Gators No. 1 in AP Poll, Utah No.2. Well, at least we finished ahead of the Sooners.
Sooners. The only team that could push one of the most outstanding Christians to play the game to draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"I didn't trash talk," Tim Tebow said. "Just gave it a little Gator chomp."
Texas season's accomplishments can be chalked up to one very important player: Colt McCoy.
Forget the gaudy statistics (3,445 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, 77.6 percent completion percentage) if its possible. Forget that he was the team's leading rusher this year. Don't even bring up the 41 completions in 58 pass attempts and 414 yards Monday night.
One 2-minute drill says it all.
"I told the guys, 'Look me right in the eye. Look me in the eye,'" he said. "'You don't have to do anything special. Each one of you keep doing what you've been doing all night long. Do what you can do to win and we'll make it work.'"
Colt McCoy talks about the Fiesta Bowl victory.
No matter how you look at it, Texas had a very successful season. The Horns surpassed everyone's expectations.
"They picked us to lose four games. To come out with only one loss and be the Fiesta Bowl champions and have the chance to come out No. 1 in one of the polls is fantastic," said linebacker Sergio Kindle.
Heading into the season, McCoy said the goal was simply "to win more than 10 games." Everything else, including a three-week stay at No. 1 in the polls during the regular season, was an added bonus.
Now, it looms as a possible steppingstone to bigger things in 2009. Taking things to the next level, said defensive end Brian Orakpo, will depend on whether next year’s seniors exert the type of off-season leadership that Orakpo, Miller and other seniors exerted in turning the program back in the right direction after a 2007 season that included seven police-blotter incidents involving players.
The season didn't end too well for Ohio State. Terrelle Pryor wasn't interested in a moral victory: The Buckeyes believed they should have won the Fiesta Bowl.
The general sense was one of disappointment, of letting an opportunity slip away. But some players were proud that the Buckeyes (10-3) fought back from a 17-6 deficit to take the lead.
Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor, though, was having none of that.
"It's not good enough," he said. "We needed to win that game. We did hang with them, and we should have had them."
OSU linebacker James Laurinaitis felt they should have won, too.
"It's frustrating to lose again, it really is frustrating," said James Laurinaitis, a three-time All-American linebacker who was one of 28 OSU seniors to end his career with the loss to Texas.
"There's a lot of things that I will look back on and smile about - never losing to Michigan, that always makes you happy - but we really wanted to come out with a victory in this. And I thought the whole time, the whole night, that there was no way we were going to lose that game."
The Horns played the clock perfectly against Ohio State.
If Mack Brown votes Texas No. 1, he will be breaking an agreement with the American Football Coaches Association and the Bowl Championship Series.
According to the agreement, the winner of the annual BCS national championship game automatically earns the No. 1 ranking.
"The (coaches' poll) panel would then vote No. 2 through 25, so there actually is no vote for No. 1," said Mel Pulliam, the AFCA's director of marketing and development. "In other words, the coaches should not list a No. 1 on their final ballot.
Michael Crabtree still hasn't decided if he will return for another season at Tech. And Mike Leach still has not signed his contract.
"He loves the college life. He loves college. He loves his teammates," David Wells, Crabtree's cousin and mentor said. "He has a hard decision to make. He loses Graham (Harrell) as his quarterback. Leach hasn’t signed his deal. (Crabtree) is wanting to see that happen. There’s a lot of things to (consider). It’s a difficult decision. It’ll probably come down to the wire."
The Sooners have more than just a football program.
The Sooners' football program owns the headlines this week as half the matchup in tonight's BCS national championship game. But Oklahoma starts the new year with winners across the board -- its men's and women's basketball teams sit among the nation's top six and appear to be favorites to match the football team as Big 12 champions. To top it off, OU's Blake Griffin might be the top pick of this summer's NBA draft.
The Big 12 and the SEC have had great success in football, but basketball is a somewhat different story.
Between the two leagues, there are roughly a half-dozen surefire tournament teams, a meager number considering it's not unusual for both conferences to flirt with that number individually. All 24 teams in the two leagues have winning records, but most of those wins have been against small-conference patsies. In fact, most of the marquee victories the Big 12 and SEC can claim have come at the other conference's expense. The Big 12, at the very least, is top-heavy enough that it can claim teams that could do some damage in March.
Both Texas and Oklahoma have resided in the top 10 for most of the season, and a few hiccups aside, will have staying power in that area. If Texas can figure out a way to exploit its tremendous depth and not make the offense so A.J. Abrams-centric, the Longhorns will be a legitimate contender. Oklahoma, with Blake Griffin, will have a chance in any game. The question is whether freshman Willie Warren can develop the consistency to match his ego and raise the Sooners to an elite level.
OU starts the conference season 14-1 and ranked 6th in the nation.
The Sooners are 14-1 and ranked No. 6 in the nation. They have one of the game’s dominant players, Blake Griffin, leading the way. And they have an emerging playmaker in freshman guard Willie Warren, who is getting more comfortable and productive each game.
It’s a team that has chalked up quality wins in a challenging early schedule, with only a road loss at Arkansas – which took down Texas in Fayetteville Tuesday night – as a blemish.
Big 12 Sports previews the women's conference schedule.
Who is No. 1? Well, who isn't? Southern California, Utah and Texas have all laid claim to the top spot as well as the winner of the BCS title game.
Bill James, Slate Magazine, looks at Dr. Hal Stern's article on boycotting the Bowl Championship Series by all quantitative analysts. James takes on Stern's four points.
The BCS complies with law and can fend off any law suit, according to BCS Coordinator John Swofford.
With the Utah attorney general investigating the bowl system for a possible antitrust violation, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner and BCS coordinator John Swofford said the BCS has carefully considered the legality of its format.
"We've attempted to make every effort to make certain that any structure of the BCS is within the antitrust laws. Our legal people are comfortable that the BCS structure is," Swofford said during a Football Writers of American Association meeting. "Obviously if there are any aspects of it that we should be doing differently, we would adjust that."
The BCS championship accomplishes one thing for the winning school: Merchandising money.
The Sports Economist is interested in the Neilsen ratings after the national championship and argues that in terms of tv revenue the NCAA is better off with the BCS system.
Barking Carnival looks at the pros and cons of playing consistent football.
An entertaining look at our conference
Clone Chronicles has The Big 12 Goes To College.