Thursday, September 3, 2009

The 2009 Season in Tebow: Expectations

If I could use one word to describe Tim Tebow on the football field in 2009 -- as well as the entire Florida team -- it would be this:


There is no margin for error: Win the national title, or the season is a failure.

Those are the highest stakes possible. And, listening to Tebow (or Spikes or Meyer) throughout the past 8 months, you get the sense that they would want it no other way.

Sports immortality -- something like, say, "Greatest College Football Player Ever" -- is not handed out easily. It must be earned, through a gauntlet.

There is no greater gauntlet than "If you don't win a title," in Florida's case, that probably means losing a single game, "your season is a failure and your career will be convincingly diminished."

Look no further than Matt Leinart and USC in 2005: Failures. (Or, on the flip side, what beating Leinart and the Trojans in '05 did for Vince Young and Texas: Immortality.)

Yes, the team has to win the SEC East, then the SEC championship game. Yes, the team then has to beat another juggernaut -- most likely, a phenomenal (and motivated) Texas team that will have fans shouting "2005!" all over again.

But Tebow and Co. are battling their own potential -- to be the best, the greatest, the "all-time."

That will take care of itself, as long as Tebow and Co. take care of their business.

Florida fans -- and fans across the country -- expect nothing less.

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