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Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford vs. opposing defenses

GAINESVILLE -- Now that we've already established that Florida and Oklahoma are going to the BCS title game, let's take a look at the body of works for the Gators and the Sooners. Think Oklahoma had an easier road to Dolphin Stadium than the Gators? The numbers certainly favor that opinion. Check out these comparisions, which are being distributed to Heisman Trophy voters across the country as I type this.

The highlight: Tim Tebow and has faced five top 20 defenses. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has faced one -- ONE! -- defense ranked in the top 20. Here's the kicker. The only team the Sooners have faced with a defense ranked in the top 20 was Texas Christian, which doesn't even play in the Big 12 (but probably should). The next best defense the Sooners faced this season, according to the national rankings, was Cincinnati's (No.24). Cincinnati plays in the Big East. As for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, the best defense he faced this season was Oklahoma's (No.66).

By comparision, Tebow and Florida defeated five of the top 20 defenses nationally and 10 of the top 50 defenses.

While Tebow was facing some of the best defenses in the country, McCoy and Bradford coasted to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Tebow faced just one defense ranked 70th or worse (No.72 Arkansas). Bradford played eight defenses this season ranked 70th or worse nationally. McCoy and Texas feasted off of 10 defenses ranked 70th or worse nationally.

Top 10 Defenses Faced
Tim Tebow               2
Sam Bradford            1
Colt McCoy              0

Top 20 Defenses Faced
Tim Tebow               5
Sam Bradford            1
Colt McCoy              0

Top 50 Defenses Faced
Tim Tebow               10
Sam Bradford            3
Colt McCoy              0

Defenses Ranked Worse than No. 70
Tim Tebow               1
Sam Bradford            8
Colt McCoy              10

Tim Tebow has faced the following defenses  (total defense, using rankings as of 11/30):

No. 3 Alabama
No. 4 Tennessee
No. 11 South Carolina
No. 13 FSU
No. 16 Ole Miss
No. 24 Miami
No. 27 Georgia
No. 29 Vanderbilt
No. 37 LSU
No. 38 Kentucky
No. 59 Hawaii
No. 72 Arkansas

Sam Bradford has faced the following defenses
No. 2 TCU
No. 24 Cincinnati
No. 50 Texas
No. 67 Nebraska
No. 71 Texas Tech
No. 85 Oklahoma State
No. 86 Baylor
No. 91 Missouri
No. 96 Kansas
No. 108 Washington
NO. 113 Texas A&M
No. 117 Kansas State

Colt McCoy has faced the following defenses:
No. 66 Oklahoma
No. 71 Texas Tech
No. 72 Arkansas
No. 78 Colorado
No. 85 Oklahoma State
No. 86 Baylor
No. 91 Missouri
No. 96 Kansas
No. 113 Texas A&M
No. 114 Rice
No. 115 UTEP



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Great post Jo!!!


Gee, maybe it has something to do with all the top offenses being in the big 12. 4 of the top 5 finalist are in the big 12. The top 3 finalist for the QB and WR awards all from Big 12.

Tenn and South Carolina? How did those teams do out of conference? Please

Tim Tebow: “I *love* being at the University of Florida, and it would be an *honor* to come back and play my senior year. And that’s something I *really* want to do. I will look at it and see, and weigh my options, but it would be a *blessing* to come back and play a fourth year here.”

“After the [BCS title] game, I’ll sit down and look at it and decide what’s best for me. But I don’t think so. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating, but I don’t think it will weigh too much on that decision.”

Stop the speculation. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Kid is staying his senior season.

GO GATORS!!!! I knew the big 12 was a fraud!

Great counterpoints, AaronK. Thanks.


gr8 post ... as a life long gator fan, i kind of prefer Tebow NOT WIN the Heisman. Look at how much time Troy Smith spent away from preparing for the BCS title game and look at what happened to the Buckeyes. I know Tebow is different and all that, but the fact of the matter is that extra practice wont hurt. I dont know if i was watching the same SEC Championship game as every1 else, but what i saw was Tebow one-hop about 3 or 4 passes. I wasnt happy with that one bit.

Charlie, you make a good point. jo, great research on this one.

