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Michael Taylor 31st Dec 2009 - 15:25

Sugar Bowl triumph would be sweet for Tebow and Meyer

It isn't quite the fairytale ending the Florida Gators were aiming for but nevertheless, victory against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl would provide a fitting ending to Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer's Gators dynasty.

The partnership of ace head coach and star quarterback has never been more prevalent than that enjoyed over the past four years by Meyer and Tebow.

Two National championships, the most feared spread offence of this generation and, before this season's SEC Championship game loss, an unbeaten streak that lasted 22 games are just a few of the highlights from one of the best recruiting classes of all time.

Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide may have ended the Gators pursuit of a third National Championship but all can be made right again if Florida can roll over Cincinnati at the New Orleans Superdome.

They certainly have the talent to win it even if Tebow's offensive options aren't quite as good as they have been in the past.

The loss of running back Brandon James means extra pressure is put on to the arm of Tebow and he'll need his receiving pool and offensive line to give much more than they did in their SEC Championship rout.

Luckily the Bearcats defence comes nowhere near close to that of the Crimson Tide's so you can expect much bigger yardage and far more receptions from the likes of Riley Cooper, Aaron Hernandez and David Nelson.

It's on their mammoth defence that the biggest boost comes though with the return of their on-field leader Carlos Dunlap.

Many people signal Dunlap's suspension from the SEC game as the defining factor for the Gators' inability to make big third down stops - the same excuse cannot be made again.

Dunlap has a lot to prove ahead of his probable entry into next year's draft, the biggest thing being his ability to bounce back from a DUI arrest and help fire his team to yet another little piece of history.

Florida's defence nationally ranks third against the pass and fourth overall but even with those stats there is likely to be an air of unknowing as they clash against Cincinnati's mighty no-huddle spread offence.

Cincinnati put up big numbers all season long and despite a tough schedule they made virtually every defence look silly on the way to a perfect season.

Such was the beauty of the link-up between Senior QB Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard that the whole Bearcats organisation has every right to feel aggrieved they didn't make the BCS Championship game.

Unlike Florida they managed to remain unbeaten and, had they registered more hefty victories over Pittsburgh and West Virginia, it could have been Alabama who were preparing to face Jeff Quinn's offence.

Luckily, for the sake of the BCS' biggest game, the Texas Longhorns were chosen by the selecting committee as I still fail to see Cincinnati as a threat to the SEC heavyweights.

Their offence may be unique and terrifying in equal measure, I just don't think it'll be good enough to put sufficient points on the board for them to defend.

In terms of betting I do think the 12.5 spread is far too big for Florida to cover so I would be taking Cincinnati's side of the 10/11, however, at 2/11 to win the game, it looks like you're buying money on a Gators win.

For Tebow though the score won't matter as long as he heads for the NFL with yet another post-season trophy to cap of the glittering career of an NCAA poster boy.



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