Friday, January 09, 2009

Reflections on Sooners vs. Gators

Not sure what was up with our local Fox television station here in Omaha, but after listening and reading some of the national press today, I'm convinced that KPTM-Channel 42 must have broadcast a different game. I mean, the final scores happened to be the same, but the national media all saw something breathtaking that wasn't shown here in Omaha.

I'm speaking, of course, about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. All day long, it was "perfection", best ever, once in a lifetime player, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Whoa. Stop the car. Tebow is a great player, mind you. But some of the talk is getting a little insane. Especially since the key to Florida's victory last night wasn't so much Tebow as it was the Gator defense and Percy Harvin.

Yeah, Harvin. Remember him? 171 yards of offense? After spending the entire month of December frantically rehabilitating his sprained ankle? Uh, scratch that. Make that a fracture, not just a sprain. There's your MVP right there.

But hey, Tebow's a great story: he can run, he can throw, he can circumsize like no other quarterback we've ever seen. So let's run with it. And while we're at it, let's go ahead and crown the Gators the 2009 National Champions while we're at it.

No need to play next season at all. We all know what's going to happen this fall, right here on January 9th. (Has the electoral college finished tallying the votes between Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, by the way? Oh right...things change over time.)

Renny over at the Big Red Network got the alternative feed of last night's game as well, as he pointed out that Florida ran a similar bubble screen as Nebraska did against Oklahoma, except that the Sooners picked off Joe Ganz's pass. Florida gained 15 yards on it. That's Florida speed, correct?

Absolutely not. That was a case where Nebraska had run that play over and over and over so many times this season, that the Sooners knew what was coming as soon as the ball was snapped. They read the play, and reacted. Touchdown Oklahoma. The only impact speed had on the play was that it left an extra second on the clock once Dominiq Franks crossed the goalline.

Yeah, Nebraska needs to recruit well, but enough with the obsession with "top five" classes already. We need speed, sure. We need playmakers, absolutely. But we also need players that play hard and never give up. We need guys who take their game to another level when they get to college, not necessarily guys who put up huge numbers in high school. And more importantly, we need to coach these guys up and get them ready to play.

I see Oklahoma fell all the way to fifth in the polls for some reason. Especially bizarre after Oklahoma looked much better than Texas this week in bowl games. Texas nearly embarassed the Big XII in the Fiesta Bowl... Oklahoma just got beaten by a pretty darn good team.

One thing is for sure, we might have seen the first signs of a significant move away from the BCS format. Oh sure, the BCS is here for another five years. But after that, who knows. Some people have been pushing for a "Plus-One" format, where you take the top four teams in the BCS and match them up in New Years Day bowl games, then have the winners play the next week. It all sounded good until this week.

Florida, Oklahoma, USC, Texas, Utah. Oops. That's five, my friends.

Who would you have thrown out? Utah? Well, after Utah beat Alabama worse than Florida did last month, that argument isn't going to hold water.

Here's what'll happen: an eight or sixteen team playoff. Bowl games will be for everybody else who's out of the playoff. All games are played on someone's home field; fans are NOT going to travel to bowl games on one week's notice for two or three consecutive weeks. Ticket sales attest to the difficulty in selling some of this year's bowl matchups. And besides, home fields are how they handle just about every other playoff.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Hey Husker Mike, good blog. I agree with pretty much everything you've said. Maybe I'm drinking the kool-aide a little to much and a little too early, but I can't help but be excited about what the future might hold for the Huskers.

Sounds like they have some great athletes coming, or already here (redshirts). Call it cautious optimism, but I'm thinking we will see much more competetive Husker teams in the future, and blow-outs few and far between (hopefully).

What are your thoughts?