Dixon is out, is Tebow the man now?

Dennis Dixon is out for the year. It ended Oregon’s big season and Dixon’s incredible run. The injury will likely impact his draft stock but that’s not the topic at hand. The topic is the Heisman trophy, where many considered Dixon the front runner. With Dixon out the race seems somewhat open. Mr. Dan Shanoff has been hyping his boy Tim Tebow for weeks now. But the question is, does he really have a shot?

Tebow is a sick player. In his limited play last season it became obvious that he was either going to be a huge disappointment when playing full time or he would be a star.  Any guesses on where he is at? I would say there is little question he is the best player in college football right now, the bigger issue is, he’s a sophomore.

No sophomore has won the award in the history of the trophy. Many have come close…just last year sophomore RB Darren McFadden was passed over for senior QB Troy Smith. In 2004 freshman RB Adrian Peterson was passed over for junior QB Matt Leinart. In 2003 it was junior QB Jason White over sophomore WR Larry Fitgerald. In 2001 senior QB edged sophomore QB Rex Grossman.  I am not saying that all of those sophomores (and one freshman) deserved to win, my point is simply that they didn’t.

Can Tebow be the first? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. My impression is that a majority of the Heisman voters are “traditionalists” and will continue the trend at hand. Plus it’s my belief that voters reward players for their entire career (even though that isn’t how the award is designed) and that should play a factor in again this season. Darren McFadden should have won in many people’s eyes last year and might make up for it this year. The guy is 4th in the NCAA in rushing and a ridiculous player. I don’t think Mike Hart will win, but he is going to earn a lot of votes for 4 solid years of playing.

If I had a vote, right now I would be using it on Tebow, but I don’t. And if I could bet on the winner this weekend, it would be McFadden. But talk to me again in 2008.

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