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Running Blog of No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 Alabama

Can Tim Tebow do it again versus Alabama in Atlanta?

Play-in game. Championship semifinal. 1 vs. 2. Whatever you want to call it,  this is a game that everyone needs to watch. I will. I’ll also be writing about it while I watch it. Follow along, won’t you?

12:28 p.m. I thought Alabama would be overrated this year. I guess I was wrong.

12:30 p.m. The biggest question mark for Alabama is the status of running back Mark Ingram. He left last week’s game against Auburn with a bruised hip, but apparently he’ll be fine to play today. I think if Ingram needed to have a hip replaced, he would be questionable.

12:35 p.m. The biggest question mark for Florida is how will the defense hold up without Carlos Dunlap. He’s their best player, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal. Florida will just pull another five-star player out of the deck. And really, that questioned will be answered during the game. If Florida shuts down ‘Bama, everyone will say how much that unit came together in the absence of Dunlap. If they get run over, Dunlap will get blamed heavily.

12:40 p.m. I think that the point here is fine. But I don’t agree with “Can you think of a more glaring example of an athlete so selfishly letting down his team in the week of a big game? I can’t.” Maybe in terms of talent and value to his team, Dunlap takes the cake. But athlete’s have done some very strange things before big games. Or some VERY stupid things.

12:45 p.m. So will Gator fans be doing the Gator Chomp well into the evening in Atlanta or will they be left saying Godamabama?

12:50 p.m. As much as it is turning into a cliche, I can’t see Tebow losing this game. It’s too important. Too big. As much as he is given way too much love through the media, he is a winner, through and through. I would like to see Florida lose, but helped out by the likes of Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, Florida wins, 23-20.

12:53 p.m. Although, I think Alabama will cover the 5 1/2-point spread.

12:54 p.m. This game may be a classic, as many expect it to be, but it already has fierce competition from games played earlier today.

East Carolina beat Houston in the Conference USA Championship game, 38-32, even though Case Keenum had 527 yards and five touchdowns!! He was intercepted three times, including in the end zone to as Houston was driving for a game-winning score. It was rainy out there, but it didn’t help that Houston’s kicker missed three extra points.

12:58 p.m. Then, Cincinnati came back from 14 points down in the snow on the road and beat Pittsburgh to claim the Big East with a 45-44 win. I’m not sure if Florida-Alabama can be better than that.

1:00 p.m. It’s time for kickoff. But that just means 15 or so more minutes of hype. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!

1:09 p.m. This is what I mean. Just start already! I’m sick of these delays.

1:10 p.m. This game is stopping me from going out and getting a Christmas tree. I plan to do so right after the final second.

1:11 p.m. I’ve said my prediction. Who do you think will win and by how much?

1:13 p.m. Finally, we are underway. Alabama won the toss and will receive and Javier Arenas takes it up to the 21.

1:14 p.m. On the first play, Alabama gives Florida bit of its own medicine by running the spread. Screw you, physical football!

1:16 p.m. Nice, crisp offensive plays by Alabama so far. Very decisive and smart.

1:17 p.m. I was never a fan of John Parker Wilson, but I didn’t know what to expect with him out of the picture. McElroy has been better than I thought, though.

1:19 p.m. Wow, Tiffin drilled that one. 3-0 Alabama. Tebow now levitates onto the field.

1:21 p.m. Because I’m in (or near) Los Angeles, I have to keep an eye on USC. The Trojans and down 7-0 to Arizona at home in the second quarter. If they lose, they could very well end up in the Emerald Bowl. Quite a fall.

1:23 p.m. For every good play from Tebow, I would like to cite a Bible verse. I would like to, I just don’t know the Bible.

1:24 p.m. A short run, a drop and then some pressure forces and throw-away. Nice first series for the ‘Bama D.

1:25 p.m. Arenas is just 37 yards short of holding the NCAA record for career punt return yardage. He would knock Wes Welker out of first place. Welker’s a great punt return man now, but it just seems funny to me that he holds that NCAA record. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t look like an athlete?

1:27 p.m. Nick Saban has that mad scientist mentality and many believe that he’s been game-planning for this one since week 1. Looks like it so far because everything Alabama is doing works.

