BCS National Championship: Florida's Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow greatest in college football history?

BY MIKE BIANCHI - Orlando Sentinel Columnist Modified: January 9, 2009 at 5:14 am •  Published: January 9, 2009
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Take a snapshot of this and put it in a safe place.

You are watching history.

You are watching greatness.

And not just any old greatness.


We’re talking historical greatness.

The Florida Gators didn’t just win their second national football title in three seasons Thursday with a 24-14 victory over Oklahoma, the two men most responsible — Florida coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Tim Tebow — are marching into college football’s history books as two of the greatest of all-time.

When Tebow ran toward Oklahoma’s defense, stopped suddenly, leapt into the air and completed a jump pass for the final touchdown, the partisan crowd of mostly Florida fans erupted in celebration and started singing, “It’s great to be a Florida Gator!”

Is it, ever?

Meyer, with his second national title in three years, has established himself as the premier coach in college football. He is one of only three active coaches to have won two outright national championships. The other two — Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno — are in the Hall of Fame.

It seems only appropriate that Meyer’s second national title came on the same field where the iconic Steve Spurrier coached his final game at Florida. Meyer can at least lay claim to being the greatest coach in Florida history. He has two national titles in four years. It took Spurrier 12 years to win one title.

As for Tebow, in this media-exposed world, he is well on his way to becoming the greatest college football player in history. He has two national titles, a Heisman Trophy and third-place finish in the Heisman. Just think, if he stays for his senior season and the Gators go into next year as the preseason No. 1 team in the country, Tebow could conceivably leave Florida with three national titles and two Heismans.

He wasn’t spectacular Thursday, but he won in typical Tebow fashion: With grit, guts, sweat and blood. Tebow had never before thrown a multi-interception game in college until Thursday night. He threw only two interceptions all season — the same number he had in the first half against Oklahoma.

He rebounded in the second half and took the Gators down the field in the second half when he absolutely had to.

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