NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > New Years Bowl Games Discussion V: The Suger Bowl
December 31, 2009, 10:59 PM
The Suger Bowl


Zach Bigalke: Both these teams look to cap incredible regular seasons with a bowl victory, with one team looking to send its coach on his leave of absence a winner and the other looking to prove that they are greater than the schemes of their deserted former coach. Florida came off of last year???s national championship looking to repeat. Tim Tebow returned for his senior season, and the defense returned all 22 of its starters and backups at every position. The team stumbled on offense at times but still put together an undefeated regular season until succumbing to Alabama in the SEC Championship. The big news out of Gainesville , though, prior to the Sugar Bowl was the announcement Saturday that head coach Urban Meyer would resign for health reasons after the bowl game. Sunday the tune changed, and Meyer was now merely taking a ???leave of absence???. Either way, the Gators head into the offseason with uncertainty all around, hoping to at least start the new year with one more victory to cap an unprecedented five-year run.

Cincinnati has already had to deal with the departure of their head coach after Brian Kelly left to take over at Notre Dame. Offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will step in to coach the Bearcats in New Orleans before heading to take over the seat vacated by Turner Gill at Buffalo ; following the bowl game Central Michigan ???s Butch Jones will follow in Kelly???s footsteps once again as the new Cincinnati head coach. The prolific offense will be led by Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard one last time before they, too, leave college. Cincinnati will be looking to cap their first undefeated season in school history and further incite the ranting against the exclusivity of the BCS national-championship picture.

Matt Strobl: Ah, my Bearcats. Did any team cause more heart attacks this season? Outgoing coach Brian Kelly created an absolutely dominating offense, perfectly suited to UC???s personnel. They can run enough to keep defense honest, but the true strength of the team is its merciless passing attack. The Bearcats average scoring drive lasted only slightly longer than the blink of an eye, and that quick strike ability gave the team the freedom to play aggressively on defense. UC was among the nation???s best in sacks and tackles for loss because of that pressure, and although the defense struggled to stop opposing offenses, no one was able to best them on the scoreboard.

Florida , despite its loss to Alabama in the SEC title game, had yet another fantastic season. However, it wasn???t quite as dominant as other recent seasons. The offense looked a step slower, the defense just a little more off-balance. A couple of games that ended in victory could well have been losses but for a few key breaks. Still, Florida is unquestionably one of the game???s best programs, and despite the turmoil caused by Urban Meyer???s decision to take a leave of absence, the Gators should be a prohibitive favorite in the Sugar Bowl.

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