Game Blog: Oklahoma-Florida
FINAL: Florida 24, Oklahoma 14
Plano, Texas — Trouble for Oklahoma, and on a broader perspective, trouble for the Big 12 Conference. There's virtually no argument right now for the Big 12 being superior to the SEC. Consider these factors:
- 1. Florida just beat OU in the BCS Championship.
- 2. Ole Miss beat Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.
- 3. SEC postseason bowl record: 6-2.
- 4. Big 12 postseason bowl record: 4-3.
It was one of the better years in the Big 12's history. Michael Crabtree's amazing touchdown catch in the final second in Lubbock, Texas, on Nov. 1. Five ranked teams for the majority of the year. Oklahoma's offense scoring the most total points in the history of college football. Prime time games with national title implications seemingly every week. Five of the top 10 scoring offenses in the nation. Two of three Heisman finalists.
But one thing became clear tonight: The Big 12 is still not as good as the SEC.
And what's up with the South going 1-3 in bowl games? If it wasn't for the 3-0 showing from the North, it would have been a horrible showing for the conference in the postseason. As it is, you'd have to call it a mediocre showing at absolute best.
Back to the BCS Championship. The Gators really turned up the heat on the ground in the second half. Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin combined for 229 rushing yards, and Florida outgained Oklahoma, 247-106, on the ground.
What are your guys' thoughts? As always, discuss.
End of third quarter: Florida 14, Oklahoma 7
A very even game here. Florida scored once in the third off a 2-yard touchdown run by Percy Harvin, but Oklahoma's driving to begin the fourth quarter. The Sooners held Tim Tebow's ability to run in check for the majority of the first half, but he seemed to get loose on several occasions in the third quarter. He now has 74 yards on the ground.
It raises more questions on why the line for this game moved to Florida being favored by 6 right before the game, after roughly a month of the line being Florida by 3.
My question: What the heck happened in one day to move this line to 6? Simply baffling.
Halftime update: Oklahoma 7, Florida 7
For as good as these offenses have been this season, the first half of the BCS Championship game was all about defense.
As in two OU interceptions on Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who had only thrown two interceptions all year coming into tonight.
Or how about Florida's two defensive stops inside the red zone? One on a 4th-and-1 when the Gators stuffed Chris Brown to prevent a touchdown. Another off an interception of a Sam Bradford pass that bounced off several players. If you're Oklahoma, you have to enjoy the early success of the running game. Brown carried 12 times for 78 yards in the first half.
Should be a heck of a second half. Be sure to discuss in the meantime and I'll be back later. Enjoy, all.
Pregame: Smack talk fuels BCS title game
Nothing like a little smack talk to make tonight's already-riveting BCS Championship well...more riveting.Here's a look at a few jabs from the week leading up to the title game between No. 1 Oklahoma (12-1) and No. 2 Florida (12-1).
Shot No. 1: "I’d say he’d probably be about the fourth-best quarterback in our conference. We’re coming in and facing Tebow, and he wants to run the ball a lot more. He’s predominantly a running quarterback. So to me it’s going to be a lot easier for us to prepare to stop the run than having to face a quarterback that might throw the ball 40 or 50 times a game.”
— OU sophomore cornerback Dominique Franks, on UF quarterback Tim Tebow, who's accounted for 40 total TD's (28 passing, 12 rushing) this season.
Shot No. 2: “You keep hearing they’ve scored all these points in the last five games, but I really feel like they haven’t faced a defense like ours, and Big 12 defenses are a joke. It’s always like a bunch of basketball scores when I watch SportsCenter."
— UF junior linebacker Brandon Spikes on Oklahoma.
Much of the public jabbing stopped after that. But I find it hard to believe OU and UF players won't bring it up behind closed doors.
In Jeremy Fowler's 'Swamp Things' blog (Orlando Sentinel), he noticed an exchange between an unnamed Florida player and UF offensive coordinator Dan Mullen:
The Gator lightly tapped Mullen on the arm and said, "Run it up, they've been talking a lot of (expletive)."
Ah, the drama.We'll see how it plays out at 7 tonight, but there are a few storylines that should make this game fascinating, even without all the smack talk.
History in the making?
With a victory tonight, Oklahoma has the opportunity to tie Notre Dame for the most college football championships in the Modern Era with eight. Florida has won two titles (1996, 2006).
Big 12 vs. SEC: Who's better?
In my blog earlier in the week, I came up with a simple way to determine the nation's best conference.
The SEC already has a leg up on the Big 12 with Ole Miss' Cotton Bowl victory over Texas Tech. The SEC is 5-2 this postseason, while the Big 12 is 4-2. A lot is riding on tonight's game from a conference superiority perspective.
Juggernaut offense vs. juggernaut defense:
Oklahoma ranks first in the nation in scoring offense at 54 points per game. The Sooners, with 702 points on the season, are the only team that's ever scored 700 points in a season and they still have tonight's game to pad those stats. On the other end, Florida ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense with an average of only 12.8 points given up per game. Who will get the edge on the field tonight?
Head-to-head Heisman battle:
Sam Bradford won the trophy over Colt McCoy of Texas and Tebow, who won the trophy last year. Was this the proper call?
I'd be interested in everyone's score predictions. Post your prediction in the comments section and enjoy tonight's game.
I'll also be updating the blog throughout tonight's game, so feel free to come onto KUSports.com and share your opinions.