February 16, 2019

McFadden Finishes As Heisman Runner-Up Again

Colt Brennan / Chase Daniel / Darren McFadden / Tim Tebow (AP Photo/Kelly Kline, Pool)
ESPN.com: Florida QB Tebow is first underclassman to win Heisman

Tim Tebow needed only two years of college to graduate to Heisman Trophy winner, putting the sophomore in a class by himself.

[…] He beat out Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, the first player since 1949 to finish second in consecutive seasons. Tebow received 1,957 points and 462 first-place votes to McFadden’s 1,703 points and 291 first-place votes.


Colt Brennan / Darren McFadden / Tim Tebow / Chase Daniel (AP Photo/David Karp) Darren McFadden / Tim Tebow / Chase Daniel / Colt Brennan (AP Photo/David Karp) Colt Brennan / Chase Daniel / Darren McFadden / Tim Tebow (AP Photo/Kelly Kline, Pool) Darren McFadden (AP Photo/Kelly Kline, Pool) Darren McFadden (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Updated 12/9/07 8:30 a.m.


  1. RazorbackinTexas says:

    Well, even the Florida (Tebow) fans were telling everyone that ESPN (Walt Disney) had picked their Heisman champion (Tebow) way in advance of the award date (Saturday, Dec 8, 2007). This year there was a Tebow blitz, fully buttressed by ESPN Sports (the Heisman host).

    With their widespread television productions and coverage, ESPN swings a lot of weight with the media writers whom are somewhat obliging to ESPN and whom apparently, have MORE votes than most any other group of voters for the Heisman, including the football coaches themselves (whom obviously best know football, the candidates performance angles, etc.)

    I can’t knowingly speculate on why the award went to Tebow (Soph) in a special adaptation of the unwritten rules for vote, but something seems fishy (First time in the Heisman history of over 70 years that a SOPH was selected).

    When going onto the internet to ESPN’s own “Heisman Watch” and reading the comments made by Florida fans (It’s their right to be there and make their comments, but) which were widespread and vary disparaging toward other candidates, their states and their fans, I was shocked. I made comments trying to point out the differences between McFadden (the only running back candidate) and Tebow. Florida (Tebow) was 9-3 and almost lost to ‘Ol Miss (a bottom-dweller in the SEC) by 6 points. Another NCAA quarterback had better overall stats than Tebow. Not quite an awe-inspiring competitive performance by Tebow. As far as quarterbacks, I would have chosen Colt Brennan whom had better stats and was UNDEFEATED.

    Surprisingly, I was kicked off the ESPN Heisman Watch Comments Board (Could not make any more comments without requesting reinstatement – why and under what decision-making rules and authority?). I’ve written to ask but I think it was because I listed McFadden’s performance and awards Nationally and in the SEC (including Offensive Player of the Year where the SEC coaches voted and McFadden won and Tebow did not), which when all stacked up, questioned Tebow’s record in comparison. With media giants (in this case ESPN, the Heisman program originator, owned by Walt Disney) monitoring public comments and deciding what can and cannot be said in such a public competitive discourse, in order to present all sides, where is the sport heading? – will it be run by the television media giants to then move their influence into the entire system – NFL, NCAA, High Schools to control as they wish?

    When I watched the Heisman awards, I was pleased by the background and demeanor of Tebow, the man. His stats were good – he’ll be o-k as the Heisman winner, BUT, was it the right choice based on the candidates’ common records and based on the unwritten rules for selection for over 70 years?- what happened this year, behind the scenes, ESPN?

  2. mike in magnolia says:

    RT, The media has played a major roll in who is selected since the Archie Griffin days. If you look back at Griffins senior season you will see that 5 running backs rushed for more yards and that he only had 5 rushing touchdowns. How did this happen? The media wanted the first repeat Hiesman winner and the manipulated the votes in thier favor.

    Sports media is no differnce than the news media. We are nly given what they want us to have.

    I too admire Tebow. I appreciate his commitment to his faith and his humbleness. As far as his character he seems like the kind of young man that you would want your daughter to bring home. I do think that McFadden was the only canidate that could single handley win a game and he proved it. They all have great futures ahead of them and I wish them all the best.

