Sunday, October 08, 2006

CFB Hangover: Tebowmania

And if the Heisman Trophy is supposed to be given to the most valuable player in college football, right now that player might be...

Florida true freshman (and backup) QB Tim Tebow.

Tebow accounted for 3 Florida TDs yesterday: One rushing and two passing (but both TD passes totally set up by the defense's anticipation he would run -- he is a one-man play-action pass.)

And so the Gators have this surreal situation: There's senior starter Chris Leak, who softens up defenses with his ability to run the passing offense.

Then, whenever Urban Meyer wants to change the tempo or force the defense to do something it doesn't want to, he puts Tebow in the game. So far, Tebow has proven unstoppable.

I think that's a function of being in limited doses, rather than taking all of a starter's snaps, but can you think of any other college football QB situation in recent memory where the QB position is this hybrid between two players -- BY DESIGN?

(This isn't, say, Troy Smith vs. Justin Zwick last season, where Jim Tressel simply couldn't figure out which one to start. This is Leak as the established starter with Tebow playing CRITICAL snaps using designed packages.)

And so Tim Tebow is as valuable as any offensive player in college football, because he is this wild X-factor (as a true frosh, no less), for the team that is arguably No. 2 in the country.

(By the way, if you're looking for the best defensive player in the country, Florida might have that guy, too: Safety Reggie Nelson, who is a bonafide playmaking freak.)

I can gush about all this in part because Florida is my team, but also because if you watched the national game of the week yesterday, the Tebow story has emerged as CFB's most compelling player storyline of the season.

Here's my first crack at a new Top 25 for this week. Let me know if you have any major disagreements:

1. Ohio State
2. Florida
3. West Virginia
4. Michigan
5. USC
6. Louisville
7. Texas
8. Notre Dame
9. Auburn
10. Tennessee
11. LSU
12. Cal
13. Clemson
14. Georgia Tech
15. Boise St.
16. Iowa
17. Missouri
18. Arkansas
19. Rutgers
20. Oregon
21. Oklahoma
22. VA Tech
23. Nebraska
24. Washington
25. B.C.

The new coaches' poll is out, and it's precisely the kind of shit that frustrates the hell out of me: USC was the coaches' No. 2 last week, so god forbid they drop them a slot (behind Florida), even though USC barely won AT HOME vs. Washington, while Florida clobbered a Top 10 team (arguably best defense in the country). Ridiculous. "Inertia" is the worst reason to vote for a team. Don't voters re-evaluate each team and each slot based on the new week's info?

Update: The AP media poll is out, too, and it's nice to see them collectively have the good sense to vault Florida to No. 2 ahead over USC or WVA. Of course, WVA took the brunt, falling behind Michigan, too. That's how it's going to be for the 'Eers all season long. Here are the individual ballots. Let's scan them for discrepancies of bias or simply sheer stupidity.

-- D.S.


Steve said...

Um I'm not even a Wisconsin fan but why the heck aren't they in there? They're 5-1 with 5 blowout wins and a 14 point loss at Michigan which in comparison to Notre Dame seems respectable. What's the deal?

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Richard -

Normally I'm not all ad hominem, but... you're an idiot. If you can't understand why inertia is such an ill in the polls, you hate reason, and all my logic would be wasted on you.

Also, the teams you mentioned... they're not the same as they were last year. I guess you missed that NFL draft and stuff.

Anonymous said...

West Virginia is not a top 10 team, let alone top 3. Can't rank them this year based on a bowl game last year. They looked like crap against a bad East Carolina team and weren't much better this week.

At least 30-40 teams would be undefeated against their schedule. Louisville is the best team in the Big East.

Maher said...

the fact that you can even say that Tebow deserves the heisman right now is unbelieveable.

I'm not even going to bother with stats because you will disregard them out of hand.

Dan you are turning into a huge "homer".

