"I really feel that if Tebow doesn’t play, the pressure is really off the Florida football team."
-- CBS Sports college football analyst Gary Danielson on Tim Tebow and the "will-he-or-won't-he, should-he-or-shouldn't-he" question vs. LSU, as told to the Orlando Sentinel's crackerjack Andrea Adelson.
This gibes with the one of the points I made in my Yahoo column today. If Florida loses, it's: "Hey, they played without Tim Tebow." If Florida wins, it's "Hey, they won even without Tim Tebow."
And most people -- not me, obviously -- are not giving Florida a chance if Tebow doesn't play. I don't think they understand how good this defense is, how good the special teams are, how good the running backs are and -- most of all -- how solid John Brantley is.
Barring pick-6 INTs thrown by Brantley or bad ball-security on their half of the field (which is covered under Meyer's "Plan" under "don't turn the effing ball over"), how many points will LSU's good-not-great offense score on this ridiculously good Florida defense? 14? 20 tops?
Now consider that Florida's D is the one likely to trigger the turnover or pick-6. And their special teams will spring Brandon James for a punt return TD. And then John Brantley is responsible for one TD -- and, based on his existing productivity levels, you can pencil in Jeff Demps for that. And even if the Florida offense CAN'T score a TD, try two or three Sturgis FGs.
It won't take a prolific offensive output for this Florida team to beat this LSU team -- it will take otherworldly defense, solid special teams (James scoring, but also containing LSU's Holliday), limiting turnovers (while causing some) and scoring in the red zone (either TDs or FGs, it almost doesn't matter).
Read the entire interview, because Danielson nails the reasoning why Florida -- even without Tebow -- has a great shot at winning. (Hint: It has everything to do with Meyer's style and his "Plan To Win," as noted in the Yahoo column.)