Florida Gators, 2008 SEC Champions



Oh glorious Florida. Thank you for gracing us with a truly spectacular season. Thank you for an improved defense. Thank you for Jeffrey Demps’ speed and new found power. Thank you for an even more determined Tim Tebow. Thank you for Janoris Jenkins’ coverage ability. Thank you for another SEC Championship.

In four short years, Urban Meyer has forged his legacy at the University of Florida. His record with the Gators currently stands at 43-9 – meaning he wins almost 83% of his games. He has brought in some of the nation’s best recruiting classes. He has coached a Heisman Trophy winner. He has already won a national championship. And now he has two SEC titles. It’s been a great ride so far and we can pretty much guarantee there will be more success in the future.

Everyone seemed to be shocked when Florida was announced as double-digit favorites over #1 undefeated Alabama. Apparently the odds makers know what they’re doing. The Gators won by 11, beating the Crimson Tide 31-20. The offense wasn’t as explosive as it had been and the defense wasn’t as dominant, but both units were solid and Florida came away with the title and a possible shot at the national title.

Tim Tebow was Tim Tebow. At this point, there’s not much else we can say about the star quarterback. He has played himself back into Heisman Trophy contention over the past few weeks and will ultimately go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Still the dangerous runner, Tebow has become a better passer this year. He’s raised his QB rating over 2007 and with three more touchdowns tosses on Saturday, he now has 28 on the year. Throw in the fact that he has only thrown two interceptions and you can see how his decision making continues to improve. How’s this for an amazing stat? Tebow has only been picked off nine times in 651 pass attempts as a Gator. While he hasn’t thrown nearly as many passes as former Florida QBs such as Chris Leak, Shane Matthews, or Danny Wuerffel, he’s not far off the 692 times Gator great Steve Spurrier put up the ball. Just in case you were wondering, Spurrier was intercepted 31 times.

As I said, the Gators’ offense didn’t put up the off-the-charts numbers it had been as of late, but when looking at what the Crimson Tide had been giving up, Florida did pretty well. Coming into the game, Alabama had given up 11.5 points per game, 248.5 yards of offense per contest, and averaged two takeaways. Florida scored 31, piled up 358 total yards, and didn’t turn over the ball. The run game wasn’t flashy, but the Gators matched the Tide by pounding away on the ground. When Florida needed a big play, Tebow was there with on the mark passes to various Gator receivers.

The defense didn’t make a lot of highlight reel plays, but the line was able to put constant pressure on John Parker Wilson and slowed Alabama late, not allowing the Tide to score in the fourth quarter. The pressure eventually got to Wilson and he threw one up for grabs which Joe Haden picked off, ending any hope of Alabama coming back.

Now we wait. It’s a little over eight hours until the BCS announces its selections to play in the national championship. All signs point to Florida taking on Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, but we can’t be sure. The Gators did their job by beating the nation’s top-ranked team with the entire nation watching. What else do you want?