Season statistics: 182-279 (65.2 completion percentage), 2,413 yards, 18 touchdowns, five interceptions, 203 carries, 859 yards, 13 touchdowns.
Why he deserves to win:
Go ahead, try and find a more successful career for a college quarterback. Two national championships, one Heisman Trophy, and his own play bearing his namesake (the “Tebow jump pass”), there are few players in the history of the sport to have made such a substantial impact.
He has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards, which is unusual for a quarterback of his style. Unlike many of the fleet-footed scramblers that leave defenders in their dust, Tebow is a quarterback in a fullback’s body. His bullish running style is unprecedented for a quarterback in the spread offense.
He also became the first quarterback in this decade to lead his team to back-to-back unbeaten seasons in the SEC.
Why he wouldn’t win:
While this season was solid, it was far from spectacular by Tebow’s standards. His production dipped in the passing game, throwing 12 fewer touchdowns than in 2008.
One of the knocks against his resume last year was his season was not as impressive as his sophomore campaign. If he didn’t win it last year, it’s unlikely the voters will give him the credit for an even less impressive year this time around.
Best game of 2009:
Two weeks after being knocked out of a game for the first time in his career with a concussion, Tebow took the field at Tiger Stadium against LSU. With coach Urban Meyer admittedly using a ‘conservative’ offensive game plan, Tebow was not sacked the entire game, and carried the ball 17 times for 38 yards. In the passing game, he completed 11-of-16 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.
However, it was not the statistics that defined this game for Tebow. It was his gutsy decision to play at all. He did not practice in between the Kentucky game (where he was hurt) and the LSU game, and was not medically cleared until the day before the game.
Many fans worried for the quarterback’s safety, even if he was medically allowed to play. The Tiger defense is not exactly a bunch of pussycats. It was one of the most courageous performances in recent memory.