Today's Orlando Sentinel has a great feature about the recruiting battle between Alabama and Florida for the talents of Nease quarterback Tim Tebow. How close was Tebow to picking Alabama? Watch this video at the 2:23 mark. That No. 12 jersey is not orange and blue.
The Sentinel article does a good job of listing some of the changes that would have happened if Tebow went to Bama instead of Florida. But it misses the boat on one thing; how the fortunes of Florida immediately changed. Working sports at AM850 in the fall of 2005, the signing of Tebow was the moment when there was a clear break from the Ron Zook Era. The 2005 team went to the Outback Bowl and nearly lost. With Tebow coming along for 2006, the mood in Gainesville changed from, "When will we win?" to "Can we win now?" Listening to my friends and callers on "Sports Scene", there was a big shift in the tone. Obviously, Alabama has recovered from missing out on Tebow and has a chance to win a National Championship. But if Tebow doesn't come to Gainesville, do you think the Gators would be were they are today?