Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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07 Jan 2009

BCS Championship Preview

Varsity Numbers Analysis

by Bill Connelly

Thanks for coming, Utah. You made a great case for yourself. Congrats, Texas, on winning 12 games and your coach's own first-place vote. You looked great, USC, you really did. You came oh, so close. But step aside, everybody, because no matter where your own personal feelings and preferences lie, your national champion will be the winner of Thursday night's Melee in Miami, featuring two Heisman winners, two of the fastest teams in the country, and most importantly, the two highest-ranked teams in the BCS standings.

Yes, a playoff is probably needed, and yes, this would be a perfect year to experiment with such a thing, being that so many different teams have looked so good at such random times. But it's not going to happen. The two teams who have looked the most consistently good over the last two months are going to fight it out in Florida -- honestly, nobody could have responded any better to disappointing losses better than the Sooners and Gators did -- and it's probably going to be a darn good game.

And what better way to prepare for such a game than by inundating yourself in Varsity Numbers stats for the last time of the 2008 season?

Overall

Most of the numbers below are explained in either the Football Outsiders glossary or previous VN columns.

Initial Stats
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
% close 57.5% 56.3%
Field Position % 57.3% 42.7% 60.4% 39.6%
Leverage Rate 72.2% 66.5% 73.1% 66.0%
All Plays
Plays 792 819 1,026 917
EqPts 427.42 202.67 547.18 293.06
Success Rate 51.4% 37.1% 52.1% 38.2%
PPP 0.54 0.25 0.53 0.32
S&P 1.054 0.619 1.054 0.701
Close-Games Only
Success Rate 52.8% 36.6% 55.5% 39.2%
PPP 0.51 0.23 0.60 0.33
S&P 1.041 0.597 1.159 0.725

Looking at differentials, these teams are almost even. In Close-Game S&P, Oklahoma is +0.434; Florida is +0.444. Both teams are near identical in Leverage Rate Differential (forcing teams into passing downs and staying out of them yourself), though OU has a slight advantage (+7.1 percent to +5.7 percent). Both teams have blown out their opponents at almost the same rate. In fact, both teams have exactly the same overall offensive S&P (though OU's Close-Game S&P has been a few steps better).

In fact, you really cannot discern an advantage for either team from these initial stats, at least not without revealing some built in pro-SEC or pro-Big 12 biases.

Turnovers
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
Points Lost 27.22 74.35 20.96 65.70
Points Given 35.79 107.19 19.44 94.12
Total Turnover Points 63.01 181.54 40.40 159.82
T/O Points Margin Per Game +9.12 +9.19

Oklahoma has fumbled 13 times on offense and recovered 11 of those fumbles -- needless to say, that's highly disproportionate. Overall, though, they have only recovered 26 of 48 fumbles on the season. Florida has recovered 20 of a combined 35 fumbles. Both have gotten slightly fortuitous bounces on loose balls, but the big story in this realm has been the ridiculously small number of interceptions they have both thrown. In 476 attempts, Oklahoma has thrown only seven picks (1.5 percent); Sam Bradford has thrown six picks in 442 attempts (1.4 percent). Meanwhile, Florida has thrown just three interceptions this year in 299 passes (1.0 percent). Tim Tebow is responsible for just two of those in 268 attempts (0.7 percent). Neither of these quarterbacks make mistakes with the ball, and neither team lays the ball down with any regularity. Florida is a little looser with the ball, but they make up for that by forcing more (and more valuable) takeaways. In other words, turnovers could be absolutely huge in this game. Neither team has a talent advantage significant enough to overcome a hefty turnover points margin, and whoever wins this battle -- as is usually the case -- likely wins the game.

Situational Stats

Here's where the detail gets a little more intricate, and the likely flow of the game reveals itself.

