No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida
Wait, we needed a 12-team playoff to set up this championship matchup? No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida prevailed in their respective semifinals, giving us a virtual final that mirrors the BCS National Championship Game. Maybe we're giving those BCS folks too hard a time ...
Anyway, here's a chance to voice your opinion on next month's title game. But before you choose a side, let me offer some food for thought. Here are three reasons why each team should prevail in this showdown for all the virtual marbles.
Three reasons the Sooners should win:
1. This is an all-time offense. Oklahoma led the nation in scoring at 54 points per game and eclipsed 60 points in their final five games of the season (becoming the first team to score 60 in five straight since Tulsa in 1919). Featuring Heisman Trophy QB Sam Bradford, the nation's best offensive line and a bevy of explosive playmakers, this Sooners offense may truly be unstoppable.
2. They're more battle-tested. The Sooners defeated four teams (Texas Tech, TCU, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State) that finished the regular season in the AP poll's top 15. The Gators beat just one (Alabama).
3. This is just the Big 12's season. As this season wore on, the central focus undoubtedly became the Big 12, and more specifically, the Big 12 South. Week in and week out, the Big 12 provided must-see showdowns between highly ranked foes. Just like the SEC defined the '07 campaign, the Big 12 took ownership of 2008. So it would only be fitting if a team from that conference took home the crystal football.
Three reasons the Gators should win:
1. They actually play defense. Unlike their Sooner counterparts, the Gators excel on both sides of the football. While Florida's high-scoring offense receives most of the attention, the top-10 defense is just as responsible for the team's success. An embarrassment in 2007, Charlie Strong's D has allowed the ninth-fewest yards per game (279.31) in America. The Gators are ready for Oklahoma's high-flying offense, as evidenced by their No. 2 ranking in pass efficiency defense (94.17).
2. Tim Tebow simply won't let them lose. Every football fan in America is tired of CBS analyst Gary Danielson's love affair with Tebow. But truth be told, Danielson's words ring true. Tebow is one of the greatest leaders this sport has ever seen. In his two seasons as a starter, Tebow has willed his team to victory more times than I can count. He's a winner, plain and simple. And winners don't lose championship games in which they're favored.
3. Urban Meyer is 2-0 on the BCS stage. Florida's head man has consistently proven himself as a top-tier big-game coach. Meyer prevailed convincingly in each of his two prior BCS appearances, leading Utah past Pittsburgh 35-7 in the '05 Fiesta Bowl and Florida past Ohio State 41-14 in the '07 BCS National Championship Game. On the other hand, Bob Stoops is just 2-4 in BCS games, having dropped his last four.
Click here to see which team emerged victorious in the EA Sports playoff simulation.
CLICK BELOW FOR RESULTS FROM PREVIOUS ROUNDS
• No. 1 Oklahoma defeats No. 5 USC: 33,609 (53 percent) to 30,210 (47 percent).
• No. 2 Florida defeats No. 3 Texas: 32,822 (55 percent) to 26,423 (45 percent).
• No. 1 Oklahoma defeats No. 8 Penn State: 30,887 (78 percent) to 8,515 (22 percent).
• No. 2 Florida defeats No. 7 Texas Tech: 28,878 (78 percent) to 8,288 (22 percent).
• No. 3 Texas defeats No. 6 Utah: 31,268 (86 percent) to 5,223 (14 percent).
• No. 5 USC knocks off No. 4 Alabama: 21,664 (57 percent) to 16,138 (43 percent).
• No. 8 Penn State defeats No. 9 Boise State: 47,521 (76 percent) to 14,826 (24 percent).
• No. 7 Texas Tech defeats No. 10 Ohio State: 43,420 (72 percent) to 16,632 (28 percent).
• No. 6 Utah defeats No. 11 Cincinnati: 40,858 (73 percent) to 15,389 (27 percent).
• No. 5 USC defeats No. 12 Virginia Tech: 53,884 (95 percent) to 3,049 (5 percent).