If there is a quarterback that has been hotter than Tim Tebow the last six weeks, it would have to be Oklahoma Sooner Sam Bradford. Each quarterback has been on fire since losing close contests earlier in the season (Bradford to Texas and Colt McCoy by 10 points on October 11th and Tebow to Ole Miss on September 27th).
The primary question, however, is which quarterback is going to get the Heisman Trophy nod by the voters? Tebow may have an edge over Bradford in the fact that he gets to play BCS #1 Alabama next Sunday, 6 December, before Heisman voting is conducted, whereas, Bradford’s Sooners will be playing in the Big 12 title game against the Missouri Tigers next weekend, though Missouri dropped significantly in the standings this week after getting upset by Kansas last weekend.
Oklahoma Sooners – Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford’s performance has been nothing short of phenomenal the last month. He has not passed for less than 300 yards since playing Kansas State. Entering the Big 12 championship game, Bradford has amassed greater than 4,000 yards passing, 46 Touchdowns, a completion percentage of 68.2 %, only six interceptions, and a pass rating of 190.97. Bradford plays more of a pro-style game than Tebow with much less emphasis on the run which is indicative of the low number of rushing yards that he has amassed this season. Bradford has rushed for five touchdowns over the season to date.
Florida Gators – Tim Tebow
If Sam Bradford’s personal numbers have been impressive, Tim Tebow’s leadership of a Florida Gators team that was lethargic earlier in the season has been even more so! The Gators have been destroying every team that they have played since the Ole Miss loss earlier in the season. Tebow has a slightly higher quarterback rating than he did last season when he won the Heisman Trophy at 175.46 versus the 172.47 that he amassed in the 2007-08 season. Tebow’s other season numbers are down a bit from 2007, 2299 yards passing versus 3286, 25 passing touchdowns versus 32, and his overall rushing yardage. Tebow, has however, improved on his interception avoidance by only throwing two pics this season compared to six last year. Gators fans argue that since Tebow has a better supporting cast this season there isn’t a need for him to be a one man show this year. Taken at face value, this argument has some merit when comparing the Gators for 2008 to the Gators of 07 who failed to make the SEC championship game. Unfortunately, Heisman trophy votes are due this week, so voters will not be able to see if Tebow is able to lead the Gators past the undefeated Crimson Tide this Saturday before making their decision.
Heisman Trophy Watch
Assuming that voters are going to choose one of the quarterbacks that will have a shot at competing in the BCS National Title game, it will be interesting to see if Bradford’s gaudy numbers outweigh Tim Tebow’s leadership and sustained performance over two season to repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner. Of course, this assumes that voters are going to choose to take Graham Harrell and Colt McCoy out of the Heisman trophy picture because of not playing in the Big 12 Title game (and one assumes the BCS National Title game)! No matter what the decision, it should create significant debate.