Non-Passing Downs and Passing Downs
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
Non-Passing Downs
Success Rate 57.2% 42.9% 56.0% 43.6%
PPP 0.58 0.24 0.52 0.34
S&P 1.147 0.666 1.076 0.777
Sack Rate 4.7% 6.3% 1.4% 5.5%
Run Rate 66.6% 53.6% 62.9% 49.1%
Passing Downs
Success Rate 36.4% 25.6% 41.3% 27.6%
PPP 0.45 0.27 0.58 0.28
S&P 0.811 0.526 0.994 0.555
Sack Rate 5.6% 8.3% 3.4% 10.1%
Run Rate 43.6% 29.6% 25.7% 27.2%

Is a given team run-first or pass-first? One of the best ways to tell is looking at teams' run rates on non-passing downs. Looking at opponents' run rates reveal how teams most like to attack the given team's defense. In this case, both Florida and Oklahoma are very much run-first teams. That might surprise some -- particularly those who have taken a gander at Sam Bradford's passing numbers -- but it's true. With a running game that grinds more than it explodes, Oklahoma demands that you defend the run. And then when you do, Jermaine Gresham is suddenly (and repeatedly) wide-open.


The Seventh Day Adventure Podcast

(Fifth Day Adventure Edition)

Russell Levine is joined by FO's Bill Connelly and Brian Fremeau, as well as Orson Swindle of EDSBS.com, to preview the BCS title game from all angles.

Against Florida, teams tend to try to keep it on the ground. Whether that is because they want to exploit a weakness or simply try to run the clock and keep the ball out of Florida's hands, you decide.

The other thing to note about the non-passing downs stats is that while both teams hold opponents to low success rates, OU is much more susceptible to a big play. This is likely due to a few main causes:

1) OU was struggling to find a competent middle linebacker for a good portion of the season after Ryan Reynolds got hurt (they replaced him at times with uber-safety Nic Harris, meaning you had a guy with no MLB experience at MLB, plus you no longer had Nic Harris in the secondary),

2) OU played Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Missouri, big-play offenses all, and

3) Florida's PPP in non-passing downs was just about the best among BCS teams, trailing only USC (0.19), Penn State (0.23), and Alabama (0.23).

Meanwhile, regarding passing downs, if you are looking for one main reason why Sam Bradford won the Heisman, check out OU's numbers in this category -- they were almost as dangerous in passing downs as in non-passing downs. Earlier in the season, I mentioned that disproportionately high success on passing downs could be a foreboding sign of things to come. If I'm an OU fan, I'd be a little concerned that five weeks off could have done some damage to the ridiculous rhythm in which OU found itself by the end of the season. They were absolutely automatic on third downs, whether third-and-3 or third-and-10, and if Florida slows them down in this regard, they could be well on their way to their second national title in three years.

By Down
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
1st Down
Success Rate 52.1% 39.7% 52.2% 40.2%
PPP 0.59 0.21 0.52 0.27
S&P 1.116 0.607 1.042 0.672
Second Down
Success Rate 49.6% 37.3% 51.2% 36.3%
PPP 0.45 0.26 0.51 0.34
S&P 0.942 0.630 1.019 0.705
3rd Down
Success Rate 50.7% 31.8% 51.2% 36.3%
PPP 0.55 0.28 0.63 0.35
S&P 1.057 0.597 1.153 0.700

Not a lot to report here. Both the Florida offense and Oklahoma defense are best on first downs (suggesting an interesting Immovable Object v. Irresistible Force matchup there) while the Florida defense and Oklahoma offense were best on third downs (ditto).

By Quarter
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
Q1
Success Rate 51.7% 31.9% 59.8% 29.7%
PPP 0.55 0.19 0.62 0.19
S&P 1.067 0.510 1.221 0.486
Q2
Success Rate 51.3% 33.8% 55.9% 42.9%
PPP 0.58 0.21 0.59 0.43
S&P 1.091 0.543 1.147 0.854
Q3
Success Rate 53.8% 45.2% 46.7% 40.6%
PPP 0.52 0.31 0.52 0.29
S&P 1.063 0.759 0.988 0.700
Q4
Success Rate 48.7% 37.5% 42.9% 38.6%
PPP 0.51 0.29 0.36 0.36
S&P 0.992 0.661 0.790 0.743

This game could be decided by who wins the first quarter. Among BCS-conference teams, Oklahoma has the No. 1 first-quarter offense. They completely blitz their opponents during the "scripted playbook" portion of the game, then rely on a defense's exhaustion to open things up later on. The thing is, Florida is No. 3 among BCS schools.

And on defense, OU is No. 1 among BCS schools in the first quarter, and Florida is No. 2. Something's really gotta give.

