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5 Thoughts - 2009 BCS Championship
Florida WR Percy Harvin
Florida WR Percy Harvin
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 9, 2009


Oh sure, Tim Tebow was the star of the show, but Florida doesn't win the national title over Oklahoma without No. 1. What OU did wrong, why Florida should be the unquestioned national champ, and more in the 5 Thoughts for Florida's 24-14 win over Oklahoma in the 2009 BCS Championship

5 Thoughts ... 2009 BCS Championship

Florida 24 ... Oklahoma 14

GAME RECAP: Florida wins its 2nd title in three years 
BCS Championship Game Notes ...
- Pregame and 1st Quarter | 2nd Quarter | 3rd Quarter | 4th Quarter
- Position-by-Position Breakdown
- 2009 CFN BCS Championship Preview
-
2009 BCS Championship Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

 

1. Don’t fall for the trap that Florida’s 24-14 win over Oklahoma was “ugly”, thus opening the door for Utah, USC, or Texas to earn a split national championship. Now, I’d love nothing more than a chaotic situation that adds another stain to the BCS, and those schools have valid beefs, but the Gator victory was a lot more impressive than most will assume. You see, you can earn style points without scoring a lot of offensive points. The Florida D did exactly that with one of the great efforts of the entire season. Before whacking this game with the ugly stick, watch the game again with all of Oklahoma’s regular season numbers spread out nearby. The Sooner team that was held to just 14 points hadn’t been kept under 58 since the middle of October and was the prolific offense in NCAA history. The Gators made two huge goal line stands just before half. They got a tremendous game from the secondary and were well-prepared by coordinator Charlie Strong. They stopped Oklahoma, which most thought was impossible. Just because there weren’t as many fireworks as everyone expected does not mean that this Florida victory wasn’t a beautiful work of art. Or any less worthy of a national championship. - Richard Cirminiello

2. What did we learn? 1) When the talent level and athleticism are relatively even, in the national title, the team with the better defense beats the team with the high-octane offense. 2) The high-octane offenses, especially from the Big 12 this year, sputter out of the gate when they have a month off to cool off. But everyone knew that going in … why didn’t the Oklahoma coaching staff?

The one area OU had a huge advantage, relative to all the even units between the two teams, was the big, NFL-caliber offensive line against a talented, but young, Florida defensive line. Did the OU coaches take advantage? Nope. When the running game was ripping up the Gator defense on a breathtaking drive in the first half (that ended up getting stopped on the goal line), did OU stick with it? Nope. Are 107 rushing yards excusable? Nope.

Learn from this you teams with big-time offenses that’ll end up playing in big bowl games in the future. With several weeks off, and with several weeks for the other team’s defense to prepare, the top offenses are going to have problems, more often than not, early on. So if you have a great offensive line that can calm things down and provide steady production to rely on until the passing game gets its feet wet, then you use it. Also, teams with top offense have to realize that they can’t rely on the attack in a big bowl game. Coaches, learn from history or be doomed to repeat it.
- Pete Fiutak

3. Tim Tebow is not a great quarterback by NFL standards. He is, however, a great football player by so many different measures. Tebow showed again why he’s the nation’s MVP, essentially willing Florida to another national championship on a night when he and his team didn’t look so title-worthy for almost three quarters. His spirals weren’t always tight. His throwing motion is almost difficult to watch. He threw two awful interceptions early on. Yet, there he was in the final 20 minutes, barreling through the first line of the Oklahoma defense, getting the crowd fired up, and engineering three critical scoring drives. With a ton of help from Percy Harvin and the Gator D, Tebow would not be denied another ring, so he carried his team across the finish line. At the next level, whenever that might be, I just don’t see Tebow making it as a quarterback. At this level, few are better than No. 15 for reasons that’ll never show up in combine drills or an individual workout.  
- Richard Cirminiello   

4. Watch how quickly the media turns on Oklahoma, just like it turned on Ohio State ... and unfairly so. The same argument why Ohio State didn't deserve to be destroyed by the college football world after each of the last two years can be used now ... Oklahoma lost a national championship. That's all. Don't let the pot stirrers fool you; Florida would beat USC. It would beat Utah, Texas, UL Monroe, and anyone else you want to throw out there. This was the best team in college football, and there's no shame for Oklahoma to lose this game. The Sooners showed up, got the offense moving (far better than it's being given credit for by the post-game talking heads), and that's it. 117 other teams would've lost, too, and maybe two or three, if everything broke right, would've been where the Sooners were in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma is now 2-5 in the BCS under Bob Stoops, and while you can dog his team of a few years ago for quitting in the national title game loss to USC, and you can blame the team for not taking Boise State or West Virginia seriously enough, to be the star of the Big 12 year after year after year is impressive no matter what happens in the bowl games. Overall, this is one of the three best programs in America (Florida and USC being the other two), it'll be in the hunt for the national title next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. Not everyone can win the national title every year, but only a few can be in the picture for a decade. So Oklahoma isn't the best team in the country. It still might be No. 2.
- Pete Fiutak

5. Now that Tim Tebow has been anointed to sainthood, let's make one thing very, very clear; Florida doesn't win the national title without Percy Harvin. Tebow is supposedly this inspirational leader who wills his team to wins, but Harvin showed greater heart, more toughness, and was just as inspirational in the win over the Sooners. I know from first hand accounts that Harvin wasn't 90% like he claimed to be. He wasn't even close. He played on pain killers and pure heart as he was not only the most explosive playmaker on the field, but he fought through his bad ankle as the game went on. Nine carries, 122 yards and a touchdown, and five catches for 49 yards, to go along with all the attention he attracted to allow Tebow more room to move and more one-on-one coverage for the other receivers. Over the next several days, Tebow will be going to another level of college football superstardom, and rightly so considering his fourth quarter, but save a little of the love for No. 1.  - Pete Fiutak