Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gators have two roads to a "National Championship"

Though the chances are slim for either scenario to play out, the way I see it there are two ways the Gators can finish the season with at least part of a "National Championship."

The first has already been discussed by my co-blogger, Mergz. It involves UF winning the SEC championship against Arkansas and whatever opponent the Sugar Bowl lands for the Gators. Then USC or Michigan would have to narrowly defeat Ohio State. The BCS Champion would be USC/Michigan but AP voters could show their independence again and crown the Gators as champs.

The second road would mean getting the Gators into the BCS Championship game. It's generally accepted that if USC stumbles to UCLA that Michigan will get its shot at a rematch with OSU. I'm not so sure. Especially in light of a recent post at Zook Free Zone.

In it, one of the posters named "instigator" points out some factors that could be in the Gators' favor:

The timing of the games will help us. USC/UCLA wraps up at about halftime of our game. To this point, the media hasn't really had to consider the decision between Florida & Michigan because USC has been the odds on favorite to win out. If USC loses, the discussion will turn immediately to Florida vs. Michigan as the choice to face Ohio State. Meanwhile, our game will have another half to go. Nearly all of the voters will tune to that game. If Florida finishes strong and spanks Arkansas, the announcers will be saying how Florida has played the toughest schedule and deserves its shot. I think it will sway people.
Instigator makes a great point that I hadn't considered. All the voters are going to be home watching both games. And I believe they have been looking for reasons to keep the Michigan/OSU rematch from happening. That's why they all jumped on the USC bandwagon. If USC stumbles to its rival, then they'll really be looking at that SEC championship looking for something to justify a vote for Florida for number 2. And ironically it may be the defense that gives them that something. I say ironically because the reason the Gators aren't getting more run for the BCS Championship game is that they haven't looked spectacular (or even pretty good) on offense and it's been unsexy defensive wins that have gotten them to their 11-1 record. But pitting a top defense against a top offense may be intriguing to the voters.

I was already going to root for UCLA but this gives me hope.

Go Bruins!

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