1:29 p.m. Injury update: Mark Ingram is not injured.

1:30 p.m. McElroy finds Maze sitting down in the zone for an easy pitch-and-catch first down.

1:32 p.m. I wish I could remember the 2009 title game with Oklahoma and Florida. I wish I could be just like you, Gary Danielson.

1:34 p.m. “I wonder if it was a facemask. Or a horse collar, one of the two.” Oh, I’m sorry, the answer was holding. Holding.

1:35 p.m. Ingram steps through Gator tackles like he was running the tire drill. I think it’s a touchdown.

1:36 p.m. From that side view, you could see the shadow of Ingram’s right arm with the ball on the edge of the end line as his knee hit the ground. That’s a good confirmation.

1:37 p.m. So Tiffin drills a 48-yarder and misses and extra point. You know those always play a factor in games.

1:38 p.m. Verne Lundquist is having a tough first quarter. For some reason, he thought Arenas wasn’t on the field to take the opening kickoff and now he thinks that a ball that hits an upright — WHICH STANDS OUT OF BOUNDS — is still a live ball. But let’s give him some credit. He is 69 years old.

1:41 p.m. Damn, Rod Woodson! How’d he get any collegiate eligibility??

1:42 p.m. Which team is the penalty on? Which player is the penalty on? Did they mark off the penalty yardage? Isn’t that an illegal formation penalty? MASS CONFUSION!!!

1:44 p.m. If Rolando McClain is going to be spying Tebow all day, Tim isn’t going to do a whole lot on the ground.

1:46 p.m. Riley Cooper looks like a smaller Jeff Samardzija. I had to look that spelling up.

1:48 p.m. Option? Not so much.

1:49 p.m. The Tide are all over the field as they get pressure up the gut and force a field goal. Just like the Saints last Monday night against Tom Brady, pressure is the key to stopping a good quarterback, even if he isn’t much of a passer (Tebow).

1:52 p.m. Florida gets on the scoreboard as another long field goal kick is true. 9-3 Alabama.

1:53 p.m. I know Terrence Cody is great and NFL teams are now drooling over a game-changing nose tackle, but there is just something about him that I find so wrong. Is it really good for any 21-year-old, even if he plays football, to weigh upwards of 360 pounds? That just kind of makes me a little squeamish.

1:55 p.m. Does anyone know Carlos Dunlap’s blood-alcohol level on the night he got stopped? I’m sure that whatever it is, Miguel Cabrera laughs at it.

1:57 p.m. By the way, how about Arenas bowling over that Gator on the kickoff return for about five yards? Holy crap!

1:59 p.m. This isn’t boxing — really, doctor?! — but I’ve got to give that first quarter to Alabama easily. It looked liked they caught the Gators off guard at the start and are running very well.

2:02 p.m. How about the punter P.J. Fitzgerald??? I’m sure his team loves him for that tackle. Great way to show that a kicker isn’t on the field to just kick the ball. I’m talking to you, Jeff Reed.

2:05 p.m. Nice try by Hernandez, but better coverage by Alabama.

2:06 p.m. Holding on Florida. I’m sure Danielson thought it was a chop block.

2:07 p.m. If you can’t watch this game on TV, the CBSSports.com game tracker is almost as good.

2:08 p.m. Tebow can’t find anyone, can’t find anyone, can’t find anyone and then when he let’s go of the ball, it’s nearly picked off. Alabama is on their usual game today defensively.

2:09 p.m. Tebow hasn’t thrown the ball more than 26 times in any game this season. He already has 13 attempts today.

2:11 p.m. That play action is going to be working all day and the Tide is rolling again.

2:12 p.m. “21-deficit-point comeback.” A little quick on the trigger there, Brando. Regardless, that Cincy-Pitt game was amazing.

2:14 p.m. ANOTHER missed tackle leads to a 34-yard play for Alabama. This Gator defense is looking undisciplined right now.

2:15 p.m. Looks like Major Wright hurt his right knee when Maze landed on it.

2:16 p.m. Of course, any reference to Wright means that you pretty much have to show this. I do remember that from the title game.

2:18 p.m. Oh, that deflection should have been picked off by Florida.

