Tebow falls in Scripps Heisman straw poll

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow fell out of the top spot he has held since the beginning of the season. Earning only two of 10 first-place votes (he had six last week), Tebow fell to fifth behind Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram (4), Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen (1), Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum (1) and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy (1). Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking their own top five. This is the closest the Heisman race has been in the Scripps straw poll all season.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow for Heisman? Brantley better? Bye good for Georgia? Kiffin/Mullen reprimanded.

1 » After his performances the last two weeks, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow has raised doubts in the media and among fans whether or not he deserves consideration for the Heisman Trophy. There seem to be three prevailing thoughts on this issue. One that wants to play a wait-and-see approach, another that looks at the big picture and realizes the Heisman is about more than just a statistics, and a third that thinks he should not even be in contention for the award. Be sure to read the first article in full if you are a doubter.

2 » On that note, some Florida fans have actually expressed their desire to see what this team would be like with John Brantley at the helm instead of Tebow. Two ESPN columnists apparently received numerous e-mails and comments displaying this exact sentiment. I suppose I can see where fans would have this curiosity. But at the same time, it is a pretty ridiculous ideology to have at this point in time.

Two more BITS and a little extra after the jump…
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow for Heisman? Brantley better? Bye good for Georgia? Kiffin/Mullen reprimanded.

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FOUR BITS: Defense resilient; Tebow not Heisman worthy; Soccer wins, in 2nd; Donovan overlooked

1 » In the unit’s worst performance of the season, the Florida Gators defense gave up 357 yards and 20 points to the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday. Distraught after the game and with a line ravaged with injuries, the defense is still keeping its head up and looking forward. “Our defense was crushed after that game,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “There’s only a couple of ways to analyze it: Are you winning games and are you statistically doing a good job? I think they’re doing great. I think there’s a defensive coordinator [Charlie Strong] that has very, very high expectations, a defensive staff, and more importantly, some players who felt like we could have played much better, and that’s kind of cool. I like that.” Gator Nation does too, Coach.

2 » While Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow is the leader of his team, tough as nails when it counts and a media darling, he is not deserving of Heisman Trophy consideration right now, writes Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald. “This isn’t a knock on Tebow,” Gutierrez contends. “This is more a criticism of the system that defines a Heisman candidate. Tebow can be the best player in college football. Not many would argue he isn’t. But it doesn’t mean he is having the best season.”

3 » The No. 12 University of Florida soccer team (12-4-2, 6-1-2 SEC) took it to the No. 17 LSU Tigers (10-4-3, 6-2-1 SEC) on Thursday, shutting them out with a 4-0 victory at home in James G. Pressly Stadium. The Gators scored a pair of goals in each half and, with the win, have moved to second place in the SEC standings. With only two games left on the league schedule (at Arkansas Razorbacks on Oct. 26 and vs. No. 10 and SEC leader South Carolina Gamecocks on Oct. 30), Florida is within striking distance of first place being only two points back.

4 » With his team missing March Madness in back-to-back seasons, a lack of luster surrounding the program and attention being paid to newly crowned head coach John Calipari and his Kentucky Wildcats, Gators basketball head coach Billy Donovan is no longer the media darling he once was at the SEC Media Day.

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Pressure mounting on Gators team and staff

Defending a National Championship is not an easy thing to do. Returning a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in senior Tim Tebow and a two-deep defense should have made things easier. But expectations for the Florida Gators to achieve the first undefeated season in University of Florida football history is putting plenty of pressure on those involved in the program.

“A lot of pressure on this team to perform on a very high level — on these coaches, on the trainers, on the weight coaches, on the secretaries, on everyone associated with our program, a lot of pressure — and I love that,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I feel it around the office. We want to play perfect, because the expectation level is to play at an extremely high level.” While that may be the case, Meyer understands why the expectations are so high. “It’s the Florida Gators, and Florida Gators have high expectations. But that’s why all these kids choose to come here, and that’s why these coaches choose to come here.”

As mentioned earlier, Florida’s two-deep defense was expected to be a strength for the team in 2009. Yet while Gator Nation is making a fuss about the lack of playmakers on offense, it seems to be overlooking the disappearance of playmakers on defense. In 2008, the Gators defense forced 33 turnovers, 24 of which were interceptions. In 2009? Florida has only taken away nine balls – seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Yes, injuries have ravaged the unit at this point – most of the defensive front seven is banged up. Nevertheless, the Gators defense must start to make some plays and play up to its capabilities for the remainder of the season.

Slive suspends SEC officials: Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive has suspended the officiating crew from the Florida Gators vs. Arkansas Razorbacks game last Saturday until Nov. 14. “While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play,” Slive said. ” I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program.” Slive also stated that the officiating in the crew’s last two games has “not been to the standard that we expect.”

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QB Tim Tebow leads Heisman, wins OGGOA poll

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow earned six of the 10 first-place votes. Alabama Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram followed him with three votes while Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen received one vote. Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum and Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy did not receive a single first-place vote. Voting tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with each voter ranking their own top five. This is the closest the Heisman race has been in the Scripps straw poll all season.

