Thursday, December 11, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
It all played out Saturday afternoon in the Georgia Dome. The number one and number two teams in the nation and also the SEC met in a decisive battle to not only determine the SEC champion for ’08 but also the first team that would be above the radar of the BCS computers. This was a first in NCAA history that the first two teams in a conference and the first two teams in the nation would meet in a conference championship. Do I really need to say “only in the SEC?”
The Crimson Tide had held down the top spot in the nation for the last five weeks of the regular season. They were also the top of the BCS selection list. There was not a blemish on their season record. The only thing standing in the way was a date with the Gators in Atlanta. The Florida Gators were trying to add another chance to pad their resume with a second trip to the BCS title game within three years.
Florida had one mark on their record, a loss to Ole Miss – which had to smart a lot. It caused their Heisman quarterback Tim Tebow, to vow on national television that he would personally shoulder the guilt of that loss and use the rest of the season to make up for it. Apparently, Tebow was serious in organizing and orchestrating his own redemption. After the one-point loss to the Rebels, the Gators averaged 46 points a game in mowing down opponents. They stated that they were just waiting for the Tide.
It was interesting to note that last week everyone I talked to was pulling for Alabama. They remarked about the job which Nick Saban has done in his short time there and named him heir apparent to the “Bear’s” legacy – one that is perhaps the most impressive in collegiate football, including 21 conference titles and 12 national titles.
Yours truly was pulling for the Tide. And it was surprising to learn that the Gators had been given nine-point odds in the SEC title game. It is impossible to set to paper all the comments which could be written about the game. We know that Florida prevailed, made the odds and is now headed to the FedEx Bowl on the eighth of January.
Late Sunday evening the BCS computers spit out the top five BCS match-ups. Florida will meet Oklahoma for all the marbles. OU, according to the computers, is number one. How? Don’t know. They didn’t beat the number one team, Florida did. Number three Texas will meet Ohio State in the Tostitos Bowl; number four Alabama will play unbeaten Utah in the Sugar Bowl; Virginia Tech goes to the Orange Bowl again, this time against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are making history all around – their first 11-win season and their first BCS bowl appearance. Penn State has a real challenge in USC in the Rose Bowl.
So much news came out of the sports world last week and there is no way we can get to all of it. But it has to be mentioned that Tommy Tuberville was given the gate at Auburn.
I still haven’t forgiven him for abandoning the alma mater, but one has to wonder just what is Auburn thinking – nine bowl trips in 10 seasons, over 80 wins plus tons of revenue.
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