Let the fireworks begin

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Too bad we couldn't have played this game on Sunday morning.

As the Baltimore Ravens' players filed out of the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa to face the Miami Dolphins in their AFC playoff game, the fireworks were just beginning in an adjacent ballroom.

Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks, in particular, went off on the notion that nobody in the Big 12 plays defense. He also directed a few shots in the direction of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

"There's been a lot of talk that their athletes are better than our athletes," Franks said. "January 8, we're going to be able to prove whose theory is right."

In Franks' defense, he was getting peppered with questions about how much speed Florida has on offense, how explosive the Gators have been on offense and how average the Sooners' defensive numbers have been this season.

You could sort of see him simmering, and finally he cut loose.

What does this do for the Gators? It certainly doesn't hurt. Historically, Tebow has been at his best when called out by opposing players.

Florida's State Geno Hayes made the infamous "Tebow's going down" comment two years ago, and Tebow responded with three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in a blowout Florida victory.

Earlier this season, LSU's Ricky Jean-Francois suggested that the Tigers would try to take Tebow out if they got a shot. Tebow passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in Florida's 51-21 rout of LSU.

Several SEC defenders I talked to this season said the more smack you talked to Tebow during the game, the better he became.

I'm betting Franks' comments are already posted all over the Florida Atlantic locker room where the Gators are practicing this week in South Florida.

Just call it a hunch.