The Heisman Argument.

As noted earlier, the Heisman is being set up to be handed to the Florida Gators’ Tim Tebow without a hell of a lot of debate. Despite leading a three-loss team (albeit one where most of the losses can be blamed on a young secondary), it almost seems as if the sophomore quarterback is being anointed, no matter how the rest of the season left plays out. Despite the gaudy touchdown numbers, Tebow shouldn’t be winning if it’s to honor the best player in college football or the best player on the best team — he is neither. Here’s the five I’d go with, in order:

  1. Chase Daniel, Missouri
  2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
  3. Tim Tebow, Florida
  4. Pat White, WVU
  5. Colt Brennan, Hawai’i

The Arkansas Razorbacks’ Darren McFadden is still the best player, in my eyes — he has just had the unfortunate luck to be coached by Houston Nutt, who often suffers from a horrific form of coaching brainlock that will have him out of Fayetteville any day now. Daniel has been an elemental part of leading Mizzou to the brink of the national championship game; if Mizzou beats OU next weekend, the trophy should rightfully be his.

If Daniel falters, there will be even more of a case to give it to Tebow, but the QB’s advocates miss a crucial point that makes him second to McFadden in my book: while Tebow rushing the ball resembles a classic H-back/fullback combo that’s devastating with his passing attack, I view McFadden as the better athlete — the problem is that a QB, by nature, touches the ball more and is given more opportunities to dominate. Watching McFadden operate out of the wishbone/Wildhawg formation is some kind of experience, working it with deceptive hand-offs, carries, and passes down the field.

Now, this is a completely subjective metric, and due to the separate positions, we can’t measure it side by side, but I’m pretty damned sure that McFadden could have been a QB and kept that extra level of blazing speed that leaves defenders with even the best angles in the dust. Tebow, if he didn’t have his arm, would be akin to Peyton Hillis or a slightly slower Jacob Hester. Basically, McFadden could do what Tebow does if he worked on the arm strength; Tebow doesn’t have the speed to do the same.

Again, it all comes down to Daniel keeping up his pace, for me — then there’s no argument. But if it has to come down to Tebow and McFadden, as the experts predicted at the start of the year, I know who I’d like to see hoist the trophy. Besides, Tebow will probably nail it down for his junior and senior year, anyway.

Photo: AP/John Raoux

11 Responses

  1. It’s not who you think the best player is, but rather who’s having the best season. Whether or not McFadden could run Florida’s offense with a better arm is irrelevant to the conversation. Tebow’s the first D-I player ever to throw for and rush for over 20 TD’s. Something that alone should trump the success of his team. Listening and reading everyone’s argument for McFadden after Friday’s game make it sadly clear that had his defense held LSU Tim Tebow would have locked up the award weeks ago.

    Also, Tebow shouldn’t be punished because he could win the award the next two seasons. Everyone thought Peterson would win it, but he couldn’t stay healthy. You can’t penalize a kid because he’s a sophomore.

  2. No, and I’ll grant you your argument against McFadden, but what Chase Daniel has done at Missouri is every bit as impressive on the field (if not in the rushing TD category) as Tebow to me. When you define an award as “the most outstanding player”, that’s going to happen.

  3. I think the 20/20 record is kind of overrated for Heisman purposes. If a QB throws for 3,000 and runs for 1,000 should he automatically win the Heisman? Tebow is deserving, but I don’t think he is the most deserving.

    McFadden is the best player, Tebow has the best stats, Daniel has great stats and has his team in position to play for a nat’l title. I just don’t see how anyone can objectively say Tebow is the slam dunk, unequivocal choice.

  4. I think Tebow has been the best all around player this year having scored 3 or more touchdowns in every game but one (in which he scored 2). Both Chase and McFadden have had 3 or 4 games that are definitely not Heisman like (e.g. fumbles, few yards, etc). Chase wasn’t even considered until the last two games in which he has played awesome. I try to imagine I’m looking at 3 seniors and Tebow is hands down the most deserving Heisman candidate for this season.

  5. The heisman trophy should not be awarded based solely on statistics. While it is true that Tim Tebow is a good passer and a good runner, thereby accounting for his exceptional number of TD’s (51), he is neither the best runner nor the best passer in the country. If statistics were all that mattered then there would certainly be an argument for Tulsa QB Paul Smith. He has a higher ranking than Tebow in total offense and passing yards per game. He is 3rd to Tebow’s 2nd in efficiency and has also accounted for 51 TD’s this year. No, the heisman trophy is about the best player in the country, the one who inspires awe and wonder in those who watch him play, the one everyone expects will do something spectacular every time he touches the ball, and one who many times this year has done just that. My heisman vote would go to Darren McFadden, the most electrifying player to come along in many years.

  6. I agree, excpet at present I have McFadden first, with Daniel second. That order may change after Mizzou vs OU. Overall our order is similar (http://wdennisgriffith.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/the-winner-is%e2%80%a6-my-heisman-selection/)

  7. Craig DeLille, I completely agree with you that the Heisman Trophy should be awarded to the best player in the country, but I think that is Tim Tebow. If you’ve ever seen him play, he is so enthusiastic and just really changes the dynamic of the offense. I think McFadden is a close second, but I think that a lot of people are discounting him because he’s a sophomore, and that’s not what it’s about.

  8. I totally hear you Leah, i think you are right. Being a Sophmore has nothing to do with it. A player is a player, its like saying Adrian Peterson shouldnt go to the pro bowl or win player of the year casue he is a rookie, just think its BS for people to think like that.

    Chris
    Tim Tebow fan forever!

  9. I am a huge Tebow fan, but i really do think that Darren Mcfadden should have won. His numbers were amazing, he was a threat to run or pass.

    Tebow will take us to the BCS championship next year though :)

  10. Chase Daniel to stay at Missouri.

    Its great to see that Chase is staying at Missouri instead of going pro.

    BCS Champion Back to Back as well as the Hiesman!

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