I know a win is a win, and I'm ecstatic we are in the Big Game! But the play calling in this game was killing me, what is Mullen and Meyer's reluctance to use the bigger backs(Moody and Moore) in short yardage situations? (dont give me that fumble crap either) If you are telling me our game plan is to keep running Tebow up the middle for 3 yard gains (yawn) to set up the pass then I guess I have to go along with it, but if that is what you are going to do why not hand it off to M&M. I thought for sure we would use them against a tough, physical defense like Alabama.
Charlie, I have been critical of Tebow's throwing but other than the bounce passes you mentioned he actually threw the ball pretty good this game. There was some 'zip' in the ball that you rarely see from him.

I saw the one-hops also. One of them was under a lot of pressure, but it's not like Tebow to do that. I really don't think that he (or Meyer, on Tim's behalf) is really gunning for the Heisman anyway. I was also yelling for more Moody. Every time Demps went into the line, I was worried Cody was going to turn him into a greasy spot on the field. (Moore has a sprained knee...may not be ready for the NCG.) Mullen seems to go brain dead with his play calling every now and then. I know you have to set up the big plays with the basic stuff, but jeez, it looks so lame sometimes.

Guys...that was against the third-best defense in the country. OU's is No. 66!

We allow 50% of the points that OU allows on defense and score only 9 fewer per game against much tougher defenses.

Please, I don't care what they are ranked. Our offense was not slowed down by the defense, it was the play calling. You saw what happened when we took chances and Tebow was actually hitting people in stride. I have said this from day one we are the most talented team on the field and the play calling needs to compliment that. We should not have had to sweat through that game.

I would like to put out an APB for 5 Rings! Has anyone seen 5 Rings? Oh, he must be busy planning his trip to San Franscisco to see the Canes play in the Emerald Bowl!

MG, I wasn't saying that was the reason. I was just pointing out what we, again, were able to accomplish against a great defense. I was implying that some of those issues won't even be second thoughts against OU's weak defense.

San Francisco...with the rest of the...Canes fans. Fitting. :)

I hope so. I just want us to be on point for this game and not be stifled by the play calling. It should be a very exciting game!

Two good offenses and only one good defense...Sooner schooner = Gator Bait. The game will be over at half time.

The numbers favor us. I think Oklahomas defense can play when they have to. I wouldn't take their defense for granted. Bob Stoops will also have time to prepare. He will probably be spending a lot of time with his defense hands on.

That being said,-our secondary is going to need to bring their A game. I hope they test Janoris Jenkins like everyone else. I could see him taking a pick 6 the other way to break this game open...

Go Gators.

i feel like I am posting this all over the place....but check this out:


Lost to OK 49-17 and gave up 594 yards

Lost to UT 45-21 and gave up 494 yards

they also lost at home to Wake Forest who has the 103rd ranked offense.

Wake - 41
Baylor - 13

wake 376 total yards

they also gave up 31 points and 350 yards of offense to the 68th ranked offense in Uconn


Lost to OK 62-28 and gave up 508 total yards

did not play texas

the also lost at home to Virginia Tech who has the 107th total offense

VT - 35
Neb - 30

VT had 377 total yards


Lost to Texas 38-14 and gave up 431 total yards

did not play OK

they also lost to FSU in Jax who has the 55th ranked total offense

FSU - 39
Col - 21

FSU had 378 total yards

Texas A & M:

Lost to Texas 49-9 and gave up 536 total yards

Lost to OK 66-28 and gave up 653 total yards

they also lost at home to Miami who has the 88th ranked total offense

Miami - 41
TAMU - 23

Miami had 398 total yards


Lost to Texas 35-7 and gae up 421 total yards

Lost to OK 45-31 and gave up 674 total yards

the also lost to USF who has the 38th ranked offense

USF - 37
Kansas - 34

USF had 458 total yards

I do think some of these teams are talented on offense and can be dangerous, but as you can see, they get to pad their stats on some really really weak teams that even teams with weak offenses get to look potent. This isn't a knock against the ACC teams either, but they are not offensive juggernauts but for some reason they look like it when they play Big 12 teams

now it really makes sense on why 3 QB's in one conference can 70%+ completion %'s

Why do you ALL care only about the defense. UF always finds some excuse to wack each others pack....

Most UF fans look only at Defense rankings tgoday..Why?

The WHOLE year UF has been out of the top 5.... OU/Texas/TT always had one team ranked in the top 4. Even today UF is ranked 2. Why???? If your defense is the only thing that you need then you are crazy... Offense/ special teams/ Defense etc.....

