Tebow personally rededicated himself after Florida’s one-point loss to Mississippi and it has shown in his performance – and his team’s – on the field.
There is a problem this year in his candidacy. His statistics are not eye-popping. Compared with the Big XII triumvirate, they are downright disappointing.
He is at least 1000 yards behind them passing, his touchdowns are 11 back of the nearest signal-caller, and he isn’t the leader in rushing.
But the difference between Tim Tebow on the field and another quarterback at Florida – harsh, but let’s say Chris Leak – is sharp.
Tebow runs the team, and is the perfect field general for the master commander Urban Meyer. We may need to worry about how that translates into performance at the next level (see Alex Smith), but not for another four games, and hopefully not for another year.
The two think as one and, unfortunately for Meyer, I am not sure how he is going to recreate that when #15 is drafted.
This year, his performance might not be enough to be recognized, but it is looking more likely that a national title run is in the cards for the Gators.
It will be hard to ignore a crucial piece of two title runs when the final vote is taken, especially when Florida would be the leading candidate for another big trophy next season.
Tim Tebow is running – and throwing – towards duplicating history. It isn’t a matter of if, but only a matter of when.
And when the crystal football is handed out at the end of this season, if Tebow’s hands are on it, you can be sure that the time is near.
Here is how I would rank the candidates on my ballot after Week 12:
- Graham Harrell (QB Texas Tech) – 71.7%, 4077 yds, 36 TD, 5 INT, 6 rush TD – Has enough of a lead to hold off the insane charge from Superman Tebow this week. Now, he has to stay undefeated. Beating Oklahoma will be no easy task, and he has to look better than Sam Bradford no matter the outcome.
- Tim Tebow (QB Florida) – 65.0%, 1913 yds, 19 TD, 2 INT, 393 yds rush, 11 TD – His completion percentage was down against South Carolina, but the running game was the most important factor in the crushing win. At the same time, Florida and Tebow are looking like legitimate contenders for the national title. He stays at No. 2.
- Colt McCoy (QB Texas) – 77.2%, 3134 yds, 30 TD, 7 INT, 527 yds rush, 8 TD – This was supposed to be McCoy’s year, along with Texas, and while Texas Tech has derailed that for now, the Longhorns have made some big strides in the past two weeks. Baylor and Kansas aren’t Oklahoma and Tech, but they did let McCoy regain his chops. There is still time, and opportunity for him to move to the top.
- Sam Bradford (QB Oklahoma) – 67.9%, 3406 yds, 38 TD, 6 INT – Bradford’s best hope is a win over Texas Tech, and a convincing one at that. If Bradford can make Harrell look like a system quarterback through smarter, more efficient execution, he can make a quick move in the voters’ minds.
- Shonn Greene (RB Iowa) – 1585 yds, 15 TD, 6.2 avg – Gained 40 more yards on his own than Purdue was giving up on the ground per game. If Iowa was better than 7-4 at this point, Greene would be rolling off the tongues of Heisman voters. As it is, Iowa is only known for keeping Penn State from making the BCS sick.
People with still a chance to make this list: Chase Daniel (Too many interceptions, but still has the key position of being the spoiler in the Big XII championship game. The other guy has to not only beat him, but look better than him. Tough call on both ends if Daniel is on his game.), Michael Crabtree (I will bite my tongue and stay with him here.)