January 08, 2007

The Final Countdown

Florida vs. Ohio State. Meyer vs. Tressel.
Go... stadium implosion?

The national championship is a good thing. We hope for drama, intrigue, a team to cheer on to victory. Okay, so two out of three isn't bad. I will be pulling in the slightest direction towards Florida only because I will hear less at the workplace. I am not really for either team. An Ohio State win will bring a six-month bender on Fox Sports Ohio (in my cable package). By the end of that time you will know every mediocre Buckeye player in the history of the program. How Woody Hayes was a misunderstood softie (tell that to Charlie Baumann, the ex-Clemson linebacker). Stories of how Earle Bruce was wronged for getting fired so quick. Stories of how it was unfair to John Cooper... oh wait, Buckeyes curse his memory. Seriously. Outside of the Joe Germaine comeback in the 1997 Rose Bowl I defy you to find a Buckeye "highlight" with Cooper roaming the sidelines on FSN.

But then I get thinking about Urban Meyer. Michigan fans hate him for campaigning. (I love him for pissing off the maize and blue.) The media will just absolutely pounce on the storyline of how he passed on Notre Dame to guide Florida to a championship in only his second year. Sure, I thought Charlie the better coach in their first year but now Urban and Florida's penchant for partial qualifiers has them on the cusp of a championship. However, the Gators are home in the SEC and I can't stand to think about the Big Ten winning a national championship over the SEC. My boy Scott says "go SEC" when cheering tonight. I say I will need a shower after the game. I feel dirty already. Go Gators.

8:05 PM - I do like what FOX has done with getting a rep for each school. Tonight its Emmitt Smith (Florida) and Eddie George (Ohio State). Bands before the game on the field? Come on. Play the dang game already.

8:09 PM - Dot the two "i's" and lets go! Geez. Flipping between CSI on Spike and Two for the Money on HBO is better than this nonsense.

8:15 PM - FOX comes back from commericial and highlights the good kids for Florida and Ohio State. Can I get a mention of those who didn't qualify? Can I get a list of those recruits who never made campus? Nice try gang, but this is what I am reduced to, whilst I wait just a while longer. What are the teams graduation rates?

8:25 PM - Somebody check that Fiesta Bowl official in the coat who got trampled perhaps or at least crapped his pants.

8:30 PM - Florida wins, defers, putting Ohio State's offense on the field first. FINALLY!

8:34 PM - Touchdown Ted Ginn on the kickoff. Oh heck, well it was fun this college football season. Run the credits? What happened last time in the desert for Florida? (Nebraska 62, Florida 24.) Gator fans should be in full panic. Ouch. Ohio State 7, Florida 0.

8:36 PM - Florida runs it back all the way, but the Ohio State kicker yanks the mask saving the touchdown. Gators will begin in Ohio State territory. What a start.

8:38 PM - Time to get the woof counter out. Harvin gets a five-yard gain and both sides come up woofing for making routine plays on both sides of the ball.

8:42 PM - College football is back! Gators go down the field. Leak with a beaut of a touch pass to Baker for the touchdown. Ohio State's defense did not execute at all on that drive by Florida. Suddenly Florida has speed according to Barry Alvarez. Florida 7, Ohio State 7.

8:46 PM - Alright, lets settle in. Both teams threw their haymakers and landed. Granted, we're seeing the Ohio State offense / Florida defense for the first time, but you get the feeling already that the nerves have been erased by both teams after the lightning start. Now its down to execution and coaching.

8:50 PM - I said it before, this is the best defense that Ohio State will have faced all year - Michigan game included. Florida will start in OSU territory again.

9:01 PM - The rout is on! What happened the last time Florida played in a National Championship Game? (Florida 52, FSU 20) Florida converts their second possession beginning in Ohio State territory for a 14-7 Gator lead.

9:04 PM - Florida has driven half the field twice after being helped by 15-yard penalties. Ohio State came out with the electric kickoff return by Ginn. Special teams for Florida have given up that and this decent return to the 35. Shaky also is the Buckeye offense, getting everything underneath so far.

9:10 PM - The first turnover belongs to Ohio State. Troy Smith is not getting the usual protection from the OSU line. (This aint the Big Ten anymore, gang.) However, the Gators will start at their own 29 instead of on the Buckeye side of the field.

9:18 PM - The quarter ends. Ohio State gets Ginn's return then loses the speedster (for now) to an apparent ankle injury. Florida is driving for another touchdown, which would be the first score having to start in their own side of the field. A touchdown here and Scott and I agree - Ohio State is in complete shell shock. Florida 14, Ohio State 7.

