Monday, January 5, 2009

BCS Championship Game: 3 Questions For Florida

As we inch closer to the BCS Championship Game on Thursday night, I take a look at the three biggest questions facing the Florida Gators in their quest for the BCS Championship. (Oklahoma Preview Link)

1. What is the Effect of OC Dan Mullen Taking The Miss. State Job?

Mullen accepted the Miss. State job shortly after the Gators gained a berth in the BCS Championship Game. I am sure he has spent time familiarizing himself with the Bulldog program and recruiting for them in this time period. I will say that Steve Sarkisian looked pretty good calling plays for USC against Penn State, but the track record for coordinators staying in their old position for bowl games and national championships is pretty poor. I am sure Oklahoma fans can remember back to 2000 National Championship Game. FSU’s OC Mark Richt had called plays for the nation’s highest scoring offenses, but Richt had taken the Georgia job in December while remaining on duty for the Orange Bowl. His offense scored 0 points against the Sooners.


2. Florida's 3rd Down Efficiency

In the Gators only loss of the season, they were just 1 for 11 or just 9% on 3rd downs. The lowest completion percentage for their other 11 games was 44% against Georgia. Oklahoma's defense allowed just 33% conversion on 3rd down good for 23rd in the nation.

3. Can Florida Win The Turnover Battle?

Go look at the turnover margin statistics for 2008 - the top two teams are Florida and Oklahoma. The Gators rank 5th nationally in takeaways with 33 while Oklahoma is 9th with 32. Neither of these teams like to give up the ball ranking 118 and 120 in giveaways. To harp back on the Gators only loss of the year against Ole Miss, they turned the ball over three times in that game versus just one Ole Miss turnover.


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2 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:32 PM

    1) Dan Mullen's new coaching job apparently had no affect. Mark Richt is a terrible coach. He constantly makes horrible decisions at UGA. Dan Mullen will likely have much more success at Mississippi State than Richt will ever have at UGA.

    2) Gators were 12 of 17 for 3rd down conversions. Third down conversions and the goal line stands were the keys to Florida's win.

    3) Turnovers were nearly even. Both QB's had 2 interceptions and there were no fumbles. Even though Tebow threw as many interceptions in this game as he had all year, neither of the two resulted in any points for OU. However, when the Gators intercepted Bradford on the 3 yard line, that was basically -7 points for Oklahoma.


    One final comment. The ACC officiating crew was HORRENDOUS. On the 5th play of the game, Iglesias got a first down for OU and was pumped up. He did an enthusiastic first down signal with his arm. No big deal, right? In the 2nd quarter, Murphy caught a 24 yard pass for a first down and did the EXACT SAME type of signal. He got a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. WHAT?!?!?!

    There were holds left and right by the OU offensive line. They called ONE all night. Maybe I am jaded by the past performances of ACC Officials, but it sure seemed like they were trying to affect the outcome of this game.

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  2. 1. Lets see what happens with Dan Mullen at Miss State. No one has ever been ever to win their consistently. I beg to differ on Mullen's success at MSU vs Richt's success at UGA. Mullen is already 2 SEC title and 3 BCS games down.

    2. 3rd downs were huge for Florida as was their goal line defense. No argument there.

    3. The Sooners could also be credited with a 3rd turnover on the failed run on 4th down. Gators also had a roughing the punter penalty that negated a punt from Oklahoma.

    ACC refs did start out really bad but seemed to settle in as the game went on.

    I agree on the first down signal. The refs flag stuff like that and Quan Crosby's dive into the end zone, but they let all this pushing and trash talking go on way after the play.

    I have heard about OU's trash talking problem. They were trash talking USC when they were getting beaten 55-19 a few years back as heard on the Colin Cowherd Show.

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