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BCS National Championship: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow might be worth a few more votes

BY DAVID WHITLEY - Orlando Sentinel Columnist Published: January 9, 2009
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — OK, so maybe Tim Tebow’s good enough to be the third-team quarterback on the All-Big 12 team.

He probably even got a few votes from Oklahoma precincts after Thursday night’s performance in the BCS National Championship game.

It wasn’t the prettiest game Tebow ever played, but it will go down as one of his best.

It began with two interceptions but ended in a national title. That’s No. 2 for Tebow if you’re counting at home, and I’m sure every Gators household is this morning.

What made the performance so memorable was how it started. Those two interceptions in the first half was as many as he had all season.

The second was snagged by Gerald McCoy, a 295-pound defensive tackle. That’s the kind of indignity that’s supposed to happen to sixth-team All-Big 12 quarterbacks, not Heisman heartthrobs such as Tebow. At that point, Florida fans had to be wondering who had inhabited the body wearing jersey No. 15.

It would have been a lot worse had Oklahoma remembered how to score. It racked up roughly a gazillion points in the regular season, but it will be remembered for failing on two goal-line chances Thursday night.

Tebow can thank Florida’s defense for keeping things close long enough for him to re-appear. It came after a 12-yard gain. Tebow popped up, ran toward the Gators sideline and went into one his fist-pumping frenzies.

His theatrics have gotten pretty old to Florida’s opponents. But you can’t argue with the effect they have on the performer. And as Tebow goes, so follow the Gators.

As he started to boil, the Fox network cut to the tape of Tebow’s post-game speech after the Gators’ loss to Ole Miss, the one where he vowed no player would work harder and or try harder the rest of the season. It’s been continually cited as the turnaround moment of Florida’s season. Tebow’s Heisman candidacy was built on him carrying Florida with his spirit more than his statistics.

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