When you hear the words "University of Minnesota", you probably don't get filled with deep-seeded emotions...unless you are a fan, student or alumnus of Minnesota or a rival Big 10 school. Maybe you applied to school there and they rejected you, so that could cause some animosity as well. But, for the most part, The University of Minnesota does not cause heated water cooler debates.
Now, if I said the words "Tim Tebow", well now everyone has an opinion. And it is backed by that deep-seeded emotion I was just referring to. For everything Tebow has done, on and off the football field, he has become a polarizing figure. And, judging by his press conferences and his actions, this is not something he intended to do. To be clear, I am a fan of the University of Miami. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Missouri. I interned for the Miami football program while receiving my Master's Degree. I do not like the University of Florida. I do not root for the University of Florida (unless they played Kansas, then you might see me do a Gator chomp). But, for all my dislike for the Gators, I cannot for the life of me fathom this sudden Anti-Tebow movement. And it's growing. Look, if I were an NFL GM, I would probably have Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy higher on my draft boards. I would probably even have Jevan Snead ranked higher than Tebow as an NFL QB prospect (maybe that's what Spurrier thought he was voting on).
Barring an injury or a collapse of epic proportions (which is highly unlikely), Tebow will be invited to New York in December for his third consecutive Heisman Trophy presentation. He's one for two in these things so far. Sitting right beside him will most likely be Bradford and McCoy, along with one or two other finalists. I'm just hoping that the sudden Anti-Tebow movement doesn't cost him the Heisman, like it did last year. Last year, and so far this summer, Tebow has reached Michael Jordan heights....for all the wrong reasons.
In 1993, Jordan was coming off back-back NBA MVP awards (and three of the previous 5 years, MJ had won the award). He had also led the Bulls to back to back NBA Championships (and was on his way to leading the Bulls to a third straight). But apparently, the media got bored with voting MJ as NBA MVP. The "Jordan is the greatest" slogans had apparently worn thin. Not sure why, but everyone seemed like they wanted to anoint someone else. Or at the very least, see someone else win some awards. Never mind that Jordan was head and shoulders better than everyone else in the league. In 1993, Phoenix's Charles Barkley won the MVP. He won the award despite averaging 7 points per game less than Jordan. He shot worse from the free throw line. He had fewer assists and steals than Jordan. Jordan led the league in scoring and and steals. Barkley did have the edge in rebounds. Maybe that's how he won the award???? For some reason, the voters just got tired of Jordan. It was as if they were saying, "yeah. MJ's the best. But let someone else win the thing for a change."
Tebow appears to be facing the same type of ridiculous backlash. Tebow is the best leader in college football. He does everything right on a football field. He threw 4 interceptions.....the entire 2008 season. In the Gators' only loss last year, Tebow still accounted for 3 TDs and threw zero interceptions. By contrast, last year's Heisman winner, Bradford, threw two costly interceptions in Oklahoma's loss to Texas. Bradford's numbers were more staggering. But they deserve an asterisk bigger than any steroid asterisk you can impose. OU head coach Bob Stoops routinely left him in blowout games. He played against more inferior defenses than Tebow did. Stoops put personal records over integrity and sportsmanship. With OU leading 48-21 in the Big XII Championship game, with less than 5:00 left, not only was Bradford still in the game, but Stoops had him throwing downfield.
The voters looked for any excuse not to give Tebow the Heisman last year. And Stoops helped orchestrate the perfect one. Don't watch game film, just look at the numbers - Bradford was more impressive. But Tebow is the better college player by far. I have heard many reasons from the Anti-Tebow camp- he won't be a good pro QB; he doesn't have a great arm; he tries to push his religious beliefs on others; he is being treated like a God when he is merely a college student; nobody can be this good of a person; he's a virgin (or the belief that he is somehow lying about this). None of these have anything to do with what he has done on the college football field. And if you don't like or believe in his religious convictions, then don't listen. Do your own thing. I am quite certain Tebow won't start bad-mouthing you if you do. Just please, please, please stop trying to find reasons not to vote for him. He is the best player in college football. And, if (and it is a big if) he plays to his potential yet again this season, don't rob him of what he earns....which would be most likely a spot next to Archie Griffin in College Football immortality.