BCS Title Game Preview, Part 1

Today is the first day of classes at UF. If something smells funny about that, it would be because the same institution that sold student tickets for tonight’s game in Arizona also expects students to be in class today. It doesn’t matter for me as I am a graduate student now, and the grad school sets its own calendar, but there is just a hint of hypocrisy about this. In any event, this will have to be in parts because of that and I don’t know how many parts there will be.

Overrated Media Stories

1. Jim Tressel is Conservative but Urban Meyer is Crazy!

In the past, Jim Tressel coached football like he was in the 1960s SEC. This year though, he’s had far too many good wide receivers not to spread the field. Ohio State’s spread is more conservative than Florida’s is, but it’s not like Tressel goes into run-out-the-clock mode with a lead in the second quarter. He knows the Florida defense is good, and I expect to see him call some tricks as a result.

2. Holy Cow! Percy Harvin vs. Ted Ginn!!!

Yes, both are dynamic talents, but it’s not like they’re going to be playing directly against each other. There are some similarities, but there are also some differences in the way that they are used, namely that Ginn is used as a return man and Harvin takes handoffs in the backfield. Ginn also is more elusive in traffic, whereas Harvin is more of a one-move-and-blow-by-you kind of guy. Are they important guys for their teams? Absolutely. However, the quarterback, linebacker, and secondary play for both teams is far more important than these two guys. They’re momentum swingers at best.

3. Florida Can’t Run the Ball

Um, yes it can. Florida averaged the same yardage per rush as Ohio State did, and averaged 160 yards rushing per game in a conference where “Stop the Run!” is the motto for 11 of the 12 teams (I’m not sure that Vanderbilt has a football motto). Ohio State has the more traditional run game, with a workhorse back and a burner for a change of pace. Florida has done it by a committee approach with a mix of running backs and receivers, with Tim Tebow for short-yardage situations. Tebow has shown in some instances that he can run for big gains, but he’s unlikely to have such plays called for him this game.

The biggest factor for Florida here is that DeShawn Wynn is healthy again. He showed he can carry the load against Tennessee, but the coaches have also shown that they can forget about him entirely, such as in the FSU game. If Florida plans on running the ball effectively against Ohio State, it will have to do it at least in part by using Wynn effectively. This reeks of potential redemption game for him.

That’s all for now, more to come later.

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