"You will never see a player play as hard as I will play the rest of the season"--Tim Tebow, following 31-30 loss to Ole Miss
Last night, everyone was expecting the Big XII to finish strong. Everyone was expecting the Gators to be exposed for the frauds they are. Everyone was expecting Oklahoma to crush the Gators the way that Nebraska did to them over a decade ago.
I have one question for you guys 12 hours later: Did Oklahoma get the memo about it being for the National Championship?
Despite Dominique Franks' best attempt to rattle Superman, and the majority of the country expecting the Sooners to win, Tim Tebow went out and showed why he was the hardest working player in the country after that loss to Ole Miss. He showed why he is the leader of this team. And even when the Sooners got two picks in the first half, they never rattled Tim Tebow.
Instead, they fueled them in ways that I couldn't believe (at least that's what I said to the dozens of Sooners Supporters around me last night). At the end of the first half, Florida stepped up on defense by keeping the Sooners out of the end zone not once but twice. With the Sooners threatening twice at the one yard line during that first half, Florida's defense stopped them on fourth down and again at the end of the half with an interception.
In the second half, the Gators struck first and the Sooners rebuttled with a quick scoring drive to tie the game up. After the Gators kicked a field goal to take the lead, Oklahoma had a field goal blocked...
That was the last time the Sooners got close.
When the smoke cleared, and the fourth quarter started going down to the wire, it was Tebow time. On the clinching drive for Florida, Tim Tebow was 6-6 for 76 yards and (you guessed it) the Tebow Toss to Hernandez to score the game's final points.
When the music stopped, Florida stood tall as National Champions once again. Taking nothing away from Oklahoma, Florida came out in the second half to prove that they belonged in this game. When the music stopped, Oklahoma suffered its fifth straight defeat in the BCS. When the music stopped, and 2,193 games later, the first meeting proved to be just as memorable.
When the music stopped, Florida and the SEC won the National Championship once again. The Gators won their second title in three seasons, while the SEC won its third straight national title. Urban Meyer is in good company as he joins Pete Carroll, Dennis Erickson, Barry Switzer and Frank Leahy* as the only coaches to win two national titles in their first four seasons.
And after the music stopped, Meyer said "I don't see myself being anywhere else but Florida."
So to all of those who doubted the Gators, those who tried to rattle Tim Tebow and those who said that the Big XII was the best conference in the country and they will prove it Thursday night, I say this:
Florida Gators 24, Oklahoma Sooners 14. Second Championship in three seasons. Superman flew high, and the Gators did it again. The Curse continues for Heisman winners. Having said all that, do you Sooners like apples? Well, Florida just squashed your 60 ppg offense, held your team to 363 yards of total offense and made you pay for imitating the Gator Chomp by winning the game.
Oklahoma, HOW DO YOU LIKE 'DEM APPLES!
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008-09 National Champions (or should I say one of them), the University of Florida Gators!