9:21 PM - Wynn powers in from the 2-yard line. The drive covers 10 plays, 71 yards and Ohio State has done absolutely nothing to stop Florida. Troy Smith will have to earn his Heisman for the rest of this quarter to pull his troops out. FOX hasn't said anything about Ginn leaping off the field. Alvarez is prepping the Ohio State faithful for their excuses - ala the 51 day layoff. Simple answer coach, move the OSU-Michigan game to Thanksgiving at least. Florida 21, Ohio State 7.

9:27 PM - Ohio State answers after a gutsy pass plus a 15-yard penalty from Florida. The Buckeyes go down pretty much at will and we have a game. Florida 21, Ohio State 14.

9:44 PM - Buckeyes hold. Big possession the other way.

9:46 PM - Florida holds, perhaps now the teams will settle. Ohio State adjusts by going max protect on the line. Their defense is going with a drop back and force Leak to hit spots method. Florida has done about the same on defense, relying on their fast secondary.

9:55 PM - Florida will attempt a field goal. This has been a carnival all year long.

9:56 PM - Wow. Seriously, SEC fans know about the Florida woes in kicking. Hetland nails the 43-yarder. Florida 24, Ohio State 14.

10:00 PM - Holy cow. Ohio State goes for a fourth down on their own 29-yard line and get stuffed. No chains needed as the line judge comes in and calls it Gator ball.

10:06 PM - Chris Hetland 2-for-2. Florida cashes in with three points after stuffing the Buckeyes. Ginn has been out since the limping video - can we presume he is out? Now does Tressel get to half with the first possession coming in the second half? Florida 27, Ohio State 14.

10:09 PM - Fumblaya! Smith gets hit as Tressel gets away from his sweatervest game. Florida in business inside the 10-yard line.

10:11 PM - Tebow throws for the touchdown. Ohio State in shock! 34-14 Florida. Ohio State guys are arguing, the fans are silent and sitting. Hands are covering faces in Buckeye land. SEC! SEC! SEC!

10:19 PM - We've reached halftime - Florida 34, Ohio State 14. The punditry is stunned. The ESPNews crew is flummoxed. The FOX (Big Ten) crew is just in tears, offering praise to the heavens for underestimating the Gators. Donnan wants Knute Rockne incarnate. ESPNews now comes back with the 51-day-layoff. Heisman Trophy (yes, he would have been my selection) is 3-for-9 for 29 yards, a fumble and a pick that led to 14 Florida points.

Florida on the other hand has dominated. Chris Leak is shutting up every Gator fan ready to usher in the Tebow-era. Leak is 16-for-24 for 150 yards and a touchdown. Tebow's lone pass was for six. The Gator defense is hounding the OSU offensive line for three sacks, including the fumble late.

Ohio State gets the ball first and they have to come away with a touchdown, or at the very least three points. They did start to take Leak out of rhythm dropping back, so stick with that adjustment, but if Ted Ginn can't go then this Buckeye team is no longer fearsome.

10:56 PM - Just got the haircut and I have missed half of the third quarter. By the score, I have lucked out - 34-14 still. I have no idea about momentum, FOX just highlights the Gator D and I am left to assume that Ted Ginn isn't coming back.

11:04 PM - Anthony Gonzalez = Jeff Samardzija. As a Domer Homer I am not saying this as a good thing. He can't get open without Ginn.

11:11 PM - This is the hammer drive for Florida. The third quarter is nearing completion and Florida is looking to keep driving. It serves by eating clock and could stretch the lead to an insurmountable level.

11:21 PM - Fourth quarter begins. 34-14. Ohio State must score with every possession.

11:27 PM - Hand me the final nail. Leak runs for the first down deep in OSU territory. Florida getting ready for the coronation. The Ohio State bench looks beaten. Ginn is on crutches.

11:36 PM - Start the party. Florida 41, Ohio State 14. I love that score. Buckeye fans and their rubbing salt in Irish wounds come back to take a chunk out of their arse. Without Ginn OSU is very normal. Ginn stays, OSU has a shot at a title run. No Ginn, no chance.

11:55 PM - Can Florida get one more score? That is the only issue left in this game.

11:57 PM - The butt whooping is complete. Florida 41, Ohio State 14. Final. The improbable win. Can't wait to read EDSBS for about a month. Off to my shower.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.