Championship performance proves Tebow’s worth

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

I was one of the skeptics that believed Tim Tebow was the most overrated player in the nation. He has been the media darling ever since his recruitment. I couldn’t stand to see ESPN follow him so much before he even played one down of his high school senior season.

However, everything changed Saturday night watching the SEC Championship Game. I was of the belief that Alabama’s best chance of winning the game was to make Tebow play with his arms, not with his legs. To the credit of Nick Saban, Alabama did just that.

For the first time in I don’t know how long, Tebow didn’t have a single rushing touchdown in a game. Alabama forced Florida to do something that I have seen few teams do, and that is to make Tebow throw the ball on the goal line.

In his entire career, Tebow has rarely been stopped short of paydirt when he ran the football inside the 5-yard line, but the Crimson Tide defense did just that. Finally, I got to really see just how good of a quarterback he is, and I was pleasantly surprised to see just how good he was. His three passing touchdowns were well defended by Alabama. Tebow made the throws look easy, but trust me, they weren’t.

Alabama’s defensive backs are the best in the conference, and for the most part, they gave the Florida receivers little room. So, Tebow made the perfect throws time and time again to help them win the game. By the way, this was the first come-from-behind-win in his career.

That game finally made me see that Tebow is one of the best players the SEC has ever seen. He has won a national championship, albeit not being the starter quarterback, but I can’t say that Florida would have won it without him. It was a masterful coaching job by Urban Meyer. Tebow didn’t come in and replace Chris Leak; Tebow just complemented what Leak did. By doing that, Tebow became the ultimate team player in his freshman year.

Now, in year three, Tebow has become the ultimate team leader. His team speech after the Ole Miss debacle helped to fire up the Gators to blow through the rest of the SEC. And there was no SEC team that could hold them to less than 30 points. Even SEC West Champions Alabama failed to do it.

Florida is a juggernaut, and Tebow is what makes this team so special. I hope he wins his second Heisman this weekend and his second national championship in January.