2:19 p.m. I’m not sure how McElroy did that. But, the more interesting development is that Danielson didn’t know who Mikhail Barishnikov or what the game of hop-scotch is.

2:21 p.m. For Alabama to do something like that to convert on a third down, I think that’s a play to remember for later on in this drive.

2:24 p.m. So, that run by McElroy may have cost the Gators three points, but even without it, I think Tiffin would have been fine to hit a 39-yard field goal. So … whatever.

2:26 p.m. Gotta feel good to be 20-year-old and just chill while someone rushes over to massage down your legs like their life is on the line.

2:28 p.m. Tebow finally breaks off a big run on a broken play and the Gators have some offensive momentum.

2:29 p.m. Now that’s more like it for Tebow.

2:30 p.m. And then he throws a dart to Hernandez for a touchdown. It looks like the Gators have finally woken up and we have a game! 12-10, Alabama. 4:31 to play in the half.

2:33 p.m. Why is everyone so obsessed over Tebow’s emotion? A lot of other quarterbacks do that too, you know?

2:34 p.m. What a perfect call by ‘Bama and all of that UF momentum has been suddenly stolen!

2:36 p.m. Holy Christ! Give us a good replay!!! Oh my God!

2:37 p.m. Ingram scores Bama is back up by 9. Meanwhile, this broadcast continues to go down the toilet. No Emmy consideration needed here.

2:40 p.m. Yes, Tebow and Ingram are both doing their job. Except, Ingram is doing his job, much, much, much, much, much, much, much more effectively.

2:42 p.m. All of a sudden, we’ve got a track meet. Big plays on both sides and Florida is threatening again.

2:43 p.m. Hey! What did Troy ever do to you, Gary??

2:44 p.m. The best part of that play was watching Cody run after Tebow. It’s like laughing at a fat kid. Hehehe, do it again. Hehehe.

2:45 p.m. That was a pretty cool situation with the tipped ball almost going into another receiver’s hands. But the play of this game is that 10-yard dash by Cody. That had me laughing good.

2:47 p.m. Alabama up 19-13. The Tide has two timeouts and 78 seconds to do something. I think their offense will depend on the kickoff return. I could see them taking a knee here and just being happy with a six-point lead.

2:49 p.m. That was a very good first half. Lots of stuff going on. It was better than the Cincy-Pitt first half, but their second half was stupendous.

2:51 p.m. Oh, good. I get to see some idiot throw footballs through a hole for money. I always love those things.

2:53 p.m. Sarah-Beth doesn’t seem very personable. I think that Florida fan needs to know more cliches.

2:55 p.m. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! No, I am mistaken … THAT IS THE BEST PART OF THIS GAME NOW! Screw the Cody running. What was best about that contest? The shy Alabama girl beating the Florida guy or Gary Danielson calling her a “turtle”??? He even screwed up the analogy!! HAHAHAHA!! Now that is some halftime entertainment.

2:57 p.m. I don’t know if I can continue after that.

2:58 p.m. He called her a turtle!!! It’s a tortoise, you numbskull! Oh, God. Best ever.

3:00 p.m. Well, moving on … Alabama has played tremendously so far. Florida has had one big run and one big pass and otherwise has been shut down. But Florida gets the ball first in the second half. I do think that’s a big drive.

3:09 p.m. I know it’s very easy to mistake a Conference USA team with Sugar Bowl-bound.

3:11 p.m. Damn, maybe I was wrong. That Fresno St.-Illinois game may give Cincy-Pitt a run for its money.

3:17 p.m. God, this is a long halftime! Why don’t we just start the pregame show over again.

3:18 p.m. Can someone tell me what verse is written on Tim Tebow’s eye black today? Thanks a bunch.

3:18 p.m. And we are back underway with Florida at its own 29.

3:20 p.m. Tebow has to run more often this half. Florida has to run more often this half. HAS TO!

3:21 p.m. The lack of Brandon James does hurt Florida’s punt return, but they’ve got other backs and other athletes to take his spot.

3:22 p.m. As expected, the Gators aren’t going to give Arenas a sniff at a punt return.

3:26 p.m. Alabama runs, runs, runs and that opens up the down-field game. Tremendous play-calling.