    We had three years to enjoy one of the greatest runninbacks, not only in the SEC but in the modern day history of football. For that I am truely grateful. By the time my grandson his old enough the Legend of DMac will be so great he will think that Darrin could actually walk on water.

  3. Carolina Hog says:

    The espn agenda was overwhelming. They take a vote from the public which is a tie, but 90% of espn talking heads pick Tebow. They were already saying that if McFadden won it was because voters punished Tebow for being a soph. not because DMAC was better. Its amazing that they can read minds that well. I also blame our PR department. Last night ESPN mentioned DMACs all purpose yeards being more than any player in SEC history. That’s the first I’d heard of that. That should have been the number used to argue against Tebow’s TD’s. We also should have made people more aware of the fact that DMACs poor games came with bruised ribs. All I heard was how brave Tebow was for playing with a broken hand and how lousy DMAC was in those 4 games.

  4. Cajun Hog says:

    The Heisman trophy is a joke now. Is Troy Smith even playing in the NFL, and did Danny Wuerfel ever play. ESPN commentators stuck on Tebow, and just ran with it all season. Didn’t SEC coaches pick Darren McFadden to be player of the year in the SEC. I may be wrong about that.

    These days you have to be a quarterback with huge numbers, or on an undefeated team.

  5. Hawgfan100 says:

    Darren was picked the Offensive Player of the Year in the SEC. Heisman: Greatest Football Player in college? What a joke! I never paid much attention before and certainly won’t from this point forward.

    Raorbackintexas: it’s a shame you ran across the ass-end of Florida fans on the ESPN website. Last year in the title game, my friend (who’s a die-hard Georgia fan but who wore a Hog shirt and did his best to root for the Boys that night) and I sat next to some Gator fans who’d had a bit too much to drink. Still, they were respectful and courteous. They even complimented us on what great fans we were (my friend got a big kick out of that)!

    I half-expected the Florida fans to, shall we say, difficult to deal with but was pleasantly surprised. Now don’t get me started on Alabama or Texas fans…!

  6. Jim Daly Sr. says:

    I’m reading a lot of sour grapes here. I too had my fingers crossed that DMac would win it, but I also have a grip on reality. Tebow’s stats were just good? 51 combined TDs in the SEC was just good? Anyone who had watched Florida’s games would know why they call Tebow superman. He carried that team on his shoulders for the much of the season. SEC defensive coodinators figured out ways of stopping DMac (actually Nutt), but they had no answer for Tebow. He never had a bad game, injured or not. At any other time, without Tebow, DMac would have been a unanimous selection. But that’s life. Tebow reminds me of Vince Young, formerly of Texas. Young’s single handedly, in two of the greatest individual performances I ever witnessed, beat Michigan and USC in back to back bowls. If you’all want to think that Tebow didn’t deserve it then go ahead, but I would suggest you look at how the regions voted. Except for the Southwest they went for Tebow. Also, if he makes you feel good to rationalize that it was the Florida Hype machine that influenced everybody then go ahead, ignore performance. (For those of you who have read my previous posts, I predicted early in the season, that if Tebow countinued to shine that the Florida PR people would make Tebow a serious contender. I was right, but Tebow eventually didn’t need the press). One thing being missed here is that DMac was a running back who could throw some, and Daniel and Brennan were primarily throwers who could run some, but Tebow combined both skills to set a NCAA. record for combined scoring on the ground and in the air. I suspect that some of the complaints here are from those who have never seen a Florida game. I would suggest that look at some reruns, and if you do, you just might reassess your definition of “good”.

    DMac is a great player. The best running back in Arkansas’ history. It’s a shame that he didn’t win the Heisman. It’s only my opinion, but if Nutt had opened up the offense earlier in the season in the big games, that DMac’s combined stats would have been much better,. and put him in a stronger position to win the Heisman. I am hoping that DMac, with his competitiveness, will try to prove the voters wrong, and hang it all out there against Missouri.