So look at more than the only STAT you can cheerlead about and understand why you (UF) are only in the top 3 on the last week......

Outside of Florida name one good offense in the SEC? If the Big 12 teams spent most of their season trying to shut down Jevon Snead, JP Wilson, the Dick brothers, Stafford and that explosive Auburn offense I am sure they would look even worse.

Here are some facts for you:
To avoid the SEC has the greatest defenses ever argument lets look at how some of the SEC QBs fared against the worst defenses they faced.

JP Wilson: 11 of 23 (3.2 yards per attempt) for 73 yards, 0 TD against Tulane; 17 of 27 for 215 yards, 2 td, 1 int against a 2-10 Western Kentucky team; 15 of 28 for 152 yards (5.4 ypa), 0 tds, 1 int against the defensive jaugernaut that is Arkansas State.

Jevon Snead: 10 of 22, 185 yds against Memphis; 13 of 24, 222 yds, 2 ints against Samford; 12 of 25, 184 yds, 4 ints against Vanderbilt.

The best game of any QB in the SEC would have been one of the worst games for Bradford, McCoy, or Harrell. On top of that, Reesing, Daniels, or Robinson would be best QB in the SEC not named Tebow.

As a Sooner fan, I sincerely hope Urban Meyer actually believes the Big XII has weak defences. (Although I doubt he will) The fast paced style of play with prolific offenses in the Big XII South creates unreliable stats. With both teams in a game having incresed possesions, of course the data will be skewed. I'll be the first to admit that OU doesn't have the defense it has in years past, but Brent has done a fantastic job hiding coverages and creating unique blitz packages. If he's able to create havoc in the backfield, OU will run away with this one. Tebow is an amazing QB, but OU's O-line, run game and 5 top receivers will definately get their points.

YES! Keep it up, Joe. That's the ticket, OU can't play defense. I love it! OU and the rest of the Big XXII south have skewed offensive numbers because their defenses suck.

And the teams in the SEC have average offenses because their defenses are outstanding. Has it not occured to anyone west of Beaumont that the defenses in the SEC are outstanding BECAUSE the offenses are average? And that the defenses in the Big XXII are pitiful BECAUSE the offenses are unstoppable?

Uh, never mind. Let's play the game before we actually consider ALL the possibilities.

Comparative analysis with no common denominator yields perfect results.


Random question...which part of the defense in the SEC makes the QB unable to throw an accurate, tight-spiral?

And which part of the defense in the BIGXII helps the ball do what it's supposed to do?


Now that was pretty funny.


Awesome stats. Thanks for compiling this.

Helped me big time when I needed some more stats in my own blog on this subject.


I don't think anyone would look at this and literally try to argue for Hawaii as a better defense than Oklahoma. Part of it can be attributed to the Big 12's QB play, and the young QBs in the SEC. But for the stats to be skewed this far, after the entire season has been completed, there is no other way to interpret this data.

If Florida played maybe one or two more highly-ranked defenses than 0U or the whiny orange, I could see the argument. But playing ten top 50 defenses, and 11 better than anyone Texas faced, has to mean something. It doesn't mean the Big 12 has, exactly, a welcome mat on the end zone, but it has to be considered a weaker defensive conference. The total number of plays alone in these games show you that something is up.

I live in Texas, and am forced to watch a lot of Big 12 garbage to get my football fix. It's not good defense, anyone can see that. Bradford will be the best Qb we've faced this year, yes, but Tebow will be the best QB Oklahoma has faced this year as well.

jo, I did a similar comparison earlier in the week but using yahoo stats and looking at total points allowed as my basis.

FL played against 3 top 20's (2-1 record), OU against 2 (1-1 record)

USC 7.8 point allowed
TCU 10.9
Boise St. 12.3
Penn St. 12.4
Florida 12.8
Alabama 13.0
Ohio St. 13.1
Iowa 13.3
West Virginia 15.9
Clemson 16.6
Tennessee 16.8
Utah 17.3
Virginia Tech 17.5
Mississippi 17.8
Auburn 18.0
Northern Illinois 18.1
Wake Forest 18.3
Rutgers 18.5
Boston Coll 18.5
Texas 18.6

With so few data points it is really hard to do serious analysis but interestingly enough OU scored 35 against both of their opponents and FL averaged just over 30 against their 3 opponenets. I would love to see a 35-30 game either way to be honest.


