Ohio State and Florida will play for the national title on January 8. It’s the right call. I’ve been prety public about my lack of enthusiasm for a rematch between OSU and Michigan. The first encounter was a classic, but it wasn’t “Psycho,” my favorite film. So, thankfully, I won’t have to watch it again.
The game will mark the first time two African-American QBs have started in a BCS championship game. Heisman sure-to-be-winner Troy Smith starts for the Buckeyes. Chris Leak, the most under-appreciated QB in the nation, starts for the Gators. In January 1994, two black QBs also squared off for the national title when Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier lost to Florida State QB Charlie Ward.
Pundits will no doubt say the game will be an OSU blowout. It would be easy to agree, if you hadn’t witnessed UCLA’s shocking 13-9 upset of USC on Saturday, which put the Gators in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Leak will have much more to gain that evening. A four-year starter, he’s 34-11 behind center, has beaten rivals Florida State and Georgia three times each, won the SEC title, and holds school marks in completions and total passing yards. And yet he was often booed by Florida crowds, and this season his backup – freshman hot shot Tim Tebow -received all the love. Outsiders speculated that racism was at the heart of Florida’s Tebow-fest. But Leak should class by never buying into it. He’s been a supportive mentor for the freshman.
When he arrived in Gainsville four years ago as the most coveted QB in the nation, he announced that he would have no time for a girlfriend until he won a national title.
Looks like Leak, 21, might have to win a national title to cement his place as one of the greatest QBs in Florida history. And that just might be worth rooting for.
Gamer: Chris Leak
Scoundrels: Some Florida fans. (You know who you are.)