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"He had a wonderful situation there," Spurrier said. "No reason to get out of there."
Florida ended up fine, as well. After Stoops said `No,' the Gators hired Ron Zook, then after three years, they turned to Urban Meyer. He's trying for Florida's second title in three seasons. Tebow has a chance to become only the second player to win back-to-back Heismans.
Two years ago, Meyer took some heat for lobbying to get his team into the title game. This time, he didn't have to work so hard. It was fairly clear-cut that if Florida defeated a top-ranked Alabama team in the SEC title game that the Gators would be going.
"When I hear coaches sticking up for their team, they're simply doing their job," Meyer said. "But after a while, enough is enough. The rules are in place. Until it changes, that's the way it is."
Surely any college football fan would love to see how No. 5 USC's top-ranked defense would fare against either of these teams, but the Trojans are headed to the Rose Bowl and haven't been seriously in the title-game conversation for weeks.
Instead, the third-ranked Texas Longhorns are the ones feeling robbed.
The Longhorns finished in a three-way tie in the nation's toughest division -- the Big 12 South -- but were denied a spot in the title game because of the tiebreaker, which looks to the BCS standings.
Oklahoma won the tiebreaker. Texas protested. Coach Mack Brown said UT's 45-35 win over OU should be a deciding factor. He left out the fact that Texas lost to Texas Tech and Oklahoma beat the Red Raiders 65-21.
"The team that beat them, we beat by 44 just three weeks ago," Stoops said. "Those are the facts. Head-to-head seems to matter in one case but they don't want it to matter the other way."
But that debate is over and football fans are bracing for a game that might have a score with numbers befitting the Final Four more than the BCS.
The kind of game that will send defensive coordinators running for cover.
"A terrific culmination," Swofford said, "of what has been a very, very intriguing regular season."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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