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Is Florida Really The No. 1 Team?
Floirda QB Tim Tebow
Floirda QB Tim Tebow
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 9, 2009


Florida might have stopped the unstoppable Sooners, but that doesn't mean the debate about the national title and the No. 1 team is over. However, as Pete Fiutak tries to explain, yes, Florida really is the national champion for 2008 ... and deservedly so.

Fiu's Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy

The Debate Over No. 1 ... Jan. 9


a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances ... or the obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a regular basis during the off-season.
 
 
By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... Fire off your thoughts  

This Week's Whimsies:
Thursday - The Jagodzinski situation
Wednesday - Auburn's big coaching moves
Monday - 10 Reasons Why Florida Will Win |
10 Reasons Why Oklahoma Will Win

Past Whimsies:
Tuesday - The Andre Smith suspension
Monday - NFL Mock Draft (top 10 picks)
Tuesday - Holiday Wish List For All 119 Teams

Wednesday - Chizik, Gill, & the Race Card
Friday - Why Paterno isn't too old

Past Whimsies
- 2008 Season
-
2008 Preseason Cavalcade
- 2007 Season
- 2006 Season

"Excuse me.  l'm askin' Your Honour, is this justice? ls this justice?"

"Never stop fighting till the fight is done."

"What did you say?"

"l said, never stop fighting till the fight is done."

"What?"

"You heard me, Capone. lt's over."

"You're nothin' but a lot of talk and a badge."

"Here endeth the lesson." ...
I cannot believe I have to write this because it's so obvious, but apparently, I have to take time from my post-season nap because of all the dopey talking heads out there, along with an incoming president who needs to spend every waking second figuring out how to come up with 3 million new jobs, who can't seem able to compare and contrast teams by actually turning on this new-fangled thing called a "TV" to watch them play.

Florida is the best team in America for 2008 by every and any measure you want to go by. Period. End of story. National champion, Florida Gators. Done.

If you want to rail on the system, go right ahead, but your day was a month ago when the final BCS standings came out. If you want to debate Florida vs. the rest of the country, as the Clovers would say, bring it on.

This is not an anti-USC, Utah, or Texas argument, but today, and this season, is all about Florida. And here's why ...

1. Florida played 11 bowl teams. 11, and that doesn't count Tennessee or Arkansas. Take a step back and let that one sink in for a moment. It beat two No. 1 teams, and outside of the loss to Ole Miss, before the SEC championship game, no one came closer than 23 points.

2. If you're going to bring up the Ole Miss loss as evidence of anything, you either a) didn't actually watch the game or b) are totally incapable of putting that game in the context of the other losses out there this season. From a blocked extra point, to two missed touchdown passes late, to Tebow getting stopped on a fourth and inches, to a blown coverage, several things had to happen for Florida to lose to the eventual Cotton Bowl winner, and 15th ranked team in the final polls, by one point. Absolutely, a loss is a loss, but it's not the indictment you probably think it is.

3. Stop bringing up the fact that Utah beat Alabama by 11, just like Florida. No, I don't believe Bama beats the Utes if Andre Smith was playing, but if you can't understand how vital the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft and the best left tackle in college football is, and how Utah was able to destroy the Tide offense that was down to a third string left tackle, then I can't help you. Also, Florida beat the Tide without Percy Harvin, arguably one of the five best players in America. If you don't think that matters, you didn't watch the national title game.

4. Again, notice the margin of victory in the Florida games this year. Utah needed missed kicks and an epic late drive to get by a TCU team that Oklahoma throttled. The Utes also got pushed by a miserable Michigan team and played three other games this year decided by seven points or fewer, including a 13-10 tussle with New Mexico. If you think that Florida's defense, the one that held the greatest scoring machine in the history of college football to 14 points, couldn't deal with the speed and precision of the Utah attack, then again, I can't help you.

5. USC couldn't handle Daryll Clark and the Penn State offense in the second half of the Rose Bowl, so what makes you think for a split second that it could stop Florida's offense? Don't you dare. Don't ... you ... dare ... suggest that USC's D took its foot off the gas in the second half of that game, because then I'll have to give you a helmet and a shiny ball of tin foil to play with over in the corner. If you try to bring this up, then you simply have no clue about the pride of a USC defense that wanted DESPERATELY to make an all-timer of a statement against the Nittany Lions.

6. USC would've beaten Ohio State no matter what, but it has to keep being brought up ... if you can't tell the difference between the Ohio State team that battled Penn State and lost to Texas and the one that soiled itself against the Trojans, again, can't help you. If anyone out there actually bothered to watch the 17-10 win over Arizona, the 17-3 win over Cal, the 28-7 win over UCLA, the Oregon State loss, and also watched the entire Florida season, and yet still wants to make a case that USC is the best team in the country based on speed, talent, and any other measure, then again, can't help you. If you want to thump your chest over shutting down Arizona State, Washington State, Washington and Notre Dame, and you want to compare that to beating 10 bowl teams and two No. 1s including an Oklahoma offense that scored over 700 points ... yeah. You know.

7. In deep down places you don't talk about at parties, when you watched Texas need everything in the bag to get by Ohio State, did you really think that this was a national title team? If the Ohio State defense could keep the Longhorn offense in check, and if a still-emerging player like Terrelle Pryor, who wasn't allowed to throw the ball five feet in front of him, could get the offense moving just enough to get by, then can you imagine what Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, and the motivated Gators would've done? In the end, yeah, there's no dogging the Texas win over OU or the Longhorn season in any way, the Texas Tech loss might be the most forgivable big-game defeat of the regular season, but the second best regular season win was against ... Oklahoma State? Missouri? Don't laugh, but Rice? If the Big 12 turned out to be exposed this bowl season, and the SEC turned out to be strong, then Florida has to be given more than just the benefit of the doubt here. 

People, it's not like I have any horse in this race. The last thing I need in my world is yet another off-season of dealing with jazzed up SEC fans who don't believe the rest of the country plays college football, and I'm going to waste at least 19 days of total time in 2009 explaining to them that teams like USC, Texas, and even Boise State, going into next year, really are fantastic. If the shoe was on the other foot, and USC had done what Florida had done this year, I'd be Mr. Trojan right now (keep your comment to yourself). But for otherwise knowledgeable media types (cough, Mel Kiper, cough) and others to claim that there isn't a No. 1 team is absurd.

Florida won the national title. Don't like it? Then play up to your talent level for 12 games next year, USC, and you'll get your chance to knock the big boys off the throne. Win all your games in blowout fashion you non-BCS team, so fartknockers like me will sit here and beat their heads against the wall defending your case. Beat Oklahoma again next year, Texas, and you'll get the benefit of the Big 12 doubt from everyone.

The issue was settled on the field this year. Debate over.