I wanted to put this out there before this evening's BCS National Championship game, but I haven't seen the public opinion so heavily one sided in a game of this magnitude in a very long time. Vegas says that the Florida Gators are 2.5-3 point favorites over the Oklahoma Sooners this evening (the line has since been fluctuating a bit higher but that is due to the money being placed on the game, not Vegas' perceptions of the teams) and I have to believe that at least one of those points is due to the fact that Florida will definitely have some sort of home-field advantage tonight. I know that Vegas creates lines to influence the equal distribution of dollars and not their opinions of the two teams involved but it is a proven fact that the two go hand in hand.
Looking over multiple predictions from multiple sports writers and outlets this morning shows that the at least somewhat "knowledgeable" writers think that the Gators will win almost nine out of every ten times. And we are talking about a 7 point or larger victory, not the Sooners losing a close one. I'm going to go into this a bit further after the game (and if Florida blows them out then my argument will be
deflated, but I am obviously very confident that that isn't going to happen) but I think it is very interesting when a relatively evenly matched team in a big game hears for an extended time period how they have no chance and how said team usually responds (think 2008 NY Giants). The media has made a huge deal out of the Dominique Franks comments earlier this week, but the Sooners have been hearing that they can't keep up with the Gators and that they don't belong on the same field with this team and that their defense is junk for their entire trip out here in Miami and I have to believe that doubt is the strongest motivation a team can have... We will see tonight but for now check out these picks from the two links below:
Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports.com: Florida 30, Oklahoma 20.
Brian Murphy, "The Murph and Mac Show" on KNBR 680 in San Francisco: Florida 38, Oklahoma 20.
Ron Barr, Sports Byline USA Radio Network: Oklahoma 31, Florida 24.
Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin: Florida, 38-34.
Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: Florida 38, Oklahoma 24.
Jon Solomon, Birmingham News: Florida 38, Oklahoma 24.
Tim Griffin, ESPN.com: Florida 35, Oklahoma 31.
See the rest of the picks after the jump...
Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: Florida wins, 30-24.
Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead: Florida 34, Oklahoma 30.
Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Blog, Washington Post: Florida, 34-30.
Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Oklahoma 31, Florida 27.
Jim Dunaway, "The Dunaway & Brown Radio Experience" on 690 The Sports Animal and CBS 42 anchor in Birmingham: . Florida 37, Oklahoma 31.
Drew Deener, "Early Birds Show" on WKRD 790 in Louisville: Florida, 38-24.
Larry Brown, Larry Brown Sports: Florida 34, Oklahoma 26. Link.
Michael Rand, Randball, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Florida 38, Oklahoma 27.
Joe Schad, ESPN: Florida 30, Oklahoma 24.
Ian Rapoport, Birmingham News: Florida 33, Oklahoma 24.
Bobby Fenton, "The Free Stretch" on 1010 Sports WQYK in Tampa: Florida 45, Oklahoma 28.
Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Florida 37, Oklahoma 30. Link.
Adam Rose, All Things Trojan and What's Bruin, Los Angeles Times: Florida 44, Oklahoma 31
Chris Plank, Tulsa's 1430 The Buzz and weekend host of "The Third Shift" on Fox Sports Radio: I like the Sooners, 35-31.
J.P. Giglio, Raleigh News & Observer: I'll go Boomer Sooner, 45-31.
Bruce Feldman, ESPN.com: Florida 38, Oklahoma 31.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Florida 37, Oklahoma 31.
Brooks of Sports By Brooks: Florida 35, Oklahoma 27.
Stewart Mandel, SI.com: Florida 45, Oklahoma 27.
Pete Thamel, New York Times: Florida 42, Oklahoma 28.
Awful Announcing: Florida wins, 27-21.
Erik, Deep South Sports: Florida 45, Oklahoma 27.
Matt Hayes, The Sporting News: Florida, 38-28.
Michael Rothstein, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Florida 35, Oklahoma 34.
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune: Florida 37, Oklahoma 27.
Sam Chi, BCS Guru: Florida 41, Oklahoma 24.
Andy Staples: Oklahoma 45, Florida 38
Cory McCartney: Florida 38, Oklahoma 35
Arash Markazi: Oklahoma 38, Florida 35
Gennaro Filice: Florida 45, Oklahoma 35
Bill Trocchi: Florida 44, Oklahoma 41
Mark Beech: Florida 31, Oklahoma 24
Jay Christensen: Oklahoma 47, Florida 33
Check the rationales and links for all picks here: