Penn State vs Florida: Is This The National Championship Game?

Isaac LuberSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2008

The Penn State Nittany Lions are the No. 3 team in the Nation.  They have put up terrific offensive, defensive, and special teams stats.  More importantly, they have won.  Some of the games were close, some weren't great performances, but they were still wins.

The Florida Gators are the No. 8 team in the Nation.  Florida started the season slow, and had bad performances.  They weren't playing like the team that they are.  After a loss at home to Ole Miss, the beast of Florida awoke.

They dominated every team in their path, including the LSU Tigers, currently ranked No. 15.  This weekend, Florida completely destroyed the Georgia Bulldogs, who are currently No. 6 in the Nation, and they were my pick to win the SEC until Florida destroyed them.

Florida, along with defending Heisman winner Tim Tebow, has a roster filled with play makers.  Three of the most notable players in this category are freshman running backs Chris Rainey and Jeffery Demps, and junior wide receiver Percy Harvin.  These three alone have 13 total touchdowns this season.

Tim Tebow, the reigning Heisman Award winner, has 17 total touchdowns so far this season.  He has 12 passing touchdowns, and five rushing touchdowns.  He has made a stronger case this year with each week after the Ole Miss loss.

However, in order to win the Heisman, he will have to outlast Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell, Javon Ringer, and many others.  

Even if he doesn't win the Heisman, he could still bring home a different trophy, the one with the crystal football on top of it.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is the National Championship trophy.

Penn State has a great offense, led by quarterback Daryll Clark, sophomore running back Evan Royster, and the trio of senior receivers Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood.

Derrick Williams has five total touchdowns, Deon Butler has three receiving touchdowns, and Jordan Norwood has five receiving touchdowns.  This brings this trio to 13 receiving touchdowns combined this season, matching the total of Florida's trio.

Daryll Clark has 19 total touchdowns.  He has 11 passing touchdowns and 8 rushing touchdowns on the season.  This is even more than Tim Tebow, last year's Heisman winner.

Both Clark and Tebow have only 2 interceptions, which is amazing after two-thirds of the season.  However, Pat Devlin and Paul Cianciolo have taken a lot of time and snaps away from Daryll Clark, as most of PSU's games have been blowouts, and Clark would be sitting for a quarter or more in these games.

Evan Royster has nearly 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. He also has over 100 receiving yards on the season.  Evan Royster is a balanced back who has power, balance, speed, and quickness.

Behind Royster is Stephfon Green, who is a speed back that provides this offense for long, explosive plays that spread opposing defenses out.  Green has over 400 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season.

This dynamic duo of running backs along with Daryll Clark supplies Penn State with the rushing game they need, while their three senior receivers, duo of quality tight ends, and their back-up receivers provide them with a great passing attack.

Both defenses are great, with Penn State's defense boasting Top 15 rankings in every category in the past five years.  Florida has a great defense that forces a lot of turnovers and don't give up a lot of points.

Penn State averages over 40 points a game, while only allowing just over 10.  Florida averages over 40 points a game, and only gives up just over 10.  See any similarities? 

These two teams are probably the best in the Nation, and they have similar stats and performances, which would lead people to believe that this would be a great match-up.  

I personally believe that this would be a great match-up.

Now I will tell you why these two teams will make it to the National Championship.

First off, either Texas or Texas Tech must lose.  They are playing right now, with Texas Tech holding a 5-0 lead as I watch the game.  If Texas loses, Alabama and Penn State will jump to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.  Texas Tech still has a long road ahead of them, and will probably lose to Oklahoma or Oklahoma State.

If Texas wins, they still could lose to the remaining teams that they play, or they could lose in the Big 12 Championship.  It is very likely that both of these teams will lose one game, and that would basically knock them out of the Championship game.  That would leave Alabama as No. 1, Penn State as No. 2, and Florida as the probable No. 3.

Second off, Alabama still has to play LSU and the SEC Championship game.  Even if Alabama doesn't lose to LSU, they will most likely play Florida in the SEC Championship game.  

Now you've seen what Florida has done to LSU and Georgia.  Alabama, however, beat Georgia by 11, and that is because they only play one half of football in most games.

I believe that if Florida plays Alabama in the SEC Championship game that Florida will win, and they will probably rout Alabama.  With Alabama being No. 1 and Penn State No. 2 and Florida No. 3 at the time, Penn State will jump to No. 1 when Alabama loses, and the one-loss Gators will move to No. 2.

Therefore Penn State and Florida will play in the National Championship.  As the NCAA rule states, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams are guaranteed a bid in the BCS National Championship game.

Penn State and Florida would be No. 1 and No. 2, and would play in the National Championship.  Based on both of these teams' stats and based on their performances, this would turn out to be a great National Championship, and probably an all-time classic.


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