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Diving into tonight's BCS Championship game with a Florida fan
Good morning, Kansas fans! Have I got a treat for you today!
Seeing as how the much-anticipated BCS Championship Game will be played tonight between the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators, and seeing as how you’re probably looking for some healthy, last-minute analysis on the game, I’ve decided to invite a very special guest — Brett Hevia! — here today to fill us in on everything Gators.
You might be asking yourself: 1. Who is Brett Hevia? 2. Why, exactly, is he being invited to share his thoughts here today?
I’ll answer these questions in two parts:
Brett is currently an undergraduate at the University of Florida, where he lives spitting distance from the legendary Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and charges people hundreds of dollars to park in his front yard on gamedays. He was born and raised in Florida (I think) and his family has had season tickets to Gators games for — oh, I don’t know — infinity and a half years!
He’s speaking here today because I said he could.
Now, what I will tell you is that, of all the Florida fans I met during the 18 months I spent in the Sunshine State, Brett is by far the most knowledgeable. He knows his team inside and out, which makes him a lot like the Kansas fans I’ve met since moving to Lawrence. (You guys are great, by the way. I don’t tell you that enough). And now, he’s agreed to fill us in on what we can expect from the Gators in tonight’s game. What I think you’ll find most refreshing about Brett is that, despite his allegiance to UF, he has a tremendous ability to remain fair and objective in his analysis.
And so, I’ll ask you to join me now in giving Brett a big, loud, warm, passionate, happy, fun, friendly, happy Kansas Jayhawks welcome!
Dugan Arnett: Hello, Brett! Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today! Boy, what a game coming up for your Florida Gators on Thursday! Taking on Oklahoma for all the marbles! To start with, there was quite a bit of controversy — go figure! — surrounding Oklahoma's invitation into the national title game. Many believe the Texas Longhorns deserved a shot at the crystal ball. At the same time, no one seemed to have much of a problem with Florida's invite. Do you think there's a reason for that?
Brett Hevia: It's great to be here, Dugan, thanks for having me. I'm glad you asked that, and I think it has something to do with the fact that the Gators are much, much better than anyone else in the country, including the Oklahoma Sooners, the Texas Longhorns, the Detroit Lions, and the Los Angeles Lakers. At this point, it doesn't matter who they play, and the BCS knew it.
DA: Spectacular, Brett! Great answer! Now, not a lot of Kansans have kept up with Florida football this fall. From the viewpoint of someone who's watched nearly every minute of every UF game, what can we expect from the mighty Gators this week?
BH: I've been thinking about this a fair amount for the last month or so, and I've decided that your prediction for the final score of the game (70-3, Florida) is about as accurate as any I've seen. Did you know that Florida has outscored opponents 160-10 in the first quarter this year? We jump on people and don't let them up. Everyone talks about how Oklahoma is the top scoring offense, but people forget that we are the third-best scoring offense while still maintaining the fifth-best scoring defense. So I think that after the first quarter, the score is going to be something like 28-0. I'm not predicting a shutout, though. You've gotta give that Oklahoma offense some credit, right? Final score: 73-3.
DA: That’s great, Brett! Now, despite failing to earn his second Heisman Trophy in as many years (hey, you can't win 'em all, right?), Tim Tebow had a tremendous season for the Gators in 2008, accounting for 40 touchdowns while tossing just two interceptions. What's more interesting to me, however, is Tebow's significant contributions in the realm of community service. Would you mind filling us in a bit on what he's been up to over the course of the past couple of years, philanthropically speaking?
BH: Tebow is definitely a huge source of pride for us Gator fans. Besides being the best leader and quarterback in college football, he's also one heck of a guy. I'm going to be honest, I've never seen a football player work as hard as he does. He spent part of last year in the Philippines, doing all manner of charity work, like feeding the hungry and circumcising little poor kids. I guess you could say he stiff-armed poverty. Ha! Just for fun, I googled “Todd Reesing, community service, circumcision”, but nothing came up. That's fine. I'm sure he's a great guy and all, he's just a little less obvious about it than Tebow.
