SEC Championship Autopsy

- Urban Meyer checking himself into Shands for dehydration after the game was just another paragraph in this incredibly bizarre season. It could be the flu, it could be food poisoning, it could have been throwing up because of the game, and it could have been his brain cyst acting up. It could be anything, which was the only consistency UF had this year; anything could happen.

- Educated Florida fans know that when UF runs the ball, they win. Yet, one of the glaring stats coming out of the game was the four non-Tebow carries UF had. They were losing the whole game, and big comebacks do not happen with 4-yard dive plays. But, there was no desire to grind some clock, keeping the Gator defense on the field even longer.

- Focus is the easy excuse for the Gator defense's awful play. From Charlie Strong's next job, to Carlos Dunlap's DUI, to Florida's front seven getting knocked off the ball every play, it seemed as if no one was ready. I don't believe focus was the problem because that is an insult to the team and Alabama. Of course, some guys thought UF would win because they won last year. There's also the complacency of champions in that they think they can flip a switch and win. But losing 32-13 is not Florida losing because of a lack of focus. It is Alabama winning because they had a superior game plan. On offense, it was spreading UF out and pounding the line. Greg McElroy is an efficient quarterback and has been winning games since he was 16 years old. Bama was the guy at the poker table who everyone is scared of because you never knew what his cards were. On defense, dare I say, they wanted Tim Tebow to throw the ball. I don't believe Tebow has regressed, but I think he has not improved. With Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy (or David Nelson in SEC and BCS games), Tebow could afford to not be perfect. With Riley Cooper, Aaron Hernandez and Deonte Thompson, he had to be perfect (how many incomplete passes this season hit guys in the arms?). The interception to Javier Arenas was an example of something else; Tebow still struggles with reading coverage. Remember, he threw a similar pick (where an hidden defender gets in the way) against Oklahoma.

- Panic was a large reason why Florida lost Saturday. While Tebow stayed calm, Cooper and Hernandez were in panic mode after every near miss. Brandon Spikes and the rest of the defense were getting caught running themselves out of plays. It got to the point where guys were diving for tackles and not breaking down. That's not a lack of focus or lazyness; that's being so desperate to make a play that you ignore your fundamentals.

- People who should be blamed for Saturday's loss;

1. Whoever picked the white helmets.

2. My friend Hanson for not wearing his lucky shirt.

3. Charlie Strong

4. Steve Addazio

5. Urban Meyer

10. Carlos Dunlap. The kid made the mistake of his life during one of the biggest weeks of his life. He is a huge dumbass. But now he has to live with the possibility that his mistake cost the Gators a shot at a National Championship. It didn't. Jevon Kearse could have replaced Dunlap and it would not have made a difference. Sometimes, the other guy plays better than you could and wins. I hope Dunlap comes back and plays well enough. If not, I don't blame the guy for going pro.

- While I will criticize a college player for the way they play, I have a hard time doing it after a loss in a championship game. As fans, we get upset and bitch and moan about blown tackles and dropped passes. But we get on with our lives. College athletes don't. Of the 44 starters yesterday, very few will be successful NFL players. That means the most dominant memory of their college career will be a blowout loss and a season of a division title. That stays with you forever. Some jackass who was a student, donates money and writes a blog has no authority to talk about how they are hurt by this loss. The guys in that locker room just worked 11 months to finish second place in their league. Consider their pain before you think about how much you were hurt.

- My pick for best Gator performance Saturday? Chaz Henry.

- I always use death as a metaphor for a season ending. The loss was like watching a loved one get a stroke, start rehabbing, and getting another stroke and slowly dying. It sucked. You keep thinking if they had stopped smoking, or Jeff Demps caught that ball in the first quarter, or if he ate healthier, or if UF stopped a few more third downs, that things would be different. You'll go crazy thinking that way. One or two plays in a 19-point deficit will not make a difference.

- Speaking of death, my friends and I finished Saturday night in the only acceptable way for Italian and Irish Catholics; by going out and eating and drinking until we felt a little better. Our first toast of the night was to John Brantley, we screamed curse words at Colt McCoy, wondered if Les Miles was running Texas and Hanson was working women like he was Tiger Woods. It was also nice to see so many people in Gator clothes. Like I told my 13-year old sister after the game, after she insisted she could never go to school again, you never turn your back on the team. If you're willing to be for the team in good times, you have to be there for the bad times too. She will be wearing her Gator jacket to school Monday.

- We'll be back later when Florida is officially announced for the Sugar Bowl, likely playing Cincinnati.

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