VETTEL: Daniel Fails to Chase Down Tebow

Heading into the Big 12 Conference Championship Game it was increasingly clear that Chase Daniel had a chance to claim the Heisman Trophy with a superb performance. If Daniel could light up the Oklahoma Sooners while leading Missouri into the BCS Title Game, the Missouri quarterback would likely have claimed the top individual honor in college sports as well.

It didn't happen.

Chase Daniel wasn't terrible Saturday night, but he did nothing special while his team was clobbered 38-17 in the biggest game in school history. To put that thrashing into context, Florida's three losses were by a combined 19 points. The Missouri offense, which had scored over 30 points in all 12 games this season, made it into the end zone just once. Daniel finished with a rather pedestrian stat line, 23-for-39, 219 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He did run for Missouri's only TD, but managed just 26 yards on eleven carries for the day.

Final Numbers Favor Gator

Missouri's loss eliminated, or at least dramatically reduced Daniel's biggest advantage over Tim Tebow in the Heisman debate. Tebow's three losses don't look so bad compared with Daniel's two and the two schools are likely to be ranked within a couple of places of each other when the final BCS ratings come out. So let's look at the final stats:

Passing ---

Tim Tebow --- 217-of-317, 68.5 percent completion, 3,132 yards, 29 TDs, 6 INTs

Chase Daniel --- 372–of-534, 69.7 completion percent, 4,170 yards, 33 TDs, 10 INTs

Rushing ---

Tim Tebow --- 194 carries, 838 yards, 4.3 per carry, 22 TDs

Chase Daniel --- 104 carries, 294 yards, 2.8 yards per carry, 4 TDs

Daniel has the edge on combined yardage by almost 500 yards, but Tebow has a significant advantage in yards per play (7.77 to 7.00 which is almost one yard per play).

But the biggest thing that keeps Tebow ahead is the combined touchdowns. Daniel might warrant a slight edge in the passing game, but Tebow's role as a running threat dwarfs Daniel's occasional impact. Tebow is the first played in the history of major college football to run and pass for more than 20 touchdowns in the season. He has set the SEC record for rushing touchdowns, and his combined 51 touchdowns are 17 more than Daniel's.

So the decision is easy for me, Tim Tebow gets my vote for the Heisman with Chase Daniel second on my ballot. I like to use my third slot for a non-traditional candidate and if he had been healthy all year there's no doubt in my mind that spot would have gone to Glenn Dorsey of LSU. However Dorsey hasn't been the same player since a cheap shot chop block in the Auburn game. So I'm going with Virginia defensive end Chris Long who is among the nation's best with 14 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He almost single-handedly made Virginia a contender in the ACC and gets the nod over South Florida's George Selvie for his consistency.

So that's my Heisman ballot, what would yours look like?

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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