The SEC Power Poll is releasing their All-SEC team all day on Team Speed Kills, SB Nation's SEC Blog. During the day check back with Team Speed Kills for the newest additions to the team. Here is the first selection.
Tim Tebow's season began September 27. Over the course of the previous four weeks, he watched his Florida Gators team roll over what he thought were three very good teams. Tebow didn't have to do much either. The game was coming easy to UF, just like it should be. But September 27 would be the end of the old Tim Tebow. Without this, Gator fans would have never seen this;
And that is why Tim Tebow is our unanimous selection for quarterback of the SEC Power Poll All-SEC Team.
At the start of the 2008 season, Tebow's Gators were not the class of the SEC. That honor belonged to the Georgia Bulldogs and their NFL-style quarterback Matt Stafford. When Tebow delivered his now famous guarantee, it looked like there was no chance the Gators would win a bowl game, much less the SEC. But later that night, the SEC's other great quarterback could not rally his team either.
Their styles are as different as their fans, but Stafford and Tebow are linked. Even now, it is Stafford who is talked about as the greater quarterback, not the kid going for his fourth ring (SEC, BCS) in three seasons. To assume that Tebow was not thinking about this heading into the Florida-Georgia game misses something. This is not the old Tebow. The old Tebow wanted to defeat you. The new Tebow wants to destroy you.
Numbers wise, Tebow is not the offensive powerhouse he was. That was expected as it was accurately predicted that Jeff Demps, Percy Harvin and Chris Rainey would carry the ball a lot more. Tebow has 40 touchdowns this season, 12 on the ground. His 3079 yards of total offense (236.8 ypg) is 38th nationally and second in the SEC to Stafford (270 ypg). For the 2008 Gators, Tebow did not need to account for 55 touchdowns, like in 2007. But the team needed him to maintain their focus.
Such was the case at Florida State in the regular season finale. All the elements of a ‘trap game' were there; terrible weather, a rival trying to snap a losing streak, the SEC East already locked up. When Harvin went down early, Tebow became enraged at the response of the Seminole fans. A shellshocked Gator team followed Tebow's lead and won by 30 points in Bobby Bowden's building.
Other quarterbacks have led teams to comeback victories, but Tebow had never been one. When Alabama scored 10 unanswered to erase a Gator halftime lead, Tebow needed to play perfect ball to overcome the 20-17 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. Tebow was 5-5 for 72 yards in the air and gained another nine on the ground. The Gators took 10:24 off the clock over the course of both drives. Not only did Tebow make the plays, he was calm in the huddle and jacked up on the sidelines, challenging his defense.
On numbers and technique, Tebow was not the best quarterback in the SEC. But for his leadership and his unmatched competitiveness, Tim Tebow is our unanimous selection for quarterback of the SEC Power Poll All-SEC Team.
For the rest of the team, please visit Team Speed Kills.