I've finally moved on to acceptance.
Yeah, Texas got jobbed, the BCS is a load, playoffs, 45, 35 and so on. Looking back on those painful weeks after the Tech loss -- weeks where we reduced to rooting for the failure and success of others -- I'd be hard pressed to say that I didn't see this coming. There wasn't any real concrete evidence to support it, but the feeling that Texas was going to draw the short straw in January sat in my stomach like bad Taco Cabana.
Still, I was pissed. Heart-broken. Angry. Depressed. But now, as far as I'm concerned, its over. No more holding out hope for a split title. Barring a monster win over Ohio State a la 2005's Big 12 CG and a flat out awful title game, that's just not going to happen. So, now, its all about Ohio State and the Fiesta Bowl. That game in Miami? I've got no interest in it beyond that of the casual college football fan.
Now, make no bones about this. I despise OU with every fiber in my body. When I moved to Kansas to take a job up here a few years ago, I drove up through the Texas panhandle and skirted across the Oklahoma panhandle at 90 mph in order to spend as little time as possible in that dump. I still won't stop, contribute a cent in tax revenue or even deposit my bodily waste there. So, obviously, I'm coming into this game with a bias.
I want the Sooners to lose. Not just lose, to get crushed. To suffer the kind of loss that sets recruiting back five years. The kind of loss that sends any future Adrian Petersons watching on television back to the right side of the Red River.
But, as much as I'm rooting against the Okies, I'm rooting for Florida. And here, folks is why:
A) Similarity. Florida and Texas are a whole lot alike in that they're the predominant college athletic programs in their respective talent-heavy states. Both the Gators and the Longhorns are or have been powers in football, basketball, baseball and have produced a few Olympic swimmers over the past couple of years. Of course, (not that its relevant, Tech fans) both schools have strong academic programs as well.
B) Tim. Tebow. Watching this guy play the game of football is an absolute joy. There isn't a player in the entire nation that carries the intensity and emotion that this guy goes going into each and every game. I remember watching the Florida/Florida State game this year and seeing that camera shot of him after he went down in the Seminoles endzone, and got up with that blood-like red paint smeared all over his jersey and his face. That look he had in his eyes -- he looked like he'd just killed 20 men in a bar fight. A lot has been made of his speech after the Ole Miss loss and, I won't lie, in the weeks leading up to the final BCS standings it annoying the everloving crap out of me. But, looking back on it, it was probably one of the most impressive things I've seen from a college athlete. A lot of guys say the right things, but they don't mean it. You could hear in the guys voice that he meant every last word, and he went out on the field and proved it over the next seven weeks. The guy is a lot like Vince Young, in that he's one of those rare combinations of athleticism and charisma that lets people rally around him. He's an absolute leader of men.
Of course, that little speech leads to ...
C) This is a team of destiny. I don't believe in all of that crap, normally, but Tebow basically called his shot in front of a national audience in saying that they'd be back. And sure enough, here they are. The Ole Miss loss probably should have dropped them below Texas, in my humble opinion, but the way they bounced back from it is nothing short of impressive. A win here would put the cap on the first really memorable MNC storyline since Vince vs. Bush/Leinart in 2005.
So, consider this my official endorsement for the Florida Gators as the 08-09 national champions. And also consider this my plea to Tim Tebow. After you beat down some Okies in January, come back for your senior season. There's nothing I'd love more than to see the Longhorns knock you off in 2010.