Friday, January 09, 2009

Tebow Nation, Yet Again

I hope most of you were able to catch the BCS title game last night. Quite a performance by Mr. Tebow, showing up big on the biggest stage. He had that slow start with some sluggishness and mistakes, but he righted himself big-time down the stretch. The guy is simply amazing though, and that performance in the second half proves that he is THE MAN in the college game right now. Sam Bradford is a fabulous QB who absolutely destroyed everyone in his path this year, but Tebow showed he is the guy you want under center when it's winning-time.

The impressive thing about Tebow isn't just the stats (only two INT's all season coming into the game), nor is it the great person factor, by all accounts the real deal in every way. But the thing I am blown away by is his ability to lift his team and lead them, and they follow him to the ends of the earth. I don't know if I've ever seen a team rally around one player like they do for Tebow. This is a "homer" angle, but maybe Jason Gesser had that touch on his team? That performance vs. UCLA in 2002 with the torn up ankle is a history-book chapter in itself. But even I can see that this Tebow is on another level.



The story is a big one, about how he went on a huge tirade after they lost at home to Ole Miss earlier in the year, where he just went nuts on a rant in a way nobody had ever seen from him before. But when he was done, they all said that they would never let that happen again. And they didn't. But Tebow did the same kind of thing last night. After that tight 7-7 first half, Tebow reportedly went off at halftime, pretty much losing his voice in the process:
"Don't be afraid of one-five holding that thing," Tebow said -- or screamed? -- at the coaches at halftime. "Believe in us and believe in me, and we can get the job done."
And Tebow was right. He took that game over in the second half. Per ESPN, "On Florida's 75-yard, third-quarter drive to take a 14-7 lead, he ran or threw for all but 15 of the yards. That included a third-and-4 run for 15 yards and a dodging, cutting, win-the-collision scramble for 12 more on third and 10. On the 76-yard drive for Florida's clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter, Tebow ran or passed for all but six of the yards. Twice he completed passes to convert third downs, and then he capped the drive with a trademark jump pass to unheralded wideout David Nelson. "

Meanwhile, how about Percy Harvin!?!? HOLY COW. That kid is lightning, and that's with one healthy ankle! Talk about speed. He's got the Reggie Bush factor going for him, where every time he has the football in his hands, you feel like he could take it to the house.

And it's not like he's a kid who can only run fly sweeps around the outside and doesn't like to get hit. So many times they would motion him into the backfield and he would take a read-option handoff right up the middle. He's going to make a LOT of money at the next level.

But it also has to be said - the Florida defense saved that game! Oklahoma had two huge opportunities to maybe even blow the game wide open in the 2nd quarter, where twice they had it first-and-goal, but both times came away with zero points. Once they went for it on 4th and a foot and were stuffed, big-time. The other on a strange, bobbled, tipped pass for an INT at the goal line right before halftime. Either score gives them the lead - and big-time momentum - heading into the locker room. Instead it was frustration for missing such great opportunities, and you better believe that had an effect on that team.

Speaking of defenses, I know I expected more offensive fireworks than we saw, but wow, the hitting in that game was just huge, by both teams. We knew Florida was going to run and hit as well as any defense around, and that SEC speed and power was as advertised. But Oklahoma fought hard for quite a while before wearing out at the end of the game. That said, huge tip of the hat to Florida's defense. Oklahoma was one of the hottest offenses in the modern era, scoring at least 60 points in five straight games, and setting an FBS record by averaging 54 points per game on the season. Yet Florida limited them to FOURTEEN POINTS. This from a team that averaged 35 points in the FIRST HALF all year! Amazing.

I will also say this. There isn't a defensive tackle who would better fit the Seahawks' needs next year than Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy. Provided he comes out for the draft that is, but if you are looking for a 6-4, 300-lb disruptor up front who can power through double-teams, shoot the gaps with explosive power and also drop back in zone blitzes and grab an interception!? What a player!


So, here's a question - what would USC do to Florida, Utah or even Oklahoma? Do you think Utah has a legit claim to at least share the title? Do you think USC would handle any team in the country right now? Personally I think SC would beat Oklahoma, and probably Utah as well. But Florida, I'm not so sure. They are so physical and have so much speed on defense. I wonder if Mark Sanchez would be up to the task of beating that defense. Again, Florida just held Oklahoma to 14 points. And offensively, the one team USC struggled with this year, Oregon State, was a team that ran the ball incredibly well. Florida has been running for over 200 yards per game on everyone lately, and that's against SEC defenses. But I know this - I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT! Wouldn't it be great to see USC and Florida, in one more game to settle it all??

That's it for today. Enjoy your Friday, and GO COUGS!

16 comments:

Tim in Oklahoma said...

