Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Florida applies Shock and Awe

We all said it couldn't be done. In fact, we knew that it couldn't be done. After Ohio State escaped its rivalry game with Michigan with a 3 point victory, no one thought that a Florida team that had just finished pounding Western Carolina was going to do any better. How could they? They couldn't even beat Auburn. But now, 9 days into 2007, we sit stunned, wondering which way is up or down.

Throughout the course of this BCS bowl season, we have learned several things. We have learned that even in the 60 minute game of college football where money and clout stack big teams with great players and the underdogs don't stand a chance, miracles can happen. Teams can play above their heads, and good teams can fall by the wayside with one key injury or a series of confidence-destroying mistakes.

Teams like Boise State, Florida, and Louisville have showed America that football is everyone's game again. You don't have to win the matchups in order to win the game. The point to consider now is whether the system needs changing. If Boise State can win a BCS bowl and Florida can knock off the runaway favorite, does the system need changing after all?

Yes. All night long the announcers talked about how long Ohio State's layoff was before this National Championship game. Team schedules need to be a little more closely regulated and some of these bowl games need to be compressed, or even eliminated. The runaway national champion shouldn't have to cool his heels for almost a month and a half, only to have his proving ceremony turn into a shalacking. I think we can all agree that no one really cares about the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the insight.com bowl outside of the money-grubbers of tourism industries and the head honchos of the conference offices. Ultimately, though, these bowls need to be cut back and the ones that really matter should be moved closer to the end of the regular season.

As Gator Nation celebrates around the country tonight, many of us can't help but wonder at some of the other matchups that might have come out of a playoff system. What about Florida-USC, LSU-Michigan, Ohio State-Boise State? There are so many other intriguing combinations that could have arguably represented the National Championship game at some point in the year. Back in November, we all agreed that the winner of Mich-OSU should be the winner. Why did Ohio State have to put that title on the line 50+ days later. I mean if we're going to be arbitrary about picking Florida as the best one-loss team at the end of the season, why not be arbitrary and just vote on Ohio State as the national champion? Heck, why don't we just look at the records right now and realize that Boise State is the only undefeated team in D-I football. What the heck does that mean? If anything?

Florida beat Ohio State tonight in convincing fashion. However, I'm not convinced that this proves anything. It just means that there are more and more teams that can win on any given night in this sport. Which is ultimately why the top 10 teams should have to have a playoff. At least then we can agree to accept an unexpected vanquishing when it happens. Right now, we just don't know what to say. However, because they played within the system and did everything that was asked of them tonight, Florida gets the nod in my book. I'm not knocking their legitimacy as champion, I only wonder if there is a better way to do this.

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