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It is College Football Playoff 2018 and Tim Tebow, ESPN analyst, is staying with the team he chose in the beginning to move on to next week’s championship game.
On his Saturday morning appearance on “SportsCenter” Tebow revealed that his pick was Alabama-Oklahoma.
“I’ve got to be honest – I’m going with the best team in the country in Alabama, from top to bottom. I respect this Oklahoma team and what the offense does. I think Lincoln Riley is the best offensive mind in football and I think Kyler (Murray) is one of the best players, but Alabama is just too deep and they will out-physical Oklahoma for 60 minutes. In the end, I think Alabama will pull away a little bit.”
Tebow knows from experience the pressure of playing as the Heisman winner on the grand stage and says it can be overwhelming.
“Honestly, it’ll be really hard (on Murray). There’s so much on him, not just for being in the semifinal, but also winning the Heisman. Alabama is taking Tua losing the Heisman as motivation. We talked to Mike Locksley, their OC, yesterday and they’re definitely hyping it up. All of this Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, the hype, the hype, the hype … what about (Alabama’s) offense?
“You know what else makes it hard? All the rubber chicken dinners that Kyler had to go to. Winning the Heisman is a huge blessing, but you’ve got to be able to maintain and handle that, because everybody else has had a month to get bigger, stronger, faster and you’ve been going to dinners and giving toasts all over the place.”
Tebow believes Alabama will use both quarterbacks – Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts – at their disposal against the Sooners, who have the weakest defenses the Crimson Tide has faced all season.
“I think Tua is the answer to go against the Oklahoma defense, but maybe add a wrinkle with Jalen. He’s not just a backup. He’s an elite quarterback and elite football players. High ankle sprains are easy to aggravate, so if Tua goes down, Alabama know it has a reliable backup.”
Alabama is a 14-point favorite against the Sooners. Nick Saban is expecting a heavyweight showdown in Miami.
“Any time a team has extra time to prepare, obviously it gives you a change to do some things differently. I think players’ ability to adapt and adjust in games, as well as coaches’ ability to help them do that, is probably critical when you play in games like this. I mean, Coach Riley over here, he’s got lots of plays, and we haven’t been able to cover all the ones that they did all season long. We’re working on it, though (laughs).”
By Jeanette Smith
OU Insider: Tim Tebow makes pick for Alabama-Oklahoma CFB Playoff semifinal
Image Courtesy of Phillip Hendon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License