3:27 p.m. Whoa! That’s a big call, at least bigger than holding.

3:28 p.m. And then Alabama has more tremendous execution. McElroy rolls out right, comes back left and throws a beauty over the shoulder for a touchdown! 26-13, Alabama.

3:29 p.m. If this game was broadcast on HBO for some reason, I bet that wouldn’t be called an “Oh shoot” screen.

3:31 p.m. So right now, I think Carlos Dunlap is looking like a kid (baby goat). Maybe not a goat, but a kid right now. We’ll see if that matures later in this game.

3:34 p.m. Tebow has John 16:33 on his eye black. Someone look that up.

3:35 p.m. Alabama forces a punt, and Florida has only had three punts returned against them for positive yardage this year? Wow! That’s an awesome stat.

3:37 p.m. I know there is still nearly an entire half left, but I have to say it: If Alabama can score a TD here after an 87-yard drive, I think you can get the coffin nails out.

3:38 p.m. And that’s a good way to start. Richardson picks up 25 on a strong run.

3:39 p.m. Julio Jones didn’t have to wait, Verne! He just stopped running. If he had continued with his stride, that would have been a touchdown.

3:41 p.m. What is Tebow doing talking to Emmitt Smith? I wouldn’t like that if I was one of his coaches. Emmitt has nothing to do with this game other than standing on the sideline and cheering. The coaching should come from Florida’s coaches.

3:42 p.m. Yes, Gary Danielson just talks. He knows not what he says. We’ve realized that.

3:45 p.m. Another big third-down conversion for ‘Bama. Florida looks a little demoralized.

3:47 p.m. Make that 7 for 10 on third-down conversions.

3:49 p.m. Man, what strong running by Mark Ingram! He is putting himself back into the Heisman race, yes, taking Tebow out of it as he continues to sit on the sidelines.

3:50 p.m. 8 for 11. This is textbook domination.

3:51 p.m. This is the back-breaker for Alabama. They know they can beat Florida at the point of attack. And I think Florida knows it too.

3:52 p.m. When the fourth quarter starts, it will be the 15th play of this drive for Alabama. So far, they have taken 7:29 off the clock. Ten more yards and this game is over.

3:54 p.m. Barishnikov, Gary! More Barishnikov by McElroy.

3:57 p.m. Can you give me some help with these nails? Florida is done.

3:58 p.m. 17 plays, 8:40, 88 yards and an SEC Championship.

4:00 p.m. I’m calling it early, but if you really think, from what you’ve seen today and this season, that the Alabama defense is going to give up 19 points in less than 14 minutes, you’re delusional.

4:02 p.m. Carlos Dunlap is not to blame for this — although I’m sure he’s blaming himself for all of this right now. This defense is just being played like a harp today.

4:04 p.m. USC football loses again. At this point, I don’t think they care. Get that bowl game over with and move on.

4:05 p.m. They’ll review that. That’s a close call. It may have been an incomplete pass.

4:07 p.m. I think this play will stand. It’s a really close call. I don’t see anything indisputable to overturn it.

4:08 p.m. Damn you, Danielson. You win again.

4:08 p.m. That replay overturn just basically delayed the inevitable.

4:09 p.m. “You literally have to cut the head off the snake.” I don’t know. I think if they decapitate Tebow, that would be a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

4:10 p.m. On the next play, Arenas picks off Tebow. Verne Lundquist says it might be over. He might want to check out the score and the clock again.

4:13 p.m. News flash: THE CHRIST THE REDEEMER STATUE IN BRAZIL IS CRYING ORANGE AND BLUE TEARS!!

4:16 p.m. This isn’t the end for Tebow — he still has a bowl game. But it might as well be. I think people will remember this as his “last” game. This game will stand out. And we will remember it going no way we expected.

4:18 p.m. There are no unbeatable teams. Except for the ones that finish their season unbeaten.

4:20 p.m. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock …

4:22 p.m. That looked like a broken play. A bunch of guys just stopped running at the snap on both sides of the ball.

4:25 p.m. That ball was  behind Nelson, but that was catchable. Regardless, turnover on downs. Now let’s see if Alabama can run the final 7:28 off the clock with one drive about about five first downs.

