Tim Tebow’s story has been told and re-told and told once more. Everyone knows the words. From a deeply religious family, Tim Tebow was home-schooled before becoming a legend at his Jacksonville high school. And right around the time Tebow was making waves on the high school football field, Urban Meyer took over at Florida and made Tebow a top recruiting priority. The rest, as they say, is history.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Tebow’s time at Florida has been the stuff of legend. If college football had its own history textbook, the Tebow’s Gators over the past four years would have its own chapter. Truly, he’s been that good, for that long. Even as a freshman, he played a key role for Meyer’s Gators, and had fans in the swamp cooing over his every move on-and-off-the-field.
And yeah, off-the-field, Tebow’s been every bit the legend he was on it. The All-American smile and good looks, the deference to his coaches, teammates, and peers, and his unfailing religious devotion has won him millions of fans across the country and in the media. When he won the Heisman two years, it was part of a dream career that continued with last year's National Championship win, and another fabulous showing this year. From the beginning, he's been preternaturally gifted in ways that seem to defy the laws of the universe. Without a doubt, he’ll go down in history as one of the best ever.
But what about this season? With lackluster performances against Tennessee and Mississippi State, however preternaturally gifted, Tebow looked painfully human. And at no point did he look more vulnerable than last week vs. Alabama, when Florida was dismantled at the hands of the Crimson Tide. Afterward, Tebow could be seen openly weeping on the sidelines. About as human as it gets.
Tebow’s had a fabulous career—and no doubt he had his moments this season—but now comes tonight’s big question: Will Heisman voters remember his performances against Tennessee and Alabama, or reward him for a brilliant career with one, final exclamation point?