Friday, January 09, 2009
I want to give a Cowboys-style review here on Bob’s Blog to the BCS Championship game since I have a notebook full of stuff, and really no place to put it, so here we go:
Oklahoma ran into a nice buzz-saw last night, that I think most people saw coming. To Oklahoma’s credit, they made the Florida Gators work for 4 full quarters to eventually pull away, but pull away they did. A dominant 4th Quarter is all they needed to drop the hammer and win yet another National Title. That makes 2 Football Titles and 2 Basketball Titles in the last 32 months which is somewhere between strong and quite strong.
To me, Oklahoma’s track record speaks for itself, and whether you want to look at the big picture of their historical totals or the small picture of the Bob Stoops era, you find a fairly impeccable record either way. But, as we discussed before the game, while the regional reputation of OU cannot be questioned with another Big 12 title (however debatable it was this year), on a national stage, Oklahoma’s name is not allowed anymore to join the USC, Florida, LSU “best-of-the-best” group while they falter on the biggest stage. In fact, if you rank the last 5 years (which is the life-span of the current college football group – 1 redshirt year and 4 years of eligibility) you could easily make the case that Texas belongs higher on the 5-year National Power Poll than the Sooners.
Only 2 teams have lost more than 3 BCS Bowl games since the inception of the series, which coincides with the Stoops and Mack Brown eras. Those two teams are Oklahoma (2-5) and Florida State (1-5) who both have 5 losses. On one hand they play there almost every year (or, Florida State used to), and on the other hand they haven’t won a BCS game since their Rose Bowl win over Cinderella Washington State on Jan 1, 2003.
Regardless, life will go on. I don’t think Stoops is going anywhere, and the mentality of comparing your school to your neighbor’s school shall surely continue. I think the better question might be how effective is the decision of Oklahoma and to an extent Texas to rely on the no-huddle spread offense that everyone in this conference seems to rely upon these days. Is tricking up football necessary for the powers that have the best players? I understand Texas Tech doing it – it has been their stroke of genius to even the playing field. But, the Sooners offense which was in another world for much of the season was good, but not unstoppable when they played a team of jackals. Florida can get pressure, they can cover, they fly around the ball, and they cause mistakes. Unless you can bully them – which Oklahoma did do on the one scoring drive in the 1st half with a quality run attack, then you will be left wanting in the 4th Quarter.
Some notes and observations for the night in Miami:
• The true bottom line on this game is the points Oklahoma left on the field. 2 Interceptions including one on the goal line. One missed Field Goal. And one very important goal-line stand. It perhaps should have and could have been 21-7 at the half. If it is, Oklahoma is your national champion, but I think we all know you cannot leave 17 points on the field when you are playing Florida. They truly deserved a better fate based on how they played between the 20 yard lines, but they did not cash in during their trips deep in Gator territory. Combine those missed chances with the demoralizing drive Florida put on the field to seal the game at 24-14, and there you have it – the winner of the game, and the winner of the title.
• 11 giveaways all year for Oklahoma, and a +24 turnover ratio. In fact, did you catch how the top two turnover ratio teams were playing last night? Florida was a +22. Those stats mean something in college, too.
• Jermaine Gresham is 20 years old. He is 6’6, 260, and is already a guaranteed 1st round pick –whether it is in 2009 or 2010. He is an absolute man-child on that Sooners offense. What a player, and what a demonstration of how the Tight End position has evolved over the years.
• I am already going to suggest that Tim Tebow will be a victim of the Brett Favre effect. This is a theory I have been working on over the years that basically is this: If the media loves a player so much, you will catch yourself taking shots at him and at times rooting for his failure to counter balance the over-love of the announcers. This is not the fault of the player, as he doesn’t ask for the adoration, but because he is adored, the media actually slowly but surely turn the populace against the guy. Tebow is awesome, but Thom Brennaman’s audible love affair with the man seemed a bit overdone, no?
• As for Tebow’s play, you wonder how it equates to the National Football League. On one hand, he looks like he is a flat out winner who can will his team to victory and improve the play of the entire team. On the other hand, we know we have seen a dozen QB’s who can do that at the college level and they are not a factor at the NFL for 2 seconds (Eric Crouch, anyone?). I also know that his arm seems to come and go as far as accuracy goes, and a team that runs for nearly 3,000 yards in a season is not counting on the aerial attack. But, when you need a 3rd and 10, and Tebow is in the shotgun, how does everyone everywhere know that he is going to go with the QB draw, and yet he still gets 12 yards? I love his style. I love his story (he enjoys a mission to an orphanage, too!) and I catch myself rooting for him. It is a little odd to see a guy with “John 3:16” on his face to be flagged for taunting, but I got past it. Anyway, one draft expert thought he was a 1st or 2nd rounder. I am curious what the future holds for him as he is under the microscope of the spring NFL pre-draft gauntlet.
• Ron Cherry was the ref last night. Not sure he called a very good game, but I also thought he seemed familiar. Here is why …loved it. And also love that Youtube can remind us his greatness for evermore…Or however long Youtube lasts…
• I think Dominque Franks would like to have that one back …
• Percy Harvin was awesome at times in this game. He has been awesome all season long for Florida, and appears to be another reason that Florida offense is very difficult to stop. Is it borderline amazing that he is not the fastest player on that team, but I guess when Jeffery Demps is breaking off a 10 flat 100, speed is not a real weakness on the Florida squad.
• It took about 1 play and 1 hit to pretty much take Manny Johnson out of the game. What a hit. It was so hard that it looked like Iglesias bailed out of a similar play later in the game because of it.
• Brennaman and Charles Davis really need to only look at their screen to see what down it is. That was not something they will put on their resume tapes. To not know what down it is for about 2 straight minutes, even though it is on the screen in 2 different places – 3 if you count the down markers – is flat inexcusable. It was excruciating to watch.
• Call me an old man, but I am tired of taunting in football. It is getting worse. And nobody seems interested in stopping it. Every stinking play there is some knucklehead telling the other team how awesome he is and how much they suck. Then there are two linemen with face masks touching as they tell each-other naughty words. And finally worst of all is the idiocy of the back-up substitutes going crazy on the sideline when a player from the other team gets anywhere near their sideline. I know it is in every game, but last night was sickening. I kind of wanted both teams to lose. But then I realized that if I only wanted classy football teams to win, I better just give football up. And I cannot do that.
• All in all, a heck of a fun night of football. The Big 12 was beaten, but not embarrassed. Florida is a worthy champion, I suppose, but I still wonder how a team that losses to Ole Miss at home can play for the National Title. USC, Utah, and Texas are likely feeling left out today, but it is what it is. Florida is a champion again, and the message boards are full of “Big Choke Bob” posts and the picture of the band chick who was crying. Ah, College Football – it is fantastic.