4:28 p.m. The Tebows look like they are upset at something? I wonder what.

4:29 p.m. Pickles?! Pickles?! Are you kidding me? Pickles?! I just hope we can eat a damn cookie.

4:31 p.m. So, Alabama vs. Texas. Yes, Texas is going to trounce Nebraska tonight. I don’t think that has the same amount of luster as Florida-Oklahoma last year or Florida-Texas this year, but there is no doubt that we will be seeing the two best teams in Pasadena in early January.

4:33 p.m. I’d I’m not talking about Ohio State-Oregon.

4:34 p.m. Even in garbage time, Alabama is just gutting the Gators with the run.

4:35 p.m. Nope, Dunlap wouldn’t have changed anything here. I hope every columnist nationwide agrees.

4:37 p.m. So, is tonight the night, being so distraught after the loss, that Tebow gets drunk and picks up a hooker? Just sayin’.

4:38 p.m. I’ll tell you what … Tebow better not cry though! I swear, he better not cry.

4:39 p.m. Demps and Rainey were non-factors, but they shouldn’t have gotten more than three combined carries, right?

4:40 p.m. OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING WITH ME?!?! IS HE CRYING AGAIN??? IS HE CRYING AGAIN?????? STOP CRYING!! LOSING IS A PART OF THE GAME, TEBOW!!! DEAL WITH IT!!

4:41 p.m. I’m shocked. Not only at the result, but Tebow whimpers again. That’s disgusting.

4:43 p.m. Someone should tell Tim Tebow that he is not a Little League Baseball player.

4:47 p.m. Congrats to the Crimson Tide. They deserved it, no doubt. They dominated from start to finish. Three stats that sum up the game: Alabama outrushed Florida 251 to 89. Alabama on third downs: 11-for-15. Time of possession: Alabama, 39:37. Florida, 20:23.

4:49 p.m. I hope Tebow and the Gators lose their bowl game. Thus, this will be the lasting image we have of “The greatest college football player of all time.” Unless he starts crying after the bowl game, too.

4:50 p.m. Elephants are always good for cramp massages.

4:53 p.m. Anyway, I need to go get a Christmas tree. If you want to read stuff about Tebow’s crying tonight erasing his warrior persona forever, go somewhere else. BUT THANKS FOR FOLLOWING ALONG TODAY! 🙂

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  1. December 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    OH MAN, HE USED A PICTURE OF A GOAT. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    OH MAN, HE IS HILARIOUS, GET IT? GOAT, LIKE A LOSER AND AN ANIMAL! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Seriously, that is just an awful piece of media. I am ashamed for him.

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      I feel like he copied my use of a goat at the top of a blog. I did it for game 6 of the World Series. I call copycat!

  2. December 5, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I have Florida winning by at least 10. Probs something closer to 28-14 or something.

  3. Stephanie
    December 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I was watching CBS name the Crimson Tide’s starters. I found my long lost cousin Vlachos!

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      Hahaha!

  4. December 5, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    TIDE UP 3-0, AND THE ROUT IS ON!!!!

  5. December 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Dummies guide to the Bible: A word and then a number and a colon and another number.

    Alfred 8:43 or something.

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

      Adrian 109:55: Thou shall take the pedal off the metal.

      • December 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

        Ochocinco 8:5: And the Father looked down upon his followers and — Child Please — saw that it was good.

  6. December 5, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Rolando McClain: Die Hard 5: Swamp Rose Smothered.

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm

      “SECee you in hell.”

  7. December 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    The first quarter was almost a 10-8 round. I would give Bama a knockdown, forcing Florida three and out on the first drive.

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

      Completely agree.

  8. December 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    “But, the more interesting development is that Danielson didn’t know who Mikhail Barisnikov or what the game of hop-scotch is.”

    That is why he is paid the big bucks.

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 2:32 pm

      I don’t remember watching the Washington “Redstins” either. Gary does.

  9. December 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Emmitt Smith was telling Tebow to metriculate the ball down the field.

  10. December 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    John 16:33

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    • spokes310
      December 5, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      John sounds like a narcissistic bitch.

      • December 5, 2009 at 3:48 pm

        You watch your tone, it’s God talking.

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