Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Vote Tebow, Tebow

Today's Calls: Tim Tebow vs. Sam Bradford vs. Colt McCoy, K-Rod vs. J.J. Putz, Jason Richardson vs. Boris Diaw, Pierre Thomas vs. Matt Forte, Dan Mullen vs. Urban Meyer, John Daly vs. Joe Sakic and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Do you think Tim Tebow voted for himself for Heisman? ↵

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↵What if, like many voters, he sincerely thought he was the best player in the country? Doesn't he have an obligation to vote for himself? ↵

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↵But what if he felt uncomfortable — simply as someone who seems to have outsized humility relative to his physical stature — doing that? ↵

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↵And, yet, could you really picture a competitor like Tebow penciling in Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy ahead of himself, after he delivered The Promise and led Florida from BCS oblivion to being favored to win the national championship? ↵

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↵Actually, Tebow's choice should be the easiest of any: I hope he voted for himself, with a clear conscience. The alternatives are absurd. ↵

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↵Tebow's vote is only the most notable among the hundreds being cast for this year's Heisman, which is shaping up as the closest, most contentious and least predictable in a generation between Heisman finalists Tebow, McCoy and Bradford: ↵

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↵— HeismanPundit.com's straw poll went to Bradford. ↵

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↵— Scripps-Howard's straw poll went to McCoy. ↵

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↵— StiffArmTrophy.com's vote tracking shows the most first-place votes of publicly-declared voters going to Tebow. ↵

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↵— The fan vote for the Heisman (worth like 1/926th of the process, laughably) went to Bradford, by the slimmest of margins over McCoy. Tebow finished fifth. ↵

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↵The real challenge is for the rest of the 800-some media voters out there, far more conflicted than Tebow could ever could be: By geography. By qualification. By temperament. I trust the earnestness of Tebow's effort more than I trust the random 870 "experts" who somehow get a vote in this. ↵

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↵Given the tightest of margins between Oklahoma and Texas for the Big South title (and the slim difference between Florida and Texas for the No. 2 BCS spot), it would be appropriate if Tebow's Heisman vote was the difference. ↵

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↵I hope Tebow voted for himself. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: 33 points in one quarter?! Carmelo Anthony re-affirmed himself as a super-duper-star, tying George Gervin's 1978 record for points in a quarter with 33 (33!) Weirdly, he only had nine in the entire first half; there was no hint of the explosion that was coming: 12-for-15 FG (4-for-5 3pts), 5-for-6 FT. ↵

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↵(Melo's 33 isn't quite as majestic as Kobe's instantly legendary "81," but for 12 minutes' worth of work, it deserves its own place among eye-popping scoring achievements by this generation of NBA players.) ↵

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↵NBA Trade Mania: The Suns needed a change of pace — ever since they changed the pace by parting ways with Mike D'Antoni. So they exiled D'Antoni faves Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to Charlotte for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. J-Rich will offer springy scoring punch; Bell is an old Larry Brown player. ↵

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↵Even without Bell and Diaw — in addition to missing Shaq, who was at his great-grandmother's funeral — the Suns nearly beat the Lakers. Between that and L.A.'s loss to the Kings, what is up with the Lakers these days? Winning taking too much out of them? ↵

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↵And the short-handed Bobcats lost to the Hornets last night, but watch Charlotte's new starting guard D.J. Augustin, who took Richardson's spot. The rookie had a season-high 28 points (9-for-15 FG, 4-for-4 3pt), 7 assists and 4 steals in a team-high 37 minutes. ↵

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↵More trades: The Wizards got Javaris Crittenton from the Grizzlies and Mike James from the Hornets, sending Antonio Daniels to the Hornets and the Grizzlies' own conditional draft pick from the old J.C. Navarro trade back to Memphis. The Wiz needed to do something to energize the backcourt. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: The Cavs couldn't extend their streak of winning by 12+ points, but they did win their 10th straight. ... Fantasy Stud: Al Harrington (39 pts, 13 reb) in a Knicks’ win over the Nets. ... Rookie Watch: 22 straight double-figure scoring games to start a career for Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo, one more than Magic. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: It's still all about the Yankees and Mets. ↵

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↵— The Yankees are all set to sign CC Sabathia, the pitching prize of the free agent class, for a mere $161M, as discussed in-depth yesterday. The follow-up question is: Are the Yankees done with spending on pitchers, or might they go for A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe, too? ↵

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↵— The Mets now have TWO closers. After spending $37M on K-Rod, the Mets traded for Mariners closer J.J. Putz, whose agent did not sound happy that the Mets were eyeing Putz as a set-up man to their new, other closer. (Watch Putz's injury problems from last season.) ↵

