You can argue the relevance of the Heisman Trophy until you're blue in the face, but you'll never escape the fact that winning the Heisman Trophy carries with it certain cachet that no other individual award carries, perhaps in all of sports. Also, I think no matter you look at it, the voters this year had a very difficult decision. They made a deserving choice, but I am somewhat ambivalent about it.
Tim Tebow is an outstanding player who had an outstanding year. He did things that have simply never been seen before on the college football field. We've simply never seen a strong-armed quarterback who is also a power running back and also a natural team leader. Or at least, we've never seen it from someone playing at so high of a level as Tim Tebow does.
It amazes me how much responsibility on the football field this kid has. Almost every play runs through him. On 90% of the offensive plays, Tebow is either throwing the ball, taking the ball on a designed quarterback run, or running an option play that requires him to read defenders and choose to either keep it or give it to a running back.
Colt Brennan is a good quarterback, but I don't think he can match Tebow's athleticism, and I don't think he could do anything close to what he's doing against SEC competition.
Chase Daniel is a terrific QB, but I put him just a notch below Tebow at this point.
I don't have any problem with giving the Trophy to a sophomore. Tebow will probably not have another season quite like this one. He scored most of his rushing touchdowns and got a lot of his touches in the running game more as a result of Florida's failure to find a running back to help him than any other reason. Florida will remedy that situation next year, and Tebow's rushing numbers will decrease. If Urban Meyer is worth a crap as a coach, Tebow won't have to have this much responsibility again in his career.
My only problem with Tebow winning the Heisman is that Darren McFadden is now shut out of the Heisman Trophy. I don't blame Tebow at all for this. In fact, I blame the Downtown Athletic Club voters from last year, who should have given the 2006 trophy to McFadden. I thought McFadden would win it, but that it would be a career award, or a do-over for last year.
Tebow had a better year, but McFadden deserves to have the honorific "Heisman Trophy Winner" after his name. He won't have it.
Let me close by saying how lucky we are, as SEC fans, to have so many truly outstanding players in the conference recently. In particular, I'm talking about Glenn Dorsey and Darren McFadden, who we've seen at high levels in the last two years, and Tim Tebow, who we've seen play at a high level this year and will continue to see for years to come. McFadden and Dorsey are the best players at their respective positions in the SEC in recent memory. Tim Tebow is, in my opinion, the most dangerous offensive player in the SEC since at least Bo Jackson. I don't know what Tebow's pro prospects are, but he is a great college player, unlike any we've ever seen.