Heisman Preview: Tim Tebow...In A Landslide

Forrest Kobayashi@forrestkobaSenior Analyst IDecember 8, 2007

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/954d78f2-00a4-4c5c-b211-934888a8b5c8.jpgSo there's this small, insignificant trophy that will be handed out tonight to a college football player who had a pretty good season in 2007.

In case you haven't heard, it's the Heisman—and you'd better be watching.

Here's a quick peek at the four finalists...

Tim Tebow (QB-Florida)

The media has hyped this year's race as one of the closest ever, but I'm not buying it.

My winner?

Tim Tebow, in a landslide vote.

22 rushing touchdowns. That's the only stat you have to know.

Okay, Tebow was also very good through the air, with a total of 3,132 yards and 29 TDs—but those numbers are insignificant in the big scheme of things.

I'm repeating myself here: 22 rushing touchdowns.

That'd be an impressive statistic for a running back.

The media has labeled Tebow a "product of the system," which makes me want to puke. If the system is based on using your QB as a goal-line back...and the system works...there's no reason to take anything away from the QB himself.

Besides, where would Florida be had Tebow NOT converted those touchdown runs? And don't even tell me Kestahn Moore could do it—he doesn't have Tebow's burst.

Combine Tebow's staggering numbers with the fact that he plays in one of the toughest conferences in the country (and no, let's not get into the conference debate here)—and he's got runaway winner written all over him.

IconDarren McFadden (RB-Arkansas)

There's no question that McFadden is the best running back in college football, and will have a stellar NFL career.

But he's bound for another second-place Heisman finish.

McFadden racked up 1,725 yards and 15 TDs on the ground in 2007—and also learned how to play quarterback à la LaDainian Tomlinson, ending the season 6-11 for 123 yards and four TDs.

Heisman voters will be turned off by the fact that Arkansas backup RB Felix Jones ran for 1,117 yards and 11 scores, thus diluting McFadden's numbers. The Razorback tandem, by the way, reminds me a lot of the old Minnesota duo of Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber—who were just as dominant, if not more so.

All told, McFadden is a fantastic running back, but not the best player in college football. Arkansas would still be able to win football games with Jones in the backfield.

That said, crazier things have happened. Watch McFadden win the award because of that otherworldly 268.5 passer rating he's got going.

IconColt Brennan (QB-Hawaii)


Sure, Hawaii has that "system" that helped even Timmy Chang look good, but Brennan is legit. He projects very nicely to the NFL—and no matter what the awards say, he's the best quarterback in college football.

But will the fact that Brennan put up 4,522 passing yards, 41 TDs, and a 166.31 passer rating help him in the Heisman race?

It's questionable.

Running back Kevin Smith ran for 2,448 yards and 29 touchdowns this year. He also caught 21 passes for 230 yards and a score. What's with the tangent? Smith plays for Central Florida—hardly a national powerhouse.

The WAC, unfortunately, will end up limiting Brennan's trophy prospects.

If the Heisman is really meant to go to the best player in college football, Brennan is fully deserving. Hawaii wouldn't have even had a CHANCE to go undefeated without him under center.

As it stands, I feel for Brennan—and I believe he's got a shot to finish ahead of McFadden. We'll have to see.


Icon Sports MediaChase Daniel (QB-Mizzou)

Dennis Dixon and Pat White should be here instead of Daniel, though the Mizzou QB did almost lead his team to the BCS Championship Game.

Without Daniel and Dixon, their respective teams would have floundered. It's a shame that Dixon got injured so close to the end of the season—he would have been my Heisman favorite had he stayed healthy.

Daniel is, to be kind, a longshot for the award. Though he led a mediocre Mizzou team to a No. 1 ranking and the Big 12 Championship Game, there isn't anything else that stands out about him.

What's more, No. 1 didn't mean all that much in a season of chaos at the top of the polls, and the Big 12 as a whole had a down year.


That's a wrap on the finalists. Tune in tonight to see who goes home with the hardware—and don't say I didn't warn you about what's coming.