Previous ranking: 2nd
2007 Heisman voting: 1,957 votes (1st).
2008 stats: 13 games, 174 of 268 passing for 2,515 yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs; 154 rushes for 564 yards, 12 TDs.
2007 stats: 13 games, 234 of 350 passing for 3,286 yards, 32 TDs, 6 INTs; 210 rushes for 895 yards, 23 TDs.
Last game (31-20 victory vs. Alabama in SEC championship game, 12/6): Minus his number weapon in Percy Harvin, Tebow literally put the Gators on his back and willed them to victory.
Tebow completed 14-of-22 passes for 216 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the Gators on the ground with 57 yards on 17 carries.
He engineered his first comeback win when trailing in the second half, and his game-clinching TD pass was fit into a tight window to Riley Cooper from five yards out with 2:50 to play.
“He takes his teammates on his shoulders a lot," Alabama coach Nick Saban said of Tebow. "They have a lot of confidence he's going to make plays, and they play that way. They scored two touchdowns where we had them covered about as well as we could cover them."
The Gators had to have Tebow deliver on the biggest stage and he did just that; a true Heisman quality.
Season review: If Tebow does not repeat as Heisman winner, it will be because he could not live up to himself.
His record-setting sophomore season set the bar impossibly high, and Tebow couldn’t manage to match those numbers.
However, one factor that has been vastly overlooked is the quality of competition. Of the Gators’ 12 wins, nine have come against teams whose defenses rank in the top 37 in the country.
On the flip side, Texas’ Colt McCoy didn’t face a defense ranked higher than 65th. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford faced only two defenses among the top 30 nationally in non-conference foes TCU and Cincinnati. Every other team he played against had a defense ranked 50th or worse.
But more importantly for Tebow is he surpassed his 2007 total in wins, added an SEC championship and a berth in the BCS Championship Game. From that standpoint, he had a far better year.
And his proclamation following the loss to Mississippi when he promised no player and no team would play harder the rest of the season; nine straight wins later it’s a called shot that ranks right up there with the Bambino.
However the voting shakes out, Tebow made a solid Heisman defense.
Next season: Tebow could jump to the NFL and a possible second national title in three seasons may be reason enough for him to do just that. But he’s also a kid that loves college and the college life and may be inclined to hang around.
If he does return, the Gators will be loaded again and Tebow would again enter the season as a Heisman frontrunner.
If everyone who can return does, Florida would have 11 starters back on defense and seven on offense. That would automatically make Tebow the Heisman favorite.
Schedule/results: vs. Hawaii (W, 56-10); vs. Miami, Fla. (W, 26-3); at Tennessee (W, 30-6); vs. Mississippi (L, 31-30); at Arkansas (W, 10/4); vs. LSU (W, 51-21); vs. Kentucky (W, 63-5); vs. Georgia at Jacksonville, Fla. (W, 49-10); at Vanderbilt (W, 42-14); vs. South Carolina (W, 56-6); vs. The Citadel (W, 70-19); at Florida State (W, 45-159); vs. Alabama in SEC championship game (W, 31-20); vs. Oklahoma in BCS Championship Game at Miami (1/8).
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Heisman Trophy winners
From Archie Griffin to Barry Sanders to Johnny Manziel and more, check out all the winners dating back to 1935.
Check out quarterback Colt McCoy in action.
Take a look at Florida's star quarterback on and off the field.
Check out Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman winner Sam Bradford in action.
Oklahoma's Bradford wins