I'm a Buckeye fan and don't think that Troy deserves the heisman...though a case could be made for Laurinaitis on the defensive side.


all more deserving than TT.

As for the polls, if it was Florida who was squeaking out W's you could be crying if they were jumped by a more deserving team. Realize that it is the first week of October, and stop worrying about it.

TJ said...

Richard: First, I doubt if the fans spend all week staring lovingly at the AP Poll it will cause the football team to look past a game at Auburn.

Second, How in the hell can you possibly justify a ranking based on what happened last year?!? In college, players are only allowed to stick around for four years. Which means the teams are completely different every single year. This USC team has not done shit--it's not the same team as the one that went to the Rose Bowl, beat ND, and all the rest.

I just can't see how you can possibly think inertia based on the previous year is preferable to judgments based on what a team has actually done, is actually doing.

TJ said...

A couple things Dan: Auburn over Tennessee is nuts. You bitch about the coaches, but they at least dropped Auburn down to 10, one lower than you. And I would say 10 is still too high--the AP has it right getting them out of the top 10.

Also, you really are trying to kill Michigan fans, aren't you? Do the right thing and put them 3.

I like Washington at 24.

Anonymous said...

i love it dan. auburn loses to an unranked team and drops to #9. georgia loses to a team that you have as #10 in the country and drops out of your top 25 altogether. i really wish you would've married a dawg instead of a gator, so we could've had you jump on our bandwagon instead of theirs.

Trey (formerly TF) said...


I don't think Dan is saying Tebow will be the Heisman or should be the winner. He's saying that based on the idea that it goes to the most valuable player there is no one in college football more valuable right now, and I have to agree.

Without Tebow Florida doesn't score two of those TDs yesterday (I'll say the 1st rushing TD could have been run in by a RB if they tried it). LSU bit on his fake draw to a pass twice. Leak doesn't get the defenders biting. That's not an indictment of Leak. Without him we don't move the ball via the pass consistently.

Just one thing about the rankings. I've seen countless WVU fans complain about being dropped. I'll say it once...PLAY SOMEONE.

Joe (Dayton)

Perks said...

how the heck can WVU NOT be a top ten team? I agree that maybe #3 is one or two too high-- who'd they beat again, and look at the other top 4, and they all have HUGE wins.

Maher said...


that's fine, but then LSU's KR's should get an honorable mention on TT's MVP for how well they set him up :)

Maher said...


How do you have ND ahead of Tenn?

By your poll the Vol's one loss came at the hands of the #2 team in the nation, by one point.

ND's loss came to your poll's #4 team, and by 26 points.

ND needed a miracle comeback to survive against unranked MSU.

You have stated numerous times that the SEC is the toughest conference in all the land.

Tennessee should therefore be ranked above ND.

TJ said...

My top 10, for comparison's sake.

1. (1 last week) Ohio State
2. (5) Michigan - They just look more impressive to me than any of the other contenders for #2. This is a close close one between Michigan and Florida, though.
3. (6) Florida - This is a good spot to be in for Florida fans, since OSU and Michigan can't both go undefeated.
4. (4) WVU -
5. (8) USC - According to Shanoff that's a top 25 team they beat, so they must be good.
6. (7) Louisville - The Big East is a better conference this year than the ACC.
7. (-) Tennessee - I am increasingly happy the Gators survived this one. 51 points on Georgia?!?!?
8. (-) California - Their loss was--unlike Texas'--on the road, and they're whooping everyone's ass since.
9. (9) Texas - I just think Tenn and Cal are better one-loss teams at this point, even after the nice win over Oklahoma.
10. (-) Clemson - I almost put ND here... maybe next week I'll give in.

Dropped Out: Auburn (2), LSU (3), Oregon (10).

Natsfan74 said...

