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A game of words before the Big Game

America meet Dominique Franks. He’s a 6-foot, 189-pound cornerback for the Oklahoma Sooners. He’s 21. He’s a sophomore. He has four interceptions this season. He returned one for a touchdown. He was on the all-Big 12 second team.

Franks has very high opinions on the those who play quarterback for Big 12 teams. He thinks Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Graham Harrell are the top three quarterbacks in the country.

Bradford, as you know, won the Heisman Trophy and quarterbacked the Sooners to Thursday’s BCS title game against Florida.

Franks was asked about Gator quarterback Tim Tebow.

“I think our quarterbacks are better,” Franks told reporters Sunday in Fort Lauderdale.

A cold wind blew through this state at that very moment. Mothers called for their children to come inside and tugged the curtains shut, while men huddled in corners and spoke in hushed tones.

Dis Tim Terrific?

Run while you can, ‘Nique!

The story line for the game was set in early December: The current Heisman winner (Bradford) against the guy who won the Heisman last season (Tebow).

Now we have Tebow vs. Franks. Tebow vs. every quarterback the Big-12 has to offer.

Anyone who wasn’t aware of Franks existence before Sunday morning’s press conference is aware of Franks now.

I don’t agree with Franks, but then I don’t go up against Bradford in practice every week, and I never played against McCoy, and Harrell and I’ve never studied Tebow the way Franks and the Sooners defense has studied Tebow.

And Franks qualified his comment by adding: “We’re coming in and facing Tebow, and he wants to run the ball a lot more. He’s predominantly a running quarterback. So to me it’s going to be a lot easier for us to prepare to stop the run than having to face a quarterback that might throw the ball 40 or 50 times a game.”

At least he didn’t offer the usual stock garbage we hear from college athletes.

He could have said, “Tim Tebow is a great quarterback, and we’re going to have to play great defense to stop him.”

Hey, maybe Franks is on to something.

Or maybe Franks is the very definition of a sophomore — sophos (wise), moros (foolish).

The Sooners’ defense no doubt heard the story told by Verne Lundquist during the SEC Championship game. Relating a conversation he had with Tebow the day before, Lundquist said Tebow would consider casting his Heisman vote for a Big-12 quarterback.

Then, according to Lundquist, Tebow added, “But I’d really like to throw against some of those Big-12 defenses.”

During Monday’s media day Tebow said the conversation didn’t go exactly the way Lundquist told it and that he wasn’t upset with what Franks had to say.

“That might have been a compliment,” Tebow said. “We’ll see.”

I don’t think Tebow took it as a compliment.

And I think he really wants to throw against a Big-12 defense.