Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday 12/09 Quickie: Tebow Heisman!

Tim Tebow wins the Heisman: Can I just point out that back in late August when I ranked Tim Tebow on my preseason Heisman short list -- No. 5 overall -- I took SO much abuse. And it was SO worth it.

I have earned some capital on this issue, and I'm going to spend it, offering at least one more aggressive opinion about Tebow:

Can he eventually -- or does he instantly -- crack that Top 25 College Football Players of All Time list? Between his key role on a national champion team last year (arguably Offensive MVP) and his unprecedented success this year both on the field (sick stats, including the historic "20/20") and off the field (first sophomore to win the Heisman), I think it's not unreasonable to put him there now -- and certainly put him on the watch list for later. (Based on immediate reaction from readers, you all think I'm on crack for this.)

With either a national title or a second Heisman next season (or both), he would move into the Top 10 instantly. If he stays for his senior season, who knows?

Can Tebow end his career as the greatest college football player of all time? That's not me saying it (I already believe he's a contender), but Michael David Smith from CollegeFootballTalk (the college sibling of ProFootballTalk).

A less provocative question is whether Tebow will end up among the Top 5 college QBs of, say, the ESPN Era (since 1980). You've got Vince Young, Matt Leinart, John Elway, Danny Wuerffel, Tommie Frazier... does Tebow crack that group?

At the beginning of the season, I said Tebow played like he was the love-child of Leinart and Frazier. Would that qualify him to join the short-list of all-time-great college QBs of the last 25 years?

Meanwhile, let's praise Darren McFadden, the first player to finish as Heisman runner-up two years in a row in more than a half-century -- itself an amazing accomplishment. He also got a higher share of first-place votes this year than any runner-up in Heisman history.

Speaking of history, I think we will look back (some of us know it now) and realize that in McFadden we have just watched the best college running back since Barry Sanders, and one of the Top 5 college RBs of all time (and certainly one of the Top 5 college RBs of the ESPN Era). A commenter brought up Reggie Bush -- interesting. Bush almost doesn't count as a true running back (see his NFL career). I think Bush is the most electrifying college football player I have ever seen, but he was not a better college running back than McFadden.

Consider that: McFadden, perhaps one of the Top 5 college RBs of all time and, Tebow, perhaps one of the Top 5 college QBs of all time -- on the same Heisman ballot. (With the third-place finisher, Colt Brennan, being a QB who basically rewrote most meaningful passing records.)

Some people are already griping this was a "down year" for the Heisman. I think we'll look back and consider it to be one of its finest.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...

If you haven't seen it yet,EDSBS has an excellent article about Tebow.

Seriously though, why do so many Heisman winners fail or not do well in the NFL? Is it just that college coaches are more willing to change their game to benefit the star players? Level of competition?

Congratulations to Tebow, with any luck at all that curse will take effect before we play him on New Years.

Kurt said...

"Can I just point out that back in late August when I ranked Tim Tebow on my preseason Heisman short list -- No. 5 overall -- I took SO much abuse. And it was SO worth it."

Dan, I think you make these things up in your head. I went back to your "preseason Heisman" post to check out all the supposed shit you received. The ONLY person who said you were crazy was a FELLOW Gator fan: HeroinSheik. No one else even commented on it. Don't believe me? Check it out here.

Luke Bell said...

The offensive MVP for the Gators national championship team was a non-starter?

pv845 said...

Tebow had a great season in a season of parity. He is no where near the top 25 players of all time or even in the ESPN era. Congrats on having a Gator win the heisman.

eska said...

my god!! two of the greatest players of all time play currently in the SEC!! i'm shocked dan would take this stance, given his decidedly anti-SEC mindset. wait.

-quick aside: texas tech's crabtree had perhaps the greatest freshman wide receiver ever. would he be the greatest wideout of all time if he had been in the SEC?

nsrrder said...

As an UGA fan, I still can't back the choice of Tebow. The committee should instantly retro fit Herschel with 3 trophies. I will alwys believe he's the best to ever step on a college football field.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Tebow won't even be drafted in one of the first three rounds.

The kids can only perform in his college system.

Matt Ryan + Andre Woodson = better pro prospects.

Top 25...of.all.time?

You've got to be kidding me Shanoff.

Unknown said...

Dan, you are the poster boy for "instant history" in an instant history era.