- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 13, 2009


“It’s not like they came in here and just flat-out beat us. We moved the ball. We had opportunities. We had chances.” - Giants quarterback Eli Manning after Philadelphia crushed New York in the Meadowlands for the second time in a little more than a month

TAKE YOUR PICK » Will Florida repeat as college football’s king?

Yes — Tim Tebow’s announcement that he would return for his senior season was the final piece of the puzzle. Florida could return 21 of 22 players on its defensive two-deep, a big number for a team that finished the season ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense (12.9 points). As if the Gators didn’t have enough going for them, they also enjoy arguably the SEC’s easiest schedule next season, leaving their home state only four times and facing only one daunting road game, Oct. 10 at LSU.

No — In more than a half-century, only one team has won consecutive consensus national titles (Nebraska, 1994-95). Those Cornhuskers featured arguably the most dominant backfield in NCAA history (quarterback Tommie Frazier, fullback Joel Makovicka, I-backs Lawrence Phillips and Ahman Green) and fielded a team of 122 scholarship players. Stockpiling such riches is no longer possible in the 85-scholarship era. History says Florida will falter like two other seemingly impregnable juggernauts of the past decade, 2002 Miami and 2005 Southern Cal.

Our take — Not only will the Gators win the national title, they will do it by routing all comers to stake a claim to the title of “greatest team in history.” For the first time in the modern era, expect the 2009 Gators to lead the nation in scoring offense and scoring defense. The only team capable of beating Florida next season will be Florida.

TWT FIVE: Biggest upsets of the college basketball season

1. Morgan State 66, Maryland 65; This still looks like a misprint.

2. Boston College 85, North Carolina 78; OK, so the Tar Heels aren’t perfect.

3. Harvard 82, Boston College 70; OK, so the Tar Heels aren’t even very good.

4. Western Kentucky 68, Louisville 54; A red-flag blowout for the no-chemistry Cardinals.

5. VMI 111, Kentucky 103; Adolph Rupp died again watching this defense-free debacle.

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