In the Red Zone
Florida Opp. Oklahoma Opp.
Success Rate 57.6% 36.3% 57.5% 45.3%
PPP 0.74 0.41 0.81 0.60
S&P 1.315 0.770 1.385 1.049

Yet again, these two teams are near the top here. OU has the No. 1 red zone offense in the (BCS-level) country, while Florida is No. 3, between Texas and Missouri. Defensively, however, Florida has an edge. They are solid at red zone defense (No. 9 among BCS schools), but OU is rather mediocre.

When Oklahoma Runs the Ball

Both teams like to establish the run. Which team is more likely to succeed?

Success Rate PPP S&P Line Yards/carry 2ndPPP 3rdPPP Conference Rank
Oklahoma Rush Offense 48.8% 0.40 0.889 3.29 0.42 0.21 6
Florida Rush Defense 42.1% 0.23 0.649 2.89 0.22 -0.02 6

As mentioned earlier, OU does not have an explosive running game. Their goal within their hurry-up offense is to use the run as a body blow, wearing the opponent down and making them more susceptible to the pass. In this regard, they really might not miss DeMarco Murray too much. Here are OU's close-game rushing statistics:

  • Chris Brown: 127 carries, 54.3% success rate, 0.50 PPP, 1.044 S&P, 0.53 2ndPPP, 0.27 3rdPPP
  • DeMarco Murray: 130 carries, 53.1% success rate, 0.43 PPP, 0.965 S&P, 0.45 2ndPPP, 0.29 3rdPPP
  • Mossis Madu: 17 carries, 58.8% success rate, 0.48 PPP, 1.069 S&P, 0.65 2ndPPP, 0.49 3rdPPP

Murray is steady and established, while Madu is clearly new to the big stage (though he did perform well against Mizzou, who among all their defensive problems, had a very solid run defense). But if he can provide any sort of outside running threat to go with the underrated Brown's hard-charging runs between the tackles, OU's rushing offense should still have the desired effect.

When Florida Runs the Ball

Success Rate PPP S&P Line Yards/carry 2ndPPP 3rdPPP Conference Rank
Florida Rush Offense 54.3% 0.49 1.029 3.47 0.51 0.29 1
Oklahoma Rush Defense 39.8% 0.28 0.675 2.60 0.29 0.04 3

Both teams run a lot, obviously, but they could not be more different in how they choose to do it. While Sam Bradford had 8.4 percent of his team's close-game carries, Tim Tebow had 39.6 percent of his team's. He didn't get quite as much wear-and-tear on his legs this year -- freshman Jeffery Demps, junior Percy Harvin, and redshirt freshman Chris Rainey all put together valuable carries -- but he is still the workhorse.

And hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Here's a look at Florida's main close-game rushers:

  • Tim Tebow: 108 carries, 59.3% success rate, 0.42 PPP, 1.013 S&P, 0.55 2ndPPP, 0.29 3rdPPP
  • Jeffrey Demps: 52 carries, 51.9% success rate, 0.44 PPP, 0.961 S&P, 0.28 2ndPPP, 0.17 3rdPPP
  • Percy Harvin: 43 carries, 72.1% success rate, 0.71 PPP, 1.426 S&P, 0.69 2ndPPP, 0.50 3rdPPP
  • Chris Rainey: 35 carries, 72.9% success rate, 0.31 PPP, 0.742 S&P, 0.04 2ndPPP, -0.22 3rdPPP

It is pretty clear what kind of weapon Percy Harvin can be when he's healthy. He is more important to the Gator attack than DeMarco Murray is to Oklahoma's, but he is going to play -- Murray is not.

Demps and Rainey are serviceable running backs, and as mentioned earlier, they can take some of the pounding away from Tebow, but what clearly works best is Tebow between the tackles and Harvin on the motion, sweeps and end-arounds.

Meanwhile, OU's rush defense took a hit with the loss of Ryan Reynolds, but they have stabilized in that department in recent weeks. Never underestimate how much the loss of Reynolds impacted OU in the loss to Texas. Before he got hurt, Texas' running game was nonexistent. After the injury, Chris Ogbonnaya was able to take advantage of Reynolds' consistently out-of-place replacement, and Texas was unstoppable in the second half.

