Monday, December 15, 2008

On Location: Heisman - The Hater Nation

“Either they love us or they hate us…that’s Florida.”

That was Tim Tebow’s reasoning for finishing third in the Heisman voting despite garnering the most first place votes:

Sam Bradford = 300 First Place Votes
Colt McCoy = 266 First Place Votes
Tim Tebow = 309 First Place Votes

Tebow may have a point. Many genuflect at whatever the Gators’ signal caller does, sometimes to his detriment – the excessive praise likely turns others off – and like it or not, the Heisman is at least partially a popularity contest. Tebow has learned that sometimes being the man on the pedestal generates – to use his words – more hate than love.

Tebow believes the “Hate-orade” for the Gators was amped up during the (Steve) Spurrier days, but does not blame the former ball coach for missing out on a second Heisman Trophy.

Where Sam Bradford (and Colt McCoy) surpassed Tebow was in the second place voting and the voting west of the Mississippi (see chart below):

Sam Bradford = 315 Second Place Votes
Colt McCoy = 288 Second Place Votes
Tim Tebow = 207 Second Place Votes

By the way, this was not the first time that the player with the most fist place votes finished third – ironically Oklahoma’s Tom McDonald finished third in 1956 behind Johnny Majors of Tennessee and Paul Hornung of Notre Dame, the winner. Penn St.’s Chuck Fusina finished second with the most first place votes in 1978 behind Billy Sims of Oklahoma.

Photo Credit: College Press Box (University of Florida)