The Washington Times - January 9, 2009, 12:01AM

So Florida just won its second BCS title in three years. And everyone with a tie to the Great Salt Lake is pleading unbeaten Utah’s case to be No. 1.

Everyone – Florida, Utah, Texas, Southern Cal – is doing their share of caterwauling over who the “true” champion is. Urban Meyer even sanctions it. But without a playoff – and it ain’t coming soon, so just deal with it – all you can do is look at results.

SEE RELATED:


So I’ve tried to be reasonable in lining up the opponent quality from both Florida and Utah, and then listed an advantage for each game. There’s an extra game for Florida, but that just means the Gators’ worst game can be ignored.

So here’s the lineup.

Game Florida Utah Advantage
1 vs. Oklahoma (24-14) 
vs. Alabama (31-17) 
Even
2 vs. Alabama (31-20)
TCU (13-10)
Florida
3 at Georgia (49-10)
Oregon State (31-28)
Florida
4 Ole Miss (30-31)
Brigham Young (48-24) 
Utah X2
5 at Florida State (45-15) 
at Air Force (30-23)
Florida
6 Louisiana State (51-21)
Colorado State (49-16)
Florida
7 Miami (26-3)
at Michigan (25-23)
Florida
8 South Carolina (56-6)
UNLV (42-21)
Florida
9 at Vanderbilt (42-14)
at New Mexico (13-10)
Florida
10 Kentucky (63-5)
at Wyoming (40-7)
Florida
11 at Arkansas (38-7)
at Utah State (58-10)
Even
12 at Tennessee (30-6)
Weber State (37-21)
Florida
13 Hawaii (56-10)
at San Diego State (63-14) 
Even
14 The Citadel (70-19)

So there it is. Even ignoring the over-the-top fawning for Tim Tebow on tonight’s broadcast, it’s quite a leap to say a one-point loss to what turned out to be a top-15 opponent weighs so heavily as to counteract a better performance in pretty much every other way.

Utah ran the table and earned a top-three finish. But Florida is this year’s national champion, and deservedly so.

Patrick Stevens