When Oklahoma Throws the Ball

Success Rate PPP S&P Sack Rate 2ndPPP 3rdPPP Conference Rank
Oklahoma Pass Offense 55.7% 0.68 1.240 2.3% 0.71 0.55 1
Florida Pass Defense 33.0% 0.26 0.594 7.2% 0.09 -0.06 2

Really, Florida's pass defense numbers are just outstanding. Only one-third of their opponent's passes result in successful plays, and even when they do they still don't really go anywhere. Florida attacks and tackles extraordinarily well. They will obviously be tested by OU's diverse, talented corps of receivers.

Honestly, the most important person Florida needs to stop could be Juaquin Iglesias. Iglesias is shifty and quick, and it's almost impossible to get a hand on him in the open field. Florida can possibly have success by keeping the Sooners in front of them and tackling well, but Iglesias (1.42 3rdPPP) is the biggest yards-after-catch threat the Sooners have. Ryan Broyles (1.01 3rdPPP) is a similar threat, but he is not quite as good or experienced.

When Florida Throws the Ball

Success Rate PPP S&P Sack Rate 2ndPPP 3rdPPP Conference Rank
Florida Pass Offense 47.0% 0.62 1.091 5.1% 0.52 0.32 1
Oklahoma Pass Defense 37.0% 0.35 0.720 7.5% 0.22 0.01 2

The key to Florida's passing success may be staying out of obvious passing situations as much as possible. When Oklahoma's defensive ends can pin their ears back and attack, they are as successful as any unit in the country. But if they are off-balance, they can be beaten. Therefore, the most important of Tim Tebow's receivers (other than Percy Harvin, anyway) could be senior wide-out Louis Murphy (81.5 percent success rate on receptions) and sophomore tight end Aaron Hernandez (70.8 percent).

Summary and Prediction

In last month's "Conference Breakdowns" column, I mentioned a way to estimate a team's projected conference record:

In theory, if you know how many EqPts per game Team A averages rushing and passing, and if you know how far Team B usually holds opponents above or below their season averages, then you can come up with a figure that represents Team A's likely output against Team B, and vice versa. Throw in a home-field adjustment, and you can project likely results and therefore a team's likely record based on their (conference) season averages.

In other words, if every team played at its average level in every game (which will obviously never happen), you can project what their record likely would have been. Differences between actual and projected records could be explained by far too many variables to count -- special teams breakdowns, good or bad luck, good or bad coaching, or maybe the simple fact that some teams get much better or worse as the season progresses.

I was referencing this in regard to conference-only numbers. But in the continued absence of overall, national "+" numbers (still about two weeks away from completion), we'll do this: We'll hypothesize that the Big 12 and SEC are exactly equal in every way and look at what OU's and UF's conference-play numbers would suggest about the outcome.

The conference-play-only-and-the-two-conferences-are-equal projection is Florida 35, Oklahoma 30. Florida was slightly more dominant in the SEC than OU was in the Big 12. That's probably as good a place to start as any.

Honestly, this game likely boils down to the following factors:

  • Oklahoma on third downs -- If OU can shake off the rust from the layoff and assume the same unstoppable third-down rhythm they had before the break, no defense in the country can stop them.
  • Florida on first downs -- If Florida is getting yards on first down and staying out of passing downs, they should be able to move the ball at will. If they're facing a lot of second-and-8s and third-and-6s, they are less equipped than OU to convert in those situations.
  • Turnovers -- They're two of the best teams in the country at avoiding turnovers and forcing takeaways. Every turnover is gigantic.
  • Winning the first quarter -- Both teams are fantastic tone-setters. Whichever will win out in the first quarter could forecast the final victor.
  • Special Teams -- The as-yet unmentioned variable. Oklahoma was dreadful at kickoff coverage, especially earlier in the season. Florida has Brandon James. Advantage: Florida. If OU can neutralize James, they win a major battle.

A lot of folks seem to be leaning toward Florida in this one. Florida has the "SEC SPEED!!!!," Oklahoma has lost three consecutive BCS bowls, et cetera. Oklahoma, however, is just as battle-tested as Florida, and they likely have the speed to match Florida's. This should be an impressive display of athletic, precise offenses, but it does appear that Florida has the slightest of edges here. If they played 100 times, Florida might win 53 and Oklahoma 47, but in a one-game battle, give it to the Gators. Taking into account Florida's special teams advantage, and my own belief that the Big 12 was slightly better, top to bottom, than the SEC this year, we'll go with Florida 38, Oklahoma 34.

