BCS National Championship Game Preview

John StepnickCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2009

Everyone knows the big storylines in this game. Florida is coming out of the SEC with the vaunted "SEC Defense" and facing what some have called the best offense of all time in college football.
I'm not sure if I would go that far in describing Oklahoma's offense, which is first in the nation in scoring but they have put up some impressive numbers against relatively weak defenses this year.

Now, it could be argued that the defenses in the Big XII just look so bad because of the caliber of the offenses they face. This is a legitimate point. However, look what Ohio State's defense did to Texas' offense.
Ohio State's defense, which no one claimed to be one of the great defenses of the NCAA this year, held Texas (a team some thought should be in the national championship game) to a season-low 24 points.
Ole Miss, the only team in the nation to beat Florida, "held" Texas Tech's wide open offense to their second lowest point total of the season, 34. Additionally, Ole Miss built up such a lead by way of converting turnovers into scores, Tech was playing from at least two scores down the whole second half.
Finally, Oregon, a team with very little on the defensive side of the ball, also beat their Big XII opponent (Oklahoma St) by two scores.

So what does this mean? Well for one, it means that the Big XII offenses, when they come up against defenses from other conferences, face legitimate challenges and have been held in check. Florida's defense might be one of the best out there this year, and they will be able to match Oklahoma's offense in the speed department.

On the other side of the ball, not much has been made of Oklahoma's defense because there hasn't been much to make. Florida's offense is not far behind Oklahoma's in the production department, ranking third in the nation in scoring, despite facing a much more daunting schedule of defenses.

Ian's Prediction: In the end, I see Florida winning this game by a hair. I believe a second-quarter turnover will be the difference that allows Florida to go up by two scores. The teams will continue to trade scores the rest of the game with Oklahoma scoring with under a minute to play to bring the game close. Florida recovers the onsides kick and seals the deal.
Florida 45-42