What they're saying about the Gators


Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 9:43 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 9:43 a.m.
Following is a sampling of what writers have said about Florida's national championship victory over Ohio State on Monday night.
Turning a desert into The Swamp, now that's magic.
- Dave George, The Palm Beach Post The Florida coach dug deep into a playbook that seems thicker than an unabridged Webster's dictionary. Consider that in the first half, the Gators used more quarterbacks (three) than the Buckeyes completed passes (two).
- Terry Pluto, Akron Beacon Journal All the hand-wringing and consternation over Florida being given a title shot seems silly now, doesn't it?
The BCS got it right - a fact its bleating critics will be sure to conveniently overlook when they blast the system again next year.
So many people questioned Florida's pedigree you'd have thought it fashioned its 12-1 record against Little Sisters of the Poor University rather than having survived a brutal Southeastern Conference schedule.
The Gators faced 10 bowl teams and went 9-1. Their schedule was ranked No. 1 in the country in terms of opponents' winning percentage.
And they weren't worthy? Please.
As it turned out, it was Ohio State that was overrated. The Buckeyes, we now know, gorged themselves in the weak Big Ten. They played six bowl teams - not an impressive number considering everybody goes to a bowl game these days - and their toughest opponent, Michigan, was exposed by USC in the Rose Bowl.
- Scott Bordow, (Mesa, Ariz.) East Valley Tribune Urban Meyer used so many formations that Ohio State developed a nervous tic. And about the only Gator who didn't line up at quarterback was Meyer's wife, Shelley.
- Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com and self-proclaimed former Florida Football basher Call Gainesville, Florida, what it is: the capital of college sports in America. Florida senior quarterback Chris Leak . . . played with the composure of a world-class violinist. . . . Twenty years after coach Urban Meyer was a $6,000 graduate assistant at Ohio State under Earle Bruce, Meyer defeated the school he grew up rooting for in Ashtabula, Ohio. Around Gainesville, he's earned a new nickname: Urban Legend.
- Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated The coaching whiz kid from Ashtabula, Ohio, delivered his Florida Gators to the desert Monday night. The result? Well, in a word: Chomp.
The Gators didn't slowly chew on the Buckeyes, they sawed off their soggy legs. The No. 1-ranked, undefeated Big Ten superpower was dissected.
Meyer's innovative, confounding spread offense should be renamed the multiple-headache set. The Gators scooted like water bugs. The Buckeyes were mired in grass quicksand. Today, I have three questions:
  • Anyone down in Gainesville remember Steve what's-his-name?
  • How Gator-green do you think Pete Carroll feels this morning?
  • And, what was Notre Dame thinking?
    Meyer was too young for the Fighting Irish in 2001, right? Tell it to Bowling Green and Utah. And, now, the Gators.
    Meyer is an all-purpose wonder. In a profession with many bright minds, he is beginning to separate himself, and blindingly so.
    - Jon Saraceno, USA Today
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