FEI Analysis

by Brian Fremeau

Bill's exhaustive Varsity Numbers breakdown covers just about every offensive and defensive split category except field position. In actuality, the offenses and defenses performed similarly from nearly every starting field position over the course of the season, but a few areas of the field may hold the key to the game.

Short Fields

  • Nearly 25 percent of Florida's offensive non-garbage drives began in opponent territory in 2008, compared with only 17 percent for Oklahoma, and both the Gators and Sooners reached the end zone on about 75 percent of those possessions.
  • The teams faced opponent drives beginning in plus territory only seven percent of the time. Florida gave up only one touchdown all season in nine such situations; Oklahoma gave up four touchdowns in ten such situations.

Long Fields

  • On the few occasions the teams were pinned inside their own 10 yard line to begin a drive, Florida was stronger than Oklahoma offensively, scoring 17 points in seven such situations, averaged 46 yards per drive, and going three and out only once. Oklahoma averaged 31 yards per drive and scored only one touchdown on six very long fields, going three and out twice.
  • Defensively, Florida gave up a touchdown only once on nine opponent drives begun inside the opponent's 10 yard line and forced three turnovers, all of which led directly to Gator scores on their next possession. Oklahoma also only gave up a touchdown once on five opponent drives starting inside the opponent's 10 yard line, but converted only two of the other four drives into a touchdown on their next possession.

Some of the data from these special field position situations can be explained by opponent strengths and weaknesses -- the Big 12 was better offensively and the SEC was better defensively as a conference this year. But evenly matched games like the BCS championship often hinge on turnovers and special teams play that create such situations, and neither team can afford to be significanly disadvantaged by field position. It probably won't be featured in a highlight reel, but if either team can pin the opponent deep and follow it up with a short-field touchdown, those seven points may be all it takes to take command. Florida, led by their speed on defense and special teams, is the more likely candidate to do so. FEI Forecast: Florida 35, Oklahoma 30.

Overall FEI/SDA Picks Table

The Picks
Visitor Spread Home EDSBS Says Bill Connelly Says FEI Says Russell Says
Florida -4 Oklahoma Florida* Oklahoma Florida Florida
Season-long Results
("Fred Edelstein Lock of the Week" record in parentheses)
  Last Week Season Total
FEI: 7-9-0 (0-1-0) 74-76-3 (7-10-1)
Russell: 8-8-0 (0-1-0) 74-76-3 (6-11-1)

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 07 Jan 2009

47 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2009, 4:38pm by notanOUfan

Comments

1
by forcefulmuffin (not verified) :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 1:09pm

Pretty accurate all around, I feel like Madu is better than most people are thinking as he has been lights out in not only the big twelve championship but also the late game work he has received this year, and the OU wideouts are almost all an equal threat... that's what makes this team so dangerous. Whereas Florida's biggest threat comes from one guy that is probably the best all-around athlete on the field in Harvin. That being said can't wait to watch this game.c

2
by Anonguy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 3:28pm

I have to wonder if Oklahoma's D coordinator watched what Ole Miss did to Florida, and then checked to see if the exploits done by Ole Miss were still there afterwards. It should be a fun game at least.

3
by doofman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 3:41pm

Wait, I'm confused...why are people paying so much attention to an exhibition game?

4
by sethburn :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 4:47pm

Florida has been bet up to a 5 point favorite. As best I can tell this is a reaction against the Big 12 being considered frauds. A lot of Big 12 teams started conference play 5-0 after beating up a bunch of cupcakes. That they had 3 teams in the top of the polls is probably an fluke. Utah definitely deserved the win vs. Alabama but Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech is definitely a good test case. Tech simply got beat. Texas beat Ohio St. in a fairly even game. The SEC is pretty much immune from criticism (justifiably or not), but the BIG 12 has something to prove. I think the last time a Big 12 team was in the national championship game they got pantsed but USC. I don't think this game is 53-47. I don't think it is 60-40. I don't even think it is 65-35. Oklahoma can win, but Florida is probably a clear leg up on Oklahoma defensively and that will likely be the difference.

