MIAMI -- Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks walked into Dolphin Stadium alongside teammates Monday, took a seat in the stands and politely declined every interview request.
Franks probably wished he would have been as quiet the day before.
Franks stirred things up at the Bowl Championship Series title game Sunday by calling Florida's Tim Tebow the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12.
Tebow and top-ranked Florida responded Monday during media day for the championship game. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner laughed it off and hinted it could motivate him in the title game Thursday night. His teammates weren't nearly as diplomatic.
"How could you say something like that when he won the Heisman as a sophomore?" linebacker Brandon Spikes said. "We really didn't think too much of it. When you talk about Tim, he's going try to come out and make you pay. It's kind of like deja vu all over again. Last time a guy talked about him, he came out and put 50 on him."
Spikes was referring to LSU defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, who said the Tigers were going to try to knock Tebow out of their matchup earlier this season. Tebow brushed aside those comments, too, then accounted for three touchdowns in a 51-21 romp.
He had similar success last season after Florida State linebacker Geno Hayes said Tebow was "going down" in their annual rivalry. Tebow responded by throwing for 262 yards, running for 89 more and accounting for five scores in a 45-12 drubbing. Hayes, meanwhile, had a meaningless tackle in the fourth quarter.
"I like it. It's fun," Tebow said of pregame banter. "It makes it more competitive, and I'll enjoy it. You can say whatever you want. That's fine. We still get to go play. That's what I like I do."
"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."
Tebow first heard about the comments during a quarterbacks meeting. He chuckled at the time, then spent the better part of an hour doing the same Monday when asked repeatedly about the critique.
"Who knows? Maybe," Tebow said. "That might have been a compliment. We'll see."
When the subject came up again, Tebow responded, "I'm thankful for being fourth. There's a lot of good quarterbacks in the Big 12."
Florida receiver Percy Harvin had a much different take.
"What people don't realize is you never want to wake up a sleeping giant," said Harvin. "Tebow, you kind of want to leave him alone because now you have to deal with him running even harder than he would have before. So good luck.
"With any great player, you want to just let him play. You don't want to give him extra ammunition to want to play even harder. And for people to say they want to hit Tebow harder, he just laughs at that and just runs harder."
Cornerback Joe Haden also was trying to figure out what would prompt someone to say something like that just days before the biggest game of the season. Haden said he just shook his head side to side when he heard what Franks told reporters.
"I didn't know what to say," Haden said. "I was like, 'Is he joking?'"
Franks was given several opportunities to clarify his words Sunday, but he stood by them.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops downplayed the whole thing Monday, saying his comments were the result of a third-year sophomore not having a lot of experience in an interview setting.
"In the end, we all -- Dom and the whole team -- we have great respect for Tim Tebow and a bunch of their players," Stoops said. "It gets down to experience as a young guy handling questions that lead him into something that he really didn't intend to say."
Sooners linebacker Travis Lewis disagreed with Franks' assessment, saying "I wouldn't have said that because you've got to respect that he's won the Heisman.
"He was the best player in the nation last year," Lewis said. You can't say that about somebody like that. I just think he got caught up in all this and sort of let something slip."