Please allow me to clear up two disconnects between the Cougar and Sooner Nations. First, the OU QB is SAM Bradford, not MARK Bradford. Second, the Norman Transcript reports the last time OU won a BCS bowl game was the Rose, Jan. 1, 2003, vs WASHINGTON. Glad we could get that stinker reassigned to the Dawgs.
-Tim in Oklahoma
WSU '83

Sedihawk said...

Sorry Tim, it's early. Fixed. And what is the Norman Transcript?

Anonymous said...

Always a great night when Clay Bennett loses. Which means a lot of good nights this year.

Brinkhater said...

last night, Tebow certainly earned his place among college football legends.

But lost in this whole deal is how good of a coach Urban Meyer is.

In the last six years, he has piloted three national championship teams--two that actually won it.

That Alex Smith Utah team was REALLY, REALLY good and fun to watch.

Speaking of which, while I DON'T think that Sanchez and SC would have been able to score against the Gators, I think we have to show a little bit of deference to the Utes.

After all, they did win ALL of their games and SPANKED Bama harder that the Gators did. AND they also did it in the heart of SEC country.

I'm glad that they got #2 in the writers poll. They deserved it.

Couggie said...

I'm still cringing over the 1st quarter hit on OU's WR. I literally thought he died.

Good game commentary. Thanks!

Tim in Oklahoma said...

The Norman Transcript is the daily newspaper in Norman, OK, home of the University of Oklahoma.

Not sure what Clay Bennett has to do with this; all I can say is that people in my beloved home state of Washington who hate all things Oklahoma might not be engaging their brains as much as they could, given their matriculation on the Palouse.

Meanwhile, our man Kyle Weaver is getting more meaningful minutes in his rookie season with the Thunder, where the outlook appears brighter than the win-loss record.
GO COUGS!
-Tim

P.S. I've tried never to be a hater of any kind (with sometime exceptions of UW and Oregon, but who is perfect? Oh, I forgot; Tim Tebow!). In particular, can I be the only one who thinks the name "Brinkhater" was never appropriate and now is simply tiresome?

And thanks for doing all this work for the Cougar Nation, by the way.

kaddy said...

SC would beat OK and Utah, imo, but I don't know about Florida...that would be a great matchup. We'll never know.

Hooty McBoob said...

Hawk - could not agree more on Gerald McCoy. To me, he looks like a quicker version of another Sooner - Tommie Harris. He'd sure look good in a 'Hawk's uni.

Can we also agree that FOX's coverage of this game was absolutely hideous? Brennaman needs to stick to baseball and Davis needs to be relegated to sideline reporter for the Motor City Bowl. Just awful.

Soze said...

Hooty, it could have been worse! Did you catch the Cotton Bowl with Pat Summerall? I'm still not convinced he was in the stadium watching the same game.

Sedihawk said...

McCoy would be PERFECT for what they want and need on defense next year. He has that look of being pretty special doesn't he? Heck he already is as a sophomore.

And yeah, wow, good call on the Fox coverage. Having Switzer and Jimmy in the studio, what a mess. And did you notice how much Fox loves to show random crowd shots and close-ups in between plays? They are the masters of that during the MLB playoffs, but it just seemed odd and out of place. We know Fox is just fine with the NFL but it isn't such a polished product with the NCAA.

And Brennamn, yeah, GREAT call. did you see how he thought it was 4th down and goal in the first half for Oklahoma when the whole world knew it was 3rd down? He was yelling "FLORIDA HAS HELD!" a couple of times. He's MLB all the way. And his line of "if you spend 30 seconds or 30 minutes with Tim Tebow, you come away a better person"? PUH-LEEZE! I love Tebow but it's like they expect him to be nailed to the cross and then rise from the dead.

And Kaddy, just watching USC's D attack Tebow and Harvin would be worth the price of admission. And seeing if Sanchez could deal with Florida's speed on D would be fascinating. DAMN YOU BCS!

Hooty McBoob said...

What was worse on that 3rd and goal was that Brennaman actually convinced Davis that it was 4th down. "Go! Go! Go!" I was trying to figure out if I missed something.

The only other bowl game I watched this year was the Rose Bowl. ABC/ESPN has at least 4 other pairings of announcers that are better than those two - and that's being generous.

I fast-forwarded through halftime as soon as I saw Switzer and Johnson. Literally did not hear a word either of them spoke.

With Utah and USC both clearly deserving a shot at the title, this was a very underwhelming end to a shitty college football season.

Anonymous said...

Vegas sez USC would be favored by the following:

2 1/2 over Florida
6 1/2 over Oklahoma
7 1/2 over Utah

Brinkhater said...

tim:
everything about the name has been both tired and innapropriate..but I'm not sure this chicken can ever return to roost and reload.

is BH better?

Anonymous said...

BY, yes!

Anonymous said...

BH

TiltingRight said...

Missed your prediction on the Cougs tonight, BH... is this a forfeit? An NC?