10 Things I Learned From the National Championship Game
Florida’s Defense Was As Advertised
Heisman Trophy winner. Record-breaking offense. Don’t tell that to Charlie Strong and his underclassman-filled defense.
The Gators did what few have been able to do, and that is get pressure on quarterback Sam Bradford.
When the defensive line couldn’t get to the Heisman winner, they made sure Bradford had to throw it into small windows. The goal-line stand and Ahmad Black’s interception will long be remembered from this game.
After an impressive 2006 season and this year’s championship game, Charlie Strong will be fielding a lot of calls. While Urban Meyer and fans in Gainesville, FL will miss him, he’ll be a great head coach somewhere.
Oklahoma’s Defense Was Better Than Advertised
All the talk was that the Big 12 doesn’t play defense. Forcing Florida’s quarterback Tim Tebow to duplicate his number of interceptions for the year in one game is no easy feat. They also bottled up Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey.
If you’re grading on the curve, Florida’s defense gets an A+. Oklahoma’s is right behind with an A-.
Brent Venables earned a lot of respect last night. I expect him to be a head coach soon as well.
Bob Stoops Can Coach
If I said that you would coach against Bobby Bowden, Pete Carroll, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer in championship games and win one of four, I think you’d be happy with that result.
Bob Stoops and Oklahoma aren’t overrated, they just had some bad matchups against great coaches.
Percy Harvin Is a BEAST
Okay, I didn’t just learn that. I’ve known that for three years.
He just reconfirmed it to the nation and the NFL last night. He was only at 85-90 percent, folks! If he can ever get healthy and stay healthy, he’ll be a playmaker in the NFL.
Jermaine Gresham Is Also Beastly
Mr. Gresham, there’s a call for you. It’s the Pro Bowl; it wants to know what you’ll be doing for the next ten years.
Tim Tebow Can Make Mistakes
Tebow matched his season total in interceptions in one half of football with two.
Fortunately for him and the Gator nation, he was also superb. What Florida lacked on first and second down, Tebow made up for on third. He led the Gators to 12 first downs in 17 attempts.
I’m Not a Fan of ACC Officials
I’m usually for unsportsmanlike conduct flags, but the ACC officials used their yellow hankies a little liberally in the first quarter.
In the process, the game slowed and it was visually painful.
Before I get bombarded with comments, I believe that Tebow deserved his.
The Triple Option Will Be the Craze in 2009
Get ready, folks. Stock up on plutonium; warm up your DeLorean, because we’re going back to the future.
Georgia Tech has done mighty well this year using the old throwback.
Florida, on the other hand, uses it a tad bit differently. Just like a normal option run with a minor wrinkle, tight end Aaron Hernandez runs in right behind the defenders.
It’s a game of pick your poison for defensive ends and linebackers after that. Do you cover the talented tight end, the Heisman-winning quarterback or the track star running back?
Expect to see a lot more teams using this play in 2009.
Urban Meyer Has Surpassed Steve Spurrier
It’s hard to imagine that, in four years, Meyer has supplanted the "Ol’ Ball Coach.”
Even if he only stays around until young Nate graduates, Meyer will have a statue and his name etched in Florida lore.
The University of Florida Is THE National Champion of the 2008 Season
I’m willing to concede that Utah is great and they would have battled well with Florida, but when it’s all said and done, Florida won the BCS and the AP (which I don’t put that much stock in) National Championships.
There will be fans that want to tarnish or discredit this championship. They’ll do so in the name of their own team or their wish for a playoff.
BONUS: What I Learned from Barack Obama
Obama wants a playoff to determine a National Championship, not a head to head battle.
To me, it seems kind of ironic that he belongs to a party that, along with the Republican Party, made it impossible for anyone not from those two parties to participate in Presidential Debates. Glass houses, Mr. President-elect, glass houses.
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