The Florida Gators may have some bulletin-board material, a little extra motivation heading into the Bowl Championship Series title game.
Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., called Florida's Tim Tebow the fourth-best quarterback in the country Sunday.
Franks said Tebow, who is already miffed he finished third in Heisman voting last month, ranks behind Sooners teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell. Franks added that preparing for McCoy and Harrell was tougher than getting ready to face the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Tebow.
"If you look at the three best quarterbacks in the country, (they) came from the Big 12," Franks said. "The three best receivers in the country came from the Big 12. The three best tight ends came from the Big 12. So we've faced some great offenses, and a lot of people don't understand that other conferences don't have what we face."
Franks then acknowledged that Tebow would be fourth on his QB list.
"Yup. I think our quarterbacks are better," Franks said. "Just the way they conduct themselves and how they play on the field. I just think, playing against those guys, it's a lot harder to prepare for those guys than it is for Tebow."
Franks said devising a game plan for a quarterback who is going to throw the ball 40 or more times a game is more difficult than getting ready for someone like Tebow, who most likely will throw the ball far less.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables defended his player, saying Franks was "going to bat for the guys he has a lot of respect for."
"I think he's just a young guy that doesn't know any better, too," Venables said. "He hasn't watched enough tape. And I really mean that. ... Not that he doesn't have (respect for Tebow), but guys that he's familiar with.
"We're in a situation to answer questions about how this guy compares and how the conference compares. But it really doesn't matter. It's how you match up on Thursday. It's not the SEC vs. the Big 12. It's not the defense vs. the offense. It's this team vs. this team, Florida against Oklahoma."
Auburn adds Boulware
Coach Gene Chizik has named Jay Boulware special teams coordinator at Auburn. Boulware spent the past two seasons coaching special teams and running backs for Chizik at Iowa State.
Boulware has also coached at Texas, Northern Illinois, Arizona, Stanford and Utah.
Iowa State ranked 12th nationally in kickoff returns this season.
Chizik's new staff also includes Gus Malzahn, Curtis Luper and James Willis.