The sun that shines on the mountaintop of college athletics is now a distinct shade of Florida orange.
And the sky that kisses the college sports summit is now a decided hue of Gator blue.
The Florida Gators now stand alone on top of the wide world of sports.
They won the basketball national championship last April, and now, on this delirious night in the desert, they are football champions, too. For the first time in major-college history -- by virtue of the Gators' 41-14 desert dismantling of Ohio State -- the same school now concurrently holds the football and basketball national titles.
It's doubly great to be a Florida Gator.
One chomp, two champs.
Who would have thought that the national championship basketball coach -- Billy Donovan -- would live two doors down from the national championship football coach -- Urban Meyer -- in the same Gainesville neighborhood? Should be one hellacious Mardi gras block party.
Meyer's Gators came into this championship game billed as a team of destiny, but, brother, this was not destiny. This was domination. This was devastation. This was destruction. This was the antithesis of Nebraska 11 years ago in this very desert.
This is the 100-year anniversary of Florida football, and wouldn't you know it: The Gators pulled off one of the most shocking upsets of the century. Exactly 10 years after winning their first national title with a rout of No. 1-ranked Florida State, the Gators destroyed another undefeated team a decade later.
The naysayers said the Gators didn't belong in the game at all. The oddsmakers and media experts picked them to lose handily. But the Gators -- these gritty, gutty Gators -- did not care. Their fans were outnumbered, their team was outranked, but they believed. They believed in themselves. They believed in their coach. They believed in their quarterback.
Talk about validation and vindication, maybe now QB Chris Leak finally will get the credit he is due as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Florida and Southeastern Conference history.
And all those questions surrounding Meyer have been answered unequivocally. People wondered whether he was ready for a big-time job like Florida. People wondered whether his offense could work in the big leagues of a BCS conference. People wondered whether he ever could emerge from the immense shadow of Steve Spurrier.
Yes, yes and ohmygawd yes.
Meyer showed without question he is one of the top three college coaches in America. If Nick Saban is worth $4 million; Meyer is worth five. He not only outcoached The Sweater, he actually has outdone The Visor. It took Spurrier seven years to win a national title; it's taken Meyer two.
It was Meyer who seemed unfazed and unflustered by the hype of his first championship game while Tressel, coaching in his second title game, should have exchanged his famous sweater vest for a straitjacket. He did, after all, lose his flipping mind.
With Ohio State down 24-14 late in the second quarter, Tressel panicked and went for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 29. The Gators held, kicked a field goal and Ohio State became visibly shaken.
By the time Tim Tebow threw a touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell to make the score 34-14 at the end of the first half, Ohio State's defenders were so frustrated, they were yelling at each other on the field.
Meanwhile, Florida's swift, swarming defense made vaunted Ohio State look like a typical plodding, pondering Big Ten team. If Woody Hayes had been coaching Ohio State, he would have slugged Florida defensive ends Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey, who made Ohio State's Heisman-winning quarterback Troy Smith look like the second coming of Reggie Ball.
"Our speed was too much for them," Florida defensive lineman Ray McDonald said. "That's why we're national champions."
The Ohio State band did its traditional "dotting of the i" at halftime, but it was the Florida football team that did its nontraditional "crushing of the Buckeye" throughout the rest of the game.
Should have known this was going to happen.
Just before kickoff Monday, as the sun set in the desert, the sky was streaked in an awe-inspiring display of orange and blue.
From up on the mountaintop, it must have been a magnificent sight.
Mike Bianchi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun