Tim Tebow: The Most Underrated Quarterback in College Football

Ben SpicerCorrespondent INovember 26, 2008

Is it possible for last season's Heisman winner to be under the radar?

Because sure enough, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is.

Lost behind the aerial attack that has become known as the Big XII, Tebow is still producing—just not as well as he was in his Heisman season.

With the addition of a ground game, Tebow's productivity has decreased, but there are other reasons behind this. For the most part, Tebow hasn't finished all of his games. He usually exits around the third quarter, whereas Bradford, Harrell, and Co. usually play the full game.

No team in the Big XII, other than maybe Oklahoma, has a more balanced team than Florida does. The Gators are third in the nation in scoring defense, so at times Florida scores without even having Tebow and the offense out on the field. The Gators have also gotten contributions on special teams, returning a couple punts for touchdowns on the season.

With a great supporting cast, many have left Tim Tebow in the dark and hopped onto the Big XII bandwagon. It's even caught up with voters across the nation, as Tebow was left off of the Davey O'Brien short list (annual award for the best quarterback in college football) in favor of Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, and Colt McCoy—all quarterbacks in the Big XII.

A closer look tells a tale that hasn't been told very often this season. Tebow has 20 touchdowns in his past five games, an average of four per game. Colt McCoy has 17, Sam Bradford has 21, and Graham Harrell has 22.

Tebow is capable of sticking with these quarterbacks consistently, so why was he left off?

Tim Tebow has 346 combined attempts, whether it be through the air or on the ground. McCoy, Harrell, and Bradford all have more passing attempts alone than Tebow's combined attempts alone. It's clear to me that Tebow would be just as good, if not better, than McCoy, Harrell, and Bradford if he had as many attempts as what they each have had.

Another interesting statistic is the fact that Tebow throws for a touchdown every 10.22 attempts, and rushes for one every 11. Colt McCoy throws a touchdown every 11.56 attempts, and rushes for one every 14.62. Sam Bradford throws a touchdown every 8.30 attempts, and rushes for one every 8.75 attempts (only 35 rushing attempts on the year). Graham Harrell throws a touchdown every 13.28 attempts, and rushes for a touchdown every 5.3 (however, Harrell has negative 43 rushing yards all season)

With that said, Tebow looks better on paper than some quarterbacks, and that's putting more statistics into consideration. Tebow and McCoy are the only ones on the list with more than 100 rushing yards.

Something else to look at is interceptions. Tim Tebow throws an interception for every 112.5 passes thrown, while McCoy's is every 49.57 passes thrown, Bradford's is every 58.16 passes thrown, and Harrell's is every 86.3 passes thrown.

Only Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas are in the top 50 overall in passes intercepted on the season out of the Big XII, so that makes those stats look even worse for Bradford, Harrell and McCoy, and that's without mention of the numerous ties which were found in the passes intercepted category among teams.

On note of the passes intercepted category, Florida has faced six opponents in the top 50 in passes intercepted. Since Tebow only has two interceptions all season, that goes to show that he's been just as good as his competition.

For a previous Heisman winner, he's not getting the respect and credit that he should.