    By the way, I also thnk that Troy Smith’s win was not deserved. His was far more due to OSU’s reputation than performance. When Ginnn went down in the bowl game, Smith was revealed as a paper Buckeye. Remember everyone in the Midwest and Northeast was saying that the Buckeyes were one of the greatest teams of all time (Hah!). This certainly played a major role in Smith’s selection. (Tebow also had a role in that come down event). Florida this year landed much higher in the final poll standings than Arkansas which might have also played a role in Tebow’s selection. This consensus of relative team strength is somewhat supported by the experts now thinking that Michigan (3rd in the Big Ten) is toast in the bowl game with the Gators. (3rd in the SEC East). Last thought. Nutt didn’t win the West, the Conference Championship and Darren didn’t win the Heisman. Nutt failed on all 3 accounts (and with 7 all SEC players and one (Monk) who previously was an SEC selection). .

  7. OwassoHog says:

    I lost all confidence in the Heisman award once Peyton Manning lost. If you go back and do a review, there is probably been less agreement with the fans vs. voters for the Heisman winners than for the teams playing in the National Championship games.

  8. We seen this coming for a long time. D-Mac finishing 2nd is pretty good, considering how foolishly Nutt used him early in the season. While Nutt was stubbornly doing things his way with D-Mac, Tebow took over the reigns with the Gators, as the starting QB this year, and was completely utilized as a passer and a runner by the Gator coaches, and was consistant all year. Also, if you look back at the season stats this year, D-Mac had 17 fumbles, in which he lost 8. For whatever reason, D-Mac became a little bit “loose” with the football this year. I wanted him to win the Hiesman as bad as anyone, but facts are facts, and Tebow had the most productive season overall. Also, saying that Brennan played on an undefeated team is a moot point. It has nothing to do with those player’s individual performances. Tebow also played against the same defenses that D-Mac played against, and the comparison of those, compared to the one’s that Brennan played against, aren’t even debateble. Daniels played against some petty tough competition this year, and was definately the leader of his offense. I was impressed with him, but he still didn’t have the season Tebow did. The bottom line, is I still think D-Mac is the best football player in America. Unfortunately, he just wasn’t in a position to prove it.

  9. “While Nutt was stubbornly doing things his way with D-Mac, Tebow took over the reigns with the Gators, as the starting QB this year, and was completely utilized as a passer and a runner by the Gator coaches, and was consistant all year.”

    Tebow should not forget to give credit to Nutt for his Heisman.

  10. Congrats to Tebow and DMac on two great seasons. When comparing stats between the two, I thought it was a toss-up as to who would really win. Then once I figured ESPN into the equation, I figured Tebow was a shoe-in.

    That said, there were two things I keyed in on during the whole Heisman debate:

    * Comparing a QB to a RB is difficult to do when the QB will touch the ball nearly 100% of every play on offense. Case in point, when DMac was the main QB during LSU, his numbers went up big time.

    * Hearing previous Heisman winners talk about their vote, it sounded like a majority of them voted for DMac. Their opinion is that if a QB is to win the trophy, he needs to have played their team into the national championship game. Amazing year aside for Tebow, I agree with that statement.

    What an interesting year for college football. Here’s to hoping that DMac continues his success in the Cotton Bowl and the NFL.

  11. Reason Rules says:

    Tough to beat a quarterback. Didn’t help that we played four patsies.

    Personally I think DMac deserved it last year, but thought Tebow deserved it this year. Both will be playing in the NFL soon.

  12. DMac conducted himself with total class. We are all honored to have had him represent us on the national football stage. It will be hard not to be an NFL fan next year!

  13. Hawgfan100 says:

    “I’m reading a lot of sour grapes here.”

    Darren is picked as the best offensive player in the SEC but Tebow beats him out for the most prestigious award in the sport?! Complaining about that isn’t sour grapes; it’s calling it for what it is: Bullshit. EOS.

  14. MissSTDog says:

    To the guy mentioning how Tebow is like Vince Young…odd that Vince didn’t win the heisman but Tebow did.

    Why? Because Bush had all of the ESPN/Writers hype much like Tebow a player who did Tebow one better by going undefeated and winning the national title with the same style of play doesn’t win but the over-hyped “golden boy” on USC wins…so I doubt it is a lot of people “imagining things” when year in year out this happens.

