bama produces a rout tonight, Nick Saban’s squad has an argument that it deserves to be No. 1. Tonight should be interesting.