Your Allstate Sugar Bowl Preview

December 31, 2009 – 2:00 pm by McD


Friday, January 1, 2010

8:30 pm ET

(3) Cincinnati (12-0) vs. (5) Florida (12-1) (-13)

There’s so much surrounding this game, it’s easy to forget Cincinnati is undefeated too. Brian Kelly led his team out of basically nothing into a conference championship and undefeated season. Of course, the “haves” of the college football world got the bids into the BCS title game, but I don’t think anyone can say Cincy really earned their way in there with Texas and Alabama undefeated.

And yet, Brian Kelly walked out on this team in order to coach a mediocre Notre Dame team and take on a mess with unrealistic expectations. Nice decision, coach. Picking up Central Michigan’s coach was a great hire the second time around for Cincy, though. Butch Jones is a great coach and very similar to Kelly.

As for Florida, this is Tim Tebow’s final college game, so expect some ridiculous hyperbole from the announcers and probably a piano music-laden montage or two. I hear rumors that Tebow gave some kind of famous speech after the Ole Miss loss last year. You might see that too.

What do I really think? I think that Tebow is definitely the best dual-threat quarterback ever, and he’s absolutely in the conversation for the best college quarterback ever. But the step back he took both as a player/passer and as an offensive unit makes it a more difficult case. I know he wasn’t right after the concussion, and that will always be the caveat to his senior season, but that was a terrible showing in the SEC title game, and it’s going to stick for a while.

This was almost Urban Meyer’s last game too. Dude has a cyst that causes headaches and a heart muscle defect that caused him to be admitted to the hospital after the SEC title game. I’d say he needs a break. I’m impressed he didn’t leave for good, considering how easy that would have been.

Picking a game in which there is a crazy situation involving both coaches is almost impossible. Well, picking it correctly is the problem. It’s impossible to tell how Cincy will come out. Usually, teams that lose their coach come out flat, but when WVU smoked OU after Rich-Rod left, that kind of ruined that precedent. Also, Florida’s players might be totally distracted by the Meyer saga and come out sloppy too. Or they could be sharp as tacks since Meyer came back and it’s Tebow’s last game. I don’t know. It’s impossible to tell.

I do know that Florida can handle Cincy’s spread attack, since it’s power teams they have issues with. Florida is already fast on defense, and they’ll probably want to send DC Charlie Strong out on a high note too. Or they might not care.

This f*cking sucks.

Pick: Florida

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