Monday, August 17, 2009

College Football's Top Villains: Tebow No. 3?'s Chris Low is on to an interesting gimmick. First he picked out the top "villains" for every SEC program (He had Alabama's biggest current villain as Tebow, naturally.)

Then he stretched -- perhaps a bit too far -- in expanding that to biggest villains in all of college football.

He ranked Tim Tebow as the No. 3 villain in all of college football. Hunh? Here was Low's take:
They love him in Florida. And why not? He's the perfect player and a perfect role model. But everywhere else, they're sick of hearing about him and even sicker about him beating up on their teams.
Low seems to ascribe "Tebow fatigue" to non-Florida fans hearing about him too much and being bitter that he keeps beating their teams. Does "sick of" equal "hate?" Don't think so.

I'm not sure that makes a player a "villain." To me, "villains" have to have some sort of nasty side. Being overexposed and a winner isn't quite villainy, as we traditionally think about it.

Let's use the most visceral criteria for "villain":

You wouldn't want a villain coaching or playing for your team. I don't want Lane Kiffin coaching my team. I don't want Lawrence Phillips playing for my team. I think everyone in America -- outside of Norman or Austin -- would want Tebow on their team.

You know my feeling about this: I actually don't think there is a Tebow fatigue or Tebow backlash or Tebow hate or, least of all, Tebow "villainy." There is begrudging respect, even from the biggest rivals in the SEC (see Tennessee's Clay Travis, or even Lane Kiffin himself).

And that is arguably Tebow's greatest achievement of all.

(By the way: Low ranking Barack Obama as the No. 2 villain in college football, simply because Obama weighed in on wanting a playoff in college football -- a point Low agrees with! -- seems odd, almost in a weird has-nothing-to-do-with-sports-Low-just-hates-Obama way. As a throwaway joke at the back of his Top 5? Maybe. At No. 2? That's just cred-undermining.)

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