This has been the longest two weeks in the history of Florida football fandom. (At least it has been for me -- I'd be curious if anyone DIDN'T agree.)
I'm not even sure that the questions and concerns will be answered at 8 -- or post-game.
Whether the Gators win or lose -- with or without Tebow -- it doesn't solve the essential question: Is Tim Tebow 100 percent healthy?
Will we cringe every time he plunges up the gut -- whether that is tonight or next week or next month? Or, at this point, are his chances of another concussion no greater than anyone who has never had one?
Oh, sure, if Tebow leads the Gators to a win -- that's one scenario. If he plays and they lose, that's another. If Brantley leads the team to a W without Tebow -- that's another. If Brantley-led Florida loses -- that's the last biggest scenario.
Most of the extreme anticipation for tonight is that the outcome -- and how we get there -- is entirely unclear.
Over the past two weeks, I (and we) have dissected this as far as it will go. My feeling is that Florida can win the game without Tebow.
Maybe that is just projection: I am so nervous about Tebow's health that I don't WANT to see him out there tonight -- but I still obviously want a Gators win.
If he plays, I will be holding my breath with the rest of you. But I suspect that if Florida follows Meyer's Plan to Win -- if they rely on their all-world defense, special teams, O-line and short-game skill-position players like Demps and Hernandez -- they can win. They will win.
Even without Tebow.