Friday, January 9, 2009

Quite a night

Florida's victory over Oklahoma last night was different from any UF related national title game I have covered in any sport. It was not extraordinarily well played on offense, as the four interceptions thrown by a pair of QBs who had eight combined in 26 games played before this would attest, yet it was dramatic and compelling throughout. None of the other games met that standard.

I've been up all night except for about two hours of sleep on the flight back to Columbia. A few random thoughts on the game in no particular order before my afternoon show:

1. Sam Bradford is very good, but he gets a great deal of help from the fact his offensive line is allowed to hold on 99.9 percent of their plays. Over the past few years it's seemed like offensive holding is just not getting called much anymore, but last night was just ridiculous.

2. There were tons of "turning point" plays in the game, but the Torrey Davis goal line play was the most important in my view. The energy level of UF's D looked like it was flagging and that completely changed their body language for the rest of the night. If that kid gets his act together in a salary drive for his junior season, he's going to make a lot of money.

3. One thing I'm happy about for this championship is that Ron Zook's name wasn't mentioned by anyone I spoke with all week. He shouldn't have been discussed nearly as much as he was in 2006. This coaching staff took a team with a good amount of talent and made it champions then, and they've shown they're capable of recruiting every bit as well as Zook ever did. Zook somehow convinced people that Florida was a rebuilding job when his first team had more players selected by the NFL than anyone else. He's still not a very good head coach, and being able to recruit high end talent to UF should be considered a given.

4. It's hard to evaluate how much of last night's offensive approach reflected Steve Addazio's thinking versus Dan Mullen's but the insistence on repeatedly running inside with Oklahoma bringing so much heat there puzzled me. It wasn't there, and the quick throws to the outside were and weren't being used anywhere nearly enough.

5. It's a reflection of just how extraordinarily deep this team is that guys like Riley Cooper and David Nelson had critical catches on the game winning drive. Nelson is a guy they need to continue to mix in next season. Deonte Thompson had no catches and Emmanuel Moody got one carry - these kids are too talented not to see more meaningful action next year.

6. I got a sample look at the pregame show of the 3-D broadcast of the game in the press box. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to watch a full game that way - what I saw was very distracting and didn't add much. My friend Ross did watch it, and I'll be curious to hear what he thought.

7. One positive of the 3-D broadcast apparently was that it wasn't the main Fox team doing it. I'm not sure I've ever heard a national broadcast get slammed by so many different people as I have today. Everyone seems to have hated it, which is how I generally feel about everything Fox has done with the BCS.

8. As great as Tim Tebow was in the second half, if an offensive guy was going to get most outstanding player it should have been Percy Harvin. I've seen a lot of talented football players, and I've never seen anything like what that guy can do.

9. Imagine being an FSU fan today. Your rival is celebrating their second national title in three years, and you're still spinning your wheels with Bobby Bowden for another season. Good luck with that.

1 comment:

GatorBull said...

I'll be the first to leave a comment regarding the absolute drivel that FOX has produced for the BCS. Last night's commentators were downright awful. Be glad you were there and did not have to suffer through it. If there was any time I wish I was at a noisy bar to watch a game instead of the comfort of my apartment, it was last night.

FOX was so enamored with Oklahoma's ability to run a "no huddle" offense when in face it was not even close. Just because your team does not huddle up does not constitute a "no huddle" scheme. I really hate to throw praise his way but Peyton Manning has revolutionized the concept of what a no huddle offense is capable of and if Oklahoma or FOX for that matter wants to praise the attempt, they should at least take notes on how it is supposed to be done.

I personally thought it was a tremendously sloppy game that Oklahoma gave away. However, the outcome still leaves this college football fan desiring more. While the polls reflect the outcome, I would love to see a 4 team playoff with USC and Texas going at it and Florida and Utah: let the winners duke it out and crown a REAL National Champion.