"At some point this offense has to wake up."
I've used that to excuse the Gators' stagnant offense for a few weeks now, but by the third quarter of the Mississippi State game I'd given up and was only saying "Beer funnel!"
That's right, Gators, I'm drinking like I'm watching a 3–4 Seminoles team, and if not for the Gators soul–crushingly dominant defense I think I would be watching a 3–4 Gators team.
Last week I wrote that "without Tebow, the Gators would be a three loss team right now". Perhaps I'm Superman's kryptonite, or maybe Bizarrbow was quarterbacking last Saturday, but Tebow had his first truly bad game ever, and he would have cost the Gators the game if it had not been for the defense's perfection.
For the fourth time this season, the Gators defense did not give up a touchdown. In fact, only two TDs given up all season by the Gators have come off of non-turnovers (Kentucky, and second TD to Arkansas).
To put it to numbers, the Gators 10.14 points allowed per game (second best in the country) is inflated by four touchdowns that the Gators defense is only partially responsible for or not responsible for at all.
28 of the Gators 71 points might not have happened if the offense hadn't screwed up!
Even if the team isn't as good as the 2008 version, the defense is better, and that might be all the Gators need to repeat.
Don't believe me? Look around the league.
Alabama looks exactly like Florida—good rushing game, bad passing game, great defense. Texas has problems with offensive consistency and running the ball. Iowa and Cincinnati aren't real until post–season analysis is conducted; I'm tired of both of those leagues.
After that, everyone has a loss or is from a non–AQ conference so I won't bother writing about them, although TCU and Boise deserve as much of a title shot as anyone this year.
There is not a single team out there that's definitely better than the Gators, which in a weird way sort of validates the #1 BCS ranking despite nearly losing to a sub .500 team (ouch, that hurt to write), and failing to ever dominate two others.
That said, I think every team in the top 10 could win 3 out of 7 against the Gators, and most teams in major conferences could put enough of a fight to cause an "uncomfortable win" (not blowing out a team you're clearly shutting down).
Perhaps this is the style of this year's Gators team, though. Much like the 2006 team, this is a "shut them down then find the endzone later" squad. Urban may not like it and it may get me unbelievably drunk, but this team is still winning.
That's the bottom line: as ugly as it's been the Gators are still undefeated. Tebow's not going to get the Heisman, and nobody's going to talk about this team like they do the 2001 Miami squad, but this team can do enough to keep from losing. And as long as that is the case, the Gators will get the same trophy as that BCS–legend squad down in Coral Gables.