DA: Sounds like a young man I wouldn't mind dating my daughter! Good stuff! Changing gears a little bit, the University of Kansas features one of the most tradition-rich men's basketball programs of all-time. Recently, however, Florida has emerged as a noteworthy force, as well, thanks largely to the Gators' back-to-back national "chomp"ionships in 2006 and 2007. In your opinion, which school — Kansas or Florida — has had the most success over the course of the past — oh, I don't know — 15 years?
BH: What was that? I'm sorry, I was just admiring my reflection in our two national championship trophies, both of which have come in the last 15 years. For those of you keeping track at home, that's twice as many as Kansas has in the same time period. Florida has also made the championship game in 2000 and the Final Four in 1994, giving them more finals appearances than Kansas and the same amount of Final Fours. Since us Gator fans are all about winning, I'm going to have to say that Florida has been better.
DA: Thanks for the honesty. Now, I gotta ask: There's been so darn much speculation about which is the superior conference in college football — the Big 12 or the SEC. What's your stance on the matter, Brett?
BH: Well, that's an excellent question, Dugan, and last time I checked, the SEC has accounted for the last two national championships, and a third will be arriving shortly. I don't care how many points Oklahoma and Texas score, defense wins championships. And, to be honest, I think that if you arrayed the starting defenses of the every school in the Big 12 on the field at once, the Florida offense would still score. I think that after this year's blowout win over Oklahoma, which will make three straight, the winner of the SEC championship game is just going to be allowed to play in the NFL playoffs, which will save other conferences from embarrassment while actually providing the SEC champion with opponents of comparable talent level.
DA: You're killing me with insight here, Brett! Now, a lot of what I've read seems to indicate that Urban Meyer is the godfather of the traditional spread offense. Ever since he started lining his players up in those crazy formations over in Utah, spread offenses have been popping up all over the country — perhaps nowhere more than here in the Big 12. What I want to know is this: Would it be accurate to say that no college football coach in the past 10 years has had a bigger impact on the college game than Meyer?
BH: Absolutely it would. I'd also argue that after this week's victory, he'll be the most successful coach of the decade. Two BCS championships at Florida in addition to a BCS win at Utah is pretty impressive.
DA: I figured as much! Moving on, this Percy Harvin character is about as good as any I've seen in a long while. What can you tell us about him, and, also, what do you think he might have accomplished if, instead of the SEC, he had played in, say, the Big Ten or Big 12 — where, statistically speaking, defenses aren't quite as stout?
BH: Well, it's difficult to say, because he's so much better than anyone else in the country. He is what Jeremy Maclin wants to be when he grows up. He is, quite simply, the best player in college football. I think that if he got a chance to play against Big 12 defenses week in and week out, he would average 99 yards per touch, because he would demand that his team kneel at the one every possession to make it more difficult for him. But it wouldn't matter. I'm thinking his per game stats would look something like this: 7 rushes, 693 yards, 7 touchdowns and 4 receptions for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns.
DA: Brett, as you probably know by now, Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks had some not-so-nice things to say about Tim Tebow this week. Among other things, Franks noted that Tebow would be no better than the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12 and also that he hopes Tebow throws the ball in his direction a couple times so he can "get my hands on it". First off, do you agree with Franks' comments? And secondly, what effect do you think these comments will have on the game?
BH: When I saw this, I wasn't so much angry as I was curious and a little confused. Could that cornerback really be dumb enough to say something like that? The fact that he said anything about Tebow at all — who suffice to say, is not the kind of player that is going to ignore bulletin-board material like that — is preposterous. I wouldn't be surprised if, on the Gators' first offensive play, Tebow stiff-armed Franks, picked him up, stiff-armed him again, picked him up again, and then ran him over en route to a first down.
DA: Stupendous! Brett, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to fill us in on what we can expect from the Gators. I think I speak for every Kansas fan reading this when I say, “Wow. Everything you said today is incredibly well-thought out, objective, and indisputable. You're a great person with a bright future who will no doubt do tons of great things in your life.”
Again, thank you for stopping by! Chomp! Chomp!