Nice list. Just one problem, though. Oklahoma's defense isn't in that list. Florida's is.


This comparison is idiotic. The Big 12 is insanely loaded on offense this year and defenses around the country haven't been able to keep up. TCU, which according to your article, is the #2 defense in the nation, could only hold OU to 35 points at the start of the season.

Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas are all ranked in the top 10 nationally in offensive production. Florida tops the SEC at 18, Georgia is next and 21, and Mississippi follows at 37.

You could just as easily argue the reason defense is weak in the Big 12 is because the offense is so strong, and vice-versa. You could also argue defense is good in the SEC because the offense is overall weak.

Touche Jo. If FL holds OU to 14 points they will justly deserve the championship. If OU holds FL to 14 points pigs might fly!

Got a feeling that neither defense will pull off 14 points allowed. Like any great football game, it's going to come down to turnovers and special teams. Florida might hold the advantage in both categories.


rofl Tennessee has the #4 defense this year. How did they end up again? weedeater.com bowl?

Some defense

Not so fast Jo, my research tells me OU has a slight edge over FL in TO margin:

Turnover Margin OU 1.77 (#1 national rank) FL 1.69 (#2)

But you are right, FL has an edge over OU in special teams as reported by the NCAA:

Net Punting OU 33.84 (#83) FL 37.95 (#8)
Punt Returns OU 8.29 (#70) FL 14.41 (#8)
Kickoff Returns OU 25.17 (#7) FL 21.83 (#44) [The only ST edge OU nod]

Source: http://web1.ncaa.org/mfb/mainpage.jsp?year=2008 (with a little help fom soonersports.com)

Not reflected by the NCAA ST stats is kickoff defense which OU has had severe issues all year long (starting with Cincy and creeping up as recently as the OSU game). Case in point, opposing kickoffs returned for touchdowns:

OU 4 TDs
FL 0 TDs

Some other stats that will be just as important, I think, as the ones you mention are as follows:

Sacks OU 3.23 (#3) FL 2.46 (#33)
Tackles for Loss OU 7.85 (#8) FL 5.15 (#85)
Sacks Allowed OU .85 (#4) FL 1.23 (#19)

If OU can hold serve here it might negate any ST advanage FL holds (as long as the advantage doesnt equate to TDs). If Fl can break serve on a few of these other defensive stats and hold a ST margin it will likely be a long day for OU.


Very nice article indeed. I think Tim should have the Heisman again, but thats neither here nor there.

The final game is where it all comes down to.
Has anyone done a comparison on the the rushing allowed per game on both defenses and what the rankings were on the other team? As well as the secondary for both teams and who they faced.

OU throws, so i would like to see the FL secondary compared to the other secondaries that OU faced all year. FL runs at you, so i would like to see OU Run stopping D compared to other teams that FL has played.

Big12 has the flashy high-scoring-pick-your-D-apart games. and SEC has the smash-mouth-in-your-face-gonna-beat-you games.

Either way i will be watching this game. If i dont have vacation time and sick days are used up, im calling in dead!

bigvolfan2k, since I seem like a habitual lurker/responder here let me see if I can give some insight:

FL secordary vs. OU secorday: they did not face any mutual teams so the likeliest comparison would be the best passing offenses each has faced (based on the oppsoing teams passing rank using yrds/game as the average) and the result against (yards against, points against).

(Source: yahoo stats http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/stats)

OU: best pasing offenses faced (in the top 20), based on yards/game.

TTech (#1) 417 yards/game, result 361 yrds & 21 pts
Missouri (#4) 340 yrds/game, result 294 yrds & 21 pts
Kansas (#8) 302 yrds/game, result 357 yrds & 31 pts
Texas (#11) 299 yrds/game, result 277 yrds & 45 pts (including KO TD)
Nebraska (#14) 284 yrds/game, result 214 yrds & 28 pts
Kansas St (#18) 269 yrds/game, result 486 yrds & 35 pts

(Average 331 & allowed 30 pts)

FL: best pasing offenses faced (in the top 20), based on yards/game.

Georgia (#16) 280 yrds/game, result 188 yrds & 10 pts

(Average 188 & allowed 10 pts)

hmm... more drama is all I can say right now.

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