Why Tebow, Daniel, and White Should All Be Considered for the Heisman

Zander FreundSenior Writer INovember 28, 2007

My last two columns have focused on who shouldn't win the Heisman this year. 

On Monday, I argued that Darren McFadden's brilliant season shouldn't garner him the trophy, due to his inability to lead the Razorbacks into the BCS.  Yesterday, I asserted that Colt Brennan was undeserving of the award as well, as his performance this year was less impressive than that of 2006—and that since he wasn't a serious contender for the trophy last year, he should be treated no differently this year.

I'm sure that those who were kind enough to read these columns and openly listen to my negativity are now wondering who I do think should win the award.  Hence, I felt compelled to talk about those who had seasons that were deserving of mention in the Heisman discussion.

In my judgment, there are three college football players—all quarterbacks—who should be legitimately considered for the Heisman trophy.  The performance of two of the three in their final games of the season should dictate who wins to some extent.

Despite popular opinion, this should still be an open race until we see how the season wraps up.  That said, let's start by discussing the guy that the majority of college pigskin fans have already decided is a lock for the award—sophomore sensation Tim Tebow.

Tebow's season has been nothing short of extraordinary.  While the Gators haven't played up to the standard they set for the world last year, Tebow has put a young, inexperienced Gators roster on his shoulders, and lead them to nine wins in one of the nation's most competitive conferences. 

Superman, as he is known, has displayed the characteristics of a veteran warrior at just 20 years of age. His combination of power-running and precision passing is nearly impossible to stop. He plays to win and is never afraid to put his head down to squeak out a few extra yards.

I know you've heard it a million times already—but once again, Tebow has 29 touchdowns via air and 22 on the ground this season.  That's 51 total scores.

To go along with his unbelievable touchdown stats, Tebow has thrown for 3132 yards, and completed 68.5% of his passes.  He's rushed for 838 yards as well. 

And to think that people wondered whether or not he'd be able to fill the shoes of Chris Leak!

Icon Sports MediaMoving onto the second candidate in the race now: Missouri's Chase Daniel is gaining serious traction in the Heisman talks.  All I can say is, it's about time.

Say what you want about Missouri's schedule.  The simple fact of the matter is that this team began the season unranked, and now finds itself atop the BCS.

I know, I know—the BCS is a screwed up system.  It sucks.  We need playoffs in the worst way, and this year proves it once and for all.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Not that I don't agree with these assertions—I definitely do.  But seriously, why can't people dislike the BCS, and at the same time appreciate a team like the Tigers for everything they've accomplished this season?

The fact of the matter is that the BCS is the system we have right now.  It seems like the majority of America wants a change, and hopefully one of these days the powers that be in the college football world will begin listening.  Until then though, it is what it is.

Missouri finds themselves atop the BCS because they only lost one game this year—a close contest to a talented Oklahoma Sooners team.  They beat an undefeated Kansas squad last Thursday, and thus deserve some respect in the championship picture.  

Daniel, meanwhile, has put up some incredible individual statistics this season.  He's completed 70.5% of his passes, and thrown for 3951 yards and 33 scores—with only nine picks. 

If Daniel leads the Tigers to victory over Oklahoma on Saturday, Missouri will be a lock for the championship game—and rightfully so.  Moreover, a win this weekend should guarantee Chase Daniel the Heisman trophy.

Say what you will about the BCS, but getting your team to the championship game when they had virtually no presence in the national spotlight in the pre-season polls means more than all of Tebow's touchdowns combined.  We'll see what happens.

If the Tigers don't win this weekend, Tebow's pretty much got the Heisman locked up (assuming that the voters don't discriminate against him due to his age).  However there's another candidate who I think should at least be seriously considered—none other than West Virginia quarterback Pat White.

You aren't hearing as much about Pat White as you are about Tebow and Daniel, but you should be.  He's been able to keep the Mountaineers in the championship hunt since week one, and has put up some dazzling numbers in the process. 

While Chase Daniel should be commended for helping his team climb the BCS ladder slowly but surely, we should also recognize a guy like White who has been in the thick of things all season and hasn't cracked under the pressure.

While America was trying to decide whether USC or LSU was the nation's best team, White and the Mountaineers were quietly rolling over their inferior competition.  When Ohio State was holding the #1 spot from weeks six through ten, White was picking apart the Cincy and Rutgers defenses with his potent pass/run combination.  And while Kansas was busy losing their first game this year, White was putting up 186 rushing yards and 66 points against UConn.

White has completed 69% of his attempts this season and accumulated 1498 passing yards.  When team's have keyed in on the pass, White has burned them on the ground with his blazing speed—he's rushed for 1144 yards in 07', significantly more than Tebow.

Sure: West Virginia crapped the bed against South Florida.  But the game was fairly close, and the Bulls were on fire at the time.  Since then, White and his Mountaineers haven't let down their guard.  And I doubt they're going to Saturday against Pittsburgh.

LSU's loss to Arkansas and the Buckeye's fall at the hands of the Fighting Illini finally forced people to accept West Virginia for the powerhouse school it has been all season.  If Missouri loses to Oklahoma this weekend, and West Virginia takes care of business, the Mountaineers will end the season as the nation's #1 team—and Pat White should thus get legitimate Heisman consideration.

There you have it: three worthy candidates for the coveted award.  I can honestly say that I'd be happy if any of these three fine gentlemen took home the prize.  The result of the Tigers/Sooners and Mountaineers/Panthers games should make the decision somewhat easier.

Saturday can't come soon enough…