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Heisman: a vote for Tebow

December 11, 2008 - Neil Rudel

I've been fortunate to have been a Heisman Trophy voter for about the past 20 years, and this year is a particularly tough choice.

You can make a case for any of the finalists -- Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Texas' Colt McCoy and Florida's Tim Tebow, extraordinary quarterbacks all.

Each has staggering statistics. Bradford threw for a ridiculous 48 touchdown passes against just six interceptions and averaged 14.7 yards per reception. The Harrell-McCoy touchdown-interception ratios are 41-7 and 32-7, respectively.

Harrell and Bradford both threw for more than 4,400 yards, about 1,000 more than McCoy. Each is ranked among the nation's top 15 in passing.

Tebow, the reigning Heisman winner, ranked 85th.

I voted for him.

The award is supposed to go to college football's best player, and Tebow is that. In addition to only being intercepted twice in 13 games, Tebow threw for 28 touchdowns and 2,515 yards. He also rushed for 564 yards and another 12 TDs.

More than that, Tebow was clearly the difference maker for a Florida team that, by virtue of its regular season, has earned its No. 1 ranking entering the BCS title game with Oklahoma.

I went with Bradford, based on his numbers and the way the Sooners have played over the second half of the season, No. 2 and McCoy No. 3, based on his consistency and win over Oklahoma in the regular season.

Harrell helped put the Red Raiders on the map, but he also couldn't keep Texas Tech within 40 points of the Sooners.

Tebow may not project as an NFL quarterback and he may not make the money that Harrell might, but that's not Heisman criteria.

I'm anxious to see how it shakes out Saturday night.

I am looking for: