Turns out the only thing that kept Alabama from yet another SEC championship was a decision a teenager made some 3 years ago. The Crimson Tide stood toe to toe with the best team in the country and absorbed blow after blow with counter-punch after counter-punch. It was a game you could sense was being taped for replay as an instant classic. The drama was thick. The star players lined each sideline hoping to build upon already impressive resumes that would rest comfortably in the hands of most NFL GMs.
And as the third quarter came to a close, I felt pretty good about my Friday prediction. Tebow had touched the ball less often than a Gatorade cup since halftime and Coffee was well on his way to MVP type numbers.
But as a senior in high school Tim Tebow chose sunny Florida over Titletown Tuscaloosa without even really realizing that his decision would be the difference in the SEC title game three years later. Saturday night he welcome the game unto his shoulders and may have established himself as the first repeat Heisman winner since ol' Archie. (AP photo, John Bazemore)
Make no mistake about it. Bama played well enough to win. Their game plan was sound. They set up the play-action early. And they avoided
getting down by too much early. Even after Florida scored the first touchdown in seemingly effortless fashion, Bama didn't budge. They steadied themselves like any tremendous pachyderm would. Then took two giNORMous steps towards the opposite end zone and balanced the scoreboard in less than a minute.
In the end, Tebow was the quite certainly the difference. As good as John Parker Wilson is and as good as the Crimson Tide has been this season, Tim Tebow is just too good and the Florida Gators too fast, well coached and determined to lose this game.
And now the national sports media turns its attention to the BCS big 'un. The finale in Miami. The game for the Mythical Nat'l Championship.
All season the pundits have ruled the SEC inferior to the Big XII. The midwest major conference just had too many star QBs and too many prolific offenses. Well, we're gonna see aren't we. I still subscribe to the theory that offense sells seats and defense wins championships.
There's no question that the two teams from Oklahoma and the two from Texas (no....not Baylor) are well oiled point scoring machine. And I understand the argument that the SEC defensive numbers may be deceiving given the lack of talented QBs in the conference this season. But historically the SEC is faster and more dominating on defense than their counterparts in other conferences. Florida's defense was gashed Saturday night, but is far improved from last season's trial by fire. They'll go against Oklahoma's high powered offense. Last team with the ball may hoist the trophy.
- Bob Stoops for whining his way into the voters' mind and then coaching his team into the MNC game. The BCS creates the system, this coach knows how to work it.
- Plaxico Burress. Some playahs use their mouth to shoot themselves in the foot; this killa uses a glock.....and "aims" higher.
- Ainsley for tearing up Math Blasters, her math learning game on the computer. As she says, "It's like stealing candy from a baby!"
- My cousins Kate and Alex, both East Carolina students. They take out Tulsa Pirate Style for the CUSA Championship.
- And Conner for surviving her first viewing of Ol' Yeller. You're my girl!
- I watched a few minutes of the ACC Championship game in Tampa. Did they sell ANY tickets to that game? I know a yankee team from Boston and another team from the hills of Virginia were the contestants. But it had to be embarrassing for ACC officials to see so many empty seats.
- Meanwhile the Georgia Dome ruckus could be heard from well outside the perimeter. Turns out a pair of jorts and a houndstooth hat go pretty well together. At least the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce thinks so.
- Coaching updates: Tommy Tuberville played golf this weekend after purchasing roughly 200 billion acres of real estate in Alabama and Mississippi. Oh, and a new fishing pole. Sylvester Croom refused opportunities to throw his former employer under the bus. And Phulmer relaxed a bit and only visited three buffets over the weekend.
- The magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl is one of the games on the slate for December 20th, opening day for Bowl Season. I had heard of St. Petersburg (the one in FL and the one in Russia) but was curious about magicJack. Well...try it! Risk free. Call me.
- Have you taken a look at the Bowl Schedule yet? It reads almost like a NASDAQ stock report. You start in mid-December with some start up stocks that aren't well recognized and then it grows into powerful tech stocks that are household name brands like the Chick-Fil-A and the Tostitos.
- What about the Dawgs you ask? As expected, Stafford and Moreno will be parlaying their final collegiate game with the heavy promotional machine that once was the Citrus Bowl. Word out of East Lansing.......Dantonio is using the holidays to implement the triple option.
- On Friday BDB wondered if Coach Garner would get a chance at D coordinator at Auburn once a coach was named. Well, yesterday he interviewed for the head job. Hard to believe he would land the gig without even any coordinator experience. But they could do a LOT worse on the plains.
- And another coaching update: GA Tech follower Miranda was able to confirm for Bernie's Dawg Blawg that Coach Johnson will NOT be moving to Syracuse. But the Tech alum has not been able to unsubstantiate rumors that his coach is leaving Tech after the bowl game to accept a position as a Wal-Mart greeter. Any heavily recruited teenagers who happen to read this should NOT, I repeat....NOT...let this rumor affect their decision in any way.
- And yes. Once Johnson is officially hired by the retail giant, I will immediately fax Coach Willie's resume over.
This weekend's Mall Santa Special: two tickets to next year's Bernie's Dawg Blawg OldCrow and HamDog Bowl. Coming to a back yard near you.
And the trivia winner from Friday is.........Bernie! It took him the entire season to stump Nama, Cord, Jenn, Allen and others. But he did it. Turns out he should have abandoned the medium of choice (internet) and used the BDB preferred medium (sports talk radio) earlier. The answer is a newcomer to 680theFan, but an old voice on Atlanta radio waves, Chuck Oliver. When news broke of Tuberville's exit in Auburn, some callers and co-hosts kidded Oliver about Petrino being their new guy. Oliver played nice until enough was enough. Then he let listeners know exactly how he felt about the Falcons coaching seat warmer. And that was your Sports Talk Radio Quote of the Week.
BDB rules specifically frown upon an employee taking any prize as a result of a contest or otherwise. When contacted at home late Sunday evening and informed of the "lawyereze", Bernie replied, "Sue me!"
Here's to you Bernie. Everyone else - steer clear of mall Santas that smell of whisky, have fake beards that are askew and have torn ponchos.
PS - if someone with a key happens near the suspension desk, please let Miranda out. I think he has a date for Saturday night. Hate for him to miss it.