Tebow will Turn Attention to BCS

NEW YORK --- Tim Tebow may be one of the fiercest competitors in the country and the battle for the Heisman Trophy was no different. Every statistic pointed towards Sam Bradford winning the 2008 Heisman just like every statistic pointed towards Tebow winning last year's Trophy. But that was no consolation for Florida's quarterback after Saturday's outcome.

Tim Tebow approached this year's Heisman the same way he approached Saturdays during the fall. Whether it's on the gridiron, in the classroom or in the chase for college football's biggest individual prize, Tebow is a competitor. So he was visibly disappointed after watching Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford win the 2008 Heisman Trophy.

He didn't have the emotional response he showed back in September after the Gators lost to Ole Miss by one point in The Swamp, but he also didn't shrug off his third place finish in the Heisman voting.

"Obviously as a competitor, I would have loved to win," Tebow said. "But I'm happy for Sam and I would have been happy for Colt [McCoy]."

Tebow became just the second Heisman finalist in history to win the majority of the first place votes, but not win the total vote. Not only did he carry more first place votes than both Bradford and McCoy, but he also carried more third place votes than them. The difference in this year's vote was in the number of second place votes, which was mostly decided in the Southwest region.

Tebow received the fewest amount of votes in the Southwest region than any of the finalists in any of the six regions. Tebow was left off many of the ballots in the region in favor of Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree.

"If you lose, you lose," Tebow said. "I do think it shows that they either love us or they hate us. That's the Gator Nation."

In the 904 ballots cast, Tebow was left off more than 150 of them – 750 voters had Tebow on their ballot. McCoy was only left off of 120, and the winner Bradford was left off fewer than 100 ballots.

Four different players from the Big 12 Conference received votes. Harrell and Crabtree were listed on 143 and 83 ballots, respectively. USC's Rey Maualuga also showed up on four ballots. The majority votes not cast for the three finalists came from western schools, and those votes prevented Tebow from winning his second straight Heisman.

With the weekend over, Tebow is ready to get back to Gainesville and his teammates and begin preparing for the BCS national Championship. During the car ride from the announcement to the media reception, Tebow had already received texts from members of the Gator defense pointing towards the game on January 8.

"I'm happy for him, and at least we still get to play on January 8," Tebow said. "I'm kind of excited about that. … It maybe gives me more motivation for one more year to catch Archie."

With the Gators facing Bradford and Oklahoma in the BCS title game, he won't use losing the Heisman to him as motivation. He said there's plenty of motivation already to win Florida's third national title.


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