Wilmer Valderrama's ability to woo teenage Hollywood starlets. In fact, let's just go ahead and call it "The Fez theory". Basically, the Fez Theory occurs when a large percentage of the public talks themselves into taking the inferior team due to the interminable wait between the end of the college football regular season and the title game (and then again during the two week break before the Super Bowl). In essence, it happens whenever the general population has way too much time to analyze the possible outcomes for a behemoth sporting event.
And right on cue, we're watching the Fez theory weave its magic as the Fiesta Bowl approaches. It seems like everyone is talking themselves into picking a Florida upset. But why? All season long, Ohio State was (rightfully) recognized as the best team in the country. They displayed consistency, dominance and dispatched all comers with relative ease (take away Michigan's meaningless last second TD and you'd have another double digit victory). As for the Gators, sure, they played in college football's best conference, but their national title hopes weren't even taken seriously until USC threw away its invitation after gagging in the season finale.
The fact is, Florida does indeed have a great defense but its offense proved inconsistent against top-flight competition. I mean, have you seen Chris Leak play these last two years? You're really going to trust him to come through in the biggest game of the season? Even in Florida's BS-clinching victory over Arkansas, Leak did his best to throw the game away. Yet, now, the Gator-backers point to SEC superiority (overrated; the last three national champions came from the Big 12 and Pac-10, two conferences possessing nowhere near the depth of the SEC), Ohio State's ridiculously long layoff (also overrated; since both teams have been off for more than a month, do you really think the Buckeyes' extra 2 weeks makes that much of a difference?) and Florida's ability to match Ohio State's team speed (well, yeah, but that still doesn't account for the Buckeyes being a better club, overall).
Look, there are exceptions to the Fez theory. Just one year ago, Texas stunned seemingly unbeatable USC. And in 2002, New England shocked the football world by knocking off the high-powered Rams in Super Bowl 36. But take a look at the exceptions and here's what you'll find: Either a superstar player capable of winning a game by himself (i.e. Vince Young) or a serious coaching mismatch (Bill Belichick vs. Mike Martz. Ouch). So does Florida fit the bill? Certainly not at the superstar level. And last I checked, Jim Tressel takes a back seat to no one when it comes to coaching (and possibly cheating, too, but that's a story for another time).
So when you're preparing to make your pick for tonight's big game, just think of our good buddy, Fez. Don't let the long layoff fool you into thinking Florida's better than it actually is. Chances are, Mandy Moore made the same mistake with Wilmer. She'd been out of the dating scene for awhile, heard a growing buzz about some over-hyped, B-list celeb, and the next thing you know tales of her virgin experiences were being blabbed over the airwaves. Stay away, my friends. Stay far away.
Ohio State 27 Florida 10