One of the most talked about players in college football so far this year is Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow had many expectations after helping the Gators win the National Championship as a backup last year. Many of the Gator faithful thought Tim Tebow would return and be a Heisman candidate. Others thought Tim Tebow couldn’t throw worth a lick and had no shot at being a Heisman candidate.
So far it looks like the Florida Gators fans were right. After two games that were essentially warm ups to start the season it was time to see what Tim Tebow was really capable of. In Tim Tebow’s very first SEC start he had to face the Tennessee Volunteers. Tim Tebow led the Florida Gators to a 59 – 20 route of their rivals and Tebow threw for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns while running for another 61 yards and rushing for two more touchdowns.
The following week the Florida Gators got a pretty tough challenge from the Ole Miss Rebels. Florida, a team that is largely made up of freshmen, were playing in their first road game of the year so most of their team had never played a road game. Tim Tebow wasn’t about to let the Florida Gators lose though. Tebow passed for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for 166 more yards and 2 more touchdowns.
Just how good is Tim Tebow’s season so far this year? Let’s compare him with some other rushing quarterbacks of the past. Here are Tim Tebow’s averages so far compared to Charlie Ward, Eric Crouch and Troy Smith in their Heisman Trophy seasons and Michael Vick in his last college season.
Tim Tebow – 274 yards passing per game, 90 yards rushing per game
Michael Vick – 167 yards passing per game, 53 yards rushing per game
Eric Crouch – 105 yards passing per game, 74 yards rushing per game
Troy Smith – 195 yards passing per game, 15 yards rushing per game
Charlie Ward – 275 yards passing per game, 30 yards rushing per game
Obviously Tim Tebow is at an advantage here since it is easier to maintain high averages over just four games than it is over an entire season but even if Tim Tebow’s averages slip some he can still maintain an average just as good as any of these players and three out of the four of them won the Heisman Trophy.
Also it seems like Tim Tebow will do a lot better in passing than all of them except Charlie Ward. At the time, Charlie Ward won the Heisman Trophy by the second most votes ever though so if Tim Tebow stays anywhere close to Ward’s number then he should do pretty well.
Even if Tim Tebow doesn’t maintain the averages he has, there is a good chance he could pass these other quarterbacks in their season totals.
Tim Tebow (on pace for) 3,562 yards passing, 1,170 yards rushing, 39 passing TDs, 26 rushing TDs.
Michael Vick – 1,840 yards passing, 585 yards rushing, 12 passing TDs, 8 rushing TDs
Eric Crouch – 1269 yards passing, 889 yards rushing, 7 passing TDs, 16 rushing TDs
Troy Smith – 2542 yards passing, 204 yards rushing, 30 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD
Charlie Ward – 3032 yards passing and 339 yards rushing, 27 passing TDs, and 4 rushing TDs
Again Tim Tebow probably isn’t going to maintain his average for the entire season but he could throw for 500 yards shorter than what he is on pace for and still pass for more yards than any of them and he can fall 1,000 yards short of his pace and still pass three of them. Tim Tebow can also rush for nearly 300 yards short of what he’s on pace for to finish ahead of all of them in rushing yards, 600 short to finish ahead of three of them.
Troy Smith and Charlie Ward both scored 31 total touchdowns in their Heisman Trophy years. Tim Tebow is on pace to throw for more than that, 39 touchdowns, and rush for another 26. I’m sure that number will come down drastically but I doubt it’s going to come down enough that Tim Tebow falls 32 touchdowns short of what he’s on pace for right now.
Tim Tebow is definitely putting up Heisman numbers and he could put up numbers just as good as any of these other quarterbacks did. Unfortunately the voters put too much team emphasis on an individual award. If Tim Tebow loses twice and John David Booty doesn’t then Booty might win the Heisman just because his team won. Tim Tebow is definitely putting up some impressive numbers and should be the front runner for the Heisman Trophy right now.