Bad news for SEC

Quarterback Tim Tebow's decision to return for his senior season at Florida means one thing: Everyone else in the SEC is playing for second place ... again.

Tebow might not be the greatest quarterback in America but he is the greatest quarterback/short-yardage running back/leader in America by a country mile. That's why the Gators won the SEC title in 2008 and that's why, barring injury, they'll win it again in 2009.

Simply put, programs with quality quarterbacks win titles. It's no coincidence that teams quarterbacked by the last two Heisman Trophy winners – Florida (Tebow in 2007) and Oklahoma (Sam Bradford in '08) – met for the national title last week.

With Georgia losing Matthew Stafford and Alabama losing John Parker Wilson, the SEC will feature just two proven quarterbacks in 2009 – Tebow and Jevan Snead of Ole Miss.

The other 10 conference teams will be led by the likes of Stephen Garcia (South Carolina), Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee), Mackenzi Adams (Vanderbilt), Tyson Lee (Mississippi State), Jordan Jefferson (LSU), Mike Hartline (Kentucky), Kodi Burns (Auburn), Ryan Mallett (Arkansas), Joe Cox (Georgia) and Star Jackson (Alabama).

Do you really think any of those guys is capable of beating a team led by Tim Tebow? I didn't think so.

Tebow threw 32 touchdown passes and ran for another 23 in his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 2007. All told, he accounted for 55 TDs. To put that in perspective: That's four more touchdowns than Tennessee (26) and Auburn (25) combined to score in 2008.

Because Florida had more weapons in 2008, Tebow didn't have to carry as much of the load as he did in 2007. Even so, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,746 yards. His ratio of touchdowns passes (30) to interceptions (4) was astounding. Oh, yeah, and he led the Gators in rushing for the second year in a row.

Now, after helping Florida win two of the past three national titles, Tebow will return in 2009 to chase an undefeated season, another Heisman Trophy and another national title.

That leaves the rest of the SEC in a chase for second place.


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