All the planets have aligned for the 2009 Gators. While the team cannot allow themselves to think like this, the 2009 season is a chance to be a great team or a dynasty.
Urban Meyer is possibly at the peak of his career. Never again will he be this young with this much talent around him. The more he wins, the more assistants will leave and the more attacks he will get from the outside. This is where Pete Carroll is now; wondering how to win again after his attempted dynasty was defeated. When Meyer thinks about his future, wondering when he will have this chance again has to be at the top.
Tim Tebow still has something to accomplish; an undefeated season. But he is an immensely proud man. As much as he claims it does not effect him, Tebow is fueled by criticism and disdain. This is a kid who was told in 9th grade to play tight end and linebacker, then became the greatest schoolboy quarterback in Florida history. His losses against LSU in 2007 and Ole Miss in 2008 were black clouds on his stats page, and it took wonderful performances against Alabama and Oklahoma to erase them. Now, he returns for the nearly-unthinkable; an undefeated run through the SEC and a National Championship. (Only two teams in SEC divisional play have done this; 1992 Alabama and 1998 Tennessee.) If he does it, he is the greatest college football player of our generation.
Brandon Spikes is a little bit different. Among the three men with the most to gain and lose in 2009, Spikes is the one that is not found behind a microphone. We don't know about his mental tricks like Meyer or personal faith like Tebow. We do know that he is a man with a lot on his shoulders. His brother is in prison on a murder charge and Spikes is the family breadwinner. Had he left for the NFL, he could have made his millions now. But, Spikes knows he could be a part of history and everything else can wait for that.
It is National Championship or Bust for the Gators. Win and the careers of Meyer, Tebow and Spikes are iconic. Lose and suddenly you're Matt Leinhart and Reggie Bush stumbling around, while Carroll whistles through a minefield of NCAA investigations. There is a fine line between the great teams and the dynasties in college football. These three men will determine on which side of the line the Gators go.