5
by t.d. :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 5:30pm

The last time a Big 12 team was in the title game, Vince Young beat USC, but I don't think Oklahoma has fared so well of late

8
by sethburn :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 2:38am

My bad, you are correct. Vince Young was a manimal.

6
by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 5:53pm

I think USC were the ones who got pantsed. Don't worry though, it's easy to forget the greatest college football game of all time.

9
by sethburn :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 2:47am

USC lost to Texas, you are correct, I had forgotten that. With Vince young (who was a manimal that game), Reggie Bush, and Matt Leinhart all under performing in the pros that game has lost just a bit of its luster. I was thinking of the Oklahoma-USC game that went very poorly for the Big 12. Apparently the Big 12 is 2-3 in BCS title games while the SEC is 4-0 (and from what I can tell, 4-0 as underdogs in each game). This would lead me to believe that the SEC teams strength of opposition is underrated and thus are better than there statistics would lead us to believe. I had thought this was a down year for the SEC, but perhaps it was just a down year for some of the teams that were expected to be strong (I'm talking about you UGA).

In any event I think Oklahoma is outclassed. We'll see, this is one of those debates that gets settled on the field.

10
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 1:36pm

LSU was a 3.5 point favorite last year, and Tennessee was a 5.5 favorite against Florida State, so the SEC has twice won the BCS CG as an underdog (and is 4-0 ATS overall).

14
by sethburn :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 3:04pm

Thank you for the information. I can be forgiven for not remembering that Tenn was favored over FSU, but forgetting last year is weak sauce. Sorry about that.

11
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 1:39pm

I'm pretty sure LSU was favored last year over Ohio State despite the fact Ohio State was #1 in the BCS and LSU was #2.

7
by SideshowShan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/07/2009 - 7:44pm

Hey! Florida will win. The Gators will eat!

12
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 1:51pm

Oh, my pick: Boomer Sooner. I've been riding them all year, and it's worked well aside from the Texas game. I'd feel better about the pick if Murray was playing, but I still think they're significantly better on offense than anybody else Florida has played all year long, and Bob Stoops was "running up the score" late in the year because he wanted his first string ready to play 4 quarters-that and the Reynolds injury were to me the two biggest reasons they lost to Texas. Brandon James against the Sooners' sometimes shaky return coverage scares me a little, but I think OU is fast and disciplined enough defensively to do a decent job against UF's offense.

13
by taxistan :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 2:03pm

Is Oklahoma a state yet??

15
by Wanker79 :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 3:40pm

I really don't care about college football at all. I've spent my whole like in Jersey and went to a D3 school, so I've never seen the appeal. This will be the first game I watch all year. But we have good friends that live in Oklahoma, and there's nothing I like better than to see the proverbial big kid on the block get punched in the face (I'm looking at you SEC) so I'm really hoping OU and pull this out.

16
by Bill Connelly :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 4:11pm

...I grew up in Western Oklahoma, and almost only cared about college football growing up. I mean, I still liked the NFL and had a favorite team and everything, but college football was life...

17
by Salvi's Headband (not verified) :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 4:21pm

Wanker79,
You need to get yourself some Rutgers gear an hop on the bandwagon!

45
by Wanker79 :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 10:04am

I can't. I went to the other RU (Rowan).

18
by Kevin Eleven :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:16pm

As much as I'm looking forward to tonight's game, I'm sad that the college football season is closing. I already miss the Saturdays.

Urban Meyer is only 44 years old?!?!? I wonder what his coaching resume will look like when he retires.

I'm taking Florida in a romp.

19
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:42pm

Be sure to join a cast of your (least?) favorite FO posters for IRC football chat! We're on the new server, in an attempt to placatee the power-hungry Fnor. The new server is bendenweyr.dyndns.org, channel still #fo

Brief tutorial for the IRC-shy:

- Download mIRC from mIRC.com
- type /server bendenweyr.dyndns.org into the status window
- type /join #fo

20
by Bill Connelly :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:43pm

Does it work on macs? Don't see a mac option...

21
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:46pm

logically, a 15 yard penalty should make it 1st and 25.

FOX's ad breaks indicate an attempt to make this a 5 hour game.

22
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:48pm

ok, I don't care how many seconds Oklahoma takes between plays. Enough.

