Monday, August 17, 2009

Tim Tebow vs. Tommie Frazier

You may have missed this over the weekend, but Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald put together a fantastic column.

The premise: In all the talk about Tebow as the greatest college QB ever, don't forget about Tommie Frazier.

I couldn't agree more. I think Frazier may be the most underappreciated QB of all time, even if most fans will put him in their Top 5 all-time. (I certainly do.)

His team's records are unimpeachable -- that '94/'95 Nebraska mini-dynasty has been considered the greatest team of all time; I think that is the standard Florida shoots for this year.

Frazier himself was in complete mastery of the Huskers' offense, and even if it was mostly run-based, Frazier was a terrific passer, with an absurdly good TD-INT rate.

Frazier's myth only grew in 1995, when he led Nebraska to a romp in the season opener in New Jersey against West Virginia, then much of his season was lost to a blood clot, then re-emerged to annihilate then-unbeaten No. 2 Florida in the national-title tame.

What I liked most about Shatel's piece is that unlike most folks in Big 12 country making the case for Frazier, he actually talked with Tebow about Frazier.

Said Tebow: "I was a big Tommie Frazier fan growing up. I loved the way he played. I wanted to be just like him.''

Here is the big quote from Tebow:

I watch that Fiesta Bowl (1996 win over Florida) game two or three times a year. In fact, I just watched it a couple weeks ago. At the time, it made me cry because they were beating my team. But I love watching that run. What did he break, like, 27 tackles? Watching that game gets me going. It's an example of how you play the game. I loved all the Nebraska quarterbacks. I loved how they played the game, with their toughness, their leadership.

But I will save the last word for Frazier himself:

I see a lot of him in me. I see a quarterback who's not afraid to run the ball, not afraid to take charge. I see a quarterback who people feel can't throw the ball but still goes out and gets the job done. He's the leader of the team. Those are all qualities I hope I possessed. And hopefully when he watched me (growing up), he said, that's a guy that I like the way he plays the game.'

Outstanding, well-reported analysis. Kudos, Mr. Shatel. I think this will stand as the definitive reporting and analysis comparing Tebow to Frazier. And from a Nebraska guy!

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