Florida Proves Truth of Old Saying: Defense Still Wins Championships

It's barely been 12 hours, and I'm already getting sick of hearing about Tom Turbo, or Tim Tebow, or whatever his name is. For child-related reasons, I missed most of Thom Brennaman's man-crush on Tebow and I count myself fortunate. Tebow is a great player who had a nearly legendary game last night, but seriously, he's starting to come across like some sort of mixture of Chuck Norris and Gandhi. (Did you know that every time Tim Tebow belches, part of the ozone layer gets restored?)

I don't want to take anything away from Florida's title, and Tebow certainly didn't ask the media to talk about him incessantly. I can't help but wonder one thing, though.

Why aren't people talking more about the Gator defense?

It seems to me that, if a team usually scores in numbers normally associated with high school basketball but gets held to two touchdowns and twice comes out of the red zone empty-handed, that just might be the story of the game. But it's all Tom Turbo, all the time, with a smidgen of Percy Harvin thrown in to establish that this was a team effort, don't you know. It's enough to make a football fan watch HGTV.

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It's one thing for the media and the unaffiliated fans to think Florida's win was due to Tim Tebow. Defense isn't sexy and it never has been. It's something else entirely when, in the wake of yet another soul-crushing defeat, Oklahoma fans start ignoring the possibility that maybe, just maybe, their team lost because it got beat.

Apparently, it's all the fault of OU's coaches. The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel stops just short of saying so, of course. Page through the comments, though, and read the general reactions on message boards everywhere. OU fans, in the midst of licking their wounds, have decided they're tired of the taste of their own blood and want to taste Big Game Bob's instead. There's a lot of talk about strange play-calling and poor execution on offense. Nobody's saying "Gee, maybe our offensive numbers were a fraud because all season long we were playing teams with horrible defenses." But look what the season-long scoring frenzy got the Big 12 South: a 1-3 record in bowl games. Redo a single moment of brainlock among the Ohio State coaching staff, and it might have been 0-4.

Best division in football? No. Slightly better than the Big Ten? Maybe. There are at least three defenses in the Big Ten that would have stopped Quan Cosby on that play.

I suppose, as a fan of defense, I should be glad that at least a few people can see that the Gator defense made the difference last night. Indeed, a lot of fans get it. Last I checked our poll on "Who was the biggest factor in the title game?", 40 percent of the votes were for Florida's defense.

44 percent of the votes were for Tim Tebow. Sure, he was the prime mover behind the 24 points that the Gators used to beat the Sooners. But what did he have to do with the fact that the Gators only needed 15 points to win?

Florida Proves Truth of Old Saying: Defense Still Wins Championships originally appeared on NCAA Football FanHouse on Fri, 09 Jan 2009 12:06:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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