Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2008

Big 12 deserves love, too

December 13, 2008


Now that Orenthal James Simpson has been incarcerated, two obvious questions remain unanswered: 1. Who will take up the search for the real killer? 2. Has anyone considered the killer could be hiding under the hair of disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich?

Simpson lost his Heisman Trophy long before he lost his freedom and ranks as one of the saddest riches-to-rags stories in sports history.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s post-Heisman life has gone considerably better. Tebow has led his team into the national-title game and is one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy that will be awarded today.

Tebow was a monster in the clutch, rushed for 12 touchdowns and threw 28 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He seemed to have an even greater impact on his team’s games than statistics would suggest.

Even so, where in the world did this late-season Tebow love-fest come from, and why did CBS lead the charge so aggressively? Watching games Saturday night from the couch almost amounted to watching a looping Tebow infomercial. You get the idea that if CBS’ technicians could have figured out a way to turn the yellow first-down marker into a halo hanging over the Florida quarterback’s head, they would have done so and received massive raises for it.

We get it. He runs. He passes. He wins. He smiles. He’s wholesome. But that doesn’t make him the most worthy candidate for the Heisman. It makes him one of five for whom good cases could be made, joining Big 12 superstars Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Colt McCoy of Texas.

My ballot, completed online Saturday: 1. Bradford, 2. Harrell, 3. Tebow.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, never one to shy from controversial remarks, vented after learning his quarterback would not be invited to New York as a finalist.

“If Graham is not invited to the Heisman, they ought to quit giving out the award,” Leach said. “It is a shameless example of politics ruling over performance. The other guys are deserving, but he has earned a place alongside them.”

So he has. In leading the Red Raiders to an 11-1 record, Harrell threw for 4,747 yards and 41 touchdowns. He threw just seven interceptions. The Heisman is a single-season award, not a career achievement honor, so it’s not relevant that with two touchdown passes against Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl, Harrell will surpass Hawaii’s Colt Brennan as college football’s all-time leader with 132 scoring passes.

Bradford threw for 4,464 yards and 48 touchdowns (six interceptions) and defeated Harrell’s team, 65-21. The Sooners scored 61 points or more in each of their last five games. They averaged 62.3 points in their last six. This feels like Bradford’s year.

Whichever finalist wins, that will make eight quarterbacks in nine seasons taking home the stiff-arm trophy, making it 28 quarterbacks in the 74-year history of the Heisman. Thirty-eight winners, including 12 in a row from 1972 to 1983, are listed as running backs, three more as fullbacks, two as ends, two as wide receivers and one as a cornerback.


davidsmom 9 years, 4 months ago

What?! You voted for Tebow instead of McCoy? Are you nuts?! I would have put McCoy first!

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