And the 2007 Heisman Award Goes To…

After all of the hoopla and posturing, it’s all come down to two: The Annointed One or D-Mac. Sorry Colt. I know you broke nearly every NCAA passing record known to man and your team went 12-0, and you have a pretty cool name on top of it all” but you’re going to have to settle for a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl and a pretty good spot on Draft Day. And sorry Chase. I know your team was in first place for a week after coming out of nowhere at the beginning of the season, but then you lost the Big 12 Championship, without posting a sinle touchdown, and now you’re not even going to a BCS game. On the other hand, you have a pretty cool name too.

Tebow vs. McFadden. Last season Tim Tebow was a freshman at the University of Florida sitting on the bench behind Heisman finalist Chris Leak. There was no doubt, even then, that Tebow was a great player as head coach Urban Meyer would bring him in on 3rd and one or 3rd and long for running or passing plays, and he would often convert them. He went 22 for 33 for 358 yards and 5 TD. He rushed 89 times for 469 yards and another 8 TD (2nd highest on team).

This season he has become something of a marvel. Tebow has passed for 3,172 yards going 217 for 317 (69.5 %) and has 29 passing TD with 6 INT. While his passing TD isn’t the highest ranked, in fact, it’s ranked 9th, but couple that with the thought that he’s ranked 3rd in the nation in rushing TD (22) and has nearly 900 yards rushing (889 to be precise), and you really have something special there. Tebow is the only QB in the history of NCAA football to have more than 20 TDs passing and 20 TDs rushing. Oh yeah, he’s also 2nd in the nation in passing efficiency (177.9). Basically, he looked around and saw that Florida had no real running game this year and took it upon himself to be that guy that does whatever he has to do to earn a win. And at 6″3″”, 235 LB, he can be that guy with very little fear.

As for Arkansas” McFadden, talk about a player who can do it all. When he’s out there on the field the opposing defense doesn’t know whether he’s going to run, pass, take a direct snap and run, take a snap and pass, take a hand-off from the QB and throw it, or run a pass pattern and receive it. He’s done all of these things this season, and all of them successfully. In 12 games this season he’s rushed for 1,725 yards, including a 321 yard SEC record-tying performance against the Kentucky Wildcats and 9 out of 12 games over 100 yards. In one of the 3 games where he ran under 100 yards, he scored 4 TD, and in another one he caught one TD pass and threw another. He’s also thrown 6 passes this season, 4 of them for TD. McFadden has run (15), passed (4), or caught (1), a total of 20 TD this season. Oh, he returns punts too.

McFadden is only the 2nd player in SEC history to rush for 1000 yards in his freshman, sophomore, and junior years. The first: The legendary Herschel Walker, who many still regard as one of the greatest running backs in all of college football. His game against LSU was the stuff legends are made of: 206 yards and 3 TD rushing, 3 for 6, 34 yards, 1 TD passing to take the Razorbacks to their 3OT victory.

Make no mistake, this race will be a close one. Both have a ton going for them and not much going against them. In Tebow’s case, the biggest thing going against him is that he’s a sophomore. It’s time to break through that ceiling. There are some GREAT underclassmen who deserve a legitimate shot at this award and there certainly will be in the future. Let Tim Tebow be the first at something else this year besides number of TDs. For McFadden, his team’s four losses will certainly hurt him, fairly or not, as will the fact that he really didn’t get hot until November.

So, with everything said and done, and after I’ve looked at everything, the 2007 Heisman Award winner will be”.

TIM TEBOW- QB University of Florida. Sorry D-Mac. You’re going to have to settle as the runner-up for the second year in a row. But, you are still probably the best offensive player coming out this year and will almost certainly be fighting for the number one spot in the upcoming NFL draft with LSU’s Glen Dorsey.

Unless, of course, it goes the same way the rest of this ridiculous season has gone and they vote for Thomas Weber, Arizona State’s kicker. Weber had a very good year going 42 for 43 in Extra Points (97.7 %) and 22 for 23 in Field Goal attempts (95.7 %), with 6 for 6 at 40+ and his season best at 53 yards. Not the best in either category, but overall, the highest. He also had 10 games where he went 100% in field goal attempts and he kicked the winning field goal against Washington State with 50 seconds left. This could be the equivalent of Stanford beating USC. And this season, why not?

—Neil S. Velleman

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