Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

SEC Champ. - Stream of Consciousness Notes
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Florida QB Tim Tebow
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 6, 2008


Florida beat Alabama 31-20 in a fantastic game to win the SEC title and go off to the national championship. Check out Pete Fiutak's play-by-play, quarter by quarter analysis of the 2008 SEC Championship



By Pete Fiutak
Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered. E-mail me with your own thoughts and notes and what you'd like to see. 

Pregame 

- Are you serious? Try to compared this to the empty stadium for the MAC title last night, the lack of interest in the ACC title game with the place half full, and with Tulsa failing to sell out its home stadium for the Conference USA title. Look, I love all of college football, but there's such a major difference between the biggest of the big boys and everyone else.

- Interesting how Spencer Tillman all but called out Tennessee for taking Lane Kiffin and not even thinking about interviewing a minority candidate, but he didn't actually go over the top and say it.

- I've been on record saying that the season is over. I don't believe anyone, including Alabama or Oklahoma, can stay with Florida, but I didn't think Buffalo had a shot at Ball State, either. Turnovers play a huge role. Tulsa lost to East Carolina by
turning the ball over seven times. Fumbles killed Ball State and Boston College killed itself with giveaways. Alabama has to be +2 in turnover margin, at least, to pull this off.

- NO ... it's NOT No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Florida. Using the AP poll to hype up this game is as arbitrary as using any other poll. We have Florida ranked No. 1. Why not just use that? It's No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Florida. The BCS rankings are all that matter. Everything else is just an exercise.

- For people who are looking for the SEC Championship game drinking game, you drink every time they say Timtebow (one word). Tebow requires a sip, and the word leader, or any variation of it, get the heroin speedball.

- It's always funny when there's a shot from the blimp FOR A DOME GAME. Hey, look at the roof. Oooohhh, the skyline.

- Percy Harvin is hurt. Be happy he's been around this long. He might be one of the most dynamic players in college football, but the NFL guys aren't going to be able to count on him.

- Changing the drinking game. Verne Lundquist has not mentioned for the third time that it's No. 1 vs. No. 2. Shotgun.

- Why is Urban Meyer wearing a windbreaker FOR A DOME GAME?

- This Pedro Cerrano opening it taking way too long.

First Quarter

Alabama on its own 20
- Watch this and say a playoff wouldn't be a thrill.
- Right away, Bama pounds away up the middle for three yards. Glen Coffee needs to be hammering the ball inside all game long no matter what. The Florida defensive tackles are going to be a major problem. They will wear down, but now it's 3rd and four.
- Kaboom. Ahmad Black blows up the play with a monster hit, but give credit to Darius Hanks for hanging on to the ball. That was closer to a first down than the announcers made it out to be.?
- I'm not sure why Rashad Johnson isn't getting more national attention. He's special, even on special teams.

Florida on its own 41
- Timtebow ... drink
- People, that was paint, PAINT on Tebow's face and jersey against Florida State. It wasn't blood. Having the paint on him doesn't make him a warrior, it makes him messy. Or in my four-year-old's preschool class.
- Tebow is dead on early on. He has made three perfect reads and right decisions.
- Bama is popping. Tebow is doing whatever he wants to, but Alabama is giving him shot after shot.
- This is over unless Bama has something different than this. There's no answer for the Florida offense right now. Tebow is on, but he threw a pass almost into the ground when a good throw might have let the way to a score.
- Timtebow ... drink
- I can't tell what's worse, the Bama all-white longjohn look of the Florida blueberrys. They're better than the Army and Navy unis today.
- Yeeeeeeesh. The Florida offensive line is blowing Bama off the ball. Both teams are extremely physical right away. This Florida offense isn't a finesse attack.
- Tebow makes his first misread and gets buried on a run fro the two.
- Tebow hits Carl Moore for a touchdown. That was a perfect, safe throw from Tebow. That was way, way, way too easy. Alabama needed to come up with an early stop to be able to keep pounding away. Now it'll have to open things up.

Florida 7 ... Alabama 0

Alabama on its own 39
- Alright, Bama, time to show why you're No. 1.
- That didn't start well. Javier Arenas tried to make something happen on the return and only got to the 18.
- Bama needs to come out throwing just to know if it can. This is where John Parker Wilson has to shine.
- And boom. Wilson hits Julio Jones across the middle, Jones is brilliant on a 64-yard gain, and now it's game on. Florida gambled that Bama was going to keep pounding and Joe Haden got burned.
- And with the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select ... Julio Jones.
- Ooooooohhhh. Drew Davis and the right side of the Bama offensive line just destroyed the Florida defensive front. Coffee got a block, and it's a touchdown. Two plays and a score.
- Florida is missing tackles. Bama is going to keep being physical, and Florida is only going to wear down more and more.
- Jayne Seymour ... in the hot older chick Hall of Fame? Her heart jewelry might be dopey, but she's still bringing the A game.

Florida 7 ... Alabama 7

Florida on its 12
- The Alabama special teams are playing like they're desperately sick of hearing about how good the Florida special teams are.
- Florida is trying to use a few different players to be Percy Harvin. On two plays on this drive, it's not working.
- 6:20 to play in the first quarter.
- Tebow got nine days to throw, tried to force it, and Kareem Jackson broke up the pass. Alabama doesn't appear to be the slightest big scared of the Harvin-less Gator receivers.
- Verne got it right that Alabama got away with a major clip, while Florida got hit with a penalty for an illegal shift.

Alabama on the Florida 25
- The play action pass is going to work all game long against the Florida defensive front. The Gator front four is being blown up by the Tide line.
-
As I write that, Brandon Marsh flies in and make a huge play for a stoop the Gators desperately needed on first down.
- Keep running, Bama. The right side of the line collapsed the Gator front, but the running play took too long to develop and was stuffed. That will work if the Tide keeps going with it. 3rd and 10.
- JP Wilson gets chased by Jermaine Cunningham and throws it away. Bama didn't go to Julio Jones once on this drive.
- Leigh Tiffin nailed the field goal.
-
Ruling ... Tebowtime ... I will accept that. Drink.

Alabama 10 ... Florida 7

- Someone tell the Dr. Pepper people that the Alan Parsons Project song "Sirius" was for the Chicago Bulls, not Dr. J.
- Florida is making mistakes. That's two penalties in a row on key special teams plays.

Florida on its own 14

- Now it's up to Florida to come out throwing. A Gator wide receiver has to show that there's a little bit of a downfield threat to worry about.
-
Two throws, two dinks, third and five.
- In one play, Tebow showed why he needs seasoning before he goes pro. He had ten days to throw (he probably should've taken off), and he forced a deep throw. He's not finding his second and third options and he isn't making the right reads for the passing game like he is for the ground game.

Alabama on its own 29
- Forget the curve ball, Ricky, go with the heater. Florida's defensive front isn't holding up. I know I keep writing that, but that's the game. If Florida can't hold up against the Bama front five and the Gators will have to get really creative really quickly.
- The middle of the line is getting blasted for five yards on every carry.
-
The quarterbacks aren't quite feeling the rush, or the lack of one. JP Wilson had all the time he wanted to throw, panicked, and took off for a first down.
- Great first quarter. Great first quarter.

First Quarter Score: Alabama 10 ... Florida 7

Second Quarter
- Third down and short just across midfield. Even if Bama doesn't get the first down on the run, pound away on fourth down.
- The got the first down with ease.
- Again, the middle of the line blasted open a hole and it was yet another big gain.
- An APB has been put out on Brandon Spikes.
- Meanwhile, UCLA is putting together a serious first quarter against USC.
- At the moment, there's no reason to try anything cute. Make Florida stop you on the ground.
- Bama tries a little short pass and goes nowhere. Now it's 3rd and 9.
- College basketball next week. Memphis vs. Georgetown, and Indiana vs. Kentucky. Name one player on any of the four. Go.
- Woooooooo. There's Brandon Spikes. JP Wilson got kissed by Spikes and Will Hill. Give Wilson credit for stepping into his throw, but he got flattened.
- The most obvious fake field goal ever. Verne called it before it happened, and the Florida defense was all over it.
- Bama, what are you doing? You're about running the ball, relying on your defense, repeat. Someone needs to be paddled for calling that fake field goal. If you're really not going to punt because you're in no man's land, why not let your ultra-smart, ultra-efficient senior quarterback throw on 4th and nine.
- Breathtaking ... another aerial shot ... OF THE DOME.

