"Some people asked me Saturday night if the loss to Alabama was going to hurt the legacy of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Not a chance. We will look back at Tebow’s time at Florida, which included two SEC championships, two national championships and a Heisman Trophy, and realize that he was one of the greatest players we have seen. No, he didn’t have the storybook ending with another trip to the national championship game. But that is what we love about sports. You don’t get to write your own ending like they do in the movies. There is a Mount Rushmore of SEC football and it includes Archie Manning (with a notation for his offspring), Herschel Walker, and Bo Jackson. Tim Tebow has now joined them."
-- Tony "Mr. College Football" Barnhart, on Tim Tebow's legacy.
I'm not quite sure I agree with Barnhart's assessment. Oh, I agree that Tebow is on the SEC Mount Rushmore -- hell, I think he's on the all-time college football Mount Rushmore, SEC or otherwise.
And I also agree that we will remember the titles and awards, in the same way we'll remember the other defining moments, like the Jump Pass, or the off-field mythologies that are infused into his larger legacy as a player.
But Barnhart is wrong that fans will simply dismiss Saturday as just another loss. It was a career-defining loss -- not the only career-defining moment in his career, by any stretch, but among them.
And you simply can't discount the "championship or fail" expectations from this season and the related stakes for the game, and how it WAS a failure. Not Tebow's failure alone, but something he will own for the same reason he would have owned the success.