Tebow won another poll this week, OGGOA‘s, which began on Sunday and asked who your MVP was for Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks. 183 of you registered votes and the results are in. Tebow narrowly defeated kicker Caleb Sturgis who (after missing his first attempt) nailed three consecutive field goals including a 51-yarder and game-winning 37-yarder. I was actually surprised by this result as I figured Sturgis would have earned the gratitude of Gator Nation for his game-winning kick. This was Tebow’s first OGGOA weekly MVP award.

Be sure to vote in the new poll up now!

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Gator Bites for Tuesday, October 20th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across tidbits and small news items we want to share with our readers. In those instances, we will be present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

- On behalf of Nissan, America receives one official vote in the Heisman Trophy selection process. Cast yours for Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow here.

- For their game against the Florida Gators on Nov. 14, the South Carolina Gamecocks will be supporting and honoring the United States military by wearing camouflage uniforms.

- Did you know the Gators football team has not won a game in Starkville, MS, since 1985? In four road games against the Mississippi State Bulldogs since that year, Florida is 0-4. The team’s last loss at Davis-Wade Stadium served as the nail in the coffin that was Ron Zook‘s Florida head coaching career.

- Florida basketball tips off on Sunday, Nov. 15 at home; but before that happens, the team will be hosting the inaugural Rowdy Fest on Wed., Oct. 21, in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at 6:30 p.m. Rowdy Fest will be a tip-off party for the team that is held exclusively for UF students featuring members of the men’s basketball team and head coach Billy Donovan.

- University of Florida senior Stacey Johnson was named SEC Female Athlete of the Week for her outstanding performance in cross country at the Pre-NCAA Invitational.

- Last Thursday, OGGOA noted that the Gators would be featured on a limited edition cereal box cover that would be available for both in stores and online. The Official Online Gator Sportshop has begun selling this product now – so go purchase it if you so please.

- Coming off one of its best seasons in the program’s history, the Florida softball team has announced its 2010 schedule.

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FOUR BITS: Injury updates. Hogs’ Smith out? Tebow/Mallett are opposites. Gator Growl.

1 » Florida Gators injury update for Saturday vs. Arkansas Razorbacks:
CB Moses Jenkins (concussion) – Out. Read this OGGOA story.
LB Jelani Jenkins (ankle) – Doubtful.
DL Lawrence Marsh (ankle) – In protective boot again. Doubtful.
DL Jaye Howard (knee) – Called “50-50” by Meyer. Questionable.
- Redshirt freshman Omar Hunter and senior Troy Epps will rotate on the inside.
WR Carl Moore (back) – Remains Out and struggling to get healthy.
CB Jeremy Brown (back) – Also remains Out, progressing faster than Moore.

2 » Arkansas Razorbacks star running back Michael Smith is being called a “game-time decision” by head coach Bobby Petrino to play on Saturday against the No.1 Florida Gators. Smith’s status remains in doubt after he tweaked his right hamstring in a Hogs win over the Auburn Tigers last weekend.

3 » Standing 6’7″ and 238 pounds, Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett is an example of your prototypical NFL passer. Tim Tebow, at 6’3″ and 242 pounds, serves as more of a physical threat with his strength, but often tucks and runs when Mallett would bide more time in the pocket. To paraphrase Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, Tebow has finally met his physical match – and polar opposite – at quarterback.

4 » Featuring former Gators National Championship and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel as host and entertainment including comedian Dana Carvey, band O.A.R. and dance troupe Jabbawockeez, the 2009 Gator Growl is looking to be a big-time hit. The world’s largest student-run pep rally is in its 86th year of existence and looks to entertain Gators fans and visitors Friday night in The Swamp!

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FOUR BITS: Moody ready; Tebow respected; NFL

1 » Sure, he’s hard more yards. He has certainly received more carries. Yet Saturday night in Death Valley, Florida Gators junior transfer running back Emmanuel Moody had his coming out party. Maybe it was the scene or maybe it was the importance of the game. In reality, it was the dominating nature at which Moody carved up the LSU Tigers defense to the tune of seven yards per carry (he’s averaging 9.6 YPC). Being unselfish, responsible and perseverant has gotten Moody to this point, and he does not plan on letting go. “It feels good just to be contributing this year,” Moody said. ” This year I feel more confident in what I’m doing, and it just feels great to be playing good ball right now.”

2 » Leadership, strength, character, talent, ability and faith are all qualities attributed to Florida senior quarterback Tim Tebow. One trait that may be overlooked in regard to Tebow is his teamwork. A highly publicized and highly regarded former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow has received plenty of criticism and doubt about his future in the NFL. Instead of using his senior season to boost his stats, show off for scouts and improve his draft stock, Tebow’s only goal is to give the Gators an undefeated season that culminates in a National Championship. “I don’t think an NFL coach or a scout is going to say, ‘Ah, you know, he did a bad job because he didn’t throw,’” Tebow said about Florida’s run-first offense this year. “No, he did what he was asked. They’ll probably look at that and say, ‘He did what he was asked to the best of his ability, and he did it OK.’”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Moody ready; Tebow respected; NFL

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