Florida on its own 31
- Florida hasn't lined up and tried to run a good old-fashioned running play. That's not Florida's game, but the O line hasn't been bad. Use it.
- I'm a huge fan of Tebow as a next level player, eventually, but his mechanics breakdown way too often ...
- ... and then there's that. Tebow throws a miserable pass when he does a little jumpy thing, and then he sets his feet and delivers a beautiful toss to Riley Cooper for 51 yards.
- Another Florida penalty. The Gators have to be sharper.
- The Alabama defense will gladly take Tebow running the ball inside the 10 any time he wants to try.
- Man up, Florida. run the ball like a real team.
- Tebow might be a great runner, but he's just not fast enough to outrun a D like this.
- Timtebow ... drink
- Verne just jinxed Jonathan Phillips by calling him perfect before his short field goal ...
- ... but Phillips hit it anyway.
- I've been the Grand Marshal of the Florida parade, but the offense hasn't shown enough in this game to prove it could stay with Oklahoma.

Alabama 10 ... Florida 10

- What a beautiful shot of a Georgia sunset. Finally, the blimp is put to good use before is shows yet another shot of the roof.
- Ugh ... these kids today. Javier Arenas catches the kickoff on his own four.

Alabama on its own 4
- AFLAC ... Which two coaches have led their No. 2 teams to wins over No. 1 teams. Joe Paterno has to be one. No. 2 ... hmmmm.
- Bama needs to use that big line for three pounding running plays and then hope for the best.
- Nope. The Tide offense goes to Wilson to get out of a jam, but he can't loosen up the Florida D with the short passes.
- Julio Jones has been strangely silent.
- The Arenas play is bailed out, somewhat, by a fantastic punt.

Florida on its own 43
- Rashad Johnson the textbook definition of the horse-collar tackle.
- Timtebow .. drink
- Tebow being the main man is not a plus. Florida's offense needs all the weapons to be involved.
- He's just not fast enough. Tebow is a tough runner, but he can't make things happen in space.
- Bama appears to be more than happy to make Tebow the entire Florida attack.
- And then he does that. Tebow might not be Pat White, but White couldn't lower the boom for a first down like Tebow just did on Rashad Johnson.
- How is that not international grounding? There was a player in blue close, but that was grounding. Bama fans are certain to go nuts about this if the drive turns out to go for points.
- And then there's Tebow feathering a pass to Aaron Hernandez down to the five.
- Bama can really, really tackle.
- Florida has to either get the message in a hurry, or else it'll be in full blown panic mode. Tebow isn't able to break free and tear off runs, especially close. Tebow has to at least attempt a pass into the end zone. There can't be a second straight drive without a shot at six.
- Ooooh. Oh yeah, Jimmy Johnson is the other.
- Touchdown. Tebow doesn't panic and hits David Nelson with a safe, low throw for a score.
- Tebow's biggest asset isn't his running ability; it's his strength to be able to hang in the pocket as long as he wants.
- Timtebow ... drink.

Florida 17 ... Alabama 10

Alabama on its own 23
- Yup. Paterno and Johnson are the two coaches who took a No. 2 team over a No. 1.
- Why isn't Alabama testing Joe Haden? The Florida corner has a tweaked ankle.
- Wilson is off. He's getting time, but he's not hitting his throws.
- This drive isn't working and there's just 1:14 to play. Milk it. On your own 30, milk the clock, run it, get out down seven, if possible.
- Bama throws, with the play made by Haden, and now there's a punt.
- Florida, uhhhhh, time out? You have three of them and time is ticking off.
- Yeah, I'm dogging Urban Meyer's coaching. He didn't call a time out and now there's just 14 seconds to play. Florida could've had the ball with a minute to go and a Heisman quarterback.
- Florida wussed out. Instead of trying to go 40 yards to get into field goal range, the Gators are going into the locker room.

Second Quarter Score: Florida 17 ... Alabama 10

Third Quarter
Florida on its own 30
- The Gators can really drop a hammer on the Tide on this drive. Up seven, if they can go up seven, all of a sudden Alabama has to become a different team.
- Timtebow ... drink
- This game really is all Tebow so far. To start the second half, the offense needs to establish some semblance of a non-Tebow running game.
- If you think the Timtebow drinking game is bad on TV, try the radio version. I ran out at halftime to pick up food, and Terry Bowden fired out at least 15 in the seven minute span to go get the ribs.
- Tebow doesn't set his feet and bounce passes a third down throw. Three and out ... huge for the Tide.
- Even bigger for the Gators is a huge punt to pin Bama deep. Javier Arenas was nailed by Wondy Pierre-Louis. This kick might not show up in the post-game analysis, but it might be the game-changer after the Tide D came up with the stop.