  15. I feel a personal loss just being a part of the Arkansas sports fan community. I can’t begin to imagine the disppointment that Darren and his family are enduring. There are those that say he should be accustomed to loss after being coached by a mediocre coach without imagination or insight into the game. Darren with his competitive effort gave his best in every game he played, healthy or hurt, but he couldnt play every position or coach the team.

  16. The hell with ESPN!

  17. Jim Daly Sr. says:

    About Vince Young. I thought he should have won it. That there is a lot of hype and PR that goes into voting is true and Southern Cal has a lot of PR. (They own the West Coast media) In my opinion I don’t think that it’s possible to have a “best” player award. They should have a Heisman for each position (and even there you would have controversy). As I said before, remember all the hype about OSU and Michigan last year. This was due to the very large number of media people in the Midwest and in the East. (Consider where these TV sports programs, such as ESPN and magazines such as SI, originate from). This would explain in part, Smith winning it. Going back to Young, I have a somewhat paranoid view of sports writers. Many of these guys (and I suppose some gals) have gone to journalism schools that have a very liberal, left wing bent. Or they work for newspapers who are just that. Sorry folks, but the main stream media types do not like the South. I think that the media’s general distain for Texas being conservative, southern, having a cowboy image* and being related to G. Bush had a subconcious effect on the Heisman voters in a close race when Young lost. Perhaps this also played a role when Peyton Manning didn’t win. Tebow and McFadden’s stats were impossible to ignore, so this didn’t seem ro present the same problem that it did regarding Young and, last year, McFadden. To the individual who thinks it’s unfair to compare QBs to RBs, I don’t disagree, that’s why I think there should be more than one Heisman (there are other awards but they don’t recieve the same publicity). But get used to it. This is the era of the spread and wide open offfenses and the QBs are going to get the big numbers. (Did any of you catch the stats on the Pats-Steelers game? NE won with just 28 yards rushing).

    I am wonder if the Heisman gurus might consider that if the voting doesn’t reach a given percent difference between no, 1 and 2, then to declare cowinners. Afrer all they did break precedence with a sophmore choice.** This has it’s own problems, but let me say that if the two top candidates were that close, and had been from Michigan (or OSU) and Southern Cal then there might have been enough of a a furor to condsider such an option. But, hey, Florida and Arkansas are in the South and worse, in the hated SEC.

    Regarding ESPN. Obviously the network knew how the voting was going to turn out. That is why they formatted the program the way that they did. If they themselves (ESPN) manipulated the voting, then I think such evidence should be presented before condemning them. (Maybe there were some hanging chads). Otherwise, quit blaming ESPN for the results. Heisman voting has been going on for a long time before ESPN came into the picture.

    *they much prefer indians, except as mascots

    **One could see this coming because of the ability of juniors to leave and go to the pros. In the past there were the last two years to consider. But the best players will probably leave after the juniior year (Glenn Dorsey excepted).

  18. I guess I am the only one who thinks the Heisman is overrated. I heard the stats about the past 10 winners only two have gone on to have pro bowl careers. I think not winning it was the best thing that could have happened to him. I am sure he is not that disappointed considering all the money he will see ahead. He know he is the best player in the country. His home state knows he is the best and thats all that matters. I think if he plays in the cotten bowl he will make the rest of the world realize it to.

  19. I was thinking the exact same thing DieingHog. This could possibly motivate D-Mac to have another LSU-type ball game. GO HOGS GO!!!!!

  20. ——————–

    Darren is picked as the best offensive player in the SEC but Tebow beats him out for the most prestigious award in the sport?! Complaining about that isn’t sour grapes; it’s calling it for what it is: Bullshit.


    Actually Tebow was named the AP SEC Offensive Player of the Year. DMac won the coaches award. Of course it’s the media who votes for both the AP award and the Heisman so discussing a coaches award doesn’t have much bearing. Now had it been the other way around it would have been puzzling but as it turned out it stayed true to form.

  21. Hawgfan100 says:

    I’ll take the coache’s opinion over the press’ any day.