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↵Teixeira Watch: Nats a player? The Nationals have reportedly offered Mark Teixeira something between 7Y/$150M and 10Y/$200M (the truth is probably somewhere in between, like the 8Y/$160M being reported by The Washington Post). The Nats needed to make a bold move to find a franchise cornerstone, and Teixeira would be the guy. It'll be expensive, though. I'm a fan of building through financial austerity and smart personnel moves, like the Rays did. ↵

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↵NFL Tonight: Saints at Bears, in a battle between two 7-6 teams that are both as close to a must-win situation as a team can be in without literally being in a sudden-death scenario. The Saints are 1-5 on the road and weather conditions won't be friendly for Drew Brees (4,100 yds). ↵

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↵Watch the young RBs: Sophomore Pierre Thomas is coming off the best game of his career, and rookie Matt Forte has already broken Gale Sayers Bears' rookie record for yards from scrimmage. Both have had fantasy stud seasons and seem to have bright futures. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, in a must-read, Mike Florio backs up my claim from Monday that the Eagles — if they make the playoffs — would be the most dangerous team. That's a big fat "if" they make the playoffs, though. ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Florida O.C. Dan Mullen to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs went with the hot inexperienced assistant — Urban Meyer's protege and Tim Tebow's mentor — over someone with previous head-coaching experience. It will be sink-or-swim for Mullen in the rugged SEC West. ↵

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↵Rumor is that Mullen will stay on as Florida O.C. through the national-title game, but you have to believe his new employers would like him to be focused 100 percent on recruiting and laying the foundation for his program. Expect Urban Meyer to look in-house (WR coach Billy Gonzalez) as the new O.C. ↵

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↵Here's Some Sidebar Intrigue: The Florida message boards were lit up yesterday afternoon with speculation that defensive coordinator Charlie Strong would get the head-coaching job at Central Florida, as soon as UCF ejects scandal-magnet George O'Leary. ↵

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↵More CFB Awards: Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo "Raks" up another. He won the Lombardi (best lineman or linebacker), which goes nicely with his Nagurski (top defensive player) and his Big 12 Defensive POY trophy (which should come with an asterisk ... like: "Top defensive player ... CONSIDERING IT'S THE BIG 12.") ↵

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↵CFB Transfermania: Penn State QB Pat Devlin, the player most responsible for Penn State beating Ohio State in Columbus — coming off the bench to replace injured Darryl Clark — recognizes he won't start, so he wants to go somewhere he will. ↵

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↵Ironically, by the time he's eligible, Clark will be gone. Guess Devlin would rather sit for a year elsewhere and then start for two rather than sit for a year at Penn State and start for one. (Hey, Dan Mullen needs a new QB — can Devlin run the spread?) ↵

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↵CBB Last Night: My three most intriguing Top 10 teams roll easily. Will we look back and realize that three-fourths of the Final Four were represented by Gonzaga, Oklahoma (Griffin: 22 and 10 on 11-for-13 FG) and Xavier? Beyond UNC, I can't think of three more worthy teams this season. ↵

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↵Syracuse's Devendorf suspended for rest of season? That's what a school conduct board would like to see happen, after a female student alleged that Eric Devendorf hit her in the face. He is a big part of the Orange's Top 25 run this season; we'll see how hard Jim Boeheim fights to keep him active. ↵

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↵Golf: More fun with John Daly. At the Australian Open, Daly grabbed someone's camera from the gallery and smashed it against a tree. He's such a sweetie. ↵

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↵Economy Update: The Arena Football League hasn't cancelled it's 2009 season, per yesterday's item. Um: Yet. You really, really want to be adding a big fat "yet" to that statement. ↵

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↵Injury of the Month: Joe Sakic breaks three fingers in a snow-blower mishap. ↵

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↵The Last Word: I don't get a real vote for the Heisman, but if I did, I would have voted for Tebow. ↵

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↵I went into this season thinking there was no way Tim Tebow would win a second Heisman. But then there was The Promise, then the streak of wins. And, no knock on Bradford and McCoy, they have just as many weapons and equal records — but Tebow is the superior competitor. ↵

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↵Even up until last Saturday afternoon, I was ready to give my vote to Colt McCoy. But after the SEC title game, in which Tebow seemed to will Florida to the win, he won me over as the best player in college football. My ballot: ↵

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↵1. Tebow ↵

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↵2. McCoy ↵

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↵3. Bradford ↵

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↵SN's Matt Hayes gave his vote to Tebow, calling him the "greatest amateur player in a team sport. Ever." That's not much different from the superlative I've been throwing around for Tebow for the past year: Greatest college football player of all time. ↵

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↵Good to see Hayes is on board. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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