24
by Kevin Eleven :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:54pm

Well said.

And yes, Tebow is awesome, but Fox is WAY overdoing it.

Graham Harrell won some Player Of The Year award. Surprised he didn't get more Heisman consideration- those stats are SICK.

23
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:50pm

this is hilarious. They throw a flag and do nothing.

Referees and clock operators. Just incompetence.

25
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 9:55pm

Davis thinks Harvin's ankle might "tighten up on him."

26
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:13pm

Davis started talking about the left side of the OL doing a good job in the run game, and he circled the right side.

A guy who doesn't know his right from his left is announcing the championship game.

all of a sudden the offenses are exploding.

27
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:14pm

A TD for each starting TE and it's 7-7

28
by Kevin Eleven :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:19pm

Excellent game so far. I don't have a dog in this race, so I just want a good one.

Uh...I guess Percy Harvin's ankle is OK. He's running like he has a rocket up his ass.

29
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:25pm

what a bad all-around football game.

30
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:27pm

Davis is emphatic that Oklahoma should go for it on 3rd and goal.

31
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:29pm

and then they go to ads immediately after the stop!

Announcers can't figure out what down it is, Davis makes a fool out of himself.

Comedy, I guess.

Still ugly to watch.

32
by Yaguar :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:30pm

My dear lord, these announcers are incompetent.

33
by salvi's headband (not verified) :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:35pm

Jesus; it's the first half. Kick a damn field goal!

34
by Kevin Eleven :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:43pm

Agreed! I know it's "gutsy" to go for it, but those almost guaranteed three points could have been huge.

35
by DoubleB (not verified) :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:49pm

Is it just me or does it feel like Oklahoma has dominated this game and has only a 7-7 score to show for it?

36
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:59pm

By the way, if your offense is doing well, you should always go for it on 3rd and goal.

I'm going to put that in my book of football knowledge.

37
by bowman :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:09pm

Does college football have a horsecollar rule, or does the rule state that the hand has to be inside the jersey?

Vicious tackle on Rainey - should it have been a PF?

38
by Sid :: Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:55pm

DAVIS, THERE CANNOT BE MOMENTUM IN A GAME THAT HAS NO FLOW. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD.

When there's a stoppage after every single play...

39
by Pat F. :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:00am

holy hell is this production bad

40
by Sid :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:04am

re: bowman

yes, there is. It was borderline. The defender didn't quite get his hand all the way inside the pads. They could've called it. They didn't. They'd rather call a bunch of unsportsmanlike conducts on Florida.

41
by bowman :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:09am

... and not call the sideline infractions on the OU coaches.

It's fun to see the 4-screen view, see a couple of OU coaches on the field (barely), and think of the SEC championship game.

42
by bowman :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:13am

... and not call the defender twisting Harvin's ankle after the play.

This is the dirtiest defense game I can remember. OU deserves to lose.

47
by notanOUfan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 4:38pm

Like Georgia against Hawaii last year. After every play, there was a leg twist, an arm pull, some little crap from Georgia. Officials should really put a stop to that kind of junk.

43
by Sid :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:23am

Did you see the look on Bradford's face when he got up?

And another ad break.

44
by Sid :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:31am

FOX just skimmed over a great conversion on 3rd and 12, passing up several opportunities to show a replay.

what a pass.

46
by LiffeyTroll (not verified) :: Fri, 01/09/2009 - 12:17pm

I watch mostly Pac-10 football and have only seen one other Oklahoma game this year, but I thought if a player put his hand down in a three point stance on offence and then picked it back up that it is a false start penalty. If I was ok the Oklahoma coaching staff I would have my d-line fire out every time and force a flag.

I agree that the horse collar was missed on that tackle but the running back was twitching like he was having a seizure over an ankle sprain that was mild enough that some tape could allow him to return to play.

Harvin had a great game and should have been MVP but on the sidelines after a big play he threw the ball up like Jake Locker did and there wasn't a flag.

When Tebow thought a whistle had blown he took his helmet off while he was still on the field, which is a penalty, and it wasn't called even though I could read Stoops's lips yelling "he took his helmet off"

This article was right on with the tendencies of both teams. OKlahoma won the first half but did not cash in and Florida won the second half by stopping the Oklahoma run game.