Alright - Which transitive property argument should I use? USC whipped Arkansas, who crushed Auburn, who previously was thought to be the best team in the SEC. So, by the transitive property, USC would be the best team in the SEC -- but by that property, I will also argue that the SEC is way overrated.
The only reason they have so many good defenses is the lack of good offenses in the SEC. Georgia finally plays a team that can score and gives up 50. Tennessee gives up 33 in their win?!
The # 2 team in the country is Michigan -- they have beaten a very good ND team on the road, have won convincingly all season, and unlike any SEC team other than Florida -- they have beaten another good team (I won't buy the Auburn vs. LSU game until LSU beats somebody good).

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Looks like the inital BCS standings will look like this.

1. Ohio State
2. USC
3. Florida
4. Michigan
5. Louisville

Mike McBride said...

but can you think of any other college football QB situation in recent memory where the QB position is this hybrid between two players -- BY DESIGN?

Not OSU last year, but OSU's Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine. Germaine was absolutely the better pocket passer and finished games usually (the Rose Bowl over Az. State for example) but Stanley Jackson, the more althetic of the two, almost always started games.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Great job Isiah. I would rather see Dan rank Michigan #12 than have you represent my state in any public forum.

And I'm 2.4 sheets to the wind right now (I think... what does that really mean?). Don't be an asshole and post. Or drink and drive.

Liam said...

The next three seasons when Tebow has the ball every snap, he'll be able to do even more amazing things. I don't want to pull a Beano Cook and claim Tebow will win a handful of Heismans but his performance this season will certainly bring him in the spotlight for the next three years.

Go Gators!!!

Sports Pulse

P.s're a loser just like the screen name you represent. Grow up.

Maher said...


you forgot to point out that the one time Cooper switched from jackson starting to germaine starting was the michigan game. only game we lost all season. great idea coach!

remember when AP was going to challenge for multiple heismans? how's that working out?

fact is the heisman has become a lifetime achievement award, and if there was a college dynasty draft held right now, i'd be hard pressed not to take Tebow, I still think he has the curse of potential hanging over him.

Maher said...

and you read his blog why?

Anonymous said...

Well, the problems with rankings now is that you get some crazy people voting nationally. Some of those people believe Booty is a heisman candidate. Some people absolutely believe without a doubt that USC is no. 2 (possibly no. 1) and that ND is Top 5. Where's the proof? After these first 6 weeks, you can really tell who's the contenders and who's faking it. USC is faking it for sure. It's just a matter of time before they lose to Cal, Oregon or ND (but I'm sure they'll put up a fight). And Louisville & WVU will play to see who comes out undefeated. Florida has a tough schedule, but the way they've played so far, who knows...and OSU and Michigan will decide the #1 or #2 team (depending on how well Florida does) and that's going to be how it shapes up. So all this riff-raff about polls now really is just foreplay for what shakes up in November. Yet people still bitch and whine over rankings and who's better. Who cares? Play it week by week and in the end it will work itself out. I'm just excited to see some great matchups (OSU/Mich, USC/Cal, Louis/WVU, Arkansas/Florida?)

john (east lansing, mi) said...

When did this word "slurp" become such a prestigious insult? I've seen it 20 times in the last week, and maybe 0 times in my life before this September.

Anyone using this word - the point you're trying to make is almost always less strong because you have used the word "slurp" to get it across. Grow a vocabulary.

Maher said...

I think dan actually made slurp popular, hence all his minions are using it (I'm a minion too, I just like saying it).

Dan Shanoff said...

Sorry I'm late to respond to all these: I think the criticisms of my rankings are fair. I'm going to re-think these as I finalize my ballot for the week.

-- D.S.

Unknown said...

I'm disappointed that the AP and Coaches are not on the Boise St. bandwagon yet. That team is very good. T-15, imo.

I do think wins in the first half of the season should be judged more on margin and difficulty...but by the 9th or 10th game, its all about surviving.
So yes, USC does lose points in my list because of their wins that have been tougher than they should have been IN RELATION to the other top 5 teams. USC is not playing like a Top 5 team. So they are 6th in my poll.

Ohio State
West Virginia