In a recent interview with 247Sports, Tebow said that Florida has been better than many pundits have been saying. He credited the Gators for keeping the game close all the way to the end, and says that Florida fans should be "encouraged" by how they performed.
“I really believed this whole year that Florida was better than people gave them credit for,” he said. “I just think people looked at the headliners that were leaving and I think you have to look at the entire team. I think you have an improved defensive line, I think your secondary is even better, I think you have two young but very capable and possibly very special quarterbacks. I think you have an inexperienced receiving corps but a very, very gifted receiving corps. And so, I really thought Florida was going to give them (Alabama) a run in that game and I think if you really watch it, a few of those penalties go differently and they don’t miss an extra point, that came could have easily gone the other.
“So I think if you’re a Florida fan, you have to be encouraged saying, ‘They’re only getting better.’ And I really believe, by Georgia, they’ll be a better team. And by the end of the year, they will be a better team. I think they’ll continue to grow, just like most teams do in college football, but I think you have to be excited with that performance. I think if there’s going to be a loss, it’s one of the better losses any team is going to have around the country.”
Alabama was favored by double digits against the Gators heading into last week's game, and quickly looked like they'd cover the spread with ease. They scored 21 points in the first quarter, racing out to a 21-3 lead.
But the Florida defense tightened up in the second quarter and the Gators offense started humming in the second half. By the fourth quarter, the game was within a score.
Alabama held on to win the game, 31-29, and Florida's AP poll ranking didn't suffer as a result.
Florida is clearly still a dangerous team if they can go toe-to-toe with Alabama like that.
Perhaps we'll see the two in a rematch later this year...