Alabama on its own 9
- Alright Bama O line. This is why you get paid the big bucks (figuratively speaking).
- One problem with pounding away. Now it's 3rd and seven. Wilson has to look for Jones first, and he has to be safe.
- He does, and he is. Jones is simply too big for the Gator corners and he comes up with the first down.
- Wilson to Jones on the other side, and now Bama is in great shape.
- The BCS standings are on the screen. Wait, Oklahoma is No. 2. But how can that be? Florida is No. 2 in this game. I'm so lost ... CBS, why do you confuse us so?
- Timtebow ... drink
- The right side of the Bama O line continues to shine. Coffee is starting to get humming. The Tide offense is in a rhythm. This is the textbook definition of a defense being on its heels.
- It doesn't matter if there aren't any points off this drive. It's been a major success.
- Julio Jones can turn pro right now and be taken in the top 20 picks. Wilson slung a pass across the middle high, but Jones was able to come up with it.
- 4 catches, 102 yards for JJ.
- This is a perfectly, perfectly called drive.
- If Alabama is doing this, imagine what Oklahoma could do.
- Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Wilson makes a great bootleg play to buy time, and then he just barely overthrows Jones in the end zone.
- 3rd and five. What a run by Coffee. Florida's spotty tackling becomes a problem again. Brandon Hicks had the stop short of a first down, and Coffee pounded through for the score.
- This drive started on the nine. Who's most tired the Florida D or the Bama O?
- I always wonder why coaches don't take timeouts in situations like this. Like in basketball when a team is looking to slow down the momentum.
- As I write that, Meyer calls a TO.
- It doesn't matter. Mark Ingram rumbles down to the four.
- Bama should have no problems getting in from here. No way, no how does the Florida defensive front hold up on a power run.
- TD Ingram as he bowls over Andre Smith in the end zone.
- That was a big-time national title level drive.
- Shot of Tebow on the sideline firing out his 198th "let's go" during the game.
- Sorry ... I'm back now. Just rewinded the Beyonce upgrade ad.

Alabama 17 ... Florida 17

Florida on its own 29
- Timtebow ... drink
- Does Florida have a running back?
- Timtebow ... drink
- Tebow sets his feet and fires a perfect throw to the outside to Louis Murphy, who was mugged on the line, for 34 yards.
- These offense are throwing haymakers, but in their own way.
- The option throws off the Tide D. Florida isn't even thinking about running at Terrence Cody.
-
This is such a versatile attack. It's amazing how the Tide is able hold up.
- Tebow is always off when he's not set. He throws off his back foot and overshoots his receiver.
- He sets his feet, and misfires again on what would've been a first down play.
- Jonathan Phillips on for the automatic field goal
- Jinx. Phillips misses his first field goal attempt of the year. If you're Florida, you're a little bit freaked out now. Things aren't quite clicking.

Alabama on its own 21

- After the last touchdown drive, now Alabama can make a huge statement with another easy drive.
- Wilson is so accurate when he rolls out. He hits his tight end for a big game, and the O is moving again.
- Wilson might not be Tebow, but he's not a bad runner. He takes off for a first down.
- Speaking of mixing up the offense, Bama is doing a fantastic job of crossing up the Gators.
- Now it's time to start hammering on the Gator defensive tackles again. Something will eventually break free for Coffee.
- Down to the 11 ... Julio Jones. The NFL types are going to take a big look at this one on Brandon Spikes, who didn't read it right.
- Wilson got away with one. He threw an ill-advised pass into the end zone to Nikita Stover, it popped up into the air, and the Gators weren't around to pick it off.
- Again, sorry to be a broken record, but no way, no how does this Florida defensive front hold up inside the 10, but now it's 3rd and foal from the nine and now Wilson has to throw. This should've been 3rd and goal from the two with some big running plays.
- Field goal for Leigh Tiffin from 27 ... good.
- Florida had better come up with a new wrinkle in a big hurry, or else the offense has to start cranking out longer drives. The aggressiveness paid off on this drive, but eventually, the pounding ground game will return.

