It's funny: I couldn't enjoy that game for one minute, at least until the TD to make it 24-14.
But now? Oh, yes.
In a way, when you expect to win a national title (especially since all the way back to August), the championship itself feels weird -- like confirmation more than celebration.
More than anything: Florida's defense went up against the most prolific offense in college football history and held them to 14 points, something no other team can touch.
(To Oklahoma's credit, their defense was outstanding. The difference between winning and losing was a handful of Percy Harvin home runs and that little jimmy pass to Hernandez...over and over and over.)
Was Tebow great? He started the game SO tight. He had a couple of amazing scrambles to keep drives alive. He made a couple of terrific throws. Mainly, his enthusiastic outburst turned the game's momentum around. I particularly liked his unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty late, doing the Gator Chomp in the face of an Oklahoma defensive player. Taunting? Never. Celebration.
Still: Tebow's legacy is secure -- two national titles (one as a starter, one as a key role player), a Heisman, a 3rd-place Heisman finish. The Speech. The images of his enthusiasm. Top 5 all-time? I'd say so. The question: With a title to call his own, will he come back next year?
I loved the very first reaction from Tebow when he was interviewed on the podium by Fox:
"I just want to thank the fans. They are so unbelievable... I just love being a Gator and I thank all of you!"
(Yes, he eventually got to thanking Jesus, but (a) there's nothing wrong with that -- I give him so much credit for, as usual, not shoving it in our faces, and (b) that he prioritized his thankfulness for the fans and for being a Gator is at the core of his appeal.)
Speaking of legacies, how about Percy Harvin? With two titles of his own, and an MVP-level performance in this title game, maybe he deserves some "all-time" props of his own.
OK, as for the polls: An ugly game is precisely what some contrarian AP voters would be looking for as an excuse to nullify their penultimate poll and split the title.
That said: Florida went into the game as the AP No. 1, and they beat the AP No. 2 team, soundly and, in the end, decisively -- again, the defining number was "14," which compared to Oklahoma's scoring-binge season, was absolutely stunning.
It would defy all logic -- the voters' own logic -- if enough AP voters didn't vote for Florida as national champ. (Although to be sure, I'm sure there will be plenty of AP voters looking for a little self-promotion for themselves by going with USC or Utah.)
Anyway, I'm going to go savor this one. It was a slog, there's no question about that. But it was a championship.