Friday, January 9, 2009

A great day to be a Gator!


University of Florida Gators
National College Football Champions!

Florida 24
Oklahoma 14

Gator fans everywhere are celebrating this day. Florida beat the Oklahoma Sooners last night to win the NCAA national football championship. It was the Gators third national championship and the second in three years under coach Urban Meyer.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow led the Gators with a determination that could not be stopped. His team beat the team led by this year’s Heisman winner. After the team’s one loss earlier in the season, Tebow took the blame. He stood before his teammates, Florida fans, and the nation and, sobbing slightly over the loss, promised that the Gators would play harder, work harder, and never give up for the rest of the season.

They didn’t, and the efforts of Tim Tebow led them, first to winning the rest of their games, then winning the SEC (Southeastern Conference) championship by beating previously undefeated Alabama, then stopping the Big 12 Champion Sooners for the NC title. Oklahoma ended the season in first place in the coaches’ poll and the Gators were second.

The whole Florida team played outstandingly. There were a couple of good pass catches and the running of Percy Harvin went a very long way to keeping them in the game. Probably without Harvin, there would be no championship. And the defense was outstanding. It did give up a few long runs, but when it counted, like two goal line stands and a major interception that put the do it to it for Oklahoma will long be remembered.

There had been some call for the University of Utah to win the NC as the Utes were the nation’s only undefeated college football team. There had been some speculation that the NC would be split between the winner of the BCS (coaches’ poll group) and the AP poll winner. The AP (Associated Press) had broken from the BCS over the use of their poll.

In the end, however, both polls placed Florida as the National Champions.

I’m very happy for the Gators. But that doesn’t change an earlier post of mine that called for a playoff system to determine the NC. No other sport championship is determined off the playing venue. There are four weeks between the end of the season and the conference championship games and the NC game, which, incidentally, will be in the Rose Bowl next year.

Most of those weeks are during the college winter semester break so school wouldn’t be affected. The bowl series could be used for a playoff system to allow all the best to play it out. Then we would have a true national champion.

I believe the Gators just might have been there this year under such a system. But that other team could have been one of several, Texas, USC, Utah, and, yes, Oklahoma among them.

But this isn’t a day for us Gators to talk about playoffs; it’s a day to be happy that our team won last night. As most of you know, I don’t stay up late to watch sports events, but I’ve always said the exception would be if the Gators were in a National Championship game. (Or the Red Sox in game seven of the World Series. Or the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Celtics or Bruins? Wouldn’t happen.)

Yes, I stayed through the whole thing last night; so being just a wee tired this morning, I haven’t considered other topics for today. So this is it. Enjoy your weekend.



Anonymous said...

You must be smiling like the Golden Gator. Bet your feet never hit the floor on your way to bed. Congratulation to you and all the other proud GATORS this morning!!!!!!
Mrs. FF

GiM said...

Thank you, Mrs. FF. I am a happy but very tired Gator this morning. With GW going to work, I'm up early. I'd be surprised if I don't work in a nap or a dozen. The Golden One didn't stay up with me to enjoy the victory, though.