2009 BCS National Championship Game Preview
by Robert Ferringo - 12/31/2008
No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida
Conference Matchup: Big 12 vs. SEC
Date: 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 9
Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
Odds: Florida -3.0; Total 72.0
I asked this question in my Cotton Bowl Preview and I'm going to ask it again: which conference was the best in college football this year, the SEC or the Big 12?
Your response to that question is likely the driving force behind your side in the BCS National Championship Game. And rightfully so. If you were dazzled by the devastating offensive performances of the Big 12 than I'm sure you think Oklahoma can hang 50 points on Florida. If you are still stunned by the ease in which the SEC claimed the last two national titles then you're likely going back to the well with Florida's Gators.
You know the schools. You know the quarterbacks. You know the coaches. And I really think that most of you have your mind made up one way or another on who you like, mainly due to your feelings about each conference. So I'm going to make this easy…
Here is why Florida is going to cover in the national championship game:
Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow. That's it. Those two are as exceptional of a duo as we've seen on the college level in a long time. The pair has already teamed up for one title and two SEC Championships, so why would you not want to let your money ride on them? And even further, how could you bet against them?
If you give Meyer a month to game plan against the 1972 Dolphins he's going to come up with a way to beat them. He is 23-2 straight up when he has more than a week to prepare for an opponent and he is a stellar 5-1 SU in bowl games. And best yet, Meyer is 15-3 against the spread against teams with a winning record. He is at his best against the best competition and you know he's going to be ready.
Tebow is a just an animal. The former Heisman Trophy winner simply does not let his team lose. He has an absurd 28 touchdowns passing to just two interceptions to go along with 12 rushing scores. Basically, he's good for six or seven yards every time he touches the ball. That's tough to stop. And he is playing his best ball at the right time, completing over 63 percent of his passes in his last five games.
Florida has the No. 3 scoring offense and the No. 5 scoring defense in the country. They are a proven commodity and are on a 20-6 ATS run over the past two-plus years. Basically, there's no other choice but to bet on the Gators!
Here is why Oklahoma is going to cover in the national championship game:
The SEC is overrated. The Big 12 is not.
This goes back to my opening question, and I sit firmly on the side of the Big 12. Over the past two seasons the SEC has been an absolutely wrecking crew and has laid waste to the college football scene. But they lost a lot of skill from last year, and there definitely wasn't the depth in the standings that we've seen in recent seasons. Alabama and Florida are legit, but beyond them there were a host of very mediocre teams matching up with them.
Texas is no joke. Texas Tech is ridiculous. Oklahoma State is much better than people realize. Missouri was a BCS hopeful last season. Kansas can score on anyone. Do I need to continue? These teams proved their mettle with some dominating nonconference performances - and OU absolutely dominated them. (Well, except Texas. Sorry Mack.)
Imagine a team in a BCS conference scoring 60 or more points in five straight games, including blowouts against three teams that spent time in the Top 10 this year. Yeah, that is the type of rush that the Sooners have been on.
Oklahoma has the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, tallying a ridiculous 54 points per outing. They have the No. 3 passing attack and average nearly 563 yards per game. And just in case you think that this is some soft, weak, pass-wacky attack, take a look at an offensive line that is the biggest and baddest unit in the country. I think the Sooners can run the ball against the Gators. And if they can run the ball and control the clock then I think they can actually dominate this one.