Here’s my first prediction: Alabama won’t even come close to looking as good as it did in the Tide’s thumping of Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Florida’s mystifyingly bad performance on defense contributed greatly to the efficiency of the Tide offense. That Alabama offense will return to what it was earlier in the season in the BCS Championship Game. So, here’s what to look for in that game in Pasadena: a very close defensive struggle with not a lot of points. My thought is Colt McCoy will close out his Texas career with a come-from-behind (and very close) victory over Alabama.
Now, on to the Florida-Cincinnati game.
With all the distractions this week, the media’s focus has been on one thing: Urban Meyer and his decision to reverse field on Sunday and announce he will remain at UF but take a leave of absence. While the media keeps pounding the Meyer story, Meyer and the UF coaches have been focusing on getting this Florida team focused on a very good Cincinnati team. By all accounts, the approach has worked, because the word is the Gators have had great practices since they’ve been out here.
This is the last game for Tim Tebow and those special seniors. It’s also an opportunity for this defense, which felt it embarrassed itself in the SEC title game, to score some redemption against a very potent Bearcat offense.
Slowing down Cincy’s offense will be a huge challenge, but the thought here is that UF’s overall defensive speed will wreak some havoc on the Bearcats’ plan. One thing the UF might want to avoid is telegraphing its blitzes, which the Gators did time after time against Alabama, and got burned time after time.
Offensively, I think Tebow and his playmakers will have a chance to control the ball and the clock and put up enough points to put this game away.
Prediction: Florida 38, Cincinnati 28