Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday 08/27 Quickie: Tebow, Vick,
Papi, Dodgers, Pitino, Pryor, Kennedy

I swear, I had no intention of leading today's SN column with Tebow -- I was saving that for next week, truth be told -- but led with a Tebow package, and the moment was here.

(If you are interested, I have a longer post about Tebow's SN first-person column here.)

It is the crux of -- and something you have seen a lot here over the last year -- but expanded for the "national" audience: Is Tim Tebow the greatest college player ever?

The answer: He's in the conversation, assuming things break a certain way this season. "A certain way" meaning, precisely, 14-0 and a national title.

Then he will have the team accomplishments, the individual accolades and -- of course -- the mythology (which is really the feature that distinguishes him from other GOAT contenders).

But -- and this wasn't in the SN argument, but probably should have been -- remember the cautionary tale of Matt Leinart, who entered the 2005 season with "GOAT" aspirations.

That USC team was as highly touted as this Florida team -- defending national champs, returning Heisman winner. I think 2009 Florida's defense and special teams, both of which have the potential to be the greatest units in college football history, were much better than USC's in 2005, but you get the idea.

Then: Leinart loses in the national title game, and all of a sudden, not only is Leinart NOT the GOAT, but Vince Young catapults past him and leaves not just a legacy of being better than Leinart on the all-time rankings, but makes a strong argument he should be at the very top.

That is the difference between 14-0 and 13-1 for Tim Tebow. We can all agree that Tebow is already an immortal in college football -- the fact that he is probably in the Top 5 all-time players conversation without playing a snap of his senior season surrounded by an all-time great team is pretty staggering. But "GOAT" demands a more exacting standard.

More you'll find in today's SN column:

*Vick tonight as most intriguing NFL preseason game ever. I can tell you what tomorrow's SN lead will be already, obviously.

*Watch out for the Red Sox. And the Dodgers showed they won't be rolled by the insurgent Rockies, either.

*Say this for Rick Pitino: In an era of genuflecting press conferences, Pitino's defiance was distastefully refreshing. And name-checking Ted Kennedy was ne plus ultra.

*Tebow aside, I am more than willing to say that Terrelle Pryor is the freakiest talent at QB I think any of us have ever seen. Tebow is a freak, obviously, but Pryor is a f-r-e-a-k. (USC-Ohio State is going to be tremendous, if Tressel is willing to turn Pryor into VY 2.0.)

*There's a link to a Christine Brennan column about Ted Kennedy's connection to sports that is terrific. I'm not saying that explains why we need newspapers -- the column is more easily found online than in a physical paper, obviously -- but it certainly speaks to the idea that you couldn't have written that column in the first hour after Kennedy died, in some sort of "instant history" way. I say something shallow like "Kennedy was a great Red Sox fan! He played football at Harvard!" Brennan actually goes out and reports -- and files the gold standard for Kennedy-sports takes.

Complete SN column here. More later.

Oh, and a favor: Later today, I have the first of a couple of fantasy football drafts. Need some help: Who has the ultimate (free) Average Draft Position rankings? I have found multiple versions of ADP lists, which are all fine, but no one who has aggregated all ADPs across Yahoo,, and all of the smaller fantasy-sports sites out there. Ideally, I can adjust based on my league teams (on the high side: 14). Can anyone point me to a great one?

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Keep mentioning Terrelle Pryor once in awhile, and I'll happily wade through all the Te-Love.