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Not You Too, Hinton

Read this first. It's yet another article that paints 2009 Florida as potentially the second coming of 2005 USC.

For the last time, no, Florida is not that USC team. That Trojan squad allowed a shade under 23 points per game, a point total that last year's Gator defense allowed once all season. I don't think at this point I have to remind you how many people are returning from that defense to this year.

If you want to go back and check, be my guest, but Texas was statistically the better team in 2005. A quick comparison: among total and scoring offense and defense, total offense was the only category where the Trojans were ahead. In the end it wasn't USC's vaunted offense that cost them the title, which scored 38 points on a Longhorn defense that had been allowing 14.6 per game prior to bowl season, but the relatively lousy defense (by Pete Carroll's standards) that couldn't buy a stop to save its life against Vince Young.

Yeah, I'll give you that a lot of parallels exists between this year's Florida squad and that '05 USC team, but the defense factor is the giant red flag that keeps it from being apropos. UF won't be allowing 42 points to anyone, much less someone the caliber of an 8-5 WAC team. If the Gators win a game by a score of something like 45-40, we can talk.

The comparison with 2002 Miami is better, but keep in mind that Larry Coker isn't coaching this Florida team. Even in that year though, the team that won the national title game allowed about a touchdown per game less than the one that did. Defense wins championships, remember.

Carroll, quoted in the original linked piece, is absolutely correct in saying that Tim Tebow's career should be judged after he's done and not before. However, it's time to put the '09 Florida/'05 USC thing to rest. Different years, different circumstances, different teams.