Third Quarter Score: Alabama 20 ... Florida 17

Fourth Quarter

Florida on its own 38
- Florida has to come up with points off this drive. Despite only being down three, that third quarter was all about Bama controlling the ball.
- An Emmanuel Moody sighting? Florida has a running back?
- Verne, it's not 1 vs. 2. It really, really, really isn't. If you're going to talk about this being a final for the BCS, then use the BCS rankings. If' you're going to say it's 1 vs. 2, then say it's for the AP championship.
- The Florida offensive line is having a decent drive. The push is there, and now someone has to actually do something with it.
- Tebow is 0-for-5 in his career when behind in the fourth?
- Timtebow ... drink.
- That's got to be a facemask. Donte Hightower grabbed Jeffrey Demps' facemask and took him down. It wasn't vicious, but it had to be called.
- It seems like we're way, way, way overdue for a turnover.
- Tebow is getting 19 days to throw, he found David Nelson wide, and now the Gators are really rolling.
- Wildcat formation. Demps takes it down to the nine.
- Alright, Florida. Don't go with Tebow running the ball. Be more creative than that. Bama knows it's coming ...
- ... and Tebow goes nowhere. 3rd and 5, take the one safe shot into the end zone and kick the field goal if needed. You'll be back here. Don't run a play that doesn't involve the end zone.
- That's why Urban Meyer is Urban Meyer and I have ribs sauce in my shorts. A little shovel pass gets the first down and now the Gators are on the one.
- Review that. It doesn't matter because Florida will score in the next two plays, but Tebow looked in on a twisting run.
- Touchdown. Tebow with a pitch to Demps for an easy score.
- Bama, gear it back up. Do what you've been doing offensively, and answer.
- Fantastic game. Total classic.

Florida 24 ... Alabama 20

- Arenas finally comes through. Huge return to set the tone for the answer
- Timtebow ... drink

Alabama on its own 41

- This could be a killer. Deep ball for Jones, but he looks shaken up. Bama can't do this if its star receiver is out.
- Coffee run, and now it's 3rd and 8.
- Jones is back out.
- Jermaine Cunningham gets to Wilson, sack, stop.
- It's almost not fair to have a defensive line coach like Dan McCarney. He's doing a great job with a banged up group.
- Isn't that nice ... another blimp shot of the roof of the dome.

Florida on its own 35
- The Florida running game is starting to take over. The line is playing really, really well.
- Option to the right side, and now it's 3rd and 1.
- Bama will have to come up with some sort of a new wrinkle to get to Tebow before he's able to make something happen.
- Tebow powers it ahead for a first down.
- Timtebow ... drink
- Bama is only down 4, but with under six to play, this could be where the dream season dies without a stop very, very soon.
- Tebow is known for being more of a thrower than a passer. That was a pass for 33 yards to Louis Murphy.
- And then he fires a duck of a fastball (it's possible) for a first down.
- First and goal with 4:35 to play.
- Tebow down to the one on a power run. This thing is about to be over. Bama can't overcome an 11-point deficit in less than four minutes.
- Bad, bad, bad penalty on Florida. The coaches were on the field. Oh, what a killer. That takes the ball from the one to the six. If the Gators settle for a field goal, this could be really, really bid.
- Stuffed. Now it's 3rd and goal from the five. Good job for the announcers to give this the proper importance.
- Tebow throws as he was falling down, he got popped, and he hit Riley Cooper on a perfect touchdown pass.
- Florida Gators - 2008 SEC Champions.
- Timtebow .... drink
- Tebow fires out his 489th "let's go" of the game.
- Tebow vs. Tyler Hansbrough ... the most annoying player in college sports. Go.

Florida 31 ... Alabama 20

Alabama on its own 16

- The Florida defense is playing a half-step quicker right now. Talk about jacked up ... thanks to Tebow!
- The CFN Fearless Prediction for this game ... Florida 31 - Alabama 20.
- Now that there's no fear of the running game, the Gators are having no problems whatsoever with the midrange Bama passing attack because they know it's coming.
- Wilson is keeping things moving a bit, but time is quickly ticking off. Two minutes to play.
- Ball game. Wilson is popped, hangs up the throw, Joe Haden gets the pick.
- I love Verne, but "that puts the cork in the bottle." Oh that wacky Verne.?

Florida on the Alabama
- Wilson's part in his hair is still true.
- Timtebow ... drink
- That's it. A Moody run for a first down and now it's knee time.
- Saban's hair looks mussed up. He looks like a president in year seven.
- A little pushing and shoving at the end. Whatever.
- Great game. Now it's Sam Bradford's turn.

Final Score: Florida 31 ... Alabama 20