College Football Preview Week 6
Written by Curt Popejoy on 10/09/2009
There is a giant all you can eat buffet of college football this week, especially as we are a few weeks into the conference schedules. But let's be honest, this week is all about the Florida Gators traveling to Baton Rouge to go to war with the LSU Tigers.
The big drama of this game hasn't been it's a matchup of two of the best teams in the country, which it should be, but all about the health of Tim Tebow. For this preview, I'm going to break this game down, because I don't believe that Tebow being on the field is really going to matter.
So far this season, the impact that Tim Tebow has had on his team has been largely ceremonial. He's a team leader, a general on the field, and the rallying point for the entire team. But in terms of what he's been asked to do on the field, his role this year has been considerably less than what has happened in years past. You don't have to look further than his box score to see his role with this team has been less about tossing the offense on his back, and more about managing it, getting his teammates involved, and letting that Gator defense do it's work.
On the other side, LSU is probably the most balanced team in the country not called Alabama. They have tons of talent at the skill positions particularly wide out. This matches with the strength of the Florida defense. The real test for LSU may be how well their offensive line, including Ciron Black deal with the defensive front of Florida, that is just so disruptive.
I know everyone is wondering if Florida can win if John Brantley plays instead of Tebow. If you have to ask you haven't seen Brantley play. He's a serious player, with all the tools you look for, and one thing that really plays to his advantage is that he's gotten a lot of snaps the last season and a half. In my opinion, I'd rather have a 100 percent John Brantley than an 80% Tim Tebow.
Let me comment just a little further on Tebow. The idea that Urban Meyer may play him this Saturday really troubles me. I realize that in terms of the season and a potential SEC and National Championship, this game's implications are huge. And I really don't care. The head injury that Tim Tebow suffered is just a ticking time bomb, and he's a short fuse. A concussion like this is something that leaves you with more questions than answers in terms of extent. Any doctor who tells you this soon after an injury like this, they can accurately give the extent, are lying. And they cannot say when, if, or just how bad the next one will be. The idea of trotting him out there even if he's 100 percent, is appalling to me. This young man has a bright future ahead of him, perhaps in the NFL but perhaps not. Regardless you simply cannot risk that, for the sake of a football game. Especially when you have a player who can fill in for him at such a high level.
But I'm off my soapbox for now. The Gators can and should beat the Tigers without Tebow. LSU has played no one other than Georgia so I am far from convinced they are for real. The Florida D is better than the LSU offense and I think that will be the difference.
In other games this week, I think Wisconsin poses a really interesting challenge for the Buckeyes. Wisconsin is playing really good football right now, and the Buckeyes have been up and down. It's great to see a team like the Badgers just line up and play good old fashioned football led by the smart young Qb Scott Tolzien and the punishing running back John Clay. If this game weren't in Columbus I'd call for the upset, no doubt about it, but on the road, I'm going to root for Wisconsin and hope they can pull it off. Oh and on Ohio State, I'm glad all the clamoring for Terrell Pryor had ebbed off some. The kid is a serious work in progress.
My final game you need to see this week is Alabama at Ole Miss. I didn't pick this game because I think the Rebels can upset the Tide. Not at all. I think Alabama is probably the best all-around team in the country. I want to watch because I want to see if Jevan Snead can rebound and play big on the biggest stage. If he can, Ole Miss can win, but even in a loss if he can have a big game, it'll help his resume' a great deal.
Player to watch-Sam Bradford, Qb Oklahoma-The return of the Heisman winner against a beat down Baylor team. This is his "blow the dust off" before the Red River Shootout. And although I've heard mixed reports out of Norman, the first being Bradford may still need surgery at the end of the season, to he was 100% last week and kept himself out of the Miami game(which really let his team down, if it's true), the fact now is, we're going to see what Bradford is made of. last year, he had a dominant oline, incredible receiving targets, and a defense that kept him needing to score. This year, he'll prove a lot of doubters wrong if he can win with this group around him.
Last Edited: 10/09/2009