NEW ORLEANS --- Tim Tebow rose above all the distractions caused by coach Urban Meyer's uncertain future and capped a storied college career with his finest performance. It was the best in BCS history, too.
Tebow threw for a career-high 482 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 51 yards and another score, and fifth-ranked Florida overwhelmed No. 4 Cincinnati 51-24 Friday night in the Sugar Bowl.
For the Gators (13-1), this certainly was The Big Easy.
Florida's most anticipated season ever ended in New Orleans instead of Pasadena. It came against Cincinnati (13-1) instead of Texas.
None of that mattered in the Louisiana Superdome.
Tebow wouldn't let it.
He led the Gators to scores on their first five possessions and finished with 533 yards --- more than anyone in Bowl Championship Series history.
Florida became the first school in the Football Bowl Subdivision to win 13 games in consecutive seasons.
The Gators had hoped to repeat as national champions, but a 32-13 loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game knocked them out of the title picture.
Things got worse when Meyer announced his resignation last Saturday, three weeks after being rushed to the hospital because of chest pain. Meyer changed his mind the following day, and instead said he would take an indefinite leave of absence.