The Gators Don't Lose Much If They Lose To LSU Without Tebow

Benny HsuContributor IOctober 6, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators lays on the ground after being sacked by Taylor Wyndham #94 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter of the game at Commonwealth Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Florida Gators biggest question this week is "Will Tim Tebow play?" The second one is "How in the world did LSU fans get a hold of Riley Cooper and John Brantley's phone numbers?"

The latter question isn't of much importance. Just unusual. The first question is what we'll be hearing everyday until Urban Meyer gives a definitive answer.

It's Tuesday and Tebow has yet to practice for LSU. Since he's had his injury, he's been allowed to resume normal activity, except practice. He's just been cleared to watch TV. So he probably missed "Cougar Town" last week. Even Meyer doesn't know if Tebow would be ready to play without practicing.

(update: ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting Tebow is out at practice in full pads.)

A concussion isn't like a sprained ankle. You can't just tape it up and be ready to play. If he isn't fully ready to play and gets hit hard in the head again this Saturday, that could have serious ramifications for his career.

If Tebow does or does not play, a loss in this game won't hurt Florida's chances of returning to the BCS championship.

When I looked at the AP and USA Today poll rankings this week, I noticed that besides the top 4 teams, Florida, Texas, Alabama, and LSU, there's not another team that jumped off the screen at me and makes a strong case for the national championship game.

No matter if Boise, Cincinnati, or TCU go undefeated in the regular season, they will not jump a one loss team ranked higher than them right now at the end of the season. That's what I believe based on their strength of schedule against teams they should beat easily every weekend.

Would I like to see Boise State in the BCS championship game? Not really because they play no one. Remove a win in the first game of the season against Oregon and their schedule is easier than playing "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?".

Would I like to see them in a BCS Bowl game? Sure. They proved in 2006 with their win against #10 Oklahoma that they can compete against the big conferences.They'd make for another feel good college football story.

Back to this Saturday's game. If John Brantley plays and LSU wins by a FG or two touchdowns, I don't believe the Gators will drop far in the polls. Definitely not out of the top 10.

Reason is because the Gators did not have their best player on the field. It's like having a Ferrari running with a Ford Mustang engine. It's good but it's still not a Ferrari engine. If Tebow was the only player to not come back after last season, do you think they would have been ranked #1 in the preseason? No. Probably would have been Texas.

Tebow is what makes that team go. He is the undisputed leader. You've heard his famous speeches whether you're tired of them or not. You know how much he means to the team.

If LSU wins against a Tebow-less Gator team, does that really prove that LSU is that much better?

I think that's how the voters may look at it. Plus the game is on the road, where #4 LSU has won 32 in a row in games played at night. This is not USC losing as 20 point favorites on the road with Aaron Corp against Washington. When comparing losses, theirs looks much worse.

The Gators will still have a chance to win out, win the SEC East and play in the SEC championship game against either an undefeated Alabama team or LSU again.

A win in the championship game should prove they deserve a shot in the title game, if compared to other teams with only one loss.

Furthermore, having the top five teams with one loss each is possible. Alabama plays at home against LSU on November 7. Could be one loss for LSU if they beat the Gators and lose on the road to Alabama.

Alabama could have one loss at rival Auburn in the final regular season game for them. If they lose that and lose the SEC championship to the Gators, they certainly would not finish in the top 2.

Yet we all know they could still win out and lose in the SEC title game and still come up short. It's very possible again this season.

Texas could slip up once against Oklahoma, at Missouri, at Oklahoma State, or at Texas A&M. If they go undefeated, naturally they're playing in Pasadena.

Virgina Tech lost in their first game to Alabama. Wouldn't that one loss not be so bad? It was early and to Alabama. Probably but with a closing schedule of Boston College, North Carolina, East Carolina, Maryland, NC State, and Virgina it doesn't appear challenging the rest of the way. Add that to the surprisingly down year of the ACC and a possible ACC championship game against Maryland, Boston College, Wake Forest, or Clemson (yawn), it seems hard for them to be compared higher to another one loss team.

Ohio State has played phenomenal, albeit to Toledo, Illinois and Indiana, since losing to USC at home. But they have Penn State, Iowa and Michigan waiting for them the last three games of the season.

I don't like the way college football is setup. I've been a fan of a playof system. Then I don't have to think about different scenarios like this.

The way college football is set up is not if you lose, it's a matter of when you lose. Lose early and you're in good shape. Lose late and it's not great.

I think if the Gators are going to lose, this weekend couldn't be any better. With a woozy Tebow or no Tebow, the Gators still have a chance to play for a national champion.

I'm still hoping the Gators win, no matter what, and there's no need for all this